Advent 2021

29 September 2005
liturgy - announcements therein

Grace Cathedral, San FranciscoUnfortunately, the streaming audio of the Choral Eucharist from Grace Cathedral, San Francisco on Sunday 25 September 2005 has been taken down, but you can listen to the current Choral Eucharist (Real Audio) if you really want to. You can also download the 25 September service leaflet (PDF) which I saved.

This liturgy writ large got me thinking about the dramatic power of liturgy, specifically the entrance rite, and how announcements can interrupt what I see to be a very important, unified portion of the service.

Before we go any further, let me acknowledge that the example that follows is in now way a typical service, nor would it be remotely possible to undertake a similar service in most churches in the country. But precisely because the this liturgy is so bombastic, celebratory and exaggerated, it is a marvelous example of what is possible and what is desirable in the worship of God (at least by Californian Anglicans)

The service begins thusly:

One of the most useful tools in my liturgical analysis toolbox is a simple question posed to Mystery Worshippers: "What were the exact opening words of the service?"

The question is an interesting one, and it assumes the service has two things: an opening and words.

So, first things first, when is the opening of the service?

As an organist, it's easy to assume that it's the prelude. I mean, it can't just be mere entertainment, can it? Bells have long had a role in calling people to worship. If the service is to be conducted at a certain hour, wouldn't this signal the beginning of the service?

Introits, (fanfares?!) and hymns have long been sensed as vaguely extra-liturgical. Pope Celestine (422-432) began the practice of accompanying the entrance with a psalm and it has been subject to all kinds of variation since. For the tone-deaf, all of this cacophony must seem an aberration and a hindrance to the start of the service which, as God intended, occurs with . . .

The celebrant speaking the opening acclamation.

A point to consider here is that the modern entrance rite serves to ease the transition from World to Word: the banality of everyday life to the incredible intersection of memory and hope rehearsed in Christian worship. The service isn't supposed to have a "opening" per se. The Prelude serves a transitional function as the congregation enters: a musical threshold. The introit, (fanfare?), and hymn serve as entrance music for the clergy and their cronies. The prelude, however, is not about the congregation any more than the processional hymn is about the clergy. This is music about God. Through circles of increasing participation--organist, choir, (brass and timpani?!), congregational song--all present enter into the worship of God gradually. (Note that the congregation also participates auditorily).

So what are the opening words in the worship of that God anyway?

Working backward, certainly the hymn in the liturgy under consideration is wordy enough, with four verses to consider. (Brass?!) The introit likewise is textual, based on a psalm.

The case for bells as textual is hard to make, unless one considers their inscriptions.

The case for bells as textual is hard to make, unless one considers their inscriptions. Preludes are occasionally hymn-based (making them text based?), though usually no text is sung.

So the conclusion here must be that the service, at least as it is understood by contemporary Mystery Worshipper practice, begins with the spoken word. In this case, it begins with "Blessed be the one, holy, and living God . . ."

So do spoken words of announcements create a "false opening" when placed after the prelude? Consider a hypothetical order of service:

I would argue that they do, or at least they interrupt the opening significantly enough to be noticed as out of place. This is especially true at the opening of the service because it is awkward not to have some sort of impromtu greeting like, "Good morning," or, "Test, test. Is this mic on?"

The entrance rite is designed to draw us into the mystery of the triune God.

Announcements are designed to draw us out into the minutiae of everyday life.

I for one take comfort that this is not a new problem.

There seems to be no perfect place to make announcements in the liturgy . . . The sixth-century papal mass put announcements at the beginning of communion, when there was some delay while the considerable numbers of ministers were busy preparing the plates of broken breads and the wine cups for the people.

Kavanagh, Aidan. Elements of Rite. Collegeville: Pueblo Publishing Co., 1982

Tangents: You'll have to take my word on this, but this Grace Cathedral liturgy was so festive, everything the congregation sang was transposed up a step.

Spell checker wants to replace "timpani" with "tampon." If I were a percussionist, I'd be really upset.

Since you're wondering, Grace Cathedral does announcements after the Peace. Rarely do the announcements include mention of tampons timpani.


27 September 2005
hump - giving organists the

Vicars give British organists the hump

Um, what? Not while they're playing, I hope?

Apparently, across the pond, where the above headline is not disturbing, there's a new book out: Everything Else an Organist Should Know.

This book is just in time, because I've always wondered what to do when the liturgy is disrupted by drunken protesters. The authors of this text offer a solution:

If a service is stopped by hecklers, protesters or drunks, the organist should drown out the disturbance by playing at full volume, choosing a hymn that everyone can join in, until the vicar has his church back under control.

Gledhill, Ruth. Have you heard the one about the vicar and the organist? Times (London) 22 September 2005.

Makes perfect sense to me!

Tangent: In this country, the hymns "that everyone can join in" would have to be either "Silent Night" (probably too soft for "full volume") or "Jesus Christ is Risen Today." So it's probably best to have a contingency plan for every liturgy. See that number in red on the hymn board? That's the emergency hymn.


21 September 2005
Apple Stores - relation to Mormon temples (Part 2)

What's going on here? See Part 1 for rationale.

This is Part 2: Iowa through Pennsylvania.

Part 3 should wrap things up. It will be out later.

I've actually been to the Legacy Village store (pictured) with Thatcher. Thatcher seems to be going abroad for a while, so he will have to look elsewhere for Apple Stores. It is our hope that Thatcher will send colour photos of Apple Stores and any other interesting retail outlets (or organs, or ecclesiastical things) on which his eyes might rest whilst upon his journey.
StateApple StoresMormon TemplesWinner
IAWest Des MoinesnoneApple by 1
KYnoneCrestwoodLDS by 1
LAnoneBaton RougeLDS by 1
MDAnnapolis2, Bethesda, Bethesda, TowsonnoneApple by 4
MABraintree, Cambridge, Chestnut Hill, PeabodyBelmontApple by 3
MIGrand Rapids, Novi, TroyBloomfield HillsApple by 2
MNBloomington3, Edina, RosevilleOakdaleApple by 2
MODes Peres4, Kansas City, Saint Louis, Saint LouisApple by 2
MTnoneBillingsLDS by 1
NEnoneOmahaLDS by 1
NVLas Vegas5Las Vegas, RenoLDS by 1
NHSalemnoneApple by 2
NJBridgewater, Edison, Marlton, Rockaway, Short Hills, Woodcliff LakenoneApple by 6
NMnoneAlbequerqueLDS by 1
NYAlbany, Buffalo, Garden City, Huntington Station6, New York7, Syracuse, Victor, West Nyack8, White PlainsNew York9, Palmyra10Apple by 7
NCCharlotte11, Durham12ApexApple by 1
NDnoneBismarck13LDS by 1
OHCincinnati, Columbus, LyndhurstColumbus14Apple by 2
OKOklahoma CityYukonTie
ORPortland, Tigard, Tigard15Central Point, Lake OswegoApple by 1
PAKing of Prussia16, Pittsburgh17, PittsburghnoneApple by 3

1. We're not in Kansas any more at all.

2. A lot of the Apple Stores so far have had creative names, or at least yuppie names. "Fashion" is popular as in "Chandler Fashion Center (AZ), "Fashion Island" (CA) and "Fashion Valley" (CA). "Gardens" also seems to pop up from time to time like "Victoria Gardens" (CA) and "Gardens Mall" (FL). Here, in Maryland, things are simpler. Annapolis Mall is on a street called Annapolis Mall in Annapolis. How Annapolisy.

3. In the Mall of America!

4. Josquin bought his iPod here.

5. A store called "Fashion Show"

6. A store called "Walt Whitman." How would Walt Whitman feel about having an Apple store named after him? Apples are something Whitman seemed to enjoy.

After writing he would pull an apple out of his coat pocket and pull out a knife from his pants pocket." Willets recalled that the knife was an unusual one - handmade, with a large blade and a black wooden casing within which was a four-pronged detachable steel fork. "There is no question but what Walt had the knife made to order for the special purpose of preparing and eating wild fruit with it," suggested the editor of the Long-Islander.


7. This is probably the most distinctive looking Apple Store. Well, so far, anyway. And it's in SoHo, which, for the uninitiated (like me) is a neighborhood south of Houston Street. Houston in this context is pronounced (HOUSE-ton) not because New Yorker's are pretentious (like me) but because the named the street after the politician William Houstoun but they didn't spell it right (like I did).

8. Is that like Nyack the hymn tune?

9. Probably the most non-distinctive looking temple.

10. The birthplace of Joseph Smith

11. Isn't SouthPark in Colorado? These American names are starting to get really boring. We're like the richest country in the world. Can't we be more creative than this?

12. Southpoint? I fail to see how that's different from SouthPark. (Durham? I fail to see how that's different from Charlotte.)

13. Hey, snow! Where you at, Minnesota?

14. So Columbus discovered Native Americans but was hoping for India. Then Jesus discovers Native Americans. Who was he hoping for, Columbus?

15. You might wonder why Apple needs two stores in Tigard, Oregon. You probably are expecting me to tell you why a town with 41,223 needs two, but I can't come up with anything.

16. No, I'm not making that name up. Named for a local tavern in the 1700's it should really be Upper Merion Township. But let's face it, neither of these are good names.

18. You're probably wondering what happened to footnote 17. Frankly, I'm not missing it very much.

Labels: ,

19 September 2005
action - water, delayed

An overlooked photo from my trip to Milan, Ohio in March of 2004. Like the water action, this photo is also delayed.

16 September 2005
Hymns - stanza vs. verse

Among the many interesting tidbits I've been learning in Marilyn Keiser's course on Hymnody (probably more accurately called Hymnology) is the following:

Stanza and verse, synonymous? Yes. But really synonymous? No.

Their dictionary entries refer to each other. I've accepted and practiced their use as interchangeable terms, but I've also preferred the term verse over stanza.

Tangent: For some reason, whenever I hear the word "stanza" my mind conjures up images of a brass band playing in a gazebo. Because I wasn't raised in Connecticut, this is just weird.

Because hymns are poetry, I've been persuaded that verse, at least with regard to hymns, should be used in its archaic sense: a line of poetry.

Stanza, meanwhile, should correspond to the numbered "stanzas" in the hymnal. (So much for defining a word without using that word in the definition. Numbered blocks of text that are set to the same music? You know what I mean.)

This way, one might have a rival to the bible study: the hymnal study. ("In Wesley 525, stanza 2, verse 8, what is the meaning of the word 'endued?'")

On top of this, I suspect that "stanza" and "verse" are to hymns what "coke" and "pop" are to carbonated beverages. It's probably a regional preference.

Tangents: The 1982 Hymnal refers to numbered divisions of text as stanzas. What do other hymnals do? Anyone want to help out with this one?

en*due (-dues, -dued, -duing) v., endow or provide with a quality or ability : Alright, I'll stay here and try to pick up Thurston on the communicator. You run back to Slippery Gulch and see if you can round up some help. And see if you can pick up a few more granola bars. Here, take the company card. Endued, watch out for snakes.

14 September 2005
cheese - Finlandia

Finlandia CheeseFinlandia:

first a tone poem

then a vodka

now a cheese

12 September 2005
Apple Stores - relation to Mormon temples (Part 1)

If Apple is like a religion then the trendy Apple Stores are its temples. The Apple Stores don't really count as cathedrals, because there are some "dioceses" of Mac users who do not have a Store nearby.

In my mind, Apple Stores are comporable to Mormon temples. Both are finely crafted from the best materials. Both are well lit. Both are designed in keeping with their brand identity. Both are closed on Sundays.

Oh, wait. Apple Stores are actually open on Sundays.

So, here's a table comparing Apple Stores and Mormon temples alphabetically by state. This list, Part 1, contains Alabama through Indiana.
StateApple StoresMormon TemplesWinner
ALnoneBirminghamLDS by 1
AZChandler, Phoenix, TucsonMesa, Snowflake1Apple by 1
AKnoneAnchorageLDS by 1
CA Burlingame, Corte Madera, Costa Mesa, Emeryville, Glendale, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach2, Northridge, Palo Alto, Palo Alto, Pasadena, Pleasanton, Rancho Cucamonga,3 Sacramento, San Diego, San Diego, San Francisco, San Francisco4, San Jose, Santa Clara, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, Walnut Creek Fresno, Los Angeles, Newport Beach5, Oakland, Redlands, San Diego Apple by 22
CODenver, LittletonDenverApple by 1
CTDanbury6, FarmingtonnoneApple by 2
DENewarknoneApple by 1
DCnoneWashingtonLDS by 1
FL Aventura, Boca Raton, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach Gardens, Tampa, Wellington7 OrlandoApple by 7
GAAlpharetta, AtlantaAtlantaApple by 1
HIHonoluluKailua Kona, LaieLDS by 2
IDnoneBoise8, Idaho FallsLDS by 2
ILChicago9, Northbrook, Oak Brook, Schaumburg, Skokie Glenview, Nauvoo10Apple by 3
INIndianapolis11noneApple by 1

1. This ranks up there with "Surprise" for bad city names in Arizona.

2. The Cohen family shops here.

3. Sometimes, when I'm having a bad day, I'm like, "Oh yeah! Rancho Cucamonga!" and then things start to get better.

4. Stonestown could use a little help. That is one pathetic looking mall plant.

5. This is where Ryan Atwood's secret Mormon half-brother worships. Also it seems to have been rededicated the same day it was dedicated (28 Aug 2005). This is odd.

6. Where Charles Ives bought his iPod.

7. What's up with Florida having all these New Zealand city names? They have Dunedin too, which is, incidentally, one of my favorite hymn tunes.

8. Hot picture of this one.

9. Not a whole lotta grass in Chi-town. That's why they put it on the roof.

10. Nauvoo. It's like Naboo for the Mormons.

11. I've actually been to this one.

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09 September 2005
Delhi, New York - McDonalds (with Anglo-Catholic Military Camp Choir)

Behold! The Choir from Lake Delaware Boys' Camp at McDonalds in Delhi, New York.

Delhi McDonalds

Photo Credit and Shoutout: Capt. Charles Burks


08 September 2005
security - internet, how not to obtain

You'll notice that one of these wireless networks is just not well named.

I mean, what is this, reverse psychology? Do they want me to connect? I just don't know!

Maybe if they protected their network with a password they could come up with a real name.

Like "Count Czar Sir Hemp Lord." Actually a real network that, sadly, is not pictured.

I mean, let's just dissect that for a moment.


Unrelated noun(s):

Simply brilliant. These guys--and you know they have to be guys--have a great name for a network. They also reaffirm why it will be difficult to convince my future wife that boys are just as good as girls.

On second thought, don't ever mention your "future wife" and "hemp" on your personal website.

security - marital, how not to obtain

07 September 2005
Hagrid - servant of Jesus


"Budge up, yeh money-changin' lumps! This 'ere boy weren't meant ter be a blinkin' Muggle! Fer gawd sake, he's King o' the Jews!"

from Seely, Hart. "Things Hagrid the Half-Giant Would Say If He Served Jesus Instead of Harry Potter." McSweeney's. 6 Sept 2005.

Tangent: Lego Hagrid?

06 September 2005
Baker, Nicholson - email habits of

Nicholson Baker (photo by Jerry Bauer)

One writer who systematically saves his e-mail is Nicholson Baker, whose book Double Fold was a cri de coeur about what is lost when libraries convert newspapers and other rare materials to microfilm. "I regret deleting things afterward, even sometimes spam," Baker said. "I've saved almost everything, incoming and outgoing, since 1993, except for a thousand or so messages that went away after a shipping company dropped my computer. That amounts to over two gigabytes of correspondence -- I know because my old version of Outlook froze when I passed the two gigabyte barrier. When software changes, I convert the old mail into the new format. It's the only functioning filing system I have."

Donadio, Rachel. "Literary Letters, Lost in Cyberspace." NY Times. 4 September 2005.


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