Dies irae dies illa...

Dawn is struggling through the fog but will, I expect, defeat Night, eventually anyway; it is supposed to be a bright clear day later on. I said the Office through Prime, including the Officium Defunctorum apart from Vespers: since I followed yesterday's Vespers des morts from Paris I will continue with the day's Office (it is the second day within the Octave of All Saints in the Traditional Rite) and add Vespers defunctorum but otherwise am done with All Souls prayers myself, although Holy Mass is still to come at 1000. 

So many members of my family to pray for and friends! Very few of them have been fideles in the meaning of the Church's commemoratio today but one does one's best. Have been listening this morning to Johann Adolf Hasse's Requiem in E flat major.


The pastor at St Mary's has decided to begin celebrating the Novus Ordo Mass in Latin on Saturdays, as what is called the 'vigil Mass', which is in fact the Mass of the Sunday celebrated in anticipation. I don't pay much attention and so stumbled on to this at about 1715 Saturday-- it is scheduled at 1730-- and fussed about to try to view the livestream, which here, anyway, kept glitching at the Adoramus Te of the Gloria. I see at the Facebook page that there were two or three beginnings made; eventually it looks like there is a more or less successful video of the Mass, taking them altogether, anyway.

I very much dislike attending Mass at the end of the day; it seems to me a perversion of the natural order of things. I suppose I ought to give this a go, however. Father N. must have decided that the Traditional Rite was a step too far at present-- he is not even celebrating these Novus Ordo Masses ad orientem. Honestly, though, it is the at-the-end-of-the-day nonsense that sticks in my craw.

Father N.'s video explaining himself is on YouTube.  

In the worst of cases, this will at any rate be less intolerable and less irritating than the ordinary Mass in the vulgar tongue. 


Ante Tertiam. A Steller's jay just stuffed about a dozen of what are called 'raw Spanish peanuts' into its mouth, throat, craw. It occurs to me I don't know the real definition of that word; I just think 'throat' in the figurative sense in which it's usually encountered ('the words stuck in his craw'). Craw, crop, croupe are all more or less the same word; from the Dictionary.

I myself dislike those Spanish peanuts; reading up on them, it is presumably that I dislike the raw legume-- why are the raw ones marketed, I wonder? I don't believe I've ever seen a recipe calling for raw peanuts.


Klassikaraadio is marking All Souls Day evening with Gabriel Fauré's Requiem, Arvo Pärt's LamentateHenryk Górecki's Symphony no 3, Mozart's Requiem, Max Richter's From Sleep, and then, to begin the US Election Day, Lang Lang's new Bach's Goldberg Variations (although whether the live or the studio version, I can't tell).


Five of the bishops of France-- Monseigneurs Aillet of Bayonne, Ginoux of Montauban, archbishop Cattenoz of Avignon, archbishop Macaire of Saint-Pierre and Fort-de-France (honestly, I don't know where that is, outremer, I guess), and Rey of Fréjus-Toulon-- five  joined with several prominent laymen and laywomen to sign an op-ed that appeared today in Le Figaro asking that the current state-imposed ban on public worship in the churches be lifted. (I read the text at Le Salon Beige since the Figaro page is behind the paywall.)

Since the ban was lifted in June, we have taken our responsibilities seriously and the barrier measures have been strictly observed. There have been no outbreaks of contamination in the churches. We fully share the concern to preserve public health. 

But the general ban on public Masses seems to us to be disproportionate in the face of the need to reaffirm our dearest freedoms, including that of practicing our religion. We also want to be able to celebrate Mass publicly, especially on Sundays. The Eucharist is the heart of our life.

Five bishops. My first inclination was to lament that insignificant number over there but I reckon the situation isn't any better here in the US. We aren't faced with the same situation as the French. 

The absolution at the catafalque, as the Solemn High Mass of Requiem comes to an end at Saint-Eugène. The Libera me, Domine, de morte aeterna.

The Schola sang this prose or sequence Languentibus in Purgatorio as the priests and clerics left the sanctuary. What is sung in the video (from a hymnal used by the FSSPX, evidently) is not exactly identical in text or notation to what is sung at Saint-Eugène but they are substantially the same work. 

Now am turning to Philip Glass's Satyagraha. The free streaming from the Metropolitan Opera is working until 1830 here; 6+ hours should be enough even for a Glass opera (it is, joking aside, about 3 hours in length, I believe). Whether I will listen seriously for long (or, for how long it will repay conscientious listening), or simply have it on in the background, am not sure. I enjoy Glass's operas but to my ears they tend to be more or less the same music in repetition.

Ante Sextam. The first hour has already brought tears to my eyes twice-- it is the 'self-repeating passacaglias' that do this, I believe; have only the vaguest grasp of the plot, such as it is. 

Each of the seven scenes is musically self-contained and usually constructed as a self-repeating passacaglia. With shifts of accent and new texts, each piece accumulates tension or force as it proceeds. The description is simple; in practice, the work unfolds as emotionally colorful and harmonically varied.

That's Daniel Cariaga at the Los Angeles Times commenting on the San Francisco Opera production in 1989. If I'm hearing the music in the background, the 'emotional climaxes' don't happen but if I'm actually attending to the music they sure do although I reach a point, as I recall from Einstein on the Beach and Akhnaten, when the spell ceases to have its effect. 

Have to add that the fact that Satyagraha is sung in Sanskrit is a novelty I find quite pleasant-- I would've sworn that Richard Croft was singing in Italian there for a bit. 'Indo-European languages' and all of that. 


There's a black and grey striped cat, not unfamiliar in the neighborhood, that's been lounging around in the backyard lately. It captured and killed a rat the other day; one down and presumably 243 to go. In any event, I am hopeful that its current patient observation will be rewarded with success. The dog, on the other hand, finds it necessary to be incensed (through the front window) by its prowling about the front yard. The cat stays out of sight (in the backyard, at least) when the dog is around-- but the landlady is at work.

The cat was chasing the squirrels but is now prowling beneath the deck where there are likely to be only rats-- that's where it caught the one Friday or Saturday. Time for both Vespers.