Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Dies irae, dies illa, Solvet saeculum in favilla


Paulinus tagged me with a birthday meme, I am very flattered that he should think of me but I have always kept my birthday a sort of open secret. As a parish priest I have always rather dreaded my parishioners bursting into "Happy Birthday to you" or maybe "Felix dies natus" at the conclusion of the Sacred Synaxis, if it happened I would feel I would have to run off and become chaplain to the Foreign Legion or some bearded hermitesses in Akansas.

My birthday is the deathday of Catholic England.
I actually keep this day as a fast day, in remembrance of that day in 1558 when Good Queen May went to the judgement of God and the judgement of history, and murderous, heretical Bloody Bess ascended to the throne of England. Co-incidently on the same day Reginald Pole, the last Archbishop of Canterbury, died.
O Black Day, O Dawn of Sorrows!
Just to add to the bitter tears of that wretched day it is also the birthday of the notorious apostate Pierre François le Courayer the 18th century French theological writer of Dissertation sur la validité des ordinations des Anglais et sur la succession des évéques de l'Eglise anglicane, avec les preuves justificatives des fails avancés, he died in exile, an excommunicate and is burried in the cloister of Westminster Abbey.

How strange that one can change one's name, even one's gender but not one's birthday.
My appologies Paulinus but you can see my difficulty with this one, if you were born on such an accursed day...
O Miserere Me.

Oh and yes in Russia it marks the founding of the Bolsheviks in 1903 and a communist rising in Greece.

9 comments:

Catherine said...

I remember your 49th birthday and I sang all those sad Dowland songs and you accompanied me on the lute and the viola da gamba, we must do it again.

Catherine said...

...and do you still play that very sad version of the "Battle Galliard" in minor keys?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Catherine, Good to hear from you. I play very little nowadays. Telphone me, the number is on the sidebar.

Henry said...

I am not sure that Mary did all that much good for the Catholic cause in England.

I understand that her husband, Philip II, had advised against burning Protestants, to stop them becoming "martyrs". What a pity that she did not listen. If Cranmer & Co had been given a house in a remote place, and a pension, and told to keep quiet, Elizabeth's deforms would have been opposed more strongly and might not have stuck.

Annabel said...

You play the lute and gamba?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Annabel, I wouldn't call it that.

Fr Richard Biggerstaff said...

I remember your 50th. Fr Martin Thompson met us in Venice having arrived from Greece by boat. All that lovely squid ink!

Ken Hughes said...

Oi Father, what are you doing playing the da gamba with a lady?

Andrew said...

Doe anyone like Mozart's Dies Irae ?