On this glorious morning of the feast of St John the Baptist's Nativity...

I'm quite pleased with the world: because of the beauty of Dawn, of the birds, of the beautiful people who populate this lovely world (the supermarket these days should have Gerard Manley Hopkin's As Kingfishers Catch Fire read by Keanu Reeves on its PA system), of Giacomo Carissimi's Mass Ut queant laxis in honor of the great Praecursoris Domini... but, to be honest, mostly because the landlady has left town for a week to visit a friend and so I have sole possession of the house.

Am listening to Carissimi's Mass, performed by I Madrigalisti Ambrosiani and recorded in 2017, on Spotify and I know it is on YouTube because I have seen it there with my own myopic eyes: but for some reason the YouTube button here won't find it. Grr. That infra is the hymn Ut queant laxis, or, more properly, that part of it sung at Vespers. There are two other parts, Antra deserti, sung at Matins, and O nimis felix, at Lauds: in other words, the hymn is begun at First Vespers (yesterday afternoon), continued this morning at Matins and Lauds, and then the first part is repeated at Second Vespers, this afternoon.

Mass at Warrington didn't stream this morning, yet again; it is a minor irritation but once I lose the habit of following there at 0410 it might be difficult to recover it. Perhaps. I appreciate the priests' modus celebrandi: they are careful to enunciate the Latin texts, including the lessons, which at Saint-Eugène one only hears when the Mass is celebrated solemnly (I mean, they are read in French aloud while the priest reads the Latin inaudibly except at Solemn Mass). They are in fact streaming the Mass later on, at 1000.

It was hot yesterday, close to 90 degrees F. if not a degree or two hotter. I anticipate another day or so of that. The heat itself I don't mind at all-- the uncomfortableness of trying to fall asleep in it is, however, a trial of my patience. Oddly enough, once I lowered my head to the pillow shortly before 2000 I was as if dead until shortly after 0100-- which is as long a sleep as I ever get.


Later, on Friday. Wanted to memorialize a Twitter conversation last evening, yesterday afternoon, with a fellow who had participated at a St John's Eve bonfire on Wednesday night. This was formerly a very widespread custom, no doubt connected with the solstice somehow etc. One of his tweets:

My dad always got the biggest kick out of stuffing the tree limbs with dryer lint and setting that thing off. When I was really little, the local priest would come out to burn no-longer-useful liturgical items.

Mussorgky's Night is, of course, St John's Eve.