Good Friday Hymn: O sacred head now wounded

The tune of this remarkable reflection of the death of Christ, O Sacred Head Now Wounded, comes from the Passion Chorale, by J. S. Bach. The poem in the original Latin is often attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153), but is now attributed to the Medieval poet Arnulf of Louvain (died 1250).   It was translated into German by Lutheran hymnist Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676).

There are several English translations:

The hymn was first translated into English in 1752 by John Gambold (1711–1771), an Anglican vicar in Oxfordshire. His translation begins, “O Head so full of bruises.” In 1830 a new translation of the hymn was made by an American Presbyterian minister, James Waddel Alexander (1804-1859). Alexander’s translation, beginning “O sacred head, now wounded,” became one of the most widely used in 19th and 20th century hymnals.

Another English translation, based on the German, was made in 1861 by Sir Henry Baker. Published in Hymns Ancient and Modern, it begins, “O sacred head surrounded by crown of piercing thorn.”

In 1899 the English poet Robert Bridges (1844-1930) made a fresh translation from the original Latin, beginning “O sacred Head, sore wounded, defiled and put to scorn.” This is the version used in the 1940 Hymnal (Episcopal), the 1982 Hymnal (Episcopal; stanzas 1-3 and 5), and the Church of England‘s New English Hymnal (1986) and several other late 20th-century hymn books.

The DePaul Community Chorus sang “O Sacred Head”  at its Fall 2008 Concert in Chicago. Stephen Blackwelder, conductor. Lisa Kristina, accompanist.

Read the rest of this entry »

Video: The Pope and the Pentecostals Unite

Via Elizabeth Scalia, a wacky and wonderful video for a Sunday afternoon.

To watch only the pope is to be moved, but to ultimately miss the point. To watch the whole thing is to be blown away; Pentecostals, praying for the pope! The tongue-speaking is odd for most of us to witness, for sure. But as I did, I kept thinking, “Is that what the wind sounded like, at Pentecost, as the Holy Spirit approached?”

Marcel writes:

This is what Christian unity looks like. It doesn’t ignore the differences that we have with our non-Catholic brothers and sisters. It isn’t triumphalistic. It isn’t us vs them.

Rather, it is the love of Christ for all people. Jesus prayed for Christian unity and we must all acknowledge that the fact is – division within Christianity is both scandalous and a counter-sign to a God of unity to a world that needs Him.

So, Pope Francis recorded a video for his friend, Tony Palmer (An Anglican Episcopal Communion of the CEEC (Celtic Anglican Tradition) Bishop.) He took the video to show to Kenneth Copeland Ministries and the unthinkable has started to happen – we actually pray for one another and acknowledge one another as true brothers and sisters.

Scalia recommends that you don’t fast forward to the pope – ‘watch it from the beginning and hang in there through the parts that can feel challenging to watch and might seem (to us, as Catholics and as jaded Americans) like “Protestant weirdness”’.

Another inspiring video for a Sunday afternoon,  via Geo:

Should this man get the Nobel Peace Prize?

Baby Box – South Korea: Hundreds of babies are abandoned every year, but this brave men is trying to save them. So why is the government trying to stop him?

In this heart-breaking report, we follow a man who’s dedicated his life to saving South Korea’s unwanted babies. With hundreds of them being abandoned every year, why has the government ordered him to stop?

Video: Scott Hamilton Talks About His Faith

I’ve been enjoying former Olympic figure skater Scott Hamilton’s excellent commentary for the figure skating events at this year’s Olympics. He’s a likable guy – always has been.

I didn’t know anything about his back-story. Until now.

I think you’ll be as moved as I was to hear him explain in his own words his journey of faith through life’s triumphs and tragedies.

“The only true disability in life, is a bad attitude. God is there to guide you through the tough spots.”

Via Beyond the Pale, H/T Kathleen McKinley on Facebook.

Judge Jeanine Torches Obama For Going After the Little Sisters of the Poor (Video)

Judge Jeanine started her show, Saturday night with a lengthy list of New Year’s resolutions for the country (pretty much Obama, actually) culminating in her wish for a country that respects religious freedom.

Then she addressed Obama directly: “Mr President”, Pirro purred, “now that you’re back from your Hawaiin vacation, how’d you hit em? How’s that  handicap? You come back, and you try to take away from the Little Sisters of the Poor – a 175 year old religious organization that cares for low income elderly who are dying –  their right to exercise their 1st Amendment freedom of religion.”

She continued, “you PROMISED the Catholic church you would not, under Obamacare, force those with religious objections to provide contraception to employees, which of course,  is contrary to their fundamental beliefs and their exercise of religion. In spite of your promise, you’re spending millions in legal fees to force the Little Sisters of the Poor, who spend their lives serving the sick and the elderly, to provide contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients to their employees?!”

The judge marveled that the president, supposedly a constitutional scholar, refuses to exempt the Little Sisters of the Poor from the contraception mandate. “YOU!” She exclaimed incredulously.  “The same guy who grants exemptions and waivers left and right to unions, political buddies, bundlers…..but not to the women who devoted their lives to God and caring for the sick?!”

Concluding her opening statement, she declared, “Mr. President, it’s 2014, and we are NOT getting off to a good start.”

She had on the Pastor of the Church of the Holy Family, Father Gerald Murray, to talk about the case.”

“The message here is, if you like your religion, you can’t keep it”, Father quipped. “That is a horrible message from the president of the United States and members of his administration.”

She had the always excellent Trey Gowdy on to talk about the widely panned NYTs Benghazi report, and the Regime’s attack on the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Always good for a few good soundbites, Gowdy quipped, “up until two weeks ago, Susan Rice was the only person on the planet who thought that a video had something to do with the attack, and now that number has increased by 100% – it’s gone from one to now two.”

On the HHS mandate, he said “this is not a complicated legal analysis…..legally they lose and you would think a constitutional law scholar would know that.”

“This is not about the law – it’s about politics”, Gowdy explained. “They want us to carry the burden of persuasion for political reasons.”

He pointed out that “the last time this administration went before the Supreme Court on a religious liberty case, it was Hosanna Tabor,  and it was nine to nothing against the administration. You can’t get the Supreme Court to agree nine to nothing on which direction the sun rises…but nine to nothing they said the administration was wrong.”

” It’s not about the law”, he reiterated, “it’s about politics and trying to gin up this manufactured ‘war on women,”  and shame on us if we let them get away with it.”

Video: Priests for Life Wins Emergency Relief From HHS mandate

On Saturday, December 28, Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, was on Fox News with  Mike Huckabee to talk about the contraceptive mandate and explains why it is an important issue. A federal judge in the NY Archdiocese had recently granted an injunction against the contraception mandate, but on Dec. 19, a judge in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia had ruled in favor of the government in the Priests For Life case prompting Pavone to  file for an emergency injunction.

“I love my Church and I love my country and I want to be able to do both at the same time,” Pavone told Huckabee. “I do not want to be told that I have to choose between being a faithful Catholic and being a good citizen.”

Priests for Life’s  emergency injunction was  granted on New Year’s Eve.

Father Pavone released the following statement on his Priests For Life website:

4:58pm  An emergency injunction granted just moments ago in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit means that Priests for Life will not have to obey the contraception mandate contained in the Affordable Care Act as its appeal is being heard. It also means that, tomorrow, Priests for Life will not have to cancel health insurance for its employees.
Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, said he is grateful  his organization is free, temporarily at least, from having to comply with the unjust mandate or face steep fines by failing to comply when the ministry’s new insurance policy goes into effect on Wednesday.
“We would not have complied with this mandate in any case, as it promotes the very culture of death that Priests for Life works to combat,” Father Pavone said. “We are grateful for this temporary relief and look forward to a permanent injunction once the appeal is fully heard.”
“Our lawsuit was among the very first ones in the country and the necessity to launch it shows that religious freedom in America is in grave danger.  We have to take action.”
On Dec. 19, Priests for Life learned that the judge in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia had ruled in favor of the government. Within an hour Priests for Life filed for the emergency injunction that was granted today.
Father  Pavone said that what the Obama administration has tried to do through the HHS mandate – which he called a “blatant act of tyranny” – is to give the federal government the power to determine what is and what isn’t important in an individual’s religion; that is not the government’s role.
Father Pavone concluded, “There have already been significant victories in the courts against the HHS mandate, and we have no doubt that Priests for Life ultimately will prevail in this historic fight.”
Andrew McCarthy explains what the ruling means….
The ruling holds that, at least for now, the government may not coerce religious believers, against the tenets of their faiths, to provide coverage for abortifacients and contraceptives. (The religious liberty position would not prevent those who want abortifacients and contraceptives – which are very affordable and easily accessible – from obtaining them; it would just prevent the government from forcing religious believers violate their beliefs by providing them.) Of course, as we’ve seen before, President Obama often does not deem himself bound by such trifles as judicial rulings and congressional statutes, so we’ll have to see how the administration reacts.

Father Pavone thanked  Rob Muise and his team at the American Freedom Law Center in his video announcement of the ruling:

On New Years Eve, Justice Sotomayor also granted a temporary Obamacare exemption to Catholic nuns who would have faced ‘draconian fines’ if they had failed to provide contraceptive coverage, as the healthcare law requires.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted a temporary exemption late Tuesday to a small group of Catholic nuns that shields it from having to comply with a part of President Obama‘s healthcare law that requires it to provide contraceptive coverage in its insurance plans.

She acted on an emergency appeal from lawyers for the group who said the nuns faced “draconian fines” beginning on New Year’s Day if they failed to comply with the law widely known as Obamacare.

Sotomayor gave the government until Friday to file a response in the case. Her order extends only to the group of nuns and does not apply more broadly to the Affordable Care Act and its requirements.

The Regime’s contraception mandate isn’t even central to the law – it’s not necessary for ObamaCare to survive — but out of anti-Christian hostility, they’re fighting like Demons to force Americans to violate their conscience, anyway. Forcing people to violate their beliefs and pay tribute to the almighty State is crucial for the forces of tyranny, and I fear,  a harbinger of a terrible things to come, if they succeed.

Thomas More Law Center Sues DoD For Shutting Down Catholic Services On Navy Base

church kings bay naval base

The church at Kings Bay Naval Base in happier times.

The Thomas More Law Center has filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in reaction to what they call “an astonishing attack on the religious freedom” of Catholics at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia who have been denied access to religious services on the base and whose priest has been locked out of his chapel.

Because of the priest shortage on military bases, contract priests are employed by the government to ensure that a priest is available when an active duty Catholic Chaplain is not present.

Due to the government shutdown, many GS and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide have been banned from working –  even volunteering  - despite provisions in the Pay Our Military Act that for provides the funding of employees whose responsibilities contribute to the morale and well-being of the military. Reportedly, Protestant services continue to take place and only Catholic services have been shutdown.

Via The Thomas More Law Center:

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Father Ray Leonard, a Catholic priest contracted to serve as base chaplain and Fred Naylor, one of Father Leonard’s parishioners and a retired veteran with over 22 years of service. Fr. Leonard is a civilian Catholic Pastor contracted by the Department of Defense (DoD) to serve as a military chaplain at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia.

Fr. Leonard who served Tibetan populations in China for 10 years, informed the court in an affidavit; “In China, I was disallowed from performing public religious services due to the lack of religious freedom in China. I never imagined that when I returned home to the United States, that I would be forbidden from practicing my religious beliefs as I am called to do, and would be forbidden from helping and serving my faith community.”

On October 4, 2013, Fr. Leonard was ordered to stop performing all of his duties as the base’s Catholic Chaplain, even on a voluntary basis. He was also told that he could be arrested if he violated that order. The approximately 300 Catholic families, including Fred Naylor’s, served by Fr. Leonard at Kings Bay have been unable to attend Mass on base since the beginning of the shutdown.

Additionally, Fr. Leonard was locked out of his on-base office and the chapel. Fr. Leonard was also denied access to the Holy Eucharist and other articles of his Catholic faith. The order has caused the cancellation of daily and weekend mass, confession, marriage preparation classes and baptisms as well as prevented Fr. Leonard from providing the spiritual guidance he was called by his faith to provide.

The submarine base is remotely located.  It consists of roughly 16,000 acres, with 4,000 acres comprised of protected wetlands.  There are approximately 10,000 total people on the base.

A Catholic Church is located off base in the town of St. Mary’s.  However, many of the parishioners both live and work on base and do not own a car and cannot otherwise access transportation.  Therefore a sixteen (16) mile journey to and from the off-base church is simply not possible.  Moreover, many of the sailors have an extremely limited amount of time off.  With their time highly regimented, they are not given a long enough break time for this exceptionally long walk and the Mass service.

Defendants in the lawsuit are the Department of Defense (DoD), Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the Department of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Department of the Navy, Ray Mabus.

Andrew Montalvo, a Talkshow Producer for KFYO out of  Lubbock, Texas says this attaclk on religious liberties is “pure spite” coming from the White House.

The chapel is small, regularly unmanned, and when not being used for religion is used also for special events, as the religious symbols are easily removed.

In addition to the argument that it costs nothing to keep open, several times I assisted in setting up and tearing down special events at the chapel, not under order, but voluntarily.

There is absolutely no reason why the chapel would be closed other than the White House going out of its way to hurt the religious and trample on their liberties.

This is why Obama appointed the dim-witted Chuck Hagel to be Defense Secretary – he was expected to be a “Yes Man” to the Regime’s far- left  agenda and he is delivering.

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit.

In other news, via Publius Forum, Obama Administration Says Anti-Muslim ‘Hate Speech’ Can be Punished.

Bill Killian, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, said that inflammatory material against Islam might be a violation of federal civil rights laws. Such a violation could bring the federal government down on those opposing Islam here in the US.

As reported by The Tullahoma News, Killian and the FBI’s Kenneth Moore hosted a “Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society” to “help” the community learn how anti-Islam speech could land an American before authorities.

“This is an educational effort with civil rights laws as they play into freedom of religion and exercising freedom of religion,” Killian told the paper. “This is also to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are.”

Obama Regime’s MB Connected Islamist Advisors Downplay Coptic Suffering

In a recent article at the Daily Beast, Kirstin Powers decried the silence of American Christian churches in the face of overwhelming Christian persecution all across the globe.

Christians in the Middle East and Africa are being slaughtered, tortured, raped, kidnapped, beheaded, and forced to flee the birthplace of Christianity. One would think this horror might be consuming the pulpits and pews of American churches. Not so. The silence has been nearly deafening.

As Egypt’s Copts have battled the worst attacks on the Christian minority since the 14th century, the bad news for Christians in the region keeps coming. On Sunday, Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 85 worshippers at All Saints’ church, which has stood since 1883 in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan. Christians were also the target of Islamic fanatics in the attack on a shopping center in Nairobi, Kenya, this week that killed more than 70 people. The Associated Press reported that the Somali Islamic militant group al-Shabab “confirmed witness accounts that gunmen separated Muslims from other people and let the Muslims go free.” The captives were asked questions about Islam. If they couldn’t answer, they were shot.

Back in August, during the height of the terror campaign against Coptic Christians in Egypt, Powers reported:

The news coming out of Egypt is staggering. USA Today reports that “forty churches have been looted and torched, while 23 others have been attacked and heavily damaged” in one week. According to the Coptic Orthodox and Catholic churches in Egypt, 160 Christian-owned buildings have also been attacked.

The tally of torched Christian churches in Egypt has grown to more than 80.

American Christians are quite able to organize around issues that concern them. Yet religious persecution appears not to have grabbed their attention, despite worldwide media coverage of the atrocities against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.
It’s no surprise that Jews seem to understand the gravity of the situation the best. In December 2011, Britain’s chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, addressed Parliament saying, “I have followed the fate of Christians in the Middle East for years, appalled at what is happening, surprised and distressed … that it is not more widely known.” “It was Martin Luther King who said, ‘In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.’ That is why I felt I could not be silent today.”

The Obama administration certainly hasn’t done anything to stop it. In fact, they always seem to come out on the side of the persecutors.

Remember the reports a couple of years ago that alleged Muslim Brotherhood members had infiltrated the White House? (Or were perhaps invited in?)

Remember how horrifying and outlandish it seemed that a US President would actually take counsel from these dangerous, radical Islamists? Well, a couple of them are speaking out on the Christian persecution.

Via Jihad Watch:

Dalia Moghaed [sic], credited with helping President Obama draft his June 2009 Cairo speech about American relations with the Islamic world, recently downplayed attacks against Egypt’s Coptic Christians on a Facebook page.

More than 80 Coptic churches were burned by Brotherhood supporters after the Egyptian military’s crackdown last month on Muslim Brotherhood encampments in Cairo. A local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party appeared to sanction violence in retaliation for the Coptic Church’s backing of the Egyptian military.

Nonetheless, Mogahed pointed the finger at the Egyptian media.

Dalia Mogahed

“The Egyptian media took advantage of the Copts to achieve many personal/political gains, which has angered the West,” Mogahed said in a Sept. 22 post which appeared on the Facebook page of the Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights (EADHR).

The EADHR was founded by members of the Muslim American Society (MAS), which in turn was founded as an “overt arm” of the Egyptian Brotherhood.

Mogahed isn’t the only American Islamist tied to the Obama administration to slam the Copts on social media.

***

Then there Mohamed Elibiary, who was one of the speakers at a December 2004 conference in Dallas titled “A Tribute to the Great Islamic Visionary.”

“The visionary in question”, Robert Spencer tells us,  “was none other than the founding father of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Ayatollah Khomeini.”

When I questioned him about his appearance at such a conference, Elibiary claimed that he hadn’t known what kind of conference it was going to be, although he didn’t explain why he went ahead and appeared there anyway once he found out. Among those who found this explanation wanting was journalist Rod Dreher of the Dallas Morning News, whose skepticism angered Elibiary. The great moderate subsequently threatened Dreher, telling him: “Expect someone to put a banana in your exhaust pipe.”

***

In a Sept. 15 Twitter post, Mohamed Elibiary, a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Advisory Council, accused American Coptic activists of fanning hatred of Islam.

Microsoft Word - islamists in government.docx

“For a decade since 9/11 attack extremist American #Coptic activists have nurtured anti #Islam & anti #Muslim sentiments among AM RT wing,” Elibiary wrote.

In earlier tweets, Elibiary attacked American Copts for protesting against how their relatives in Egypt have been treated by the Islamists.

“Good read by @mwhanna1 on need to reform #Coptic activism in #US including stop promoting #Islamophobia,” Elibiary wrote Sept. 14.

I think I’m going to be sick…

Hat tip:

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