Ancient Traditions

Lorem Ipsum

For those who have used Microsoft Word or Power Point, you may recall seeing sample text that starts with the Latin phrase “Lorem Ipsum…”. In fact if you bring up Microsoft Word and just type the line =lorem() on the page and hit return you will see a large paragraph appear:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Maecenas porttitor congue massa. Fusce posuere, magna sed pulvinar ultricies, purus lectus malesuada libero, sit amet commodo magna eros quis urna.

Turns out that this is not some random gibberish generated by the application but has a history in typesetting dating back to the 1500s. A very good description can be found at

 The Old Firm

For those that love World Soccer, the story of the Old Firm is of great interest—a sport’s rivalry that makes the Redskins and Cowboys seem quaint. The fixture of the football clubs Celtic and Rangers both belonging to Glasgow, Scotland are a keepsake of old Irish Catholic and British Protestantism “holy wars” dating back for some time. It’s known to get ugly.


Oberammergau is an alpine town in Bavaria world famous for it’s decennial production of the sacred Passion Play in fulfillment of a promise made back in 1634 when God spared them from the bubonic plague. Every ten years (last being 2010 next 2020) the townspeople put on this event.

In my Sacred Architecture Journal there is an advertisement for ALBL Oberammergau master wood carvers since 1556

Schrocken, high in the Vorarlberg Alps of Austri

Praying the Rosary dates back to Ireland ca. 9th century. Here is an excerpt from the History of the Scriptural Rosary published by Chrisitanica.

(As an interesting historical footnote, the only place in the world where the old medieval Rosary with 150 Hail Mary thoughts is known to survive today is in the isolated little mountain village of Schrocken, high in the Vorarlberg Alps of Austria.  Here the villagers still come together as they have since the Middle Ages to pray the Rosary the way it was once prayed throughout the Christian world.)

Gion Festival

In Hita, Kolleen and I got a tour of this tradition featuring these “floats” that are carried on the shoulders of local men. The structures are these vertical pagoda-like complexes that grow higher and more elaborate with each year.


A Catholic free housing district in Augsburg Bavaria established and ongoing since the 1520’s. It is supported by an equally ancient charitable trust set up by the founder Jakob Fugger. According to wikipedia: “The conditions to live there remain the same as they were 480 years ago: one must have lived at least two years in Augsburg, be of the Catholic faith and have become indigent without debt.” As part of the rent, residents must pay 1 Euro/year and pray three prayers a day.

Iceland religious history

Just because the King of Denmark outlawed Catholicism, Iceland is 90% Lutheran.  What ever happened to the separation of church and state.  This article explains Iceland’s religious history in great detail.

The Trumpeter of Krakow

Hejnał Mariacki is played from the tower of the central church, St. Mary, every hour on the hour in each of the four cardinal directions for centuries.

This article explains as well as Wikipedia

Virgin Mary running through the square

“In the Italian town of Sulmona, in the Piazza Garibaldi, an amazing and elaborate centuries-old tradition occurs for the celebration of Christ’s Ressurection on Easter. This tradition is almost like a play that is performed, but instead of actors, statues of the saints are held aloft.” See topic here. and here.

Gammarelli Papal Boutique

For six generations, this family sartoria has been the clothier of Popes since the 19th century. Read it here.

The Tuttle Farm – 379 years of tradition

Blogged about on this earlier here

Lifelong Monogamous heterosexual sacramental Marriage

More to come.

Uffington Horse

Interesting article about this 3000 year old “English” tradition here.

Razzouk Tatoo

A 700 year old tradition of tattoos in the Holy Land here.

Sea silk seamstress

It was all the rage. Now there is only one seamstress left. Here.

Albl Oberammergau

The Albl family is one of the original family names of those surviving the plague of the 16th century. Wood carvers for 14 generations and several centuries. Here.

Reegnsburg Domspatzen

Oldest choir in the world started in 975 AD and made world famous in the 20th century through the efforts of Georg Ratzinger, older brother of Joseph Ratzinger a.k.a. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. I went to the Cathedral Mass on Dec 10 2017 and heard for myself.

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