Sunday, January 3, 2016

20 + C + M + B + 16

Feast Day

Adoration of the Magi (1620), Peter Paul Rubens
Today is the Feast of the Epiphany, which celebrates the revelation to the world of the Son of God in human form. The celebration centers around the visit of the Magi, who came bearing their famous gifts for the Christ Child.

For many years the Epiphany was celebrated on January 6, but beginning in 1970 it became a moveable feast, and it is now celebrated on the first Sunday after January 1 (the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God).

Even if you're not Catholic, you probably could have predicted the entrance hymn at Mass this morning...

My congregation didn't sound as awesome as the Choir of King's College, Cambridge,
of course, but we were pretty good.

And if you're wondering about the meaning of the title of today's post, it helps if you know a bit of Latin (specifically, the meaning of Christus mansionem benedicat). Or, you could just go here...

124 Candles

January 3, 1892 - September 2, 1973
On January 3, 1892 John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, the capital city of what was then called the Orange Free State, in what is now modern South Africa.

He wrote some stuff. A lot of stuff, actually. I think some of his stuff might have been made into movies.

"We toast your memory, good sir!"

Famine and Feast

After two straight days of the most boring, lopsided college football bowl games in the history of ever, the January 2 games finally gave us at least a taste of what bowl season should have been (although we did get one more blowout, Arkansas crushing Kansas State in the Liberty Bowl).

My best friend Skip's Penn State Nittany Lions fell to Georgia 24-17 in the Gator Bowl
(I refuse to use the new, stupid name for it). PSU fell far behind early, and lost their starting QB early as well, but they fought hard, and had a chance to tie the score on the last play of the game. They can hold their heads high, as can Georgia.

West Virginia won an offensive shootout in the Cactus Bowl against Arizona State, prevailing 43-42. Not a football purist's delight, but a fun game to watch.

The game of the day was the Alamo Bowl, but it sure didn't start out that way. Oregon led TCU 31-0 at halftime before the Horned Frogs mounted a record-tying comeback and won the game 47-41 in THREE overtimes.

What made the comeback even more remarkable is that TCU did it with their backup quarterback running the offense.

The best part for me was listening to the famous TCU Frog Horn every time they scored (including every PAT). That thing sounds just like the locomotives that go rolling past my apartment several times a day (which isn't surprising, considering a couple of BNSF engineers built the thing as a gift to the university).

"Dang! That thing is loud AF!"
I know, isn't it great?

Always Check the Fine Print

From the wonderful comic strip FoxTrot, by Bill Amend, which you should read every Sunday, as I do.

Until Next Time...

Original 2001 "one sheet" poster
When New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was released in the United States the week before Christmas in 2001, fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy finally saw their hopes for a movie version fully realized.

Among the film's many pleasures was its stirring score by Canadian composer Howard Shore. Musicians performing on the film's soundtrack included the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the London Voices.

Shore's score was the first big success of his career, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Score and the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album.

For me, though, the musical highlight of the film was a song composed and performed by the Irish singer-songwriter Enya. Her composition "May It Be" was sung over the film's closing credits. It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song, but didn't win (an injustice, in my opinion). Enya did get to perform the song live on the Oscar telecast, a performance viewed by tens of millions around the world.

Today's send-off is her haunting performance of the song from the soundtrack, paired with clips from Jackson's film. Enjoy...

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