06 July 2010

Now I know the Pirates of Penzance...

... and Gilbert and Sullivan generally might not be everyone's cup of tea...but they did write some rollicking good tunes, and on 4th July, Fr Z posted this very entertaining ditty from a seminarian, so I suggest you all sing along if you know the tune.

 The Seminarian’s Song

To the Tune of the Major-General’s Song from The Pirates of Penzance

I am the very model of Catholic seminarian
I’ve information pastoral, canonical, and Marian,
I know the Popes of Avignon and Councils Ecumenical
From Nicaea to Vatican plus gatherings heretical.
I’m very well acquainted too with matters homiletical,
I’ll write a pretty sermon that is eloquent yet practical,
About soteriology I’m teeming with a lot o’ news…
Such as salvation history’s relation to the modern Jews.
I’m very open minded, I have Sunday lunch with Protestants,
I teach them our Church History and sing it in Gregorian Chants,
In short in matters pastoral, canonical, and Marian,
I am the very model of a Catholic seminarian.

I know my ancient languages, some Latin, Greek, and Hebrew too;
I’m smart as a Dominican, I write for The Thomist review,
I quote Thomas Aquinas and I know the Summa all by heart,
I know the arguments for God from Anselm to Rene Descartes;
I am an expert without doubt in all matters liturgical,
I’ll see the rubrics carried out in fashion demiurgical!
I can intone polyphony from every epoch, school and rank…
And sing all of the arias composed by Mister Cesare Franck.
Then I can run a bingo or a bake sale in the Parish Hall,
And sell spaghetti supper tickets at the local shopping mall:
In short, in matters pastoral, canonical, and Marian,
I am the very model of a Catholic seminarian.

In fact, when I know what is meant by “Molinist” and “Arian,”
When I can rise above the title of Popish sectarian,

When such affairs as wakes and confirmations I’m more wary at,
And when each sort of imperfection, sin, and fault I can combat;
When I have learnt the progress of von Balthasar’s theology,
Converted every member of the Church of Scientology—
In short, when I’ve a smattering of basic Catholicity—
They’ll say that I’m a cleric full of goodness and simplicity.
And though my Bishop is impressed by my enormous panurgy,
The man is rather wary at my love for Latin Liturgy,
But still in matters pastoral, canonical, and Marian,
I am the very model a Catholic seminarian.

In the comments below the post were great replies, including one to the tune of Three Little Maids, about nuns, but this one caught my eye:
"You might just be the model of a modern seminarian,

Yet cautiously be wary of the Rector, who’s an Arian,
The spiritual director, who’s a fan of Fr. Matthew Fox,
And certainly the liturgist, who’s very far from orthodox!
Impressive as your knowledge is of Popes who reigned from Avignon,
More poignant are the virtues, of which you must be a paragon,
Below the radar, prudently, your love for Latin keep in checks
And while you quote Von Balthasar, toss in a little Schillebeeckx
Stay faithful to the Pope and don’t forget to pray your Rosary,
Attend Mass daily, and pray all the black words in your breviary,
In short, be prudent, persevere, and take your punches like a man
And make it to the priesthood, my dear model seminarian!"


Laura said...

I love this!

SurreyCatholic said...

Annie, This also scans for the 'Modern Major-General' tune. Just as well really, 'cos chaps have to sing chaps' songs and gels have to sing gels' songs, don't they? Someone told me that that's in the Summa, so it must be so.