Happy Epiphany Sunday!

The Wise Men by G.K. Chesterton Step softly, under snow or rain, To find the place where men can pray; The way is all so very plain That we may lose the way. Oh we have learnt to peer and Continue reading Happy Epiphany Sunday!

Epiphany by Epiphany

Happy Epiphany! Throughout most of the world, today is the great Feast of the Epiphany. Most of my American readers, however, will have to wait until Sunday. For reasons I can’t quite fathom, in the dioceses of the United States Continue reading Epiphany by Epiphany

Twelfth Night

Happy twelfth day of Christmas! I hope you’re enjoying your twelve drummers drumming. This evening is called Twelfth Night, traditionally the vigil of the Epiphany. In my Monastic Diurnal, Epiphany begins with tonight’s Vespers. This was traditionally a time of Continue reading Twelfth Night

The Professor!

On this day in 1892, J.R.R. Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. The Professor is 125 today! All around the world, at 9pm local time, the Tolkien Society and the Professor’s many other devotees will celebrate his birthday with Continue reading The Professor!

Mary Mother of God

Wishing all of you a very happy new year of 2017, and a most blessed Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. I spent most of yesterday sick with some sort of intestinal bug, so there was no celebrating for me Continue reading Mary Mother of God

The 10 Most Popular Posts of 2016

Who doesn’t like top ten lists? Well, since we’ve been up and running here at Amateur Monk for nearly a decade, I figured it was time to look at what’s been popular here. These are the top ten hits on Continue reading The 10 Most Popular Posts of 2016

On Obedience and Confusion

Happy sixth day of Christmas! Yesterday was the memorial of the splendid Saint Thomas Becket. Having the birth name “Thomas”, I take Becket and Aquinas as patrons, and I normally write something about the saint here each year. Yesterday snuck Continue reading On Obedience and Confusion

Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist

In our life of faith, we are given a name at Baptism, and we choose a new name at Confirmation. It was a little different for me, as I was baptized and confirmed on the same day as an adult. Continue reading Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist

On the Second Day of Christmas….

The rest of the world thinks Christmas is over, with the possible exception of those who celebrate Boxing Day today or those fond of partridges in pear trees. Oh, how wrong they are! For like Easter, Christmas isn’t just one Continue reading On the Second Day of Christmas….

O Magnum Mysterium!

  O great mystery, and wonderful sacrament, that animals should see the new-born Lord, lying in a manger! Blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy to bear Christ the Lord. Alleluia! O magnum mysterium, et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia Continue reading O Magnum Mysterium!

Rejoice! Rejoice!

As I do every year, I shall end this Advent chant sequence with the hymn assembled from the O Antiphons. I’ve also posted one of my favourite carols, which is particularly appropriate in the deeps of Christmas Vigil. Come to Continue reading Rejoice! Rejoice!

O Emmanuel

We come to the last of the O Antiphons, for tomorrow is Christmas Eve, the Vigil of the Nativity. I mentioned yesterday that the O Antiphons were arranged backward into the song Veni, Veni Emmanuel. This was by design, for Continue reading O Emmanuel

O Rex Gentium

With Christmas just days away now, we hear the penultimate O Antiphon this evening. I mentioned a couple of days ago that the antiphons might sound vaguely familiar to you. In the 12th Century, an unknown composer compiled versions of Continue reading O Rex Gentium

O Oriens

It is altogether right and proper that we should celebrate Christ as the bringer of light on this, the day of the winter solstice. This was an ancient holy day in many religions, as indeed it continues to be. On Continue reading O Oriens