Thursday, December 25, 2008

Puer Natus Est Nobis, Et Filius Datus Est Nobis

Glória in excélsis Deo
Et in terra pax homínibus bonae voluntátis!
Laudámus te,
Benedícimus te,
Adorámus te,
Glorificámus te,
Grátias ágimus tibi propter magnam glóriam tuam,
Dómine Deus, Rex cæléstis,
Deus Pater omnípotens.
Dómine Fili Unigénite, Iesu Christe,
Dómine Deus, Agnus Dei, Fílius Patris,
Qui tollis peccáta mundi, miserére nobis;
Qui tollis peccáta mundi, súscipe deprecatiónem nostram.
Qui sedes ad déxteram Patris, miserére nobis.
Quóniam tu solus Sanctus, tu solus Dóminus, tu solus Altíssimus,
Iesu Christe, cum Sancto Spíritu: in glória Dei Patris. Amen

A merry and blessed Christmas to all! May the good Lord bless you and yours in the year to come, and may the peace of the Christ Child abide in you all the days of your lives.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Himno Oficial del Primer Congreso Eucaristico de Filipinas

I borrowed this book from the library about the 1937 International Eucharistic Congress in Manila, Philippines. The event, the first in Asia, gathered personalities ecclesiastical and civil from all over the country, and also from Rome. Then Archbishop of Manila, the indefatigable Irishman His Excellency Michael J. O'Doherty, would lead the nation in giving thanks to the Almighty for this illustrious privilege. Attached to this post are scans of the score of the official hymn of that Congress, written in Spanish.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

No Thanks!

I was browsing Facebook today after the longest time when a friend left me a message, telling me to visit a group so despicable and insufferably foolish that I felt my blood pressure go up a couple of notches. I will not name the group in question as I shudder to think, even now, what possessed me to go over there and check it out. This group was made doubly loathsome in my eyes as it claimed to espouse traditional Catholic values.

Now, I've made my share of mistakes in the past. I've swung from one end of the political spectrum to the other, extreme liberalism changing almost overnight to fascism. There was a time when I would read the New York Times and Stormfront simultaneously. But if there's one thing I am proud to say that has been constant in my thinking, it is being level-headed. And while I am quite proud to declare that I can be a very opinionated person, in no way would I ever seek to make my own opinion the sole, dogmatic barometer of truth. Like many extremist traditionalist cliques, this Facebook group seems to dwell in a make-believe land where everyone speaks in Victorian prose and wears three-piece suits to dinner and drinks to the damnation of the enemies of the Faith. What a diseased way of thinking about the Faith! How horribly elitist and uncharitable!

All this seems to prove my theory that traditionalism is not so much an attempt to live as Catholics of yore did, but is, rather, a frankly distorted politics of delineation and isolation. There is a story of a city in Italy where a band of lepers, en route to an important shrine, had decided to settle, in the hopes of enticing the charity of the townsfolk in aiding their plight. However, no matter how long they waited, the citizens, because they were also so poor, could not gather enough money to help the beggars on their way. It eventually came to pass that the relics of St. Martin of Tours were to pass by the city in procession; and hearing this, the beggars fled and hid from the bones of the saint, crying out that the saint was come to rob them of their livelihood.

I'd like to think that traditionalism, or indeed any kind of movement, is genuine; but groups such as this seem to give the impression that it is better to remain in isolation, for only in such gatherings of the 'righteous' can the Truth appear. This is a very warped way of thinking, one that is corrupt and not at all Christian. And while certainly book-burning and censorship are historically verifiable facets of Christian history, to define the revealed Faith of Christ in the terms of repression would be a great disservice to all. It is sick. It is malicious. Below, I have included select quotes from some of the discussions from that particular group. God help us all if this is what being traditional means to these people.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Flores de Mayo

Last video post, I promise! :p

The Flores de Mayo is a month-long Filipino tradition held in May in honor of the Blessed Virgin; on the last day is held the Santacruzan, a procession which commemorates the finding of the Cross by St. Helena (Reyna Elena) and the Emperor Constantine. This particular version is from Quezon province, and was staged in the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Nine days of prayer usually precede the procession.

Although today only St. Helena and Constantine are given prominent roles, traditionally, the processions include other characters as well, sourced from Scripture, traditions, and even the local landscape. I've taken the liberty of pasting a list of characters which form the procession from this very helpful website. The order is based on precedence.

1. Methuselah - he is bearded, bent with age, riding a cart looking preoccupied with toasting some grains of sand in a pan over a fire. This is a reminder that all that glitters will end up as dust like what he
is toasting.

2. Reyna Banderada - a young lady dressed in a long red gown carrying a yellow triangular flag. She represents the coming of Christianity.

3. Aetas - represent the state of the country before the coming of Christianity. These are the unconverted Filipino pagans.

4. Reyna Mora - represents the dominant religion before Christianity (feminine of Moro from the Moslem religion).

5. Reyna Fe - symbolizes the virtue of faith - the first of the theological virtues. She carries a cross.

6. Reyna Esperanza - symbolizes the virtue of hope - the second theological virtue. She carries an anchor.

7. Reyna Caridad - symbolizes the virtue of charity - the third theological virtue. She carries a red heart.

8. Reyna Abogada - the defender of the poor and the oppressed. She wears a black graduation cap (toga) and gown and she carries a big book.

9. Reyna Sentenciada - has her slim hands bound by a rope. She is the symbol of the innocents who have been convicted. She is accompanied by two Roman soldiers.

10. Reyna Justicia - a personification of the "mirror of justice". She carries a weighing scale and a sword.

11. Reyna Judith - representing Judith of Pethulia who saved her city from the Assyrians after she beheaded the cruel holoferns. She carries the head of the beheaded man on one hand and a sword on the other.

12. Reyna Sheba - who visited the famed King Solomon and was overwhelmed by his wisdom, power and richess. She carries a jewelry box.

13. Reyna Esther - the biblical Jewish who spared her countrymen from death and destruction through timely intervention with the King Xerxes. She carries a scepter.

14. Samaritana - the woman who Christ spoke to at the well. She carries a jug on her shoulder.

15. Veronica - the woman who wiped the face of Jesus. She carries a bandana imprinted with the three faces of Jesus.

16. Tres Marias: Mary of Magdala - she carries a bottle of perfume; Mary, Mother of Christ - she carries a handkerchief; Mary, mother of James - she carries a bottle of oil.

17. Marian - celebrating the many titles of the Virgin Mary.

a. A-v-e--M-a-r-i-a -- represented by eight (8) girls all Wearing long white dressess with wings to make them look like angels. Each one carries a letter to complete the word "AVE MARIA."

b. Divina pastora (Divine Shepherdess) - she carries a shepherdess' staff.

c. Reyna de las Estrellas (Queen of Stars) - she carries a wand with a star.

d. Rosa Mystica - she carries a bouquet of roses.

e. Reyna Paz (queen of peace) - she carries the symbol of peace.
f. Reyna de las Propetas - she carries a hour glass.

g. Reyna del Cielo (Queen of Heaven) she carries a flower. She has two (2) angels.

h. Reyna de las Virgines - she carries a rosary and is surrounded by two (2) little angels.

i. Reyna de las Flores (Queen of Flowers) - she carries a bouquet of flowers.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Altar of Johanneskirche, Riemsloh, Germany

The altar of this church was constructed in 1908 by Heinrich Seling of Osnabruck. View the rest of the photos of this gorgeous retable by clicking this link. Each of the medallions features a scene from the life of Our Lord.

Friday, December 12, 2008

¿No estoy aqui, yo, que soy tu madre?

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the secondary patroness of the Philippine Islands, having been ruled by Spain through Mexico. We are all familiar with the stories-- of the Lady appearing to Juan Diego, of the miraculous image being imprinted on the saint's tilma, of the countless miracles worked, even to this day, by La Morenita. Looking at the image of the Virgin today, still miraculously preserved after the span of centuries, she still asks us, comforts us, with her immortal words: No estoy yo aqui que soy tu madre?-- Am I not here who am your Mother? Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Bearers of the Cross

I am in a video posting mood lately. Here is one that attempts to explain the practice of the Good Friday crucifixions in San Fernando, Pampanga. Be warned that the video is highly graphic, and I would recommend caution in watching it.

EDIT: It seems YouTube really doesn't want this vid to be embedded. For your convenience, here is a link to the video. Again, I urge you to watch this at your own discretion due to some of the graphic scenes in it.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Procession of the Dead Christ, Lucban

Here is a video clip of the Good Friday procession of the Santo Entierro (the image of the Dead Christ) in my late paternal grandmother's birthplace of Lucban, Quezon. The image of the Senor is believed to be a powerful miracle worker in the Southern Tagalog region, and 'rivals' Manila's Black Nazarene procession in the fervor and number of its devotees. Most of the devotees are male; at one point, when the image enters the church, one sees a throng of people massing upon the calandra (processional hearse); this is because it is believed that being 'touched' by the Senor could cure one of illnesses, as well as endows one with healing powers. The strange beat one hears in the background is called, I believe, 'palakpak kawayan', that is, clapping designed to emulate the sound of bamboo crashing against each other. If I remember rightly, some of the devotees go about their panatas drunk, despite warnings by the Church.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Morten Lauridsen - O Magnum Mysterium

Sung by the UST Alumni Singers, and conducted by Allan Diona Sims. This performance is way back from November 2006, when on the occasion of the Hollywood Choir Festival. The University of Santo Tomas (UST) is a Royal and Pontificala University in the Philippines, established almost four hundred years ago by the Dominicans.