21 October 2007

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

This morning I went to Mass at St. John Vianney Chapel at Daniel Murphy High School again. Those of you who've been keeping up with the blog know that I attended a lovely extraordinary-use Missa Cantata there a couple of months ago. It was a rather unexciting ordinary use this morning--the extraordinary use is only 4th and 5th Sundays.

They announced this morning that Daniel Murphy High School--and consequently the chapel--are being closed. I'm a bit worried about what is going to happen to the extraordinary use community that has developed there. I don't know if they all travel around to the other once-a-month Masses that are scattered over the city or if they only go to St. John Vianney Chapel. The Missa Cantata was truly wonderful, though, and I sincerely hope it will be able to continue someplace else after the chapel closes next summer.

17 October 2007

Nightly Nursery Rhymes

Two for the boys tonight:

Georgie Porgie, pudding and pie
Kissed the girls and made them cry
When the boys came out to play
Georgie Porgie ran away.

Little Jack Horner sat in a corner
Eating his Christmas* pie
He stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum
And said, "What a good boy am I!"

*Some versions have it as a mincemeat pie rather than a Christmas pie. I generally associate mincemeat with Christmas anyway.

15 October 2007

Random Quotes
From Music History Classes

Professor B. on Mozart's Laudate Dominum: "...and then comes the Gloria Patri. That's a sort of formula that Catholics tacked on to the end of just about everything."

Jane: *stifles a giggle*

Professor B.: "What? Am I wrong?"

Jane: "No, no. You're right."


Professor G., on the ensemble playing the textbook musical example: "Everything's a little slow for my taste. Introducing the Vicodin Consort."


Professor G.'s cell phone rings during the Dufay lecture. "Oh, that's Dufay now! He calls me now and again, but I don't answer because it's too expensive to take cellphone calls from 500 years ago."

14 October 2007

Nursery Rhyme of the Day

I think you'll all recognize the significance of the last line of today's rhyme.

Vintery, mintery, cutery, corn,
Apple seed and apple thorn;
Wire, briar, limber lock,
Three geese in a flock.
One flew east,
And one flew west,
And one flew over the cuckoo's nest.

12 October 2007

Churches of Los Angeles:
Greek Orthodox Edition

Here is an exterior view of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sophia here in LA:

There were signs requesting no photography inside the church, but luckily they have some nice shots on their website. It's definitely Westernized, but it's still absolutely gorgeous.

I wonder if Cardinal Mahoney has ever taken a tour of Beautiful Cathedrals of Los Angeles, and noted that his doesn't really fit in?

11 October 2007

Further Adventures in Nursery-Rhyme Land

For all my friends who wondered why I so often say that I am going "home again, home again, dancing a jig" (other than the fact that I am known to dance Irish jigs, and reels, and hornpipes now and again), here is the source of the quote:

To market, to market to buy a fat pig
Home again, home again, dancing a jig
To market, to market, to buy a fat hog
Home again, home again, jiggity jog
To market, to market, to buy a plum bun
Home again, home again, market is done.

09 October 2007

Churches of Los Angeles

Here are some pictures of St. Brendan's Catholic Church on 3rd St.

Unfortunately, the altar is rather small for the space, and there's little to draw the eye to it. It's a fairly pretty church, but could do with some renovation work in the sanctuary. There is a lot to work with, though--pretty woodwork, traditional structure, gorgeous stained glass, a decent-looking organ, and just look at those light fixtures! There are a few odd things about the church, the most striking of which is the the choice of holy water fonts by the doors: they're all tiny table-top fountains, water bubbling out of the top of a square piece of stone with a Celtic knot engraved on the front--the sort of thing you'd expect to find in a catalogue that also sells Book of Kells tea towels and Irish flag suncatchers. There's also a surplus of greenery, literally plants everywhere. A pretty place, but I'm not sure I'd feel entirely comfortable going to Mass there.

06 October 2007

Churches of Los Angeles

A year after its intended beginning, here is the first post of our new occasionally-airing series, "Churches of Los Angeles." Yes, there are certainly some worth seeing!

First up are a few exterior details of St. Victor's, which is near the USC campus. I did not feel comfortable photographing inside that day, because the Blessed Sacrament was exposed for adoration. Rest assured that the interior is even more lovely than the exterior.

05 October 2007

Rhyme of the Day

Because it is the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, a rhyme about being kind to animals (and in this case, excellent advice to children):

I love little pussy,
Her coat is so warm;
And if I don't hurt her,
She'll do me no harm.

I'll pat little pussy,
And then she will purr;
And thus show her thanks for
My kindness to her.

So I'll not pull her tail,
Nor drive her away;
But pussy and I
Very gently will play.

I'll not pinch her ears,
Nor tread on her paws;
Lest it should provoke her
To use her sharp claws!

She shall sit by my side,
And I'll give her some food;
And pussy will love me
Because I am good.

Although, if you plan to teach this to children of your own, vocabulary being what it is today, I suggest strongly that you substitute "kitty" for "pussy." People with dirty minds might get the wrong idea.

04 October 2007

Nursery Rhymes #4

Solomon Grundy,
Born on Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday:
This is the end
Of Solomon Grundy.

02 October 2007


What happens when Fellini combines the fashion world with the Catholic Church and sets it to the music of Nino Rota? Something surreal. N.B.: it's probably not a good idea to watch this before bedtime; it might give you nightmares.*

Here's your nursery rhyme of the day:

Hickory dickory dock
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck one
The mouse ran down
Hickory dickory dock.

Hickory dickory dare
The pig flew up in the air
The man in brown
Soon brought him down
Hickory dickory dare.

*After watching this, I realize how unimaginative finger-painted chasubles are. What we really need for the next World Youth Day is LED chasubles.
Nursery Rhyme #2

Two selections today, the first of which is a riddle as well as a rhyme, to promote those logic skills.

As I was going to St. Ives
I met a man with seven wives
Each wife had seven sacks
Each sack had seven cats
Each cat had seven kits
Kits, cats, sacks, wives
How many were going to St. Ives?

And because it's my bedtime soon:

Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town
Upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown
Rapping at the windows and crying through the lock
"Are the children in their beds? For now it's eight o'clock!"

Or, in my case, quarter to eleven.

01 October 2007

Interestingly, this blog is the number one result in a Google Search for "medieval dresses for young ladies."

To whomever came here looking for that item, I wish you luck finding something affordable.
Nursery Rhymes

It seems to me that nursery rhymes are important parts of our culture, at least as important as folk songs and ballads--they are, after all, related genres. (For those who are unaware, many children's rhymes in English are related to the English and Scottish folksong tradition.)

Unfortunately, I believe that English nursery rhymes are in danger of dying out in the United States. I learned many when I was a child, from illustrated "Mother Goose" books and from the wonderful "Wee Sing" tapes and books. But I assisted with a class last spring that touched on the English ballad tradition, and when the professor and I mentioned some nursery rhymes, most of the students gave us blank stares. I thought this incredibly tragic. Nursery rhymes should not be relegated to the status of curiosities preserved only in books, to have the singing and saying of them supplanted by music like this.

Those of you who have children, or who regularly have contact with the children of friends and relatives, please teach them nursery rhymes. They are as important, I think, as fairy tales, and if you've been reading your Chesterton you know how important fairy tales are.

Here is one of my favorites to make a start:

One misty moisty morning, when cloudy was the weather
I met with an old man, cloth├Ęd all in leather.
He began to compliment and I began to grin.
How do you do? And how do you do?
And how do you do again?