Monthly Archives: October 2008

Singable Translation: “Attende, Domine”

Yes, yet another example of my insistence on using slow airs for hymns. This one works fairly well, I think. It sounds a bit better than it looks.

“Attende Domine/O Hear Us, O Lord”
Lyrics: Maureen S. O’Brien, 10/30/08
after “Attende Domine” (Trad.)
Music: “Cumha Eoghain Rua Ui Neill” (Lament for Owen Roe O’Neill)
Trad. Irish.

Attende, Domine —
O hear us, O Lord.
Et miserere —
and have mercy, O– Lord.
Quia peccavimus —
for we have sinned, O Lord.
Tiiiiibi —
against You-, O Lord.

Attende, Domine,
Et miserere
Quia peccavimus

To You, Most High King,
Redeemer of all things.
We lift up our eyes.
O graciously hear
Your pleading people’s prayers.


At the Father’s right hand
The Cornerstone,
O Road of Salvation,
O Gate of Heaven.
Wash off our spots and stains
From all the wrongs we’ve done.


O God, we ask
Your Majesty’s sacred ear
That our groans and our sighs
You graciously will hear
For our crimes, kindly one,
O kindly grant us pardon.


To You, we admit
All– the crimes we commit.
With contrite heart for it,
we set out the sins that we have hid.
O Redeemer, take pity.
Forgive us, in Your mercy.


Innocent, caught.
Unresisting, brought.
With the witnesses bought,
By crooked men, condemned —
Those You redeemed on that day,
O Christ, keep them that way.


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A New Fiend of Twenty Faces Movie in Japan?

Apparently, the producers of Daughter of Twenty Faces are not the only ones who’ve been dreaming of the ultimate master of theft and disguise in the world of Edogawa Rampo. There’s a new action movie coming out in Japan called K-20. (That’s short for Kaiju 20 Mensou.)

Pretty cool, eh?

Anyway, the story is that our favorite Kaiju of 20 Faces is running around Tokyo in 1949 in a sort of leather Zorro suit (when not wearing disguises), pursued by the famous private detective Akechi Kogoro in his suave high fashion suits (when not wearing disguises).

Unfortunately for him, a totally innocent young acrobat finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and is accused of being Twenty Faces himself! How can he prove his innocence while being hunted down by the police? Obviously, he’s got to do what even Akechi can’t manage — capture 20 Faces!

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Go See Changeling

It’s an Angelina Jolie movie directed by Clint Eastwood and written by the great J. Michael Straczynski, who unearthed this true story of the naked city and worked hard to bring it to the screen.

If you want to see a real life noir tale, this is the movie for you.

If you’ve been complaining that you never get to see women play meaty roles, and that there’s too many actresses stuck playing cardboard cutouts named “Love Interest” or “Bimbo”, this is the movie for you.

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I’ll Try and Post Something That’s Not Gross….

… but apparently, that’s all I’ve got for today.

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Food Festival Killed the Cat

Apparently, I missed the outrage earlier this month, when the Sun revealed that Canete, Peru holds a cat-eating festival every year, the Festival Gastronomico de Gato. (I’ll spare you the links to YouTube coverage of the event.)

Anyway, this festival takes place on September 21st, on the Feast of St. Iphigenia, which name ought to be enough to provide you folklore scholars with a couple of articles. But the story goes that she was an Ethiopian virgin non-martyr, originally converted by St. Matthew, who helped evangelize her homeland. According to this gentleman living in Valparaiso, however, St. Iphigenia was later appropriated as “the patron saint of the Black Arts“, which ought to provide three or four more articles.

The truth of the matter seems to be that the local church for black slaves was often named after St. Iphigenia of Ethiopia, and that the only meat slaves could afford was stray cat.

Maybe they only eat Cats That Look Like Hitler?

(Yes, this is a pretty gruesome post. But this is Halloween week, so I’m being seasonal.)

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I Think I’d Have to Be Starving.

From a UK food blog, a description of Scandinavia’s method of eating sharkmeat. Which is apparently poisonously full of uric acid, unless you follow the Scandinavian method.

Dear heavens. And I thought lutefisk and salty licorice were peculiar.


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The Omnivore’s Hundred

Via Goodie Goodie Gumdrops:

Below is a list of 100 things that every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food – but a good omnivore should really try it all!

Thanks to the original blogger who thought this up. (If you have questions or are wondering about food on the list, check out the handy FAQ.)

Here’s what you do:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment linking to your results.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or headcheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Don’t worry if you don’t recognize everything in the hundred, Wikipedia has the answers!

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Okay, This Is Creepy.

The Californians are trying to make us believe that everyone lives in this creepy way, with servants for sale outside Home Depot.

If I ever saw this at any store, I’d never go back there again. Even if it meant buying groceries over the Internet, and yes, I’ve been having some serious package delivery problems with Amazon.

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Because Politics Is Meant to Facilitate Life, Not Be Life…

… I should remind people that Tremendous Trifles (the Scotland, Benedict Ambrose, one — not any of the other ones) and Seraphic Single got together at the beginning of this month for a nice little transatlantic blog meeting, and ended up “walking out together”.

This was in the same week that said proprietor of said Tremendous Trifles entered the Church. And so there was even saying of the Rosary together. Which is like… wow. Very trad, very sweet, very trusting, very wholesome, and very like bringing someone home to meet Mother….

And now Seraphic has been running around Germany for three weeks on vacation, so they’ve got that whole absence thing. Except with comment boxes and emails and stuff.

Awwwww. It couldn’t get any cuter without chubby little amoretti/cherubim getting involved. (I should note at this point that zillion-eyed cherubim are not quite as cute as chubby baby cherubim, at least in this world.)

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The Naivete of Oversophistication

I saw a sad, sad thing at the grocery store today. A car was festooned with various fannish decorations, but also bore a license plate holder declaring its owner to be a fan of a certain book series. (It’s one of the nastier combinations of freaky sex and violence available today, as least in the normal marketplace.) The holder itself was tasteful enough, but it wasn’t hiding anything, either.

Now, this not only made me worry about the driver’s soul and literary taste, but also the lack of any sense of self-preservation. The world is abundantly provided with people who have scary plans to do violence on others, in the real world.

Many of these people do read books that treat of their favorite subjects. Many of them try to get in touch with the writers of such books. (Usually from prison, thank God. Sometimes at conventions, which is when convention security comes in handy.) It’s an occupational hazard for even the most respectable, much less folks writing nastier stuff.

So it would be a reasonable precaution not to drive the streets with an advertisement for horrible nasty books on your car. You would think. If you bothered to think.

Sigh. I don’t care how brave and transgressive and sophisticated you are, my friend. This is not posting something on your Myspace page, in front of people who don’t know your address.

There is someone out there who is much weirder than you, is quite serious about the stuff you are playing with, and may truly have no sense of right and wrong. You do not want to meet that person. But you really do not want him waiting for you by your car. Trust me on this.

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Gospel of St. Mark Talks

A nice chunky set of 17 talks on the Gospel of St. Mark by Fr. Christopher Phillips, down in Texas.

(He’s from a parish with the unusual name of Our Lady of the Atonement, and with the equally unusual situation of being Latin Rite Catholics with the Anglican Use. You’ve heard about married Episcopalian priests becoming Catholic, and then being allowed to go to the seminary and become Catholic priests? This is one of those situations. There are some parishes that the Church has set up for Episcopalian/Anglican converts, which allow use of an Anglican-style Mass that’s also validly Catholic, as part of the Latin Rite. I think it’s pretty cool, and so are the convert folks.)

As Fr. Phillips says in the first session, each talk lasts an hour. When he gets to the end of an hour, he stops talking and saves the rest for next time. Heh!

I enjoyed it a lot, I learned a lot.

There’s more on the parish website: a series on Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews and another on his Letter to Titus.

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Benedict XVI on the Rosary

More incredibly beautiful comments from our little Pope! From his visit to Pompeii and the shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary:

….one must experience first hand the beauty and the profundity of this prayer, which is simple and accessible to all. It is necessary above all to allow oneself to be led by the hand by the Virgin Mary to contemplate the face of Christ: a face that is joyous, luminous, sorrowful and glorious.

Whoever – like Mary and together with her – assiduously guards and meditates the mysteries of Jesus will always assimilate his feelings more and more and conform to him.

In this regard, I would like to quote a beautiful consideration by Blessed Bartolo Longo: “Just as two friends”, he wrote, “who practice frequently together usually end up conforming to each other even in habits, so also we, conversing familiarly with Jesus and the Virgin in meditating the mysteries of the Rosary, and forming the same life together in Communion, can become – as much as our baseness is able – similar to them, and learn from these supreme examples how to live humbly, poor, hidden, patiently and perfectly.” (The Fifteen Saturdays of the Most Holy Rosary, 27th ed., Pompeii, 1916, p. 27: cit. in Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 15).

The Rosary is a school of contemplation and silence. At first glance, it may seem like a prayer that accumulates words, thus difficult to reconcile with the silence which is rightly recommends for meditation and contemplation.

In truth, this cadenced repetition of the Ave Maria does not disturb interior silence; rather, it requires and nourishes it. In the same way as the Psalms that one prays in the Liturgy of the Hours, silence flourishes through the words and sentences, nor as a void, but as a presence of that ultimate sense that transcends words themselves and together with them speaks to the heart.

Thus, in reciting the Ave Maria, we must take care that our voices do not ‘cover’ that of God, who always speaks through silence, like the ‘murmur of a gentle breeze’. How important it is, then, to guard this silence full of God in personal and in community prayer!

Even when it is prayed by large gatherings, as we do today in this Basilica, one must perceive the Rosary as a contemplative prayer, which cannot happen without a climate of interior silence.

I wish to add another reflection relative to the Word of God in the Rosary, particularly timely now while the Bishops Synod is taking place at the Vatican on the theme ‘The Word of God in the life and mission of the Church’.

If Christian contemplation cannot do without the Word of God, even the Rosary, to be a contemplative prayer, must always emerge from the silence of the heart as a response to the Word, on the model of Mary’s prayer.

Looking at it, the Rosary is all woven with elements taken from Scriptures. First, there is the announcement of the mystery, preferably made, as we do today, with words taken from the Bible. This followed by the Our Father: imprinting a ‘vertical’ orientation to the prayer, it opens the soul of he who prays the Rosary the right filial attitude according to the invitation of the Lord: “When you pray, say ‘Father’….”

The first part of the Ave Maria, also taken from the Gospel, makes us listen again every time to the words with which God addressed the Virgin through the Angel, and the blessing of her cousin Elizabeth.

The second part of the Ave Maria resounds like the answer of children who, addressing the Mother as supplicants, do nothing other than to express their own adherence to the plan of salvation revealed by God. Thus, the thought of the one who prays is always anchored to Scripture and the mysteries it presents….


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The Lay Folks’ Mass Book

Today I found the delightful rhyming prayerbook called The Lay Folks’ Mass Book. It was written in Middle English, exists in several parallel manuscripts (each a little different in dialect and hence in phonetic spelling), and basically is a wonderful little work of devotion for normal people.

The scholarly notes are in Victorian Insult the Papists mode, as they spend time trashing their ancestors for ignorance, superstition, et al. Basically, they can’t get over the fact that it’s not a missal, and that it’s Catholic. Sigh.

For my money, this was meant for somebody who more or less understands what’s going on in the Mass when, even if they don’t know every word or have more than tags of Latin. Certain reference points are given, to help the reader keep on track. There are also prayers, which are clearly intended not to take the place of the Mass prayers, but rather to keep the person meditative and deep inside the Mass before them. (Or in the case of rhyming translations, to help join one’s prayer more directly to that of the Mass. The participation level is not more but different; the prayerbooks help people to approach participation from all sorts of angles.) The intent is to help the reader focus more on the Mass, and most of all, the Sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on Calvary. At the end of the book, the author encourages the reader to learn the prayers by heart so they won’t need the book (except maybe to check the reference points on when the priest does this or that).

I didn’t see any prayers in there that wouldn’t be just as appropriate as reflections and meditations for someone at a contemporary Mass. The major difference is that now most people come up with their own vague reflections and ways to concentrate, spontaneously, whereas books back then were full of helpful suggestions. So folks nowadays tend to think there’s something wrong with them if they can’t concentrate on every instant, or alternately, give up on paying much attention to Mass at all.

(I am glad to say that nobody ever told me that I was supposed to keep my mind explicitly on every syllable of Mass at all times and never ever do any free-range prayer to God, as some idiots reportedly do say. I think these people avoid being smacked over the head only because nobody can believe that such clueless words are actually being emitted from their mouths.)

Here’s a prayer before Mass, translated/transliterated into modern English:

“God, for Thy goodness,
at the beginning of this Mass
grant all that shall it hear
of conscience be clean and clear.
Lord, save the priest that shall it say
from temptations today,
that he be clean in deed and thought,
that evil spirits annoy him not,
that he fulfil this Sacrament
with clean heart and good intent.

“First, principally to Thine honor
that Sovereign are of all succor;
and to Thy mother, maiden clean,
and to Thine saints all together.

“And all that hear it to their souls’ health,
Thou, help them with Thy grace and Thy wealth;
and all that we have in mind
(sib or any friend of any kind).

“And Lord, grant them for this Mass
from all their sins, forgiveness;

“And rest and peace that lasts forever
to Christian souls that have passed away;
and bring us to joy without end;
and to us all Thy succor send. Amen.”

Here’s a translation and expansion of the Gloria:

“Joy be unto God in Heaven
with all kinds of mirth that men may tell;
and peace on earth unto all men
that rightwise are, and of goodwill.
We love Thee, God almighty,
and as we bless Thee busily,
we worship Thee as is worthy,
and make joy to Thee more and less.
We thank Thee, God, for all Thy grace,
for the great joy that Thou has.
Our Lord, our God, our King heavenly,
our God, our Father almighty.
Our Lord, the Son of God from Heaven,
Jesus Christ, comely to call on,
our Lord, Lamb of God, we name Thee
and Son of God Thy Father free.
Thou that takes away the world’s sin,
have mercy on us, more and mind.
Thou that takes away the world’s wrack,
our prayer in this time, Thou take.
Thou that sits on Thy Father’s right hand,
with mercy help us lying here.
For Thou art holy, made of none
but of Thyself, and Lord alone.
Thou art the Highest, of wisdom most,
Jesus Christ, with the Holy Ghost,
dwelling with the Father of Heaven
in more joy than men may tell.
Unto that joy, Jesus, bring us
through the prayers of Thy mother. Amen.”

The Early English Text Society did a nice job on the actual presentation, and they also included some very cute bits and pieces of other works.

The grace before meals is nice:

God, that his bread brake
at his Maundy, where he sate
among his apostles twelve —
May He bless our bread and our ale
that we have and have shall,
and be with us Himself.


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A Stock Exchange Song

Talis Kimberley, a very good songwriter you’ve probably never heard of, wrote this song ages ago. (Poor Judith unwarily said something about how the stock reports would sound interesting, if she sang them.)
Being a filker, Talis had to take up this challenge and do mad amounts of research into financial history. It’s a beautiful song, and comforting in a way. “This too shall pass.”

Gold’s down by two points in London
The Dow Jones is down by just one
Sterling’s held steady since Tuesday
And the third quarter’s barely begun

Meanwhile at Jonathan’s coffeehouse
Trading commenced around nine
We’re ten or so hours behind Tokyo and
All times are London time.

At the end of the seventeeth century
Just two years short of its close
We were thrown out the Royal for rowdiness
So we all went for coffee at Jo’s

We all met at Jonathan’s coffeehouse
Trading commenced around nine
First on the left down Change Alley;
All times are London time.

Seventeen-twenty burst bubbles;
It burnt down in forty-eight’s fire
Utilities going on sluggish
Commodities pitched to go higher

They’re rebuilding Jonathan’s Coffeehouse
Trading commences at nine
Everyone’s talking up railways, and
All times are London time.

Nineteen fourteen saw the War begin
A thousand and more volunteers
Four hundred never returned from the
Stock Exchange Royal Fusiliers
We traded through most of the second world
War even when we were bombed
We just carried on in the basement
Our motto – ‘My Word is My Bond’

Gold’s down by three points in London
The Hang Seng is down by just two
The Euro is rising, but slowly
And the smart traders know what to do;

I’ll meet you at Jonathan’s coffeehouse
Trading commences at nine
We’re five hours before Philadelphia and
All times are London time.

Meanwhile at Jonathan’s Coffeehouse
All times are London Time.

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