Hail, Master!

Years ago, the immortal David Warren admitted to the guilty pleasure of enjoying the Christmas Mass of Jakub Jan Ryba (1765 – 1815), amidst the austerities of Lent. The occasion serves to illustrate the true value of asceticism, the purpose of which is not so much to have us forego what is good, as toContinue reading “Hail, Master!”

Christmas Cheer

And the light shines in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:5 Traditionally, Christmas is a season of warmth and light. Even as the northern hemisphere reaches its darkest days, and the arctic blasts of January approach, the world sparkles with tinsel and smiles, and ubiquitous signs of universal good cheer. AtContinue reading “Christmas Cheer”

With Purified Hearts

After the days of [Mary’s] purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried [the child Jesus] to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord. Luke 2:22-23 In August of 1733, Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679-1745) composed this Mass (streaming, download) to celebrate “ourContinue reading “With Purified Hearts”

A New Contagion for a New Year?

From A Christmas Carol: It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour. Charles Dickens As Richard Gunderman explains, this classic tale teaches us the source of true joy. “To really live, itContinue reading “A New Contagion for a New Year?”

O Mighty King!

Great Lord, O mighty king, dearest Savior, O how little you regard earthly splendor! He who maintains the whole world, and created its glory and adornment, must sleep in a hard crib! J. S. Bach, Christmas Oratorio My favorite recording of this magnificent music is by Collegium Vocale Ghent. What do you think? Please comment,Continue reading “O Mighty King!”

Arise, O Jerusalem!

Arise, O Jerusalem, and stand on high: and look about towards the east. Behold the joy that comes to thee from thy God! Baruch 5:5, 4:36 Wishing all our readers a blessed and happy Christmastide! As Stephen Beale reminds us, “Christ who was of heaven was born on earth so that those of the earthContinue reading “Arise, O Jerusalem!”