Thursday, September 29, 2005

Of Liturgy and Beer

One of things I love about being a Traditional Catholic is that our faith does not stop after the "Ite Missae est" on Sunday. Rather, Tradition is something that seeps into our lives 24/7. Tradition does not even stop with the Sacred, but rather it touches us in all things profane as well.

Take beer for instance. I have never known a traditional Catholic who enjoyed beer from the big breweries. Rather, most of the traditional Catholic young males with whom I hang out prefer homebrewing whenever possible, and monastic beer or micro-breweries otherwise. And why shouldn't we?

From St. Arnold (who turned water to beer) to the monastic ales perfected by the Benedictine monks over the centuries, the Catholic Church has a rich small "t" tradition of good beer. In fact, several years ago my friend Kevin Fogarty (a traditional Catholic and a brewmaster) suggested a monastic beer pilgrimige across Europe where traditionalists could alternate between churches and monasteries that offer Mass according to the Ecclesia Dei indult and those monasteries that brew beer. I think it is a wonderful idea. A little whimsy, perhaps, but I couldn't think of a better use of one's time, both sacred and profane, than chanting the Benedictine Office and enjoying good conversation afterward over the fruits of Trappist labour.

Gregorian Chant and Beer -- two fruits of Catholicism's monastic Tradition.