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October 02, 2005




Benedict's comments about wild grapes reminds me of this article that appeared in my Ratzenfreude tribute.

Feeling the onset of Ratzenfreude all over again...

David Kubiak

"How much am I bid for this nice bunch of parsley?"

I cannot restrain sarcasm whenever I see the Asperges turned into something that looks like a Druidic rite.

Kevin Miller

"Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo ..."

I'm pretty sure the author of that text (i.e., the Psalmist - I'm told that the Heb. 'zb translates as "hyssop") wasn't a Druid.

Gerard E.

'Zis ist not St. Patrick's Day! Please remove your schtyrofoam hats in church, mine damen und herren.'



"And dip a bunch of hyssop in the blood that is at the door, and sprinkle the transom of the door therewith, and both the door cheeks: let none of you go out of the door of his house till morning." Exodus 12:22 DRV

"And a man that is clean shall dip hyssop in them, and shall sprinkle therewith all the tent, and all the furniture, and the men that are defiled with touching any such thing:" Numbers 19:18 DRV

"For when every commandment of the law had been read by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people. Saying: This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. The tabernacle also and all the vessels of the ministry, in like manner, he sprinkled with blood." Hebrews 9:19-21 DRV

Gee, I never knew Sacred Scripture was so Druidic!

(Sorry, I guess I cannot restrain sarcasm whenever I see someone being sarcastic about the Holy Father.)

In Jesu et Maria,


Not sure how to turn off bold. Does this help?


I hate to be snarky, but now would be a swell time to announce that Msgr. Marini has been named the Archbishop of McMurdo Sound and Primate of Antarctica.

Kevin Miller

Since Msgr. Marini apparently knows his traditional Latin liturgical texts better than Prof. Kubiak ...

David Kubiak

Mr. Miller and Rosemarie may happily join each other smearing blood on the doorposts of their local church. Perhaps they would like to sacrifice a goat, too, or a pigeon if they can only afford a smaller animal.

We have something in the Church called liturgical tradition, which is based on the idea of the development through history of stylized expressions of ritual action. To return such actions to their pre-stylized forms is to invite ridicule. Which is what the Pope is doing with that absurd bit of garnish he is brandishing about.

If people in Milwaukee or Steubenville see someone smeared with blood running down the street on Sunday banging a drum and clashing cymbals you'll know it's either the local cult of Dioynsus, or two of Ms. Welborn's enthused correspondents, who will however get a hyssop rub-down at the end of the day.

Kevin Miller


Except that smearing blood belongs to a particular Jewish ritual (Passover) which we no longer celebrate (except insofar as it's fulfilled by the Paschal Triduum). (Actually, that even goes too far - it belongs only to the first Passover, not to its annual celebration.)

And animal sacrifices, likewise, are celebrated only qua fulfilled in the Eucharistic sacrifice.

Finally, the use of branches to sprinkle is hardly unknown in Christian liturgical tradition, of yesterday and today. Metal sprinklers weren't exactly invented in the early Church. And furthermore, I've been to three different Eastern Churches for Theophany liturgy, two Greek Orthodox and one Melkite, and they all used branches for the sprinkling that's part of the ritual for that day (as it's the commemoration of the Baptism of the Lord).

So, try again. And try to have a sensible argument this time, besides a generalized and question-begging appeal to the nature of tradition and a few ad hominems.


" To return such actions to their pre-stylized forms is to invite ridicule. Which is what the Pope is doing with that absurd bit of garnish he is brandishing about."

From CanticaNova:

"While in the East the priest uses a sort of brush for the sprinkling, and the pope uses a large sprig of hyssop (referencing Psalm 51), the usual implement for the sprinkling is the aspergillum, whose name comes from the Latin aspergere ("to sprinkle"). This has a long metal or wooden handle with a hollow metal sphere pierced with many holes. The aspergillum is dipped in the aspersorium, sometimes called aspersory, which is a metal bucket holding the holy water.

Kevin Miller

Well, there it is. And also, it turns out from the old (pre-conciliar) Roman Ritual that hyssop was specified for other uses as well in the Latin rite, e.g., the blessing of a cornerstone for a new church.

But then, David isn't one to let either historical or theological facts get in the way of a good trad polemic.


Pride goeth before the sarcasm.

David Kubiak

And sometimes a little bit of knowledge fudged by others. The citation by jfbv triumphantly seized upon by Mr. Miller refers to the reformed rite. The old Pontifical Mass did not have the Asperges at all, cf. Fr. Fortescue's rubrical manual. I will wait with interest for the hyssop faction to produce a pre-Novus Ordo photograph of a Pope waving this bit of vegetation. I'm sure Fr. Tucker would be happy to post it.

David Kubiak

I might add that the rubric for the consecration of churches in no way envisioned shopping at the local greengrocer for one's aspergillum. There are both Indult and SSPX pictures on the Internet that illustrate the stylization of this element that tradition had imposed.


It is so sad to see that the Pope himself is so lost when it comes to tradition. But what can one expect at a "synod" that was formulated after Vatican II as, the writer leaves out, to empower the Bishops and weaken the Papacy, which it basically has with Bishops snubbing their noses at JPII when the liturgical abuses were and still are rampant and of course the worst of all, the pedophila

So this is more Vatican II hoopala in a church that will take a century to straighten out, till then my family and I head to the nearest traditional mass with traditional teachings, customs, catechisms, sacraments, and aura

God bless

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