• Calendar,  Music

    Soul Cake and Souling

    Soul, soul, a soul cake! I pray thee, good missus, a soul cake! One for Peter, two for Paul, Three for Him what made us all! Soul cake, soul cake, please good missus, a soul cake. An apple, a pear, a plum, or a cherry, anything good thing to make us all merry. One for Peter, one for Paul, and three for Him who made us all. All Souls’ Day is one of the feast days of the Roman Catholic Church. All Souls’ is observed on November 2. Special prayers are offered for the deceased souls in Purgatory, believed to be waiting for eventual release. All Souls’ follows All Saints’…

  • Calendar,  Music

    Halloween

    And pleasant is the fairy land, But, an eerie tale to tell, Ay at the end of seven years We pay a tiend to hell; I am sae fair and fu o flesh, I’m feard it be mysel. But the night is Halloween, lady, The morn is Hallowday; Then win me, win me, an ye will, For weel I wat ye may. Tam Lin Child #39 In 609 Pope Boniface IV pronounced November 1 All Saints’ Day. It was a day to commemorate all the saints of the church. In 837 Pope Gregory IV formally ordered the observance of All Saints’ Day. All Saints’ Day n. November 1, the day…

  • Calendar,  Etymons,  Medieval manuscripts

    Red Letter Day

    “It’s a great piece of luck, ma’am,” said Mrs Belfield, “that you should happen to come here, of a holiday! If my son had not been at home, I should have been ready to cry for a week: and you might come any day the year through but a Sunday, and not meet with him any more than if he had never a home to come to.” “If Mr Belfield’s home-visits are so periodical,” said Cecilia, “it must be rather less, than more, difficult to meet with him.” “Why you know, ma’am,” answered Mrs Belfield, “to-day is a red-letter day, so that’s the reason of it.” “A red-letter day?” “Good…

  • Etymons

    Garlic

    Now Glutton begins to go to shrift And takes his way toward the church to tell his sins. But Betty the brewer bade him good morning And she asked him where he was going. “To Holy Church,” he said, “to hear mass, And then I shall be shriven and sin no more.” “I’ve good ale, good friend,” said she. “Glutton, will you try it?” “Have you,” he asked, “any hot spices?” “I have pepper and peony and a pound of garlic, A farthing-worth of fennel seed for fasting days.” Piers the Plowman Passus V Piers the Plowman is a fifteenth century Middle English religious narrative. This particular passage is part…