Vicar's Musings

Merry Christmas

I found this video from back in 1985 of when Pope John Paul II presided at the midnight mass.

posted by the Vicar @ 1:07 am,

Christmas Holidays

Oh my, oh my! Where has the time gone? It has been ages since I have made another blog post. When I started this, I intended to me more devoted to blogging, more for my own sake. It's a good forum to rant and think "out loud". I certainly was not expecting such readership, especially from Americans. But maybe because they have a heretical woman at their helm, the grass tends to look much greener on the other side of the pond? Hi ho!

Speaking of "ho", let us all try and remember that Father Christmas was not born in a manger, shall we? I realize that many use the phrase "Happy Holidays" as an all-inclusive term to cover not only Christmas, but New Year's (and Chanukah, etc.) But we Anglicans have seen where inclusivity brings us! All are welcome, and are welcome to not feel the need to change. This is because, as the "affirming" bunch will teach us, we've got no standards whatsoever. The next logical question is, why the hell are we to go to Church then? Obvious rubbish! Rubbish, I say! Christ was not born to die on the cross to provide a way to heaven. He is the way.

And please try to emphasize the "merry" in "Merry Christmas" too. When I'm standing patiently in the checkout queue at Tesco, I like to chivvy along the old ladies in front of me. If only they would stop fannying around and hurry up! But I know I can be quite a nark when my patience wears out. Such is the nature of commericialism and we forget the reason we buy these presents in the first place. Satan's biggest victory over the Church was to commercialize "the holidays." So when your mum or wife drags you to Boots, Woolworth's, or Harrod's, try to keep a smile on your face, if even to keep the peace. Try drinking some brandy before you leave your flat. That's what I do before I meet with the finance committee.

Have a Merry Christmas, if you will. And may those other insignificant holidays be jolly good.

Fr. Caraway+

Ps: Quid chewed the leather binding off of my copy of T.A. Lacey's Anglo-Catholic Faith on Monday night. If anyone either knows of a good shop that can either rebind it for me or can sell me another copy for a fair price, I would be unfeignedly thankful.

posted by the Vicar @ 7:05 pm,


I do apologize for the length of time that has passed since updating the blog. I don't know if anyone still reads my journal, but I have been rather busy lately. The Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham was an extreme success back on the 25th of September. Of course, the 24th was the actual day, but as it was a Sunday, we had a Monday night Mass for that occasion.

The parish has been relatively calm lately. Nothing too exciting to report. Met with a Buddhist man the other day. He moved into the parish from Manchester to "find himself," so a part of this process is to talk with the local clergy (myself, the evangelical vicar, the Roman priest, and there is a Protestant congregation of the baptist variety). Interesting to say the least. I prayed for him at Mass this morning.

Mr. Johnson is a nice fit to our parish as our new warden. A bit eccentric, sure, but he is top notch. I got a nice card from him wishing me a blessed Walsingham feast day, but it was one of those blank ones for any occasion and it had a photograph of the Grand Canyon on the front, and it came from some store called Family Dollar. I think it must be an American store, as nobody around here seems to know what that is. Is there some kind of humourous joke behind this card that I am missing, or is this simply his way of wishing me the best?

Speaking of things American, I have to tell Mr. Johnson this quite often, so if any Americans come across this blog, you can take this to heart also. When someone says hello to you in England and asks how you are, please don't say "good." Say you are "very well". Good is a behavioural thing, which would mean you are a good boy or girl and haven't been naughty today! Which doesn't really answer the question, does it? Also I often have to explain to Mr. Johnson, which doesn't fancy him to well, that a "yank" is any American. We Brits refer to Americans as "yanks" in general. Whether you are from the north or the south!

Anyway, that aside, I finally settled on a name for my pup! His name is now Quid, because of all the £££ I have had to spend since he arrived.

posted by the Vicar @ 5:15 pm,

Ode to Rowan

You once were a convicted man,

Heresy you were sure to ban.

But with Academia's choices you ran,

Into ambiguity's land.

Politics was then your stand,

Avoiding schisms was your plan.

Now the Church is waiting to see if you can,

Return to the Faith from which you began.

posted by the Vicar @ 8:58 pm,

And Another Thing

Sometimes the vicar searches through message boards. Yes, yes, I am trying to catch up to Fr. Hogarth's web-savvy ways! Today I came across this thread, in which I noticed this comment:
I've only just read through this thread because I was at a funeral today - one hour I managed off work.

It was an old-fashioned traditional Anglo-Catholic one, with the church full of scented smog.

The vicar wore a shiny (?satin), embroidered, black chasuble with its lining being red satin.

Many of the congregation were in either black, dark coloured, grey or beige clothes. Not many of the women wore hats, but there was one dainty little black one with a couple of small fluffy black feathers at one side.

Me - I was one of the few wearing "ordinary" clothes. A neat Per Uno pink blouse, pink necklace and a darkish purple and beige skirt. I felt fine, but was surprised that there were so many folks in "black" (even when they were not actually wearing real black. The person who died would have laughed and wiggled his finger, saying, "In your black!" And obviously from what has been posted above, some of the posters would have shaken their heads.

Is it the case that funerals are different in different traditions, or is it in different communities? The RC funerals I've been to have never had so many people dressed in black, and neither have the more protestant or charismatic ones.
Protestant funerals do not have people wearing black simply because they are Gnostic Neo-Platonists who have no idea that the body, mind and soul are connected; they are so happy when a person leaves this world that they've distorted St. Paul (Phil. 1:21). And besides, Charismatics simply like being clowns anyway, and black no more suits a clown than speaking existential gibberish suits a respectable theologian.

And another thing, who does this person think she is, referring to the holy smoke as "smog"?

posted by the Vicar @ 8:55 pm,

Technical Notes

More links have been added to the sidebar per the vicar's request. He asked me to make a post asking for any other good Anglo-Catholic links. Also (he is reminding me loudly from the garden), don't forget that he still needs a name for that dog of his.

- Fr. Hogarth, Curate (and Webmaster)

posted by the Vicar @ 2:40 pm,

This Past Weekend

Well it has been an interesting past couple of days. The puppy has not only claimed the entire sacristy for himself, but has decided to leave his mark in very apparent places so as to prevent any sort of confusion about the matter any time in the near future. Also, he decided that for his new favourite chew toy, he would be using the back of the last pew on the Gospel side. I'm not sure why he chose that particular spot, but I know that is where Mrs. Hampton always sits on Sunday mornings and she has had a terrible spell of gas the past couple of months. I'm still trying to think of a name for the squatter. Mr. Steel (whose blog I absolutely adore; Fr. Hogarth needs to add it to the list of links!) suggested that I name him Tunstall. I suppose he means in honour of Cuthbert Tunstall the mathematician, but the puppy is not like a mathematician at all! He is more like a Quasimodo sort who prefers the sacristy to the belfry. Someone (and I think it was Mr. Johnson, the new churchwarden) gave the squatter milk in the sacristy, but used the lavabo bowl instead of something proper. I've asked around and nobody's confessed to this sin yet. YET, I SAY! YET!

In other non-canine news, I had a visitor to the Saturday morning mass. After the mass was over, he pulled me aside and introduced himself. He said his name was Cornelius and he was from the evangelical parish on the other side of town, but had business on our side that morning. He went on to say he came to the Church of England from the Baptist church, because of "theological reasons." (Considering what he told me next, our Lord only knows what those reasons could have possibly been.) Corny said that though "high church" wasn't his "preference," he liked the mass. He then proceeded to inform me that I should try to "be more personal and passionate in my praying to God." That I "should not always rely on the prayers of others, but pour out [my] heart before the throne of God. Pray as the Lord leads. Sometimes the Lord may lead us to pray for things we haven't planned on or in ways unexpected." Passionate says he? Unexpected?

Needless to say, I was livid! Honestly, where do the Protestants get these ideas that impromptu praying is what God wants?! So, after taking many deep breaths and mentally saying two Hail Mary’s and a Glory Be, I calmed down enough to inform him that the only things that should be unexpected are reunion with the Holy See, or a nice glass of Plymouth and a pouch of vanilla cavendish after Evensong.

posted by the Vicar @ 9:13 pm,

About me

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