The Floor is almost finished. We can move furniture back on it on Monday. But we’ll be doing that gradually, since we need to repaint in there anyway. A couch and the television should do it.
I’ve also decided to just keep my desk where it is, here next to my friend the washing machine, and make my study (a small room at the front of the house) into a playroom. Right now most of the toys are in the extension to the kitchen – which I guess you’d call a “breakfast area,” but it’s pretty big, so it’s more than that. Plus the piano is there.
Since this desk is really heavy, and since most of the time I’m sitting at it no one else is here anyway…eh. Might as well leave it here. And the books that were in that room? They can stay in basement, where they can tremble in fear, wondering which will survive the Great Purge that’s coming.
The fumes are pretty noxious at the moment, particularly since before they put on this final coat, they cleaned out all their equipment, which included the fans they’d been using to ventilate before. So, hmm. I’ll open doors and freeze, I guess..
But it’s been worth it. The floors had never been finished, instead, covered with carpet. Which, in the current incarnation were white and made me depressed to look at. Besides, I’ve grown to hate carpet. Such a hassle to clean – give me a broom or a Swifter instead of a vacuum cleaner any day. It looks gorgeous now. The only bad part being…the gorgeousness of the new floor works very nicely to bring out the shabbiness of everything else. Paintbrushes at the ready!
So, here’s some random bloggage, things that have struck me as interesting of late:
Speaking of such matters, Archbishop Burke’s response to the ordinations of two women in his area this weekend.
Music is going to be a subject for discussion at the USCCB gathering next week. The New Liturgical Movement has several important posts on the matter:
Also linked at NLM is a report of recent remarks in Rome:
Perhaps a pontifical office with authority over sacred music would correct the abuses that have occurred in this area, suggested a Vatican official.
Monsignor Valentín Miserachs Grau, director of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, said this at a conference last Saturday, marking the 80th anniversary of the diocesan institute of Sacred Music of Trent, L’Osservatore Romano reported.
The pontifical institute directed by the monsignor was originally established by the Holy See in 1911. It is an academic institution dedicated to teaching and also performing sacred music. But, Monsignor Miserachs said, “In my opinion, it would be opportune to establish an office with authority over the material of sacred music.”
Monsignor Miserachs contended that “in none of the areas touched on by Vatican II — and practically all are included — have there been greater deviations than in sacred music.”
“How far we are from the true spirit of sacred music, that is, of true liturgical music,” he lamented. “How can we stand it that such a wave of inconsistent, arrogant and ridiculous profanities have so easily gained a stamp of approval in our celebrations?”
The sad and frustrating thing to me about what I’ve read about any possible documents coming out of the USCCB on music, any revision of Music in Catholic Worship is that it doesn’t seem that the fundamental issues are yet addressed, the issue primarily of the purpose of music in the context of Mass. In a post from a few days ago, Jeffrey Tucker laid it out nicely:
The music of the Mass is not of our choosing; it is not a matter of taste; it is not a glossy layer on top of a liturgy. Liturgical music is embedded within the structure of the liturgy itself: theologically, melodically, and historically.
Hymns are not part of the structure of Mass. Nothing in the Mass says: it is now time to sing a hymn of your choice. Hymns are permitted as replacements for what should be sung but only with reservations.
The sung parts of the Mass can be divided into three parts: the ordinary chants (which are stable from week to week), the proper chants (which change according the day), and the priests parts that include sung dialogues with the people.
The music of for the Mass is found in three books: the Kyriale (for the people), the Graduale (for the schola), and the Missale (for the priest).
To advocate Gregorian chant is not merely to favor Latin hymns over English ones, because chant hymns make up only a small portion of chant repertoire. It is to favor a sung Mass over a spoken one, and to favor the music of the Mass itself against substitutes.
It’s what the movers, shakers and futurists like to call a paradigm shift. You’ve heard of it, I presume. Can we have one, please?
Not sing at Mass….sing the Mass.
Now, moving on just a bit to art and the Pope, here’s an interesting piece linked at Gashwin’s:
…while he (the artist) views all theological matters with great suspicion, he thinks the Church is the last place where the word “spiritual” still has meaning and its value is defended. So he made a two metre-high smoke picture of a man hanging from a cross, and last autumn Pope Benedict XVI delivered his first address to the bishops of Italy with a huge enlargement of the image behind him. Afterwards the pope said to Parmiggiani, “I’m very happy to see this work; the Church has always had a close relationship with modern, but not contemporary art.” He continued: “You must tell me one day how you paint with smoke,” but Parmiggiani just smiled. That is a secret he keeps even from the pope.
And jumping back to music, Matthew at Holy Whapping has two posts on 18th century Catholicism - one quoting a Jesuit describing a procession, and another, a link to a new CD with music of the period: Mass of the Jesuits in Beijing.
My husband is a member of the WGA. For a week, I have been encouraging him to inform his boss that he won’t be coming in because, you know…he’s on strike. But no. Scab!
Michael Lewis, CSC, a Holy Cross seminarian at Notre Dame, has a really fine blog called Catholicana. Here’s a post on the WGA strike: Pam Beesly, Pope John Paul II and Your Internet Habits: What the Writers’ Guild strike has to do with Catholic Social Teaching
And on blogs:
Remember, for your round-the-Catholic-blog world needs, no one beats New Advent World Watch. Put it on your RSS reader, and you’re set for the day. And night.
What’s Wrong With the World: Dispatches from the Tenth Crusade looks to be a most interesting blog to keep up with – contributers include Francis Beckwith, William Luse, Daniel Larison and Paul Cella (editor).