Thursday, September 1


Hagiographic Humor

One of our favorite pastimes around here is producing extra verses--of somewhat dubious liturgical quality--for that marvelous work-horse of the hymnal, For All Your Saints Still Striving, which itself already has a whole host of alternate verses for saints' days. Our pal Joseph at Omnia Catholica has made a particular art-form of this practice, though his current verse for St. Augustine is pretty good as a real liturgical lyric, like my own attempt to produce a verse in honor of Blessed Charles of Austria last summer, which is buried somewhere in the archives.

Incidentally, semi-reverent parodies of liturgical pieces have a long history (so do irreverent ones, of course. You could describe Orientis Partibus, the delightful hymn in honor of the donkey that carried Mary to Egypt and sung on the so-called Feast of Asses a "filk" (or at least a re-use of the tune) of the beautiful Marian hymn Concordet Laetitiae, for instance.

Hinhin hinhin hinhin, by the way, is the way Latin donkeys bray.

In that vein, while walking back to my apartment last night, a friend of mine and I produced a verse--probably not appropriate for liturgical use--in honor of Jolly Old St. Nick:

All praise to you, Saint Nich'las
Great bishop of My-ra
When you heard that Arius,
You punched him in the jaw.
And now you are beloved
By kids both big and small:
But if they're really lousy,
They'll get no toys at all!

And now a few from my own pen:

We praise you now St. Joanie,
The toughest French farm girl,
When the Dauphin tried to trick you,
You showed him who was who!
And now we need your prayers today,
Since France is up a creek:
"Where is your bapt-i-ism, O nation proud, not meek!"

All praise to you, St. Christopher
A giant of a guy:
Some people think you had a dog's head,
And others just ask why.
They took you down in '69,
And made your feast look small,
But in our estima-a-a-tion,
You're still really walking tall!

And lastly:

O blessed strange Christina,
The nuns, they thought you weird:
For when they tried to bury you,
You lept up from the bier.
You could not stand stinky onion-breath,
Or sins that really smell:
O through your intercess-i-ion,
May God deliver us from Hell.

And a serious thought on that last verse: to quote Flannery O'Connor, sometimes "the Truth will make you odd." But not always, of course. It takes special grace to be a sign of contradiction.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?