Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My Life as a Sanctuary Rat

In case the relative silence on my part hasn't been a give-away, things have been a bit on the busy side around here. The team is gradually shrinking at work as people decide to "work from home" until the break, and since I price consumer electronics, the work has remained fairly heavy. We also seem to find ourselves at the church, at least briefly, just about every day.

The fault for this is pretty well split between MrsDarwin and myself. I got a Liturgy of the Hours group off the ground about two months ago, saying Vespers on Monday and Wednesday nights. Now we're up to four nights, Monday through Thursday, and although we're starting to build a decent and loyal attendance, it's not solid enough I feel like I can skip. Plus, I've been typing up sheets for each night for those who haven't bought books yet. This would involve four weeks of work to get the cycle done, except that as soon as we got through a four week cycle, Advent started, with all sorts of Advent-specific stuff, so there's usually some change or other I have to make and reprint for each evening's Vespers.

Meanwhile, the chant schola which MrsDarwin helped start has taken over the 7:30 mass (once a month to start with), and did a Lessons and Carols last week, and has to sing for the penance service this week, and has the 10:30 on Christmas. So she's at practice 2-3 nights a week.

So as you can imagine, Advent has been quite penitential indeed and we're very much looking forward to some quiet sailing during the Christmas season.

This is somewhat familiar ground for MrsDarwin, whose family was always deeply involved in church related activities, but the sanctuary rat routine has been quite new to me, as my family was never involved in "parish stuff".

Thus goes life around here. One way or another things should be calming down soon.

Upcoming priorities:
  • Finish getting Christmas presents before they all become Epiphany presents.
  • Get walls up on the playhouse.
  • Finish reading Duffy's Stripping of the Altars and Waugh's Decline and Fall. (There's a good contrast for you.)
  • Buy a kitten. (We've decided that the cat needs a hobby.)
  • Finish my bottle of Macallan 12-Year.
  • Conduct the annual viewing of George C. Scott's A Christmas Carol (because there's only one that good).
  • Oh, and write some substantive posts...


Fred said...

Ahem. I can only hope that some of these tasks won't happen in the sanctuary (or the nave)...

mrsdarwin said...

Ah, Freder1ck, Darwin has wussed out and edited the list for public consumption... Much to the relief of the Altar Society, I'm sure.

Kiwi Nomad said...

Nothing wrong with Epiphany presents. Just tell everyone you are teaching your children all about the Spanish custom of giving presents on the feast of the Three Kings;-)

Darn... looks like I missed the non-wussy version of the list!

Rick Lugari said...

What - and shooting for a son isn't a priority? Perhaps you should skip the kitten thing - paper targets are easier to clean up anyway.


Deacon Bill Burns said...

Are you familiar with this resource ( It might save you somne typing.

I work (Precentor/Lector) with a boys' choir that sings evening prayer every other Wednesday. I'd love to see this devotion grow in our parish.

Darwin said...


I'd looked at that (actually, I'd planned to use it, originally) but I really needed to be able to get all of vespers on one sheet (small print, three columns) and their PDFs are totally locked so you can't reformat at all.

In the end, typing them up seemed like the most reasonable solution -- and not that hard once you've got the four week psalmody down.

Bernard Brandt said...

Glad to see that you have gotten into the sanctuary rat routine. As cantor, choir singer, choir director (both assistant and primary) for the last 20 years, I've been enjoying the experience without burnout. Hope you can get there too.

But what's this about only one "Christmas Carol" being the best, and giving that to the George C. Scott version. Everybody who is anybody knows that the high water mark is the one with Alistair Sim, followed by the one with Patrick Stewart, leaving George C. in third place. I'm not even going to mention "Scrooged" with Bill Murray.

Darwin said...

What? What?

I found the 50's version rather forgettable, and while Patrick Steward did a great job, none of the other parts were very well played in that one.

We shall have to disagree. Swords or pistols, sir?

Fred said...

Heh. I figured that line of the post was transient so I responded right away.

On Christmas Carols, I'm fond of the Six-Million Dollar Man one, but thought the one on the TV show Las Vegas was a bit underwhelming. Also, Scrooged was a great concept, but the execution lacked heart.

Rick Lugari said...

Gee, let's see here, what makes for a better Christmas Carol? Patton, a Trekkie or Carl the gopher obsessed groundskeeper? How can there be any doubt? Patton!

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

I have to agree with Darwin on his choice of best dramatization of Christmas Carol.

BTW, I just saw Scrooge for the first time. I was extremely underwhelmed. The songs were pretty forgetable and the scene in hell was just silly.

But I must blushingly admit that I have a fondness for the Muppet Christmas Carol. I get all teary when its Tiny Tim (Robin the Frog) dies. The Tiny Tim in Scrooge just made me want to smack him.

Anonymous said...

Buy a kitten? From a shelter to save some poor pet from certain death as opposed to patronizing the animals for (ab)use market?


Darwin said...

Fear not, Todd, that is actually the plan. But since the shelters around here charge around around $100 to adopt a kitten (which is odd, because they kill them for free) I guess I think of it as "buying".

Goodness knows, I prefer a mixed up mutt of a kitten to some sort of pure bred silliness.

Bernard Brandt said...

Indeed, sir, we shall have to agree to disagree.

Swords or pistols? Since I am the challenged party, I believe that I have the right to choose the weapon used for our duel. I therefore demand peashooters (or tequila shooters, depending on your choice) at 20 paces.

I'll bring the salt.