Have only now gotten finished with Prime, in the broad light...

Of morning. I didn't drag myself out of bed until half past four, the Psalms at Matins were lengthy ones rather than short, and I spent a half hour or more bathing (which for the time being requires boiling water and washclothes and extra care stepping in and out of the tub) after my (very pleasant) spatiamentum. It looks to be a beautiful day ahead.

It is an Advent feria, giving us a break in the series of Ember Day fasts. 

Am listening at 0900 to the Estonian National Symphony performing, with the bass Aid Anger and the tenor Juhan Tralla, a concert in honor of the Great Composer-- the Overture to Leonore, two arias (Hat man nicht auch Gold beineben from Fidelio and then Prüfung des Küssens), the Symphony no 1, and then the An die Hoffnung of Christian Jost, a 'vocal symphony based on Beethoven's aria of the same name'.

Daniel Barenboim and the West-East Divan Orchestra are giving a gala concert in Bonn that Klassikaraadio will stream from 1100, featuring Maestro Barenboim as the pianist in the Concerto no 3 and then Symphony no 5. 

The 'Advent calendar' from Neumz is presented by Dr Arreguin Rosales; he is talking about the 'O' Antiphons, the first of which, O Sapientia, is sung at Vespers this afternoon. The initial letters of these antiphons, taken backwards, spell out the Latin words ero cras, that means 'I will be here tomorrow'-- the series ends with O Emmanuel at Vespers on the 23rd. 

An idle bit of trivia. There is a family in Spain and presumably elsewhere in the Hispanic world at this point that bears the name De la O, and these antiphons are indeed wherefrom it derives. But see immediately infra.

In some places, tomorrow is the feast of Our Lady's Expectation, de l’expectation de l’enfantement de la Bienheureuse Vierge Marie, in Expectatione Partus Beatae Virginis Mariae (CE, Wiki). I have to laugh because the first thing my eyes lit upon at that Catholic Encyclopedia article was the declaration of Fr Holweck that the family name De la O 'has nothing to do with the 'O' Antiphons in the Roman Rite'. 

The feast of 18 December was commonly called, even in the liturgical books, 'S. Maria de la O', because on that day the clerics in the choir after Vespers used to utter a loud and protracted 'O', to express the longing of the universe for the coming of the Redeemer (Tamayo, Mart. Hisp., VI, 485). The Roman 'O' antiphons have nothing to do with this term, because they are unknown in the Mozarabic Rite. This feast and its octave were very popular in Spain, where the people still call it 'Nuestra Señora de la O'.

He's writing about the Hispano-Mozarabic Rite because the feast of the Expectation was instituted in Spain as a way of actually celebrating the Annunciation rather than allowing the feast almost always to be suppressed by the Lenten observance (Roman law at that point still prohibiting feasts in Lent-- March 25 falls outside of Lent once every eleven or twelve years); the Tenth Council of Toledo in 656 assigned the feast to the 18th. I seem to remember Father Hunwicke writing about this yesterday-- as indeed he did-- although he doesn't concern himself with the name de la O....

Morning's pleasantness has settled into grey overcastness at this point in the afternoon, alas. Arvo Pärt's version of the antiphon O Sapientia as an antidote.


An interview with Christian Marquant of Paix Liturgique is translated at Rorate Caeli; M. Marquant is the principal director of that organisation and their website. Paix Liturgique, which has fought the good fight-- we all of us have the right to hear Mass in the Traditional Rite in our own parishes, as grand as the work of the traditionalist clerical institutes is-- in France and elsewhere for four decades and more, is detested by certain malign or misguided people because inter alia they have, with their limited resources, become expert at using the modern tools of the polling industry to demonstrate that the Traditional Rite retains the favor and support of large numbers of Catholics whose voices aren't heard in the episcopal courts and certainly not at the palaces of the Bishops Conferences.

... Throughout the world, crowds upon crowds of Catholics who are uninformed or have been duped aspire to live an authentic faith with a holy liturgy. If they are aware of it but do not have access to it, we must help them to achieve it in practice. And if they do not know it yet, it is once again up to us to let them know it....

Their French website is here (and the interview is on the front page).

Marion Renault wrote an article that was in the New York Times today; about Chartreuse and the vicissitudes of selling it in tempore pestilentiae. A decent article without any cheap shots about holy religion or the monastic life, although it rather pathetic that the present plague is understood to be as horrific as "avalanches, landslides, terrible fires, religious wars, pillaging, evictions and exile, military occupation, the French Revolution". I knew one of the sources quoted, Father Michael Holleran, under a different name lo! those 25 years ago. 

I speculated just the other day, when I decided not to check on the price of a bottle of Chartreuse, passing the liquor store open for business, that 'it is bound to cost thirty or forty dollars' these days-- it's been years since I considered buying any. Today's article mentions $60!  I don't think I was even aware that there is a 'cask aged' ($180!) variety. No Chartreuse gelée for my Christmas peaches, alas.