Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Sunday, December 25, 2005

O Tannenbaum!

I do so cringe at photos of myself - I much prefer to take be on the other end of the camera! But I thought some of you who read this blog may be interested in these photos, so I do this for your sake! Honestly!!

Here are two photos taken recently with our two community Christmas trees, which Br Paul Mills and I decorated together with Fr Aidan Nichols, OP on Christmas Eve. It's been a number of years since I had the pleasure of decorating a tree and it reminded me of my childhood, of family and the candles we used to place on our trees in Germany as we sang "O Tannenbaum..." In a way, dressing the Christmas trees here made me realize that this community is my family and we are having a family Christmas.

Below, I am wearing a tunicle which was the vestment given me to wear for the Vigil and Night Mass of Christmas. This was on account of the fact that I sang the Christmas Praeconium and acted as Cross-Bearer in the Liturgy. The Liturgy was truly beautiful, the music and ceremonial making for a solemn but joyous celebration of the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

And yet even tonight, the Cross was in view. As we contemplated the Child who became vulnerable as One-with-us, a needy and helpless baby, and as we blessed the Christmas Crib, placing a figurine of this Holy Child into a manger, the prayers of blessing said this:

"May [the Crib] remind us of the love your Son showed us being wrapped in swaddling clothes and being laid in a manger; by being fastened to the wood of the Cross; by being wrapped in a shroud and laid in a tomb.

May it inspire us to come to his aid when we see him hungry and homeless.

May it recall to our minds the devotion of our blessed Lady. Like her, may we treasure in our hearts the strange things that happened, and be ready to learn their meaning.

May we imitate, too, the faith of St Joseph, the eagerness of the shepherds, the generosity of the Magi, the joy of the angels.

May the Creator Spirit who overshadowed Mary overshadow us too, that Christ the eternal Wisdom may be brought to birth in us. So may we be counted worthy to share his new birth from the tomb..."


Blogger Cog said...

I am curious, is that a dalmatic you are wearing? I always thought that the term "novice" was reserved for those in their first year of formation, after which one would be called "student". Since it is only those in their final year of formation who are ordained deacons, I am confused as to why you would be vested in the dalmatic.

Of course, if any of the statements above are incorrect my whole train is thrown out.

6:44 pm  
Blogger Br Lawrence, O.P. said...

As I explain above it is a tunicle, which was worn by the (now abolished) minor order of sub-deacon. The link provided notes that crucifers also wore the tunicle (as is still the case in the Anglican church) which was the capacity in which I wore it.

Granted it looks very much like a dalmatic but this is more for sartorial reasons than anyhing else.

As a matter of fact, I am an instituted Lector (not to be confused with lay, un-instituted lectors) which was one of the ministries which the abolished sub-deaconate devolved into, courtesy of Pope Paul VI...

But this is not a consideration here... I wore the tunicle as I was performing a liturgical role (of crucifer) and this was the vestment proper to that ministry.

Hope that clarifies matters. And yes, I am a novice in the Order which means I am in my first year of formation prior to simple vows.

11:31 pm  

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