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WHEN OUR OLD CATHOLIC FATHERS LIVED A LONG TIME AGO (ENGLISH SONG)

Now join in hearty chorus while I sing my homely rhyme,

And you shall hear how things went on in good old Catholic time,

When England was a merry land, her sons were brave and free,

And innocence kept company with mirth and jollity.

Chorus: And thus they pass’d a merry time, as ev’ry one may know, when our old Catholic Fathers lived a long time ago.

For what concerned a man’s belief there needed no great search,

They knew but one high road to Heav’n, and that was thro’ the Church,

A Church that priz’d the humble man, and held him full as dear

As those of high and noble blood, with all their costly gear.

Chorus…

Then ev’ry man profess’d himself the Church’s faithful son,

And fearlessly she taught them all their duties ev’ry one,

With tender hearts for brethren poor, with free and open hand,

A noble and frank respect for the gentry of the land.

Chorus…

They knelt beneath the self-some roof and said the self-some prayer,

And all alike, both rich and poor, could meet as brothers there,

For ev’ry place was free to all of high or low degree,

They felt at home as children do around their mother’s knee.

Chorus…

And when they heard the ‘Angelus Bell’ ring over hill and dale

The blacksmith stopp’d his hammer and the thresher stopp’d his flail,

They doff’d their caps and cross’s their breasts with meek and pious care,

And never thought a moment lost when spent in fervent prayer.

Chorus…

Full well the homeless wand’rer knew he had not long to wait,

If he could but contrive to reach the nearest convent gate;

The trav’ler worn was welcom’d there with kindly Christian glee,

And cheerful monks perform’d the rites of hospitality.

Chorus…

They lov’d their Pope, they lov’d their King, they lov’d their freedom too,

Their hands were quick for action and their hearts were staunch and true,

They dearly lov’d their merry land, its customs and its laws,

Right glad to fight for England’s flag and bleed for England’s cause.

Chorus…

Then happy both for high and low shall be the moment when

We see in this our merry land those bright days come again;

And if we strive to live the life our fathers lived of yore,

Old England once again may be what England was before.

Chorus: Oh! then we’ll pass a merry time, as ev’ry one may know, when our old Catholic Fathers lived a long time ago.

– From the time when the Catholic Faith was outlawed in England (18th century), Broughton Charitable Society, published in Dom F. O.Blundell O.S.B., Old Catholic Lancashire, Vol. 1, Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., London, 1925

 

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INTRIGUING: HERE IS THE ENGLISH CHRISTMAS CAROL THAT CONTAINS A SECRET CODE – AND THE KEY TO THE MESSAGE CONCEALED WITHIN IT

THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

This carol or song dates back to the 16th century and its precise author is unknown. It was written in England during the period when Catholics were not allowed to practise their faith openly and it was intended as a catechism for young Catholics, to educate them in the doctrines of the faith and yet not to be obvious to those who persecuted Catholics. The purpose of the wording of the carol was to hide its true meaning from those who, at that time, persecuted the followers of Christ. The hidden meanings known only to Catholics at the time are as follows:

The ‘true love’ refers to Jesus Christ the Son of God; the ‘me’ to every baptised person. The partridge in the pear tree also represents Jesus because that bird is willing to sacrifice its life if necessary to protect its young by feigning injury to draw away predators. The meaning of the other symbols is as follows:

‘Two turtle doves’
– the Old and New Testaments

‘Three French hens’
– Faith, Hope and Charity

‘Four calling birds’
– the four Gospels

‘Five golden rings’
– the first five books of the Old Testament

‘Six geese’
– the six days of creation

‘Seven swans’
– the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost

‘Eight maids’
– the eight Beatitudes

‘Nine ladies’
– the nine choirs of angels

‘Ten Lords’
– the Ten Commandments

‘Eleven pipers’
– the eleven faithful Apostles

‘Twelve drummers’
– the twelve points of belief in the Apostles Creed.
(fr. St Martin Magazine, December 2012)

 

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