Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Candlemas at Holy Trinity, Philadelphia

  • Lumen ad revelationem gentium. Procession and Sung Mass Suscepimus, Deus, misericordiam tuam in medio templi tui for the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Candlemas) at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Philadelphia, "St. Clement's Jr." Formerly Old City's German parish as you can see on the Stations of the Cross, spared modernization because it's historic but more because it was long disused. Of course Jesus and Mary already were pure but the family followed the Mosaic laws. (Before 3 p.m. Good Friday the head of the church on earth was Caiaphas; afterwards it was St. Peter.) So why the candles? There's the Bible quotation about light, and it was a pagan (Germanic?) festival celebrating the middle of winter between the solstice, the day with the least light, and spring, the vernal equinox (equal light and darkness). I don't know how the groundhog got into the picture. Anyway, liturgically right, the Christmas crib stayed up until yesterday; said goodbye to the Bambino afterwards for another year. Actually this, not Septuagesima yesterday, closes out Christmas.
  • Priests can say no to altar girls, and as the American church regroups after bottoming out because of Vatican II, you'll see more of this. They're a fixture in many parishes, including my vacation one (the sanctuary party looks like a Swedish Lucia procession), but such churchgoers are fading away; the lukewarm leave and we traditionalists and conservatives (I'm not saying we're all holy) are left.
  • Bad idea, even if well-meant: rewriting church services in street slang. Not heretical but sappy and guaranteed to backfire: from the Nice White People whom blacks laugh at among themselves. Written by a typical white guy (an Episcopal priest, but who knows what goes on in Novus Ordo land, even though Benedict the Great's reform has cleaned it up?), which means his knowledge of black street slang was at least a couple of years out of date. Think of the blacks who would love high church, as Anglican ones in ghettos and the Caribbean used to, if white Catholics and Episcopalians were orthodox and not trying to patronize them.
  • Zemblanity in education — zemblanity being the opposite of serendipity. Serendipity is the knack of making happy, fortunate and unexpected discoveries by accident. Zemblanity is the facility for making unhappy, unfortunate and expected discoveries by design, and seems to characterise much education.
  • Did you know that Pennsylvania has bald eagles?
  • The horrible truth about many online job applications. After my last layoff, I threw cyber-spaghetti at the wall and it worked, but beware.
  • Among the journals I'm in charge of production for are two Russian-related ones, one military, the other for librarians. Another is about criminal justice; another about ethnic nationalism such as the leftists in Spain. Eleven journals so far.
  • Sold for $170,500 plus, at Barrett-Jackson's auction in Scottsdale: one of the few movie Christines, a restored car used for filming, promotional tours, and a prize afterwards. Now owned by a collector with a car museum in Rochester, NY. Christine's a hybrid '58 Plymouth, a Belvedere with the high-performance Fury engine (dual quad carburetors so two air cleaners as you can see in the movie). The Fury had the same body as the Belvedere but came in only one color scheme (light beige and gold); Christine's colors were an option for the Belvedere. She's called a Fury in the book because it's fitting, of course, but many details in the book are wrong.


  1. The journal about the leftist movements in Spain: Does it deal with the Basque independence movement? My younger son is writing a paper on this. Resource ideas are welcome!

    1. I've sent you a message with the answer and the journal's title.


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