Monday, June 30, 2014

Joe the Communist & Bad Wine

Last night I attended a small dinner gathering and got to chatting with a like-minded fellow about a range of things from Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies to hobbits. Somehow we came upon the topic of S. Ioseph Opifex, the feast of "Joseph the Worker," or, as more adept people have called it, Joe the Communist. The discussant, who attends Mass at the local FSSP parish featured in a previous post, recounted a feeble attempt to pray the 1962 Lauds on a day that happened to be May 1st. He had to quit, so he told me, before even finishing the psalms because the antiphons were so remarkably bad. Here are the Lauds antiphons for the displaced feast of Ss. Philip & James and then the antiphons for the Apostles' Red Replacement:
  • Lord, show us the Father, * and it sufficeth us. Alleluia.
  • Philip, * He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father. Alleluia.
  • Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me * Philip, he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father. Alleluia.
  • If ye had known Me ye should have known My Father also, * and from henceforth ye know Him and have seen Him. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
  • If ye love Me, * keep My commandments. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
The new feast:
  • God, maker of the world, * has stationed man to dress and keep the earth, alleluia.
  • Christ, the Son of God, * deigned to work with his hands, alleluia.
  • The craftsman, * holy Joseph, faithfully exercising his trade, shines forth as a marvellous example of work, alleluia.
  • Faithful servant, * and prudent, whom the Lord hath appointed over his family, alleluia.
  • O Joseph, holy workman, * defend our work, alleluia.
When I told the same fellow what the Mattins lessons were for the new feast his reaction was one of understandable incredulity. Here is the fifth lesson
"The same Pontiff supplied a new proof of the Church's solicitude for labor organization, when, upon the occasion of a convention of workingmen held in Rome on the first of May in the year 1955, he took the opportunity of speaking to a large multitude gathered in the square before St. Peter's Basilica, and commended most highly the instruction of workingmen. For in our day it is of prime importance that the workers be properly imbued with Christian doctrine in order that they may avoid the widespread errors concerning the nature of society and economic matters. Moreover, such instruction is needed that they might have a correct knowledge of the moral order established by God as it effects the rights and duties of workers, and which the Church discloses and interprets, so that by partaking in the needed reforms they might work more effectively toward their realization. For Christ was the first one to promulgate in the world those principles which he delivered to the Church and which still stand unchangeable and most valid for the solution of these problems."
My night ended with a horrific viticultural experience. Older American readers may remember Paul Masson commercials featuring Orson Welles, the film maker who produced the greatest movie ever made at age 25 and whose career only declined from there. Welles was often inebriated during commercials, but revealed in an interview he never drank Paul Masson wine. Clearly he was bringing his own stuff. The motto for Paul Masson wine was "We will serve no wine before its time." Out of morbid curiosity a friend just had to buy a bottle jug. 

He poured me a quarter of an inch of this so-called wine in a tumbler. I smelled it. The scent was like that of very, very ripe apples. The sugar and fruitiness overwhelmed me. I gave it a swish and found it had no body of any kind. The scent, on a closer sniff, was positively pungent. I then put the liquid in my mouth where it committed first degree assault on my taste buds. I then spat it into the sink, which is when this experience became even worse. This so-called wine leaves an aftertaste I have only encountered with one other product, Robitussin cough medicine. When was this wine's time?

Editing was able to salvage this from the above takes:


  1. Are you trying to tell us that singing Joe the Communist's antiphons is even worse than drinking that strange medicine-masked-as-wine?

    Kyrie eleison

    PS: I hope you have already got well.

  2. Hi Rad Trad, sorry for the off-topic comment (I can't seem to find an email address anywhere on this blog), but I was wondering what are your thoughts of the Douay-Rheims/Challoner Bible translation version, particularly its extremely literal Latinisms e.g.

    Ps 18:6 - "He... Hath rejoiced as a giant to run the way" (Vg: Exultavit ut gigas ad currendam viam)

    Lk 1:78 - "Through the bowels of the mercy of our God" (Vg: Per viscera misericordiæ Dei nostri)