a not-very-low-at-all Sunday: Quasimodo

It would appear that I am not the only one who had a good Low Sunday (or, as I have now learnt from Fr Phil: Quasimodo Sunday)

Fr. Kenny, a priest who appears to be about a million times more creative than myself, had a similarly uplifting Sunday with new worshippers, new hope, joyous and engaged music which left me uplifted and rewarded by all the good things God does in this place. I also liked the cartoon on his page: shortly to be appearing no doubt on a parish newsheet near you…

Fr Kenny

But I know you want to know: why is the first Sunday after Easter called Quasimodo Sunday? and also why the Hunchback of Notre Dame was named Quasimodo?

Yesterday: the first Sunday after Easter, is traditionally known, primarily in France and other parts of Europe, as “Quasimodo Sunday” because of the beginning words of the Introit which come from 1 Peter 2:2,3:

“Quasi modo geniti infantes, rationabile, sine dolo lac concupiscite ut in eo crescatis in salutem si gustastis quoniam dulcis Dominus”

which in English is:

“As newborn babes, desire the rational milk without guile, that thereby you may grow unto salvation: If so be you have tasted that the Lord is sweet.”

It is used in the context of this particular Sunday to refer to the newly baptized at Easter as well as applying generally to all of us.

Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame

“Sixteen years previous to the epoch when this story takes place, one fine morning, on Quasimodo Sunday, a living creature had been deposited, after mass, in the church of Notre- Dame, on the wooden bed securely fixed in the vestibule on the left, opposite that great image of Saint Christopher, which the figure of Messire Antoine des Essarts, chevalier, carved in stone, had been gazing at on his knees since 1413, when they took it into their heads to overthrow the saint and the faithful follower. Upon this bed of wood it was customary to expose foundlings for public charity. Whoever cared to take them did so. In front of the wooden bed was a copper basin for alms. The sort of living being which lay upon that plank on the morning of Quasimodo, in the year of the Lord, 1467, appeared to excite to a high degree, the curiosity of the numerous group which had congregated about the wooden bed.”

-4th Book, Chapter 1.
This week promises to be one of preparation, prayer and logistical nightmares. Off on Friday to the Children’s Pilgrimage where we will press buttons for the 7-11 year olds under the wonderfully wild and madcap Fr(s) Philip(s).

This will be this year’s First Visit video:


Written by Janet Marshall, of the Shrine OLW. Creative Commons: distribute freely.

If you are wondering about the technical details (and people often ask me), so here it is: It was filmed by myself and Emma using some four inch dolls which we stopframe animated with my Nikon D40 DSLR (and took over 1000 frames!) with a green screen background. We then imported the frames into Macromedia Flash which recognised the sequence and did the animation for us. I then used this footage in Vegas using Chromakey techniques to composite and mix the rest of the video and the audio which Emma recorded for me: a bit of chorus and flange to make my voice sound a bit angelic and mysterious and here we are. It worked on its test audience (my 8-year old daughter, Zoë) and so I hope it will work next weekend. It’s not as teaching as last year’s video which can be seen here.

I have a nightmare of a logistical problem with next week: a big load of kit to get there; Lou, Emma and Zoë don’t finish until Friday and it will be a push for them to get all the way to Norfolk for the 8pm start (and I bet all the other parishes will have the same problem), so Liam and I have to travel up late Thursday (or possibly the middle of the night Friday – breakfast in Norfolk methinks) to avoid traffic and then have the day to set up and rehearse. Before that, I have to get the Dog all the way to her lovely holiday home in Pulborough with Jeff, Jan and Toni which is an extra 80 mile round trip, but they are so kind to look after her for us. Kit to pack in the car, the paranoia of having forgotten the right (usually small) bit of kit – a vital wire or connector or not having the right software loaded. One missing microphone cable wouldn’t normally be a problem, but when you are thirty miles from the nearest Maplins… Now I know why I am an urban creature.

But now, as it is turned 9am I have the opportunity to phone and book my appointment with the Orthopaedic Consultant at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore to have my really painful shoulder looked at (finally).


Grrrr. The RNOH may have a worldwide reputation for its surgery, but administratively it remains in the 1950’s. Lou did her ENB Orthopaedic Course there, so I do know it of old. They sent me a letter to say “phone for an appointment on Monday or Tuesday, BUT you must do this in one week of receiving this letter” (why not – call us at 11.27am on the 31st March 2008 and wear a pink carnation in your buttonhole.) However, when I do call this morning (and why am I calling? – I am in constant pain now) I am told that someone is off sick and I have to call tomorrow – why can’t ‘centralised booking’ take the booking? I am confused – it isn’t very centralised is it? So now I have missed Morning Prayer with my lovely Holy Dusters and I am sooooo annoyed that it was for nothing.