Where Celtic and Nordic meet…

I have long been especially fascinated by the intersection of Celtic and Nordic traditions: two strains of the European folk that are closely related, and yet distinct – but which have mutually enriched each other (even as they have sometimes also fought each other!) for millennia.

Here is one example, vocal improvisation on a Celtic folk song, accompanied by the traditional Swedish nyckelharpa:

 

Source: https://www.facebook.com/jasinkamusic/

And interestingly enough, the young woman in question is Polish! So truly a coming-together of three streams of European tradition: Celtic, Nordic, and Slavic. Awesome!

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QOTD: “Believe it or not, tradition works…”

“Believe it or not, tradition works. So-called ‘old ways’ are quite popular among younger Catholics. Smells, bells, classic hymns, chant, prolonged silence, and, hold on for this one, LATIN are all largely embraced by the younger generations of the Church. Furthermore, when younger non-Catholics experience these traditions they are struck by how different they are from everything else they experience in a noisy, secular culture. These ‘old ways’ are beautiful to them, and beauty is a great place to introduce young folks to Jesus Christ.”

Fr. Edwin C. Dwyer, Our Lady of Peace Parish (Roman Catholic), Bay City, Michigan

Now, I am an Anglican, so while I personally like Latin in the liturgy (and a Latin form of the Prayer Book liturgy was, in fact, used in Chapels Royal as late as the time of Queen Elizabeth I), I’m not going to be pushing for it at St. Bede’s!

But otherwise, I am in complete agreement. What Fr. Dwyer says about younger Catholics I believe to be just as true for younger Anglicans; in fact, it seems to be the case across the spectrum of sacramental, liturgical Churches: the churches that are growing, that are attracting young people, are the traditional ones.

And traditional liturgy seems to be drawing more young people who have grown up in contemporary, non-denominational, evangelical, and “community” churches toward those Churches that are in fact rooted in historic, ancient liturgies, in the sacraments, and in traditional, orthodox understandings of the Christian faith.

As Fr. Dwyer puts it,

“we are going to make [our worship] more beautiful with tradition. We are going to look, and sound, and smell vastly different from the rest of the world on Sundays. It will be a religious experience that, at the very least, will be memorable to the young who encounter it.”

As the old saying has it, “what is old, is new again.” Thanks be to God!

Glories of the West, and QOTD: Who said this?

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The adoption of Christianity was

“the starting point for the formation and development of [our] statehood, the true spiritual birth of our ancestors, the determination of their identity… the flowering of national culture and education.”

Continue reading “Glories of the West, and QOTD: Who said this?”

Glories of the West: Colonial Williamsburg Homeschool Days

Source: Colonial Williamsburg Homeschool Days | Colonial Williamsburg’s Facebook Page

So much goodness in this picture! The Governor’s Mansion at Colonial Williamsburg, once the capital of 18th-century Virginia, with adorable little girls in proper Colonial attire carrying a basket of naturally-dyed wool from (perhaps) some of the Leicester Longwool heritage sheep raised there. A recreation of early America at its finest! Anyone who claims that “America was never that great” should look at this picture, and be ashamed. Yes, we were still colonies of Great Britain at that point in history. But the groundwork was already being laid…

And then we have the excellent phenomenon of homeschooling, in which parents can opt their children out of the politically-correct agendas of so much of public (and even private) schooling! So glad that Colonial Williamsburg – historically one of the flagship sites for living history, and a major influence on me, in childhood and beyond – is providing programs in support. Children need to learn about our history and heritage, and there is no better way than through experiential learning.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has come under fire (not without justification, it must be said) in recent years, for apparent financial mismanagement, and also for some of its programming decisions: replacing costumed interpreters with docents in modern attire, canceling popular events, discouraging reenactor participation, and cashiering the popular tavern Balladeers, for example. But this, at least, deserves commendation.

A response to HuffPost’s “What White, Western Audiences Don’t Understand About Marie Kondo’s ‘Tidying Up'”

A still from Netflix's "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo."

Dilloway: “Backlash to the Netflix show ignores an essential aspect of the KonMari method: Its Shinto roots.”

Source: What White, Western Audiences Don’t Understand About Marie Kondo’s ‘Tidying Up’ | HuffPost

Those darned white Westerners! Always screwing everything up…

Nonetheless, despite being a white Westerner, I have a great deal of admiration and appreciation for Shinto – and many aspects of Japanese culture – myself.

And although I, personally, am not likely to reduce my book collection to thirty (yes, I realize Marie Kondo only stated that she herself only kept 30 books at a time, she was not decreeing it for everyone), I definitely recognize that I could benefit – both my living space and my head-space – from some pretty substantial de-cluttering!

My problem with this essay is that its author, Margaret Dilloway, chose to racialize the issue – ironically, since that’s exactly what she was complaining about others doing to Ms Kondo – and to do so in a way that is either ignorant of certain facts, or else intentionally disingenuous. Continue reading “A response to HuffPost’s “What White, Western Audiences Don’t Understand About Marie Kondo’s ‘Tidying Up’””

The Vocation of Motherhood… and Fatherhood, too.

The text that goes with this picture is a bit hard to make out, so here it is:

“Remember motherhood was God’s plan for women, not men. We all forget that motherhood is the norm and a career is abnormal. Some are compromising and urging our good high school girls to colleges and careers. Mother Teresa’s words are so enduring to our times when she said that, ‘God calls us to be faithful, not successful.’ Anyone who wishes to debate Mother’s words should pray to God for grace and insight to understand these words of wisdom. These words are especially true for the mothers of our day and time. Many mothers are so wrapped up in the ‘media success’ of these times that they see nothing wrong with going out to work. Very few mothers ‘have’ to work outside the home and it is to the detriment of family life.”

—Rosie Gil

As I wrote in response to this at the time, I agree – but I also think we sometimes forget that it was God’s plan for fathers to be at or near home most of the time, too, unless they were on a journey for the benefit of the family, or fighting to protect it.

Whether farmers – as were the majority of people until quite recently in human history – tradesmen, or merchants (the latter two of which usually had their shops or offices downstairs, with the family residence upstairs), most men spent most of their time in relatively close proximity to, and often / usually working together with, the rest of their family, right up until the Industrial Revolution.

I am not trying to detract in any way from the vital role and vocation of motherhood, or the desirability of mothers being able to devote themselves full-time to that vocation, if at all possible, and to the closely allied one of homemaking – literally, creating a home that is worthy of a family to live in.

I am simply pointing out that I believe God’s original plan was for families to be organic, integrated units of relationship, with all members working together for the common good, and supporting one another in daily living – not mom and kids at home, and dad working somewhere else, a long commute away, and only seeing them in the evening and on weekends.

The 1950s, as idyllic a time as it was in some (though not all) respects, was neither the norm nor the ideal, either – nor, certainly, were the “dark, satanic mills” of the Industrial Revolution. We have fallen a long way from the original plan, imho, in many respects!