Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Approaching the second Sunday in Lent

Romans 8:31-34

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was [a]raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lent has begun

Lent begins 46 days before Easter. It is a movable fast, falling on a different date each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter. It can occur as early as February 4 or as late as March 10. The traditional purpose of Lent is the penitential preparation of the believer—through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial. Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week, marking the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events of the Passion of Christ on Good Friday, which then culminates in the celebration on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Today is Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, in the calendar of Western Christianity, is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter. It is a moveable fast, falling on a different date each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter. It can occur as early as February 4 or as late as March 10.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

This is a cool Scottish Blog I found recently.

Scots themes and variations

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Take her in your arms!

Happy Valentines Day

My Love is like a Red Red Rose...

By Robert Burns
O, my luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June.
O, my luve's like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I,
And I will luve thee still, my Dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.
Till a' the seas gang dry, my Dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun!
O I will luve thee still, my Dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile!


For Mike and Lorraine in Scotland

Ae Fond Kiss

by Robert Burns

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee!
Who shall say that Fortune grieves him
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerfu' twinkle lights me,
Dark despair around benights me.
I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy;
Naething could resist my Nancy;
But to see her was to love her,
Love but her, and love for ever.
Had we never loved sae kindly,
Had we never loved sae blindly,
Never met—or never parted,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted.
Fare thee weel, thou first and fairest!
Fare thee weel, thou best and dearest!
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, enjoyment, love, and pleasure!
Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Support the USPS!

"The only reason the Post Office is in trouble is because Republicans passed a law forcing them to fund 75 years of retirement in just a few years. Without that onerous requirement, they'd be in the black. Republicans want to privatize everything - and always are demonizing hard working people just to benefit the wealthy." - Jeanne Bielke

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Wood-Pile

By Robert Frost

Out walking in the frozen swamp one gray day,
I paused and said, "I will turn back from here.
No, I will go on farther -- and we shall see."
The hard snow held me, save where now and then
One foot went through. The view was all in lines
Straight up and down of tall slim trees
Too much alike to mark or name a place by
So as to say for certain I was here
Or somewhere else: I was just far from home.
A small bird flew before me. He was careful
To put a tree between us when he lighted,
And say no word to tell me who he was
Who was so foolish as to think what he thought.
He thought that I was after him for a feather --
The white one in his tail; like one who takes
Everything said as personal to himself.
One flight out sideways would have undeceived him.
And then there was a pile of wood for which
I forgot him and let his little fear
Carry him off the way I might have gone,
Without so much as wishing him good-night.
He went behind it to make his last stand.
It was a cord of maple, cut and split
And piled -- and measured, four by four by eight.
And not another like it could I see.
No runner tracks in this year's snow looped near it.
And it was older sure than this year's cutting,
Or even last year's or the year's before.
The wood was gray and the bark warping off it
And the pile somewhat sunken. Clematis
Had wound strings round and round it like a bundle.
What held it though on one side was a tree
Still growing, and on one a stake and prop,
These latter about to fall. I thought that only
Someone who lived in turning to fresh tasks
Could so forget his handiwork on which
He spent himself, the labor of his ax,
And leave it there far from a useful fireplace
To warm the frozen swamp as best it could
With the slow smokeless burning of decay.

February of 1912 Robert Frost wrote a poem called "The Wood-Pile," a poem that meant something special to him -- he would single it out for reprinting in his annual Christmas card nearly fifty years later, just before he died. The poem emerged at a crossroads in his life: he was about to make "a great leap forward," as he had written to the editor Susan Hayes Ward in 1911. That year the Frost family, after many years stuck on a farm in Derry, New Hampshire, had at last uprooted themselves enough to move, for a season, one hundred miles north to Plymouth, New Hampshire.

Afternoon in February

The day is ending,
The night is descending;
The marsh is frozen,
The river dead.

Through clouds like ashes
The red sun flashes
On village windows
That glimmer red.

The snow recommences;
The buried fences
Mark no longer
The road o'er the plain;

While through the meadows,
Like fearful shadows,
Slowly passes
A funeral train.

The bell is pealing,
And every feeling
Within me responds
To the dismal knell;

Shadows are trailing,
My heart is bewailing
And tolling within
Like a funeral bell.

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Be the Light

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Prayer in the Midst of the Storm

O God, make speed to save us.

We have sinned, O Lord, we have sinned, spare our sins,

And save us; Thou who guidedst Noah over the flood waves,

Hear us; Who with Thy word recalledst Jonah from the abyss;

Deliver us; Who stretchedst forth Thy hand to Peter as he sank, help us,

O Christ Son of God, Thou didst the marvelous things of the Lord with our fathers, be favourable in our days also;

Stretch forth Thy hand from on high.

Deliver us, O Christ.

Hear us, O Christ.

-Stowe Missal, 9th Century A.D.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hard ground but no snow

Hard ground but no snow

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Winter Song - Lindisfarne

Verse 1:
When Winter's shadowy fingers first pursue you down the street
And your boots no longer lie about the cold around your feet
Do you spare a thought for Summer whose passage is complete
Whose memories lie in ruins and whose ruins lie in heat

When Winter.... comes howling in.

Verse 2:
When the wind is singing strangely, blowing music through your head
And your rain-splattered windows make you decide to stay in bed
Do you spare a thought for the homeless tramp who wishes he was dead
Or do you pull your bed-clothes higher, dream of Summertime instead,
When Winter.... comes howling in.

Verse 3:
The creeping cold has fingers that caress without permission
And mystic crystal snowdrops only aggravate the condition
Do you spare a thought for the gypsy with no secure position
Who's turned and spurned by village and town and the Magistrate's decision,
When Winter.... comes howling in.

Verse 4:
When the turkey's in the oven and the Christmas presents are bought
And Santa's in his module - he's an American astronaut -
Do you spare a thought for Jesus, who had nothing but his thoughts,
Who got busted - just for talking, and befriending the wrong sorts,
When Winter.... comes howling in.
When Winter.... comes howling in.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sorchar nan Reul , The Lightener of the Stars


Feuch Sorchar nan reul
Air corbha nan neul,
Agus ceolradh nan speur
Ri luaidh dha.

Tighinn le caithrim a nuas
Bho an Athair tha shuas,
Clar agus farcha nan duan
Ri seirm dha.

Chriosd, a chomairc mo ruin
Com nach togainn do chliu!
Ainglich is naomhaich chiuil
Ri luaidh dhut.

A Mhic Mhoire nam buadh,
Is fire finne-ghile snuadh,
Liom bu shon a bhi an cluan
Do shaoibhreis.

A Chriosda mo chaoimhe,
A Chriosda Chro-naoimhe,
Bithim gach la agus oidhche
Ri luaidh ort.


Ortha nan Gaidheal - Leabhar 1

A Song for Simeon

by T.S. Eliot

Lord, the Roman hyacinths are blooming in bowls and
The winter sun creeps by the snow hills;
The stubborn season has made stand.
My life is light, waiting for the death wind,
Like a feather on the back of my hand.
Dust in sunlight and memory in corners
Wait for the wind that chills towards the dead land.
Grant us thy peace.
I have walked many years in this city,
Kept faith and fast, provided for the poor,
Have given and taken honour and ease.
There were never any rejected from my door.
Who shall remember my house, where shall live my children's children
When the time of sorrow is come?
They will take to the goat's path, and the fox's home,
Fleeing from the foreign faces and the foreign swords.

Before the time of cords and scourges and lamentation
Grant us thy peace.
Before the stations of the mountain of desolation,
Before the certain hour of maternal sorrow,
Now at this birth season of decease,
Let the Infant, the still unspeaking and unspoken Word,
Grant Israel's consolation
To one who has eighty years and no to-morrow.

According to thy word.
They shall praise Thee and suffer in every generation
With glory and derision,
Light upon light, mounting the saints' stair.
Not for me the martyrdom, the ecstasy of thought and prayer,
Not for me the ultimate vision.
Grant me thy peace.
(And a sword shall pierce thy heart,
Thine also.)
I am tired of my own life and the lives of those after me,
I am dying in my own death and the deaths of those after me.
Let thy servant depart,
Having seen thy salvation.

Luke 2 KJV translation

25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.

27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,

28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,

29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:

30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,

31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;

32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;

35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Saint Brigid Day Feb 2

Saint Brigid a.k.a. The Mary of the Gael

Her day: February 1 First Day of Spring -New Year's day for the Farmers
the beginning of Imbolc: Season of light (alternate spellings- Brighid, Brigid)
Brigid means Fiery Arrow
She is patroness of cattle and of dairy work-ale.

1. A day to look for weather signs-a hedgehog a good weather sign if he stays out of his burrow.

2. Do only essential work on the day and go to the local shrine to pray.

3. Take stock of the household supplies-will it last till harvest?

4. Clean the house.

5. Make a special dinner for St. Brighids Eve.

6. Make a Bairin-breac-yeast cake with fruit (aka barm brack) for the eve and invite the neighbors in.

7. Make fresh butter - Brigid is closely associated with the dairy.

8. A day for the wealthy to give food to the poor.

9. St. Brigid traveled the countryside, blessing households, with her white red-eared cow.

10. You need to show her welcome: place bread and fresh butter on the window sill outside, also put out a sheaf of corn for the cow, put out rushes for her to kneel on to bless the household, set the table in the kitchen on the eve.

11. Make the cros Bride or bogha Bride (St. Brigids Cross). These crosses are made of rushes-but vary in materials and somewhat in design from region to region (main page for cross link).

12.The cross should be hung in the thatch roof of the house or above the door, and if you dont have a roof-apartment-on the inside of the front door.

13. Cross material should be blessed.Crosses are left in place for a full year to be renewed on the day.

14. A large oat bread cake, a Strone,Strohn, or Brigid's Bread (See main page food links) in the shape of a wheat sheaf or cross is made, blessed by the priest and eaten.

15. Often a door ceremony is held with a person, usually the eldest daughter, representing the saint knocking and asking to be let in. She says - Go on your knees, open your eyes, and let Brighid in. Answered by from within: Greeting,greeting to the noble woman.

16.After perhaps Mary, Brigid is the most common name for girls in Ireland - it is shortened to Bridie (pronounced bri dee). (Bride in English however comes from the German; although many think otherwise, the linguists insist on a German root.)

17. On the eve the Bridie Boys go out with an effigy of the saint called the Brideog - a doll dressed in white. They pick up the offerings of bread and of butter left out. (In some areas the Brideog was the most pure girl of the village.)

18. A piece of white cloth is hung outside the front door.

19.Those coming around would say something like this: Something for poor Biddy! Her clothes are torn
Her shoes are worn
Something for poor Biddy

or Here is Briget dressed in white
Give her a penny for her night
She is deaf, she is dumb
She cannot talk without a tongue.
or Here comes Brigid dressed in white
Giver her something for the night
She is deaf, she is dumb
For Gods sake give her some.

20. A silk ribbon is left out for the Saint to bless; it is used to cure illness. It is called the ribin Brighid - St.Brigids Ribbon. 21. To say over the cross:

Brighids Girdle is my girdle,
The Girdle with the four crosses.
Arise housewife
And go out three times.
May whoever goes through my girdle
Be seven times better a year from now

. 22.The leftover materials from the cross were used to bless the animals as bedding and feed.

23. On St Brigids day the lark was a good omen of Spring.

24. The dandelion is spoken of as Brigids Flower.

25. Hoar frost(thick frost) gathered specially on the day can be used to cure headache.

26. There are many wells dedicated to the saint from which water is drawn and used for blessings on the day.

27. Brigid is famous for brewing ale and for distributing it -so ale is a part of the celebration

28.The farm animals should be especially well taken care of on the day.

SOURCE:Danaher,Kevin.The Year In Ireland.

Candlemas, Wolcum Yole

The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple and
The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary
February 2nd
Wolcum Yole
(Anon. 14th cent.)

Wolcum, Wolcum, Wolcum be thou hevenè king,
Wolcum Yole! Wolcum, born in one morning,
Wolcum for whom we sall sing!
Wolcum be ye, Stevene and Jon,
Wolcum, Innocentes every one,
Wolcum, Thomas marter one,
Wolcum be ye, good Newe Yere,
Wolcum, Twelfthe Day both in fere,
Wolcum, seintes lefe and dere,
Wolcum Yole, Wolcum Yole, Wolcum!
Candelmesse, Quene of bliss,
Wolcum bothe to more and lesse.
Wolcum, Wolcum, Wolcum be ye that are here,
Wolcum Yole, Wolcum alle and make good cheer,
Wolcum alle another yere, Wolcum Yole, Wolcum!

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