Glories of the West: LUCIA – The night of light | Jonna Jinton

Sankta Lucia – the Feast of St. Lucia (“Lucy”), whose name means “Light” – is an ancient tradition in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries (although the Christian figure of St. Lucia originated in Sicily, interestingly enough). Her feast-day falls on the 13th of December, which in the Old (Julian) Calendar, would have been the Winter Solstice.

Although she is a Christian saint, with a Christian story, “Sankta Lucia” can also be translated “Holy Light,” and the folksy, homey rituals surrounding St. Lucia’s Day – in which the girl or young woman chosen to portray St. Lucia for that year, wearing a crown of candles, brings gifts of steaming-hot coffee and sweet rolls to her family (or village), while her attendants sing traditional songs – is a beautiful and moving enactment of the rebirth of light in the midst of the darkest time of the year.

This video was created by the incomparable Jonna Jinton, who writes,

“Lucia is a tradition in Sweden where we bring light to the darkness. Since many years back I have always gone out in the middle of the Lucia night to light up hundreds of candles in the forest, with the intention to spread light into the world.

“Maybe you have seen my earlier lucia-films here on my YouTube. But this year was special. Just as the other lucia-nights I prepared to get out and light up my candles. But this night, the forest surprised me.

“This film is for all the world. For all of you wonderful people out there ♥ I hope to be able to spread some light into your hearts. Thank you for taking the time to watch it.”

Do yourself a favour, and watch this in full-screen… and allow yourself to get lost in it. Magical!

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Glories of the West: Medieval Carols – A Holy Night (Album)

Source: Medieval Carols – A Holy Night (Album) | YouTube

I have been remiss in posting entries in this category, of late! Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa… Here, in any case, is a wonderful selection of glorious seasonal music, from the medieval West!

  1. Hodie Christus Natus Est
  2. O Nobilis Nativitas/O Mira Dei/O Decus Virgineum/Apparuit
  3. Lux De Luce
  4. Alleluya: A Nywe Werke
  5. Verbum Supernum Prodiens
  6. Balaam De Quo Vaticinans
  7. Ave Maria
  8. Gabriel, Fram Heven-King
  9. Lullay: I Saw A Swete Semly Syght
  10. Prolis Eterne Genitor/Psallat Mater Gracie/[Pes]
  11. Vox Clara, Ecce, Intonat
  12. De Supernis Sedibus
  13. Omnes De Saba
  14. Puellare Gremium/Purissima Mater/[Pes]
  15. Lullay, Lullay: Als I Lay On Yoolis Night
  16. Tria Sunt Munera
  17. Orto Sole Serene/Origo Viri/Virga Lesse/[Tenor]
  18. Peperit Virgo
  19. Ecce Quod Natura
  20. A Solis Ortus Cardine
  21. Ther Is No Rose Of Swych Vertu
  22. Videntes Stellam
  23. Nowel: Owt Of Your Slepe Aryse

Macron’s Paris Riots while Salvini’s Rome Celebrates | Dr. Steve Turley

Videos paint a stark contrast between events in Paris and Rome, this past Saturday.

Source: Macron’s Paris Riots while Salvini’s Rome Celebrates | Dr. Steve Turley

While not without the analysis (typically upbeat, which makes him a nice change from the gloom-and-doom prophecies which are all too understandably common in traditionalist and nationalist / populist circles) for which Dr. Turley is well-known, the most striking feature of this video linked above.

It is a comparison, via video clips taken on Saturday, December 8, 2018, between a nation which has chosen to celebrate its own people, history, and cultural heritage – Italy – and one which has chosen (or at least, its government has chosen for it) to sacrifice all of those on the altar of globalism: France.

But France is awakening, however belatedly and however grimly; I sincerely hope that great nation and people – the land of Charles Martel, Charlemagne, and Charles de Gaulle, among others – is able to shake off its chains before it’s too late!

Gilets Jaunes – a hornet’s nest in Europe!

I have not posted much about the Gilets Jaunes (“Yellow Jackets” – thus my title – or “Yellow Vests”), the safety-vest-wearing protesters who have for several weeks been storming the streets of Paris, originally over a gas tax (“carbon tax”) imposed by the Macron government as part of the Left’s climate-change agenda (*). But with the protests not only continuing, but growing more intense, and spreading to other nations such as Belgium, Sweden, and even across the Atlantic to Canada, it’s time to revisit the phenomenon.


* That the climate is changing is obvious to any observer; but contrary to popular assertions, the idea that this is due primarily or exclusively to human action – “anthropocentric global warming,” or “AGW” – is far from “settled science.”

Leaving aside the fact that any science worthy of the name is never “settled,” there is a growing body of evidence that not only is human-generated carbon output a minor if not inconsequential player in the process, but the Sun – surprise, surprise! – is by far the primary driver of terrestrial climate, and that after a couple of warming centuries, we are about to enter a major cooling period, not unlike the “Maunder minimum” of 1645 to 1715 (the peak of the “Little Ice Age“).

But this is not widely publicized in the mainstream press, as the Left has found global warming / climate change a useful tool for their centralizing (and fear-mongering, as an enabler of that centralizing) agenda.


But while the carbon tax appears to have been the precipitating issue, it seems to have been the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, because even after Macron backed down from the tax last week, the protests have continued and grow. A major driver, of course, is the economy. The social-welfare states of Europe may have looked like idyllic paradises to folks here in the U.S., but they have been paid for with exorbitantly high taxes, and increasingly the people of Europe have begun to question what they’re really getting for their money.

And the fact that many of the countries of Europe, under the influence of Merkel and Macron, have opened their doors to a massive influx of so-called “refugees” who are actually, in fact, economic migrants – and have often been more generous with benefits to them than to their own people – has unsurprisingly built a simmering resentment which now seems to be boiling over. What was once about a particular tax is now about much more. Here is one list of demands put forward by the Gilets Jaunes in France:Yellow Jackets – 8 DemandsThere is another, longer, list floating around; but I have not yet seen a translation, and my grade-school French is not up to the task. What we are seeing, at any rate, is a spike in what might be called “revolutionary fervor” that we have not seen in Europe in many a long year. If it is not addressed constructively by existing governments, we may even see the beginnings of actual revolution. I sincerely hope it does not come to that! But as our own late President, John F. Kennedy, put it, many years ago,

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

It is in any case encouraging, to those of us who have been deeply frustrated by watching the people of Europe stuck in a quagmire of masochistic self-abnegation, to see them finally beginning to awaken and to begin, at least, to shake off their chains. I hope and pray that Europeans are at last beginning to grow weary of the absurd notion that they – we! – alone are guilty of crimes against humanity, for which we must do eternal penance, up to and including cultural and demographic suicide.

Vive la France! Au nom du peuple.

Modernism, Traditionalism, and the Role of Women | Pendulum

Source: Modernism, Traditionalism, and the Role of Women – Pendulum

This is an absolutely splendid essay by friend and supporter of The Anglophilic Anglican, Stephen Clay McGeehee, and I commend it to your attention. He writes,

“The polarization that we see in the Western world is not just the political Left vs. Right. It is modernism vs. traditionalism, urban vs. rural, chaos vs. order, hedonism vs. morality, Secularism vs. Christianity, egalitarianism vs. hierarchy, and many others. Men vs. women should not be part of this polarization, yet that is precisely what feminism has done,”

and continues,

“Modernism tells us that we are all interchangeable economic units whose worth is best expressed in dollars. Traditionalism tells us that men and women were both made for each other and made to fill their own unique roles.”

Indeed! We didn’t get where we are overnight, and we’re not going to get back overnight, either; but if we’re going to get there at all, we need to begin perceiving with clear eyes where the problems lie, and what to do about them. Stephen has taken a major stride in this direction, as you will see.

A great essay: read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest.

50 Years of Effete and Infertile Liturgical Culture Is Enough – Crisis Magazine

“There is only one thing to do: for the future of the Church, we must build again, drawing on those cultural accomplishments that are timeless, in the service of Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, in saecula saeculorum.”

— Dr. Anthony Esolen

Source: 50 Years of Effete and Infertile Liturgical Culture Is Enough – Crisis Magazine

From the incomparable Anthony Esolen​:

“I am struck by the strange inability of the council fathers to do the very thing they were urging the Church to do, which was to take stock of the times. Again and again, they instruct bishops and priests to adapt the life of the Church, including her places and manner of worship, to the times and to the characters of the various peoples of the world.

“What they missed, and what was right in front of them to be noticed, was that modernism as an ideology, with mass entertainment and mass education as its main engines, was obliterating cultures everywhere. Romano Guardini had written of this loss in The End of the Modern World.

“It was therefore the task of the Church not to be enculturated in a vacuum, which would be akin to emptying herself of her peculiar character, but to be herself and thereby to form culture, i.e., to bring culture once again to people who were rapidly losing their hold on all cultural memory.”

He is speaking of the Roman Catholic fathers of the Second Vatican Council, but his words apply equally to most “mainstream” churches in this day, including mainstream Anglican ones. He continues,

“This did not happen. It would have required profound meditation upon the meaning of culture, by churchmen steeped in the learning of three thousand years of Jewish and Christian arts and letters, and of the Greco-Roman matrix wherein the Church, by the providence of God, was brought to birth. However, schools and universities were abandoning that learning by throwing it overboard as ballast.”

I have commented more than once, in more fora than one, on our collective tendency to throw out the baby with the bathwater! So it is good to hear a scholar with the eminence of Dr. Esolen confirming my intuition. Here he is again:

“I am aware that the Church has often had to prune back an excessive exuberance in the arts, so that the visible would not overmaster the invisible… [however,] we now have the worst of both worlds.”

In other words, mainstream contemporary churches have given up “the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome” – by which I mean both culturally, as representing the core of Western civilization and, if by Greece is understood Eastern and by Rome Western Catholic Christianity, theologically and spiritually – for a doctrinally and aesthetically diluted and diminished form of Christianity which fails to uphold “the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3), and which embraces vapid kitsch in what passes for liturgical art, music, and architecture.

In traditional Anglicanism, there is another challenge to be met: on the one hand a too-eager, overly enthusiastic embrace of Anglo-Catholicism to the point of seeking to become Rome without the Pope; and on the other, an Anglo-Calvinistic insistence on “Anglicanism as established,” which can almost make an idol of liturgical starkness and simplicity, and which theologically and spiritually threatens to thrust the Anglican tradition into Protestant sectarianism, rather than its true identity as a distinctive expression of the Church Catholic.

It is not as easy as one might suppose to maintain a healthy and fruitful “via media” (middle way) between extremes, “not as a compromise for the sake of peace, but as a comprehension for the sake of truth,” in the words of a Collect for the commemoration of the gifted Anglican divine and champion of that via media, Richard Hooker! Yet it is a task worth undertaking even if we often fall short of its accomplishment. As the great conservationist Aldo Leopold put it, “In these higher aspirations the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.”

The alternative is more of the same, the period and ethos which since Vatican II has transformed (and often not for the better) not only the Roman Catholic Church, but most of the Churches of the West; a period in which, as Dr. Esolen expresses it,

“we have endured fifty years of lousy church buildings, lousy music, lousy art, banal language, lousy schooling, dead and dying religious orders, and an unfaithful faithful whose imaginations are formed more by Hollywood than by the Holy One. We have been stuck in cultural and ecclesial neutral, i.e., rolling backward and downhill… neuter, effete and infertile.”

It is ironic indeed that a movement which was intended to make the Church more “relevant” to contemporary people and culture has had precisely the opposite effect: the more it attempts to ape popular culture, the less relevant it becomes.

For the relevance of the Church has always been in its critique of popular culture, pointing toward things which are higher, timeless and eternal: and ultimately, of course, to God the Three in One, Who is their Source – the perfection of Goodness, Truth, and Beauty, of which our attempts at the same are always but pale reflections. Yet that does not mean we shouldn’t strive toward the higher things, quite the contrary:

“There is only one thing to do: for the future of the Church, we must build again, drawing on those cultural accomplishments that are timeless, in the service of Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, in saecula saeculorum [unto ages of ages].

Happy Thanksgiving (U.S.)!

Norman Rockwell - Thanksgiving
Norman Rockwell’s famous “Thanksgiving” painting – officially “Freedom from Want” – is the third of the Four Freedoms series of four oil paintings by American artist Norman Rockwell. The works were inspired by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1941 State of the Union Address, known as Four Freedoms.

Wishing all my American friends a very Happy Thanksgiving! I am looking forward to enjoying turkey with all the trimmings at my brother and sister-in-law’s place; but I hope that all who celebrate will remember that this is, first and foremost, a day of Thanksgiving, and so pause to give thanks to God for all the remarkable benefits we enjoy, both as denizens of this good Earth, and as citizens of this great country. We are truly blessed! May we strive to be worth of that blessing.

Collect for Thanksgiving Day, The Book of Common Prayer 1928

O MOST merciful Father, who hast blessed the labours of the husbandman in the returns of the fruits of the earth; We give thee humble and hearty thanks for this thy bounty; beseeching thee to continue thy loving-kindness to us, that our land may still yield her increase, to thy glory and our comfort; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In common with many other Presidents, prior to the formal adoption of the third Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day (George Washington had issued the first Presidential proclamation of Thanksgiving in 1789), Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Thursday, November 29, 1906, to be a day of thanksgiving and supplication:

By the President of the United States of America.

A PROCLAMATION.

The time of year has come when, in accordance with the wise custom of our forefathers, it becomes my duty to set aside a special day of thanksgiving and praise to the Almighty because of the blessings we have received, and of prayer that these blessings may be continued. Yet another year of widespread well-being has past. Never before in our history or in the history of any other nation has a people enjoyed more abounding material prosperity than is ours; a prosperity so great that it should arouse in us no spirit of reckless pride, and least of all a spirit of heedless disregard of our responsibilities; but rather a sober sense of our many blessings, and a resolute purpose, under Providence, not to forfeit them by any action of our own.

Material well-being, indispensable tho it is, can never be anything but the foundation of true national great-ness and happiness. If we build nothing upon this foundation, then our national life will be as meaningless and empty as a house where only the foundation has been laid. Upon our material well-being must be built a superstructure of individual and national life lived in accordance with the laws of the highest morality, or else our prosperity itself will in the long run turn out a curse instead of a blessing. We should be both reverently thankful for what we have received, and earnestly bent upon turning it into a means of grace and not of destruction.

Accordingly I hereby set apart Thursday, the twenty-ninth day of November, next, as a day of thanksgiving and supplication, on which the people shall meet in their homes or their churches, devoutly to acknowledge all that has been given them, and to pray that they may in addition receive the power to use these gifts aright.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixt.

Done at the City of Washington this 22nd day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and six and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and thirty-first.

— Theodore Roosevelt

The account on the T.R. Center’s website also notes,

“Interestingly, this proclamation may be more cautionary than celebratory. Roosevelt declares the day of thanksgiving in a solemn tone that suggests that American citizens take their blessings for granted. He extorts the population to build upon their material prosperity in a meaningful manner so that this prosperity is not wasted. Considering how sober the final proclamation is, it is more surprising to see the content Roosevelt removed. The document in our digital library clearly shows what the president removed from his original manuscript, the language of which was much harsher. In the sentences that were removed, TR discusses ‘our own folly, weakness or wickedness,’ and expounds upon the theme of disaster that would surely come if Americans are not careful with their ‘material well-being.'”

Indeed. As true now, or more, than it was in 1906!