Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sunday Potpourri No. 50

Feast Day

Chrystusa Króla, in Świebodzin, Poland

Today is the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, called the Feast of Christ the King for short.

It is what is known as a movable feast,
and was instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI. For 45 years it was celebrated on the last Sunday in October, but in 1970 its place on the calendar was changed by Pope Paul VI, who chose to place it on the final Sunday of Ordinary Time (the Sunday before Advent).

This feast marks the end of the Church's liturgical year, which explains why many Catholics are fond of calling the first Sunday of Advent "Catholic New Year."

A Good Saturday

It was a very good day indeed for my rooting interests in college football, even if I did wear out and go to bed before the final result was known...

My day kicked off with Army, in their final home game of the season, beating Morgan State 60-3. Army snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 6-5. They don't play again until the annual game with Navy on December 10.

Speaking of Navy, the Midshipmen improved to 8-2 with a 66-31 win over East Carolina in a game that had been postponed from October 15 due to a hurricane.

The third of my teams to crack the 60-point threshold yesterday was Iowa State, who clobbered Texas Tech 66-10 at Ames in their highest-scoring game ever against a conference opponent.

It has been a rough season for the Cyclones, but they have now won consecutive games for the first time since 2013.

It was a split decision for my Catholic institutions. Boston College improved to 5-6 with an easy 30-0 home win over Connecticut. They can become bowl eligible with a win at Wake Forest next Saturday. Notre Dame was not so fortunate, falling to 4-7 after blowing a 17-point lead and falling 34-31 to Virginia Tech at home, clinching their first losing season since 2007.

My best friend Skip's No. 8 Penn State Nittany Lions played a night game on the road in crappy weather in New Jersey, but it didn't matter. They beat Rutgers 39-0 for their seventh straight win, improving to 9-2.

I tried to stay awake for Air Force's game, but it was on the road at San Jose State, and didn't kick off until 9:30 PM CST. I barely made it midway through the 2nd quarter. Air Force was trailing, but had just scored a touchdown to make the score 17-20. When I woke up this morning I learned that the Falcons had scored a 41-38 win to improve to 8-3 on the season.

"Well, that explains why I heard very little cursing yesterday."

It was a good day, but in any case I don't curse as much as you keep suggesting...

Vivid Imagination

From the droll comic strip FoxTrot, by Bill Amend, which you should read every Sunday.

Until Next Time...

The Feast of Christ the King will be followed by Advent next Sunday, and when that happens the focus of this section will turn to seasonal music again, both sacred and secular.

One of the best things to happen in recent years is the growth of "period" music, performed by people intent on preserving some of history's most stirring music just as one might have heard it played and sung hundreds of years ago.

In 2005 Sequentia, an ensemble promoting medieval music, and Dialogos, a vocal ensemble also focused on music from that period, joined forces to produce an album
of liturgical music featuring Gregorian chants.

Chant Wars concludes with the chant "Christus vincit" (also known as "Laudes Regiæ"), which is traditionally associated with this feast day. One cannot listen to these dedicated musicians and singers without being reminded of the Church's centuries-old traditions.

Today's send-off is their stirring performance of the chant just as it may have been performed for Charlemagne. Enjoy...

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