Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Compline and Honours

Though unfortunately our priest was unable to attend, and so we didn't have Benediction last night – at which I served at the city church on Monday night in any case, since the weekly Rosary devotions include Benediction this Lent – we did keep the feast of the Annunciation with special care, by singing the Litany of Loreto after Compline, and ending with the hymn "The Angel Gabriel from heaven came".

In other good news, the pre-eminent rank of Knight and Dame in the Order of Australia has been restored by our Prime Minister, just as the title of Queen's Counsel for senior lawyers is in process of being restored in certain State jurisdictions when it had been replaced with "Senior Counsel". We are a monarchy after all...

Friday, March 14, 2014

2nd Sunday of Lent - Missa cantata, 10:30 am at St Canice

While last Sunday found me at St Aloysius in Melbourne, where they are celebrating the imminent establishment, by decree of the Archbishop of Melbourne, of their community as a personal parish for those adhering to the traditional Latin liturgy, this Sunday almost upon us will instead find me in Hobart, at our now-fortnightly Latin Mass, its frequency being in process of increasing, thanks to our new Archbishop.

Since a visiting priest with different time constraints will be coming to celebrate the Missa cantata, Mass will be at the earlier and actually more convenient time of 10:30 am. As usual, Mass will be at St Canice, Sandy Bay.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

War and Peace

Matters in the Ukraine have reached breaking point; Russia is acting just as the USSR did – I think of the cynical and lying manner in which Stalin proclaimed peace while bloodily occupying the Baltic States, for example. That said, I think Ukraine might be well advised to let the Crimea go, since Russia is in de facto control there already.

How upsetting, to think that the pro-Russian President of Ukraine would turn tail and run, and those pro-Europe scum came suddenly to power! How upsetting – to the Kremlin, not known for fondness toward would-be overthrowers of authoritarian regimes.

The real danger comes if Putin (think Stalin, think Lenin, think Ivan the Terrible – Russian autocrats are all the same, just like those Russian dolls all nested inside each other) decides to take more than the Crimea: perhaps the easternmost Donetsk and Luhansk regions, to begin with.

After all, to the detritus of the old Soviet Empire (I mean Kaliningrad Oblast, between Poland and Lithuania), several puppet states "protected" by the Russian military have been added since the breakup of the USSR:
  • Transnistria, between Moldova and Ukraine: 4,163 sq km (protected since 1990)
  • Abkhazia, formerly north-western Georgia: 8,660 sq km (protected since 1992-3 and especially since 2008)
  • South Ossetia, formerly north-central Georgia: 3,900 sq km (also occupied since 2008)
  • Crimea: 26,964 sq km (de facto occupied as of late February 2014)
It appears the bear is getting hungrier.

May we expect ethnic cleansing, or just bashings and like cruelty, once the Crimea "overwhelmingly votes to reunite joyfully with the Motherland"? If I were a Crimean Tatar I'd be afraid.

Russia's government of course assumes that the European Union, the US and NATO are all as gormless and spineless as they have so far appeared; which seems a fair assessment. But hand-wringing will not scare away the bear, only a bloodied nose will. At least the Lithuanians have realised what's at stake, and have invoked Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

If NATO mobilised, and the US and UK declared they were willing to enforce, militarily if need be, the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, a "piece of paper" signed also by Russia (perfidy again), which guaranteed the borders and territorial integrity of Ukraine against the threat of force – then Putin might draw back.

Then again, NATO might prove itself the loser in such a conflict, should conflict come. Or Russia. Who knows what may happen? And didn't something very nasty transpire in similar circumstances in 1914?

Do pray for peace:

Aña. Da pacem, Dómine, in diébus nostris: quia non est álius qui pugnet pro nobis, nisi tu, Deus noster. 
V/. Fiat pax in virtúte tua. 
R/. Et abundántia in túrribus tuis.
Oratio. Deus, a quo sancta desidéria, recta consília, et justa sunt óреrа: da servis tuis illam, quam mundus dare non potest, pacem; ut et corda nostra mandátis tuis dédita, et hóstium subláta formídine, témpora sint tua protectióne tranquílla. Per Christum Dóminum nostrum. R/. Amen. 
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccáta mundi, dona nobis pacem.
Regína pacis, ora pro nobis.
Ant. Give peace in our time, O Lord: because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God. 
V/. Peace be in thy strength. 
R/. And plenteousness within thy towers. 
Let us pray. 
O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed; Give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that both our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that by thee, we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may pass our time in rest and quietness; through Christ our Lord. R/. Amen. 
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, grant us thy peace.
Queen of peace, pray for us.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Rosary Prayers

After introductory versicles, begin the Rosary with the "Hail, Holy Queen", its usual versicle and the collect "O God, Whose Only-begotten Son" – this was the somewhat startling advice I found in several late nineteenth century books, said to follow the official method laid down for use amongst Dominicans.

These days, of course, one expects to say such prayers at the end of the decades (Dominicans still maintain the introductory versicles, instead of the newfangled Creed, Lord's Prayer and three Hail Mary's); then, instead, they were said beforehand, and afterward – where now they are recited – instead came first the Litany of Loreto, and then the Sub tuum and an anthem to St Dominic, with appropriate versicles and collects.

The collect connected to the Sub tuum in this arrangement seemed familiar, as I have seen it referred to as St Pius V's prayer for use at the conclusion of the Rosary – the more familiar "O God, Whose Only-begotten Son" having been introduced by his successor, Gregory XIII, when he approved a proper Mass and Office for the feast of the Rosary. But the prayer appointed by St Pius V is itself a modification of the Dominican collect for Marian feasts – unsurprising, as Pius was a Friar Preacher:
Supplicationem servorum tuorum, Deus miserator, exaudi, ut, qui in societate sacratissimi Rosarii Dei Genitricis et Virginis congregamur, ejus intercessionibus, a te de instantibus periculis eruamur. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. R/. Amen. 
(Hear, O merciful God, the prayer of thy servants: that we, who meet together in the Society of the most holy Rosary of the Virgin Mother of God, may, through her intercession, be delivered by thee from present dangers. Through the same Christ our Lord. R/. Amen.)
Having come across this old form, I now preface the Rosary with the Sub tuum, versicle Post partum and collect Supplicationem servorum quorum, plus – from what I've learnt from our local Monday night Rosary group – the Memorare, before I make the usual start by signing myself with sign of the Cross, saying the Creed, and so forth. 

Spanish sources gave a variant to the Dominican or rather "Pian" collect for the Sub tuum (which they paired with the collect of the Angelus for good measure), which I prefer, as it is not so much that we meet together in a society of the Rosary as instead meet to recite it – hence its use in the version given below (Dominicans omit "gloriosa et" in the Sub tuum, by the way):
Aña. Sub tuum presidium confugimus, sancta Dei Genitrix: nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus, sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper, Virgo gloriosa et benedicta. 
V/. Post partum, Virgo, inviolata permansisti. R/. Dei Genitrix, intercede pro nobis.
Supplicationem servorum tuorum, Deus miserator, exaudi: ut, qui ad recitandum sanctissimum Rosarium Dei Genetricis et Virginis Mariæ congregamur, ejus intercessionibus a te de instantibus periculis eruamur. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. R/. Amen. 
Ant. We fly to thy patronage, O Holy Mother of God: despise not our petitions in our necessities, but ever deliver us from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin.
V/. After childbirth, O Virgin, thou didst remain undefiled. R/. Mother of God, intercede for us.
Let us pray.
Hear, O merciful God, the prayer of thy servants: that we, who meet together to recite the most holy Rosary of Mary, Mother of God and Virgin, may, through her intercession, be delivered by thee from present dangers. Through the same Christ our Lord. R/. Amen.