Vol. 2, Issue 15
July 28, 2007
IN THIS ISSUE:
1) SCHOLA NEWS -- Schola Stuff, online payments, Houston get-together
2) COGITEM -- Liturgy as a Language
3) DE ASTRIS -- Capricornus and the Full Moon
4) SIC LOCUTUS -- Athanasius
First, there is new Schola Stuff: Visit
http://www.scholatutorials.org/products.htm to see our t-shirts and mugs.
Next, we now have PayPal payment options for Schola Stuff and for class fee payments.
And last, but by no means least, there is a HOUSTON, TEXAS, get-together coming up! I'm teaching a Latin-In-A-Week at Our Savior Lutheran School in Houston the week of August 13-17 (there's still room if you're interested), and that Friday night the 17th all Schola people in the area are getting together for... well, fun, actually. All Schola alumni, students, families, and friends in the area are welcome. See the Upcoming Events page.
COGITEM -- Liturgy as a Language
Our pastor recently remarked that there is a liturgical reformation occurring (he's thinking primarily of reformed protestant churches) and it set me thinking about why that should be so. One reason surely is that liturgy is a language that allows us to express ourselves. If you have never learned to play the piano, you cannot simply sit down to one and express the innermost depths of your soul with great overhand swings at the keyboard, Rachmaninoff-style, no matter how passionately you feel like the desire. But if you've studied and practiced and learned the language of piano-playing from those who have gone before, you can express yourself with great freedom. That freedom came from submission to a tradition, the tradition of How To Play The Piano. If you have never learned to speak Spanish, you cannot suddenly start communicating freely with the person next to you on the bus in Guadalajara; but if you've studied and practiced, then you can express yourself. You are freed from the bonds of ignorance and enabled to do something that you never could before, because of your submission to How Spanish Is Supposed to Be Spoken.
In the same way, the liturgies of the Christian Church are a language which, if learned and submitted to, allow us to express ourselves in worship to God in the great communion of the saints. Where did we get the idea that "worship" can be whatever we want it to be? We can't just say anything we want and expect our seatmate on the Guadalajara bus to understand us, and we can't just bang on the piano a la John Cage and expect the audience to understand what we feel, and so we can't expect to do just any old thing in church and expect it to be meaningful. Liturgy is a language that has developed (in many dialects, certainly, but one language) in the Church over centuries and if we learn it, submit to What Worship Is, we participate in a language others have for centuries and still do speak and so we join with them in worship, and we can express ourselves with much more freedom than if we just bang on the keyboard.
DE ASTRIS -- Capricornus and the Full Moon
The moon will be full tomorrow (Sunday the 29th). That evening, as you're staring at it, it will be in Capricornus, the Sea-Goat. Of course you won't actually see Capricornus, as the moon's brightness will wash it out. Neptune, the planet named for the old sea-god of Roman mythology (Poseidon was his Greek name), is also in Capricornus right now, so perhaps we could say that Capricornus will be "Neptilunar" on Sunday evening. I just made that up, but it sounds good, doesn't it? In fact, Neptune is almost on top of the star called Nashira, the third brightest star of Capricornus, near the tail of the goat, on the left side. Nashira means "fortunate one" or "bringer of good tidings". If your birthday is around February 10th, Nashira is your "lucky star", because the sun was close to it when you were born.
But for the searching of the Scriptures and true knowledge of them, an honorable life is needed, and a pure soul, and that virtue which is according to Christ.