Thursday, December 24, 2015

'Twas the Night before Christmas.

By now all the Tavern's usual customers have bought their presents and prepared their tables for the Big Day tomorrow.  And we in the Tavern too have been busy.  They and we have a mind as to just what the day is about.

Here on the mountain we have no snow: no 'jingle bells', unless you count the sound of fire trucks. It is hot. Time of the southern hemisphere year, you see. Many parts of the northern world have it cold and truth be told, this old Knight recalls with quiet pleasure the many Christmasses spent in snowy as well as remote country surrounds.

Mind you, it was more often than not out somewhere dangerous and I was taking my turn on watch with no company but my Angel.

It is not only shepherds who stand guard.

Tonight after a little preparatory feasting in the restaurant, my customers, friends all, will be invited to decend into the cellars and there to peek through the door to the crypt, one at a time, to see the Mass being recited and sung.

Those that have not gone down the mountain to the Cathedral in Hobart to lend their presence to that of our courageous Archbishop Julian Porteous, will be welcomed by our CellarMaster who has re-arranged things for the crowds remaining here.

He does not get out much 

Crypt-goers-cum-Mass-congregation will be able to sit themselves against the stacked barrels and amongst the wine racks, all of good Grace. 

Make yourselves comfortable. BYO cushions.
The subdued light will remind them of what was happening 2000 odd years past.

This is the way we prefer in the Tavern.

Quiet. Reverential. Welcoming. A place and a time for contemplation.


Without putting too fine a point, this is not simply an Anglophile place run by an Englsih Knight and King, but a Catholic place. It is Universal.

Christians ain't Christians, to mis-paraphrase an oil advert.  Some Christians have completely lost sight of that Star in the east; they no longer see the Stable and the Manger, let alone God Himself coming down and taking the form of a vulnerable baby born into poverty.

The Word was Made Flesh. 

Some 'Christians' prefer the rock-concert atmosphere where they can 'have furn'.
Hillsong. Is it a church? Is it a pain? Is it a rock Concert?

Not for us. We save the 'furn' for the patio and the music room where entertainment belongs. 

Down here we Give Praise and Thanks.

We Adore down here.

For those who for one reason of another cannot be at Mass this night, please, peek in and see the central part. You are as welcome in the Tavern as our Supplier requires of us to have you.

God Bless.



  1. A lovely tribute to what Christmas is really about.

    Happy Christmas to you :-)

  2. Cherie took the words out of my keyboard - was just about to say lovely tribute.

  3. Merry Christmas Amfy. And thank the baby Jesus we are all here to celebrate Christmas once again.

  4. Oops, that was me- Ubermouth :)

    1. Hahahahaha. I guessed as much my dear. Only you have the honour of calling me by a diminutive. Enjoy your Christmas, be good, and spread your happiness.

  5. My guests will soon arrive and the feast is being prepared. I will be having an internet free day. I just wanted to wish a Merry Christmas to you Sir Knight and to all your friends patrons down under.

    1. You are a Lady, Lana, and always welcome. Enjoy your Christmas, m'dear. I hope you went to the cathedral and enjoyed it. I know you profess to be an atheist, but you are a woman of sound mind and heart and I am the Fisher-King. :)

  6. To the true meaning of Christmas:). And I hope Papa Noel visited you as well;).

    1. Indeed he did... although he often gets mistaken for me :)

  7. I did indeed attend a midnight mass at the magnificent Christ-Church cathedral in Dublin. I went as usual with two couples who share your faith along with their children. The enormous old cathedral was almost dark until it started to fill up with people all holding candles. Not being familiar with the Catholic mass, I just followed the lead of my friends. The children giggled under their breaths whenever I got it wrong, but they were very well behaved. Well brought up children I think tend to be products of solid married couples, guided and mentored by a mother and father committed to both each other and to their children.

    The priest gave a thought provoking sermon extolling the virtues of family and denouncing the evils of hook-up culture, materialism and alienation. To him that culture is a product of the devil. To me it is the product of feminism/ progressivism. Maybe the devil invented them too.

    The choir and the orchestra played music by Mozart and Beethoven, and finished the evening with a wonderful rendition of Handel’s Messiah. This piece of music, which has become an anthem of Christian faith in many parts of the world, was first performed, conducted by the great composer himself, in Christ-Church cathedral in Dublin in 1742.

    Outside, after the service some people rushed off home to get their children to bed. Many more stood around greeting each other and wishing each other a Merry Christmas. Nobody said “happy holiday.” The priest and the choir also mingled with the crowd.

    We strolled through the streets of Dublin, through the hordes of drunken revellers; half-naked girls presenting themselves as nothing more than cheap sex-toys, and foul-mouthed boys celebrating their “holiday” with booze and casual sex: All embarking on a lifetime of disconnection, materialism, loneliness and desperation. As I walked I wondered if it was acceptable for an atheist to thank God that I was not part of that culture.

    The words of the priest’s sermon remained in my mind all through Christmas day, as I wondered what the Catholic Church means to me as a non Catholic in a supposedly Catholic country. I suppose it represents, more than anything else, the strength and beauty of the family, and the last bulwark against the “progressivist” barbarianism that attempts to destroy the family. So this atheist drank a little toast on Christmas day, to my own family, thousands of miles away, and to a family who brought a child into the world two thousand years ago.

    1. Lovely comment Lana :-)

      I am a Christian but due to (extended) family commitments I never quite make it to the Christmas eve midnight church service. Every year I regret not being able to, but in my heart my thoughts are always there.

      "The priest gave a thought provoking sermon extolling the virtues of family and denouncing the evils of hook-up culture, materialism and alienation. To him that culture is a product of the devil. To me it is the product of feminism/ progressivism. Maybe the devil invented them too."

      The Devil doesn't invent, the Devil tempts and leads people to destructive behaviours and influences in society. The Devil's temptation has lead to feminism/progressivism.

      The priest you mention, and others like him are trying to guide us away from the destructive influence and keep us on the straight and narrow path...

    2. What a delight for both you and me, Lana. You attending Mass and me receiving what I can only see as a prayer. One day you and I and the Thief on the Cross will share a glass or three of Grace together directly from the tap in my Supplier's own establishment. God bless your little atheist socks, m'dear. We all started out without belief. We thank God that He believes in us. You earn a Rosary for that beautiful commentary. :)


Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..