Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Palm Sunday and the visit of the BBC

An interlude in my self-imposed Passiontide & Holy Week blogging break to post some 'photos of last weekend:

BBC Radio 4 broadcast the Sunday Worship programme live from the parish on Palm Sunday morning at 08.10.
Here is a link to the broadcast itself

Below are some 'photos taken during the day by David, one of our churchwardens, including the rehearsal, the satellite van parked outside the church early in the morning, and our passiontide cross in the churchyard, made by David from the trunks of our Christmas trees.

The Ardwyn Singers (more info here) under their director David Michael Leggett, who, with Kate on the 'cello, provided the music, are off to Rome and Florence for Easter. They are singing at a mass in St Peter's Basilica on Easter Tuesday.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Another hoax

Of course, it's that time of year again.
A good round-up here and here of the 'lead codices' story reported uncritically in so many places.
As someone has said, why can't many journalists these days seem to be bothered to check out their sources without just accepting any line that is fed to them? A combination of too little time and plain laziness, I suppose. We're all human after all.
I know that such things do need to be reported, but am I the only one who detects a shocking naïvety either in the hope that everything will be "proved" to be as the Scriptures say, or in the obvious glee in certain media quarters that something will be discovered which will discredit the Church's faith once and for all?
Anyway, sorry - better luck next time!

Monday, 4 April 2011


It's curious how in a society in which people more and more stridently demand "respect," fewer and fewer seem to feel the need to show it to others.
This report from Wales [here] seems to bear out the recent experience of many clergy:

'FUNERAL corteges are increasingly being disrupted by angry, impatient drivers overtaking aggressively or shouting abuse.
Undertakers called on drivers to be more respectful after a report showed the problem was becoming commonplace across Wales and the rest of the UK.
Funeral director Phillip Davies, whose business operates in Fforestfach, Swansea, said it happened frequently.
“Sad as it is for me to say, but this happens quite a lot. Unfortunately there is no respect any longer and people have lost common courtesy.”
He said angry motorists had shouted abuse using foul language, hooted their horns and used rude hand gestures.
“You name it, we have seen it. Nothing shocks me any more. I think its symptomatic of the modern world. People haven’t got 10 minutes to pay their respects or pull over, if needs be. I think this happens across the country, but you have to wonder how these people would feel if it was a procession for their loved one.....”'
I've not experienced the very worst of this -  rude and impatient motorists on one side -  but it certainly seems to be true that a funeral cortege now elicits in many people a kind of embarrassment and an obviously-too-uncomfortable reminder of their own mortality.
Having said that, in the remotest places in the Forest of Dean it is not that unusual to see men at the side of the road removing headgear of all kinds, including baseball caps, and standing quietly as a cortege passes. I've even noticed the very occasional sign of the cross being made. And.....yes....... in the cities, Muslims showing signs of respect for the dead, too, as a hearse passes.
We should be very wary about making too many assumptions of western cultural superiority. Even to pretend to it, one must have some kind of cultural inheritance to begin with.....

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Robert Tear (who died on 29th March) accompanied by André Previn

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Laetare Jerusalem

For tomorrow (as I won't have time to post) -
the entrance antiphon at mass:

Laetare Jerusalem: et conventum facite, omnes qui diligitis eam: gaudete cum laetitia, qui in tristitia fuisstis: ut exsultetis, et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestrae.....

Friday, 1 April 2011

More on the Egyptian Copts

"We Westerners have to take our blinkers off. Hani Shukrallah, the Coptic editor of the Cairo daily Al Ahram, alerted his countrymen to the danger in a recent English-language editorial titled “J’Accuse!”. He has a message for us in the West as well:

“I am no Zola, but I too can accuse. And it’s not the blood thirsty criminals of al-Qaeda or whatever other gang of hoodlums involved in the horror of Alexandria that I am concerned with…
“I accuse you all, because in your bigoted blindness you cannot even see the violence to logic and sheer common sense that you commit; that you dare accuse the whole world of using a double standard against us, and are, at the same time, wholly incapable of showing a minimum awareness of your own blatant double standard.
And finally, I accuse the liberal intellectuals, both Muslim and Christian who, whether complicit, afraid, or simply unwilling to do or say anything that may displease “the masses”, have stood aside, finding it sufficient to join in one futile chorus of denunciation following another, even as the massacres spread wider, and grow more horrifying.”
As the Coptic Pope Shenouda remarked of the Islamic fundamentalists to the secular Egyptian press: “Be careful. They will have us for lunch and you for dinner.”

Read the full article by Angela Shanahan here