Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Thursday, 25 September 2008
Sunday, 21 September 2008
In the village where I live there is a pair of " Spectacle Stocks". Apparently they are a very unusual, with supposedly only one other pair surviving in England. Only the " victim's" legs were pinioned, but this probably resulted in even more discomfort and frustration. I couldn't help posting this photograph. It's not Sir Oliver but " Churchyard Cat", the only cat in the village to put up any resistance to the endless expansion of Badcat's territory. This one is a real bully and once scratched the Hound across the nose so hard, from underneath a parked car, that we left a trail of blood along the pavement. (I'm not sure if it was the cat or the stocks which made me think of Mulier Fortis.)
Today is the patronal feast of the (now) Anglican Church in my village. I've just come back from attending the " Clypping Service" which is a medieval tradition reintroduced during the Victorian period. The church ministers in their best vestments accompanied by a choir and banners process slowly around the churchyard during which hymns are sung. Then all the children of the village, ( these days eeked out with adults), encircle the church, join hands and embrace it three times. Then there is a short sermon and everyone gets a bun. ( The buns come from Tesco these days, I think.)
Friday, 19 September 2008
I took an Anglican friend to vespers in the London Oratory recently, ( not on the occasion on which they were broadcast). Two things especially made a very great impression, in what seems to me quite contradictory ways. Firstly, she was extremely impressed with the way in which the liturgy was conducted, but who could fail to be. But what created the greatest impression was the sense of profound reverence. She stated that while beautiful vestments, wonderful music and dignified ritual are perhaps more common in the Anglican church, she had never before experienced such a sense of reverence, of simply being in the presence of God Himself.
On the other hand she could not help commenting on all the coming and going among the congregation, the people arriving late, moving seats, leaving when ever they felt like it, walking off to a side chapel to light a candle during the singing of the psalms, for instance. It was not a circus but she could not understand it. It was something completely unknown in her Anglican experience.
Also the shear diversity of the congregation, even in this bastion of English tradition, was very marked. We really are the Catholic Church.
The full text of the interview given by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos to three well known journalists during his visit to London has appeared on the LMS website. It provoked a lot of comment at the time but it was interesting to go back and read it again. It seems very clear to me what he is saying... http://www.latin-mass-society.org/2008/cardinalcastrillonpressconf.html
Sir Oliver has been missing for two days and I've been a bit worried. It's not unusual for him to go AWOL, especially as the bad weather had been cramping his style a bit. But I do live very near a busy main A road so I was concerned, especially when a neighbour brought round Oliver's new collar and name tag which he found in the road.
But all is well, Oliver arrived early this morning and has been sleeping in "his" chair since then. ( All the chairs in the house are actually his and he occupies them in rotation.)
Oh, and he was not at all happy to see his collar again.
Tuesday, 2 September 2008
I have grown tired of the endless procession of delectable presents being offered by darling Oliver, especially since he brought in a pet white mouse. So he now has a collar with a little bell on it and as you see he is rather disdainful of the whole thing.
To make him feel a bit better about it I also bought him a new name tag; it reads "Sir Oliver Badcat". (" His Eminence Oliver Badcat" would not fit.)