Wednesday, March 18, 2009


This video, of the FSSP transforming a Novus Ordo altar into a reverent traditional altar, inspired me. To paraphrase a joke about lawyers, it is "a good start." But there is also a parable about our souls during Lent to be found in such renovation. Enjoy.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Additional Celtic Hymn for St. Patrick's Day

To honor St. Patrick's Day, here is another Celtic hymn, though not one written by the saint himself. The words are traditionally attributed to Ireland's blind poet-saint, St. Dallan Forgaill (d. 598). A recording is below (which is far from perfect, but the most reverent and least "Christian contemporary" I could find online.)

Be Thou My Vision
Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
Be all else but naught to me, save that Thou art;
Be Thou my best thought in the day and the night,
Both waking and sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my wisdom, be Thou my true Word,
Be Thou ever with me, and I with Thee Lord;
Be Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son;
Be Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight;
Be Thou my whole armor, be Thou my true might;
Be Thou my soul's shelter, be Thou my strong tower:
O raise Thou me heavenward, great Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise:
Be Thou mine inheritance now and always;
Be Thou and Thou only the first in my heart;
O Sovereign of Heaven, my treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, Thou Heaven's bright sun,
O grant me its joys after victory is won;
Great Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be Thou my vision, O Ruler of all.

Be Thou My Vision - The Irish Tenors

(The poem contains an interesting, pre-Schism reference to the Heart, as well....)

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St. Patrick's Breastplate

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, here is a hymn traditionally attributed to the Apostle to Ireland himself. The words have been set to music, which is below.

The Breastplate of St. Patrick ("I Bind Unto Myself Today")
I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One, and One in Three.

I bind this day to me forever,
By power of faith, Christ's Incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan River;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spiced tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet "Well done" in judgment hour;
The service of the seraphim;
Confessor's faith, apostles' word,
The patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls;
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun's life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need;
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One, and One in Three.
Of Whom all nature hath creation;
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord. Amen.

Here is a link to the music of this hymn, as well:

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Two Milestones in One Day

St. Aristibulus of the Seventy, Bishop of Britain

Today is not merely the Second Sunday in Lent, but it is also the day our friend Aristibule "Ari" Adams can point to the Byzantine Menologion and say, "See? 'Aristibule' is a saint's name!" (Depending on the Menologion; at least one lists this saint on March 16.)

Happy Name Day to Aristibule!
Holy Apostle Aristobulus of the Seventy, Bishop of Britain

March 15


Saint Aristobulus, the brother of Saint Barnabas, was ordained to be bishop in Britain by the Apostle Paul, who mentions him in his epistle to the Romans (16:10). He suffered many afflictions at the hands of the pagans, but also brought many to Christ. Having established the Church there, he finally reposed in peace.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
O Holy Apostle Aristobulos, intercede with the merciful God that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of offences.

- From the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.

A bit fuller life:

The Holy Apostle Aristobulus of the Seventy was born on Cyprus. He was chosen by Christ and sent out to preach (Luke 10:1). He and his brother, the holy Apostle Barnabas of the Seventy, accompanied the holy Apostle Paul on his journeys. Saint Aristobulus is mentioned by the Apostle Paul in the Epistle to the Romans (Romans 16:10).

Saint Paul made Aristobulus a bishop and sent him to preach the Gospel in Britain, where he converted many to Christ. He endured the torments and malice of the pagans, and eventually baptized them. He later became a bishop to the Celts of northern Spain and Britain and is known as the Apostle of Britain.

Saint Aristobulus died in Britain among the people he had evangelized. His memory is celebrated on October 31 and also on the Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles January 4.

Saint Aristobulus is also commemorated on March 16, and on October 31 together with Saints Stachys, Amplias, Urban, Narcissus, Apelles.
(Hyperlinks to Scripture added.)

May we mark both the Sunday and the saint's day with appropriate joy.

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