Thursday, October 19, 2006

You know, as long as we are resurrecting secular practices which were specific to a place, time, and social class and declaring that they are the Catholic Way Forever...

Yes. Well, as long as we are doing THAT, I want to submit a few of my own Medieval Catholic traditions. These were long-standing facets of eminently Catholic societies for many centuries! To do otherwise now is unthinkable. Let's start with:

The Stew:

Yes, I believe everyone would be happier and better off if we took more communal baths with servants bringing us food! Fun for the whole family. This woodcut via A Feast For the Eyes.

The Alewife:

The art of brewing was passed on from mother to daughter, and women brewed most of the ale consumed in the 14th and 15th centuries. Sometimes this was just a cottage industry; sometimes women went on to become large-scale commercial brewers. Anyway, I think that it's time we take down the male-dominated microbreweries. Alewyfes, away!


Beginning at around the 16th century, boys of exceptional singing talent were, um, curtailed at a young age, often for Church choir purposes. A Papal Bull by Pope Sixtus V even authorized the recruitment of castrati for the choir of St. Peter. Let's bring them back for the greater glory of traditional Church music!

And so on, and so forth. What traditions do you want to resurrect? My dad, having seven daughters (and three sons), believes that the practice of the bride price should be reinstituted.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alewyfe, definitely.

Woman! Brew me an ale!

Hmm. I like it. I think it might stick. I'll try it out tomorrow and report to you at the parish festival on Saturday.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

See, that's why I didn't risk joining the choir until college. You never know.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Wavelet said...

Patrick, you are a wise man. In fact, castrati were not officially disapproved of by the Church until 1902. There are recordings of the last living castrato singing, actually. John Baby reports that it is, quote, "painful" to listen to.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Every time I had to sit though that painful "high" mass at TAC, I wished to God that TAC require Mr. Grimm and all his choir boys where turned into castrati. Not for musical reasons, of course.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Communal bathing... heh. I love it in concept, but the first sight of an old fat dude lumbering over to my wooden tub would send me to the hills.

1:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

leithers! i saw you on shattuck this morning! you were on your phone and didn't see me waving!
aah!! it's been 2 years!
- j rock :)

4:27 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home