I was pleased, upon coming to hear Mass early this evening, to learn that two local doctors, a married couple, had come to give thanks for twenty years of their medicine practice in Launceston on this the anniversary of its establishment: Deo gratias. Father Allan (our local Franciscan priest) was the celebrant, and he prays Mass devoutly. Fittingly, he chose to use the votive orations for the sick.
Amusingly, given to-day is in the old calendar the feast of the Precious Blood, we were reminded of Archbishop Doyle's latest ruling, to the effect that, owing to the swine flu (Tasmanian casualties: hardly any), communion from the chalice was to be discontinued for the moment... I must say, I am not doctrinaire about this matter, and will communicate under both kinds if it is offered, despite being a Traddie (since after all, in and of itself Our Lord's Blood is much to be desired as our soul's true drink), of course fully believing in concomitance and holding the need to drive irreverence and folly out of the sacred liturgy. If, say, a deacon is administering the chalice, I see no reason not to kneel down and partake of it.
In other news, I've just now finished reading James Belich's masterly history of New Zealand (Making Peoples and Paradise Reforged); despite some reservations concerning a page or two about some few modern moral issues which he attempts to report on dispassionately, overall I would most heartily recommend it as a fascinating and well-written magnum opus, running to nearly a thousand pages all told. Whoever would have thought New Zealand history could be so interesting? (As a typical Australian would think!)
To-morrow, for the fifth day in a row, I will be reading the Sunday festal psalms at Lauds - after the Lord's Day came SS Peter and Paul on Monday, the Commemoration of St Paul on Tuesday, to-day (Wednesday) the Precious Blood, and in some several hours, Thursday and Our Lady's Visitation; and of these days, three (Sunday, Monday and to-day) have had the traditional Sunday Psalms (53 and 118) at the Little Hours too. Every night from Sunday to Thursday will have featured the original Compline Psalms: 4, 90 and 133. I like feasts.