Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Happy Vinalia!

Since it's 23rd April, I think we all know what day it is. That's right: the feast of Vinalia urbana.

The Vinalia were Roman festivals of the wine harvest, wine vintage and gardens, held in honour of Jupiter and Venus. The Vinalia prima ("first Vinalia"), also known as the Vinalia urbana ("Urban Vinalia") was held on April 23, to bless and sample last year's wine and ask for good weather until the next harvest. The Vinalia rustica ("Rustic Vinalia") was on August 19, before the harvest and grape-pressing.

So remember to sample a spot of wine after work, folks! Spill any, and you can always claim it's an offering to Jove or Venus. :D

Also, Happy St George's Day, 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's death and thousandth anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter!

Church was really full this morning. We ran out of hymnals to distribute ten minutes before mass even began. I hope you're all having a lovely day, folks! :)

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Happy Palm/Passion Sunday!

Mass today was a bit weird. It was Passion Sunday, which means a very, very, very long gospel reading split between three people. First is the person doing most of the talking. Second is Father, who reads Christ's lines. Last is "Other Voices" (me). There are usually two connections to the speaker system in church, set up so the congregation can hear what one's saying. One is for the reader and the other for Father, but they had put in a third for all of us providing "Other Voices". This had apparently caused no end of bother: feedback, not working at all, &c, &c. So for me it was just turned off because, in the words of our lovely coordinator, Maureen, "You're a trained actor." Truth be told, when I was about sixteen I had a couple of hours' training in talking from the diaphragm. It's stuck, mind you, but I'm no Patrick Stewart.

Probably the last time I declaimed on stage I uttered - in maybe 2003 - the immortal line in Monty Python's Life of Brian, "He has given us...his shoe!" Anyway, the Passion reading begins, and the narrator utters a sentence, which is conveyed by the audio system. Then I have to speak Judas' line, and slightly scare everyone in the pews - as they doesn't know I'm about to imitate Stentor - by projecting my voice to the back of the church.

Narrator: Then one of the Twelve, the man called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said,

Pete: WHAT ARE YOU PREPARED TO GIVE ME IF I HAND HIM OVER TO YOU?

I'd almost swear some folk jumped. I got a little distracted come the end of Mass, and ended up forgetting my palm, too. Darn it. Still, aside from a little hiccup it all seemed to go well!
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