Happy and Glorious

Long to reign over us

During my lifetime, except for the first few years when her father was my country’s monarch, she has reigned over Canada as our Queen and Head of State.  And in my estimation it has been both a happy and glorious reign.

Happy Birthday 91st birthday to an remarkable lady.  And may God Save the Queen.

On this day in 1849: The Governor General of Canada, Lord Elgin, signs the Rebellion Losses Bill, outraging Montreal’s English population and triggering the Montreal Riots.

 

Easter 2017

℣Christ Arose!
℟Christ Surely Arose!
Alleluia!
he-has-risen

The Gospel of Luke
Chapter 24
1 Nowe the first day of the weeke early in the morning, they came vnto the sepulchre, and brought the odours, which they had prepared, and certaine women with them.
2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre, 3 And went in, but found not the body of the Lord Iesus.
4 And it came to passe, that as they were amased thereat, beholde, two men suddenly stood by them in shining vestures.
5 And as they were afraide, and bowed downe their faces to the earth, they sayd to them, Why seeke ye him that liueth, among the dead?
6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake vnto you, when he was yet in Galile,
7 Saying, that the sonne of man must be deliuered into the hands of sinfull men, and be crucified, and the third day rise againe.
8 And they remembred his wordes,
9 And returned from the sepulchre, and tolde all these things vnto the eleuen, and to all the remnant.
10 Now it was Mary Magdalene, and Ioanna, and Mary the mother of Iames, and other women with them, which tolde these things vnto the Apostles.
11 But their wordes seemed vnto them, as a fained thing, neither beleeued they them.
12 Then arose Peter, and ran vnto the sepulchre, and looked in, and saw the linnen clothes laide by themselues, and departed wondering in himselfe at that which was come to passe.

The Geneva Bible
Published 1560

To all my family and friends
Happy Easter – Joyeuses Pâques – buona Pasqua

On this day in 1818: The United States Senate ratifies the Rush–Bagot Treaty, establishing the border with Canada.

Whom Seekest Thou?

Blessed are they who have not seen and yet have believed.

Again this year I am posting the Easter Story as it is recounted in the King James version of the Gospel of St. John and as recalled by Dame Patricia Routledge.  Beautiful in the richness of the language and in the simplicity of her telling.

On this day in 1755: Samuel Johnson‘s A Dictionary of the English Language is published in London.

Ubi caritas est vera

Where there is true charity

Deus ibi est.

The Anglo-Catholic worship tradition that I spent many years observing is a theatrical one.  It was often mockingly referred to as “smells and bells” Christianity and indeed the smells and bells were there.  But so was the beauty of worship and the depth of devotion that ritual and all its attendant symbolism can bring to the worshipper.

I have always thought that the ceremonies and symbols of Maundy Thursday are the most theatrical of all the rituals in a week heavy in ritual and the theatrical.  Beginning with the Washing of the Feet, the commemoration of the institution of the Last Supper, the reserving of the Sacrament at a place of repose, the stripping and cleansing of the altars, the covering of images and furnishings, the open and empty tabernacle, and the final fleeing from the sanctuary of clergy, acolytes and congregation.  All leading up to the drama of the Liturgy of Good Friday.

It is traditional to intone the Ubi Caritas antiphone that was introduced into the liturgy sometime after 500 CE.  In most parishes where it is sung the Maurice Duruflé setting from 1960 is used however in searching I found a recent composition by Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo which begins, as does the Duruflé with a chant theme but one that is closer to the Eastern tradition than the Gregorian.

UBI caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exultemus, et in ipso iucundemur.
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.
WHERE charity and love are, God is there.
Christ’s love has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice and be pleased in Him.
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
And may we love each other with a sincere heart.
UBI caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul ergo cum in unum congregamur:
Ne nos mente dividamur, caveamus.
Cessent iurgia maligna, cessent lites.
Et in medio nostri sit Christus Deus.
WHERE charity and love are, God is there.
As we are gathered into one body,
Beware, lest we be divided in mind.
Let evil impulses stop, let controversy cease,
And may Christ our God be in our midst.
UBI caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul quoque cum beatis videamus,
Glorianter vultum tuum, Christe Deus:
Gaudium quod est immensum, atque probum,
Saecula per infinita saeculorum. Amen.
WHERE charity and love are, God is there.
And may we with the saints also,
See Thy face in glory, O Christ our God:
The joy that is immense and good,
Unto the ages through infinite ages. Amen.

The text both Duruflé and Gjeilo use is a more recent one which begins Ubi caritas et amor (Where there is charity and love) however earlier manuscripts use the text of the post title.   And it is a title I prefer at a time more than any other I can recall in my life when it seems that “true charity” has become more and more difficult to identify in our world.

Musically it is a quiet and touching moment as the text, music and action portray an act of “charity” in the drama which began with the Hallelujahs of Palm Sunday and after the sorrow of the Reproaches and the Seven Last Words reaches the glorious proclamation of the Esultet and the Alleluias of the traditional Easter greeting.

On this day in 1613: Samuel Argall captures Native American Pocahontas in Passapatanzy, Virginia to ransom her for some English prisoners held by her father; she is brought to Henricus as hostage.

To Tell of the Miracles and Wonders

Chag sameach

It is a commandment of the Torah to tell of the miracles and wonders which happened to our forefathers in Egypt on the Fifteenth of Nissan as it is said:
Remember that day when you went out from Egypt

Rambam, Laws of Hametz and Matza, Chapter 7

This evening at sundown in households of friends and many I consider family that commandment will be obeyed. The house will have been prepared, the Passover table will be set, the Matzot and Seder Plate will be placed before the Leader of the Seder, who will open their Haggadah and begin the first blessing.

Two years ago I wrote about the incredible wealth of Haggadot that have been created over the centuries to guide observers through the rituals and ceremonies of the holy days. One of the most famous is the 13th century Birds’Head Haggadah created in Southern German by a scribe known as Menaham. It is the first illustrated Haggadah known to be produced as a separate manuscript from the prayer book. The strange practice of replacing human heads by those of animals and birds can be found in Ashkenazi manuscripts of the 13th and 14th century. It is widely believed that this was to honour the admonition against portraying human figures. At least one scholar has argued that the figures are meant to present the Jewish people by the mythological griffin – a symbol of strength, strong will, and majesty.

Though ownership is currently being disputed the manuscript has been in the collection at the Israel Museum for over 70 years and is often displayed during Passover. The Museum has produced a pop-up Haggadah for children – and adults – using illustrations and scenes from this remarkable document.

The Preparation

The Story

(Click to begin the slideshow)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Deliverance

(A short homemade video)

The Passover Seder

Wishing you all the joys of the Passover holiday!
To you and those you hold dear!
May you be blessed with
Happiness, prosperity and peace
And good health at this Passover and always!

Chag Pesach Sameach – Gut Yomtov –   חַג שָׂמֵחַ

On this day in 837: Halley’s Comet makes its closest approach to Earth at a distance equal to 0.0342 AU (5.1 million kilometres/3.2 million miles).