Monthly Archives: December 2008

New Submission for the Journal of Advanced Toddler Studies

The Economic Impacts of Black Magic in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty

Abstract: Post-Industrial Americans regard the spinning wheel as a quaint prop of a by-gone age. It is not until we grasp its place at the foundation of textile production in early economies, however, that we realize that Maleficent’s curse and the resultant destruction of spinning wheels was an attack not just on the baby princess Aurora but on the economic fabric of the kingdom itself. The sudden removal of wheel technology for yarn production would cripple if not topple the textile industry of a fourteenth century agrarian economy. Through use of computer modeling we discuss the volume production drop caused by a sudden shift from spinning wheel to drop spindle¬† technology and examine the ramifications on the wool trade, the rise in imports to replace lost domestic capacity and concomitant inflation across the economy , the loss of competitiveness among other regional powers, and the dramatic increase in costs accrued for the exotic textiles displayed in King Stephen’s court.

It’s one thing to anger a malevolent spirit—it’s another entirely to anger a malevolent spirit with a thorough knowledge of textile capacities and the creative curses to bring an entire kingdom’s economy to its knees.

Liber Usualis Modern Notation in English

The title here is more a string of keywords that bring a lot of people to this site. I have addressed this issue before where I essentially said that it’s much easier to just learn how to read square-notes. I still believe that, but that only addresses one of the issues in the use of the Liber Usualis [big PDF download warning]—it’s also not in English…

The best response, well, I’ll just leave that unsaid… but I will point you to a growing set of resources that have come to my attention. What I’ll try and do here, is to give you some small snippets of what you can find in these resources in comparison with a bit of the Liber itself. So, without further ado, a snippet from the Introit of Advent 1:


The Anglican Use Gradual: This gradual contains the Propers for the Mass according to the Anglican Use of the Roman Catholic Church. While it retains the use of square-notation, it is in traditional-language (Rite I) English. Its base material is drawn from the current (1979) Graduale Romanum so it follows the same basic kalendar as the RCL. (I.e., the last proper of the liturgical year is for Christ the King.) For the most part, it presents the propers using the Rossini “psalm-tone” settings:


but on occasion presents a more full and complex setting—as with the Introit for Advent 1:


It also sometimes includes chants that match with the three-year lectionary but this seems rather infrequent and haphazard. Overall, this work is very nicely produced with all of the seasons, commons, propers for major saints, and votives included masses for the departed that one would need. A section at the back includes common tones for the Asperges/Vidi Aquam, Preces, Gloria Patri, etc. A clear index wraps everything up.

Access/download is free but the work is copyrighted and a contact email appears for obtaining permissions.

Here is the PDF of the Anglican Use Gradual.

The American Gradual: This uses both modern notation and contemporary (Rite II) English but don’t on those accounts think that it’ll be “easier” than the Anglican Use Gradual… Bruce Ford here presents the real deal, a full transcription of the chants of the gradual. (It’s worth noting that he states clearly that his material is adapted from a German site that presents the chants alongside the actual early notation and that glosses the Latin in modern German.) Here’s a sample from this work:


Unfortunately, the copy I’ve found available for download only gives material for the Advent and Christmas seasons, ending with the Communion from Baptism of Our Lord (1st Sunday after Epiphany). I don’t know if other parts come available seasonally or not…

It lacks an introduction, table of contents and index, but it’s certainly got the goods muscially. It is copyrighted, but allows photocopying for the personal use of local churches and individuals provided they give correct attribution.

Here is the PDF of the American Gradual.

Archdiocese of St. Louis Worship Resources: These appear to have both psalm tone and other settings in English with modern notation and organ accompaniment. They’re also still under development. Some of the PDFs contain handwritten scores. Here’s a sample of one of the typed ones, though:


This site also contains some Office materials—proper Vespers settings. These may be in square notation. (The one I looked at was.)

So far it only offers Advent, Christmas and Lent, but promises that more settings will become available as the seasons progress.

These resources are collected here.

Files of the Yahoo Gregorian User Group: These are all user contributed and come in quite an array of formats, languages, etc. To access the files you must be a member of the moderated group. A wide and wild variety of things can be found, but be prepared to do some poking around to find what you’re after.

Here’s a sample of one offering:


The group is located here.

So—that’s everything that I know of that relates to English or modern notation and the Liber. If others know of more resources, drop it in the comments or shoot me an email.


  • Everyone survived the start of the Christmas season.
  • The Christmas pageant was a roaring success. Some parent helpers jumped in and everything went just fine. We only had one little clash—someone wanted to remove all of the identifying names out of the Luke 2 passage as being “too difficult for children”. Fortunately I had a couple of days between hearing about this and seeing the cast again so I could think of a more polite and tactful way to respond than my initial reaction. I explained that if we took out the names we might as well start it with “Once upon a time in a kingdom far, far away” and that the whole point of the names is that it happened in a very particular time and place and that matters. They didn’t like it, but the names stayed in and the kids did great with them.
  • (I found it odd that my reader had more trouble pronouncing “Syria” than “Quirinius”…)
  • Most memorable exchange—Parent: “Well, what matters most is that the kids feel good about what they did.” Me: “Hmmm. I think that what matters most is that the kids learn the Gospel…” Parent: [unconvinced] “Oh—right…”
  • We had a wonderful trip south to the ordination of Chris (aka the Lutheran Zephyr) and he’s got a nice photo with M up too.
  • M read the prayers, my role was sitting with three PKs (only one of which was mine)—all girls under the age of 6, all perfectly behaved.
  • About halfway through Lil’ G turned to me and said, “So, Daddy—when are you gonna get ordained?” I was a little stunned by that but mumbled that I was working on it…
  • For Christmas 1 we had a Lessons and Carols service at M’s parish that was quite nice. But in the midst of Von Himmel Hoch Lil’ H started singing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” at the top of her lungs. And continued with it whenever we started singing another carol. Several peopled noticed her singing; thankfully no one noticed what she was singing.
  • While you’re rounding up nice Christmas messages as the season continues, don’t miss the sermon here from friend-of-the-blog Fr. McCoy, OHC.
  • Dissertation progress has bogged down in Chapter 3. Trying to condense some 15 years of study of monastic liturgy into twice that many pages isn’t as easy as it sounds… I’m trying an ultra-minimalist approach but I have to keep reminding myself of that every sentence or two.
  • (And if anyone happens to have¬† copy of David Knowles’ The Monastic Order in England handy, could you tell me when [on p. 714 or so] he starts Matins and Lauds in the summer? I’m missing that page…)
  • For the SBB alpha-testers, I’ll have a new kalendar up before Jan. 1 with, hopefully, a choice of two…
  • I’ve got a few pieces for the Cafe in the pipeline, but blogging will continue to be light…

Liturgy. One More Time…

There’s a post at the Cafe about what Episcopalians can learn from Baptists. To my eyes, it repeats the usual tropes about hide-bound, static “book” liturgy as opposed to free and spontaneous “spirit-filled” worship.

It’s a tired rhetorical dichotomy that really needs to die because it’s based in a fundamentally one-side understanding of pneumatology.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, liturgical worship certainly can become hide-bound, stodgy and dead. But it’s false to say it all is—or even most.

The chief reason why this hacks me off, though, is the assumption that most Episcopalians are at the place where they can profitably learn things from Baptists about liturgy. Unfortunately, we’re not there yet! Most of the Episcopalians I know need to learn a lot more about Episcopal worship before we start looking to see what we can learn from others.

Etiquette and Ethics

We can look at manners and etiquette in three ways:

  1. It is the grease that oils the cogwheels of the social machine,
  2. It is something that belongs to the realm of aesthetics,
  3. but we can also look at them as they belong to the realm of ethics—as having to do with how we treat one another in everyday life.

–P.M. Forni, professor of Italian Literature at Johns Hopkins and one of the co-founders of the Civility Project

I heard this fascinating interview on the radio yesterday on etiquette, the true aims of Emily Post, and the odd place of etiquette in American culture. I bring it up not only because it’s quite interesting but because it occurred to me that there are some very close parallels between etiquette and liturgy.

Just as etiquette helps structure our social relationships, liturgy helps us structure our religious ones.

Give it a listen and let me know what you think…


Had to note this.

My crystal ball predicts that things in Africa will be getting worse for the grand majority of residents over the next several decades as the industrialized economies calculate the exact limits of our zero-sum resource game.

Not all are in for bad times, though; I imagine arms dealers will do quite well…


I’ll not be around much—perhaps at all—during this Advent. I’m determined to finishing the dissertation this calendar year and that means roughly a chapter a week to get through it

I hope to finally get this thing done.

Long-time readers will recall, of course, that I’ve made this same determination several times before; I can only hope I’ll be more successful this time around… :-D