Easter 2024

28 February 2006
39 Articles of Religion - I

I. Of Faith in the Holy Trinity.

There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker, and Preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in the unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Kyrie! God, Father in heav'n above,
You abound in gracious love,
Of all things the maker and preserver.
Eleison! Eleison!

Latin, c. 1100; tr. W. Gustave Polack (1890-1950), alt.
Hymn 168, Lutheran Book of Worship,

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee:
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.

Reginald Heber (1783-1826)
Hymn 362, Hymnal 1982.

This is part of 39 Articles of Religion in the 40 Days of Lent,'s Lenten devotion.


Feast of St. David - lack of, 2006

St. DavidAlleluia!

Something was amiss this week, but I couldn't put my finger on it until now.

Where's the Feast of St. David? Usually it's 1 March.

As a feast of my name, it's one I look forward to.

But alas, it is replaced by Ash Wednesday, 1 March this year.


(I'm not particularly excited about the lack of the Feast of St. David or the presence of Ash Wednesday, I just want to make sure I say this word plenty before midnight tonight. The more you are able to say it on Shrove Tuesday, the more luck you'll have during Lent. This custom is almost entirely made up by me.)


Lent - 39 articles of religion in the 40 days of

Olney Pancake RaceEnjoying your pancakes? Your Pancake Day?

Starting tomorrow, will embark on its Lenten devotion: the 39 Articles of Religion (found on page 868 of the Book of Common Prayer, scroll down a bit).

This will be a post-modern, free-association undertaking; the Articles will be paired with hymns, pictures or whatever commentary we feel is appropriate.

Sundays will be treated as feast days. We'll hold back non-Articles-of-Religion material and post it only on Sundays.

For instance: The elbow pad Craig Biggio was wearing when he broke the modern record for being hit by a pitch would not be posted during the week. Only on Sunday.

So enjoy! And pass the syrup.

Previously: Olney Hymns - connection to pancake races (19 Oct 2005)

27 February 2006
Howells, Herbert (1892-1983) - recorded on lautenwerck

Centaur CRC 2536 John Paul, lautenwerckHowells considered himself "a reincarnation of one of the lesser Tudor luminaries." Many organists are familiar with his Master Tallis's Testament (1940) from the Six Pieces, but he also wrote two collections of neo-Tudor pieces (not for the organ): Lambert's Clavichord (1926-7) and Howells' Clavichord (1941-1961).

Each one of these pieces is a little jewel.

They're performed brilliantly by John Paul on a Centaur CD (CRC 2536). John Paul performs them on a lautenwerck:

Like many aficianados of the harpsichord, I intially acquired a score of Lambert's Clavichord as part of a search for twentieth century repertoire. I used small groups of these pieces in recitals for many years in addition to playing them on the organ as pre-service and recital music. Howells' Clavichord with its expansive and rich textures, became a great source of joy to play on the piano. In 1995 I acquired an Anden Houben single manual lautenwerck (a lute-harpsichord strung in natural gut) and Lambert's Clavichord took on a new richness. In 1998 Houben made a double manual lautenwerck for me which incorporated a peau de buffle, a set of jacks voiced in soft leather. the sound is delicate and flexible with the capacity of some dynamic change from finger touch, and also uses a shove coupler to progressively adjust the degree of tone decay through changes in the damper position. Here at last it seemed to me was the perfect instrument to produce effectively the wide range of texture, style, and mood called for in the pieces from both the 1928 and 1931 sets.

from the liner notes

I would love to hear anyone, especially John Paul, play these on a lautenwerck live.

Read more: The LUTE HARPSICHORD: A Forgotten Instrument by Anden Houben


Hulden, Maren - "the young female pope of the Lutherans"

Maren Hulden

My name is Maren, and I am, like, the young female pope of the Lutherans. Not kidding; I organize Lutherans all over the US to do whatever it is that Lutherans do, which mainly involves listening to Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion on NPR [sic], and eating hotdish and jello salad.

Prospective Students Advisory Committee at the University of Chicago, Maren Hulden, Vice Chair, hyperlinks added

Maren, a third-year at the University of Chicago, is a Lutheran peer minister and president of the Lutheran Youth Organization.

She's also secretary of the University of Chicago Racquetball Club.

I came across her doing research into who was involved in the liturgical review process of Evangelical Lutheran Worship.

I think it's great that someone her age got to be a part of this.

Olympics, Winter - 2006, desire for DVD of

2006 Turin Olympics logoYou know what I want?

As one already suffering from Olympics withdrawls (as I type this, I am watching the rebroadcast of NBC's primetime coverage, currently the spectacular 50 km Freestyle mass start), I want the complete 2006 "season" of the Winter Olympics on DVD.

Tangent: There was a DJ in church today, so I guess the beginning of the liturgy was a sort of Freestyle Mass start.

There were some great moments, and there were just a whole lot of moments. I know I didn't get to see most of them. Heck, there were whole sports I didn't see.

Like curling. I know curling kind of went more mainstream this year, but I've been into it way before now. (If you're interested in how far back my interest goes, I refer you to number 19 on a page from "" in November 2001)

I also need to see more Sasha Cohen. Sasha Cohen has taught me a lot about linear movement, about phrasing. Also I think I may have inadvertently developed a crush on her.

Full disclosure: In high school, I had an intense crush on Tara Lipinski, a fellow Texan.

So the Turin Olympics on DVD. Will this be possible?


And yes, I would just settle for all the curling matches.

24 February 2006
gay - talking like you are

Shane Kennedy, Ann Coulter

Shane Kennedy, Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter visited Indiana University (IU) Thursday and said some incendiary things.
Coulter responded with a jab at the way the student talked.

"You don't want the Republicans in power, does that mean you want a dictatorship, gay boy?" she said.

-Aasen, Adam. "Ann Coulter splits IU's crowd." Indiana Daily Student 24 February 2006

Then, the head of a Republican student organization said some more.

IU College Republicans President Shane Kennedy defended Coulter's comments by stressing that the speech was for entertainment and attendees should have expected Coulter to say controversial comments.

"I think the guy could have been more respectful to her," he said. "I mean, we already know that she was going to be controversial and she was just saying what people were thinking. If you are going to talk like you are gay, then Ann Coulter is going to call you gay."

-"Ann Coulter splits IU's crowd."

Mr. Kennedy (congrats on your very Republican name by the way), I fail to follow your reasoning. Are you saying that people who "talk" gay, whatever that means, need to be more respectful than those who do not?

Judging by your name, I'll say you're "named" Democrat. Should I call you Democrat, Democrat boy?

And judging by your Facebook profile's "About Me" section . . .

"I believe in allowing whomever [sic] cares to develop their [sic] own opinion"

. . . I assume that you do, at least on some slightly incoherent level, respect the integrity of other people. I would assume this about you anyway; it's one of the underpinnings of a civil society.

So, isn't the gay-talker entitled to the same respect that you claim he should have afforded Ms. Coulter?

You should have distanced yourself from Ann Coulter's comments. She's a big girl, she can take care of herself. (She, for instance, will not have the minutiae of her Facebook and Friendster profiles posted for posterity by a rogue graduate student.)

Instead, you sided with her and against a fellow student, a student who "talks" gay, whatever that means. Dumb move, Mr. Kennedy.

Your comments in the Indiana Daily Student are offensive to the very idea of civil, democratic society, and I am worried that you are a homophobic frat boy. I don't know that you are a homophobic frat boy, but it is tempting to stereotype you, the very same way that you and Ms. Coulter stereotype and single out people who "talk" gay, whatever that means.

I am tempted to stereotype you as a homophobic frat boy because your Facebook interests are a little one-sided:

Beautiful Women, Politics, World Issues, Women, Sports, Acting & Theater, Enjoying Life, and oh yeah...WoMeN

emphasis added

Your Friendster profile's "Who I want to meet" is in the same vein:
An independent girl who doesn't need me to support her. Someone who is with me because they [sic] want to be,not [sic] because they [sic] have to be.

Mr. Kennedy, if you told me -- assuming I was a girl -- I was with you because I had to be, I would call the police. Forcing someone to be with you isn't really a viable option (legally speaking), but I for one am glad you clarified your intentions anyway. As you well know, there are a lot of girls out there secretly hoping to be forced into a relationship with you. They would probably never admit this, but they still crave it, deeply.

An independent thinker whom I would be proud to conversate [sic] with.

Can this be true? I very much doubt you would "conversate" (is that Republican-speak for "conservative conversation?") with anyone who disagreed with Ms. Coulter's political views. But if you're being honest (you know, like the current Republican administration) you've opened the door to a new dating demographic: female Democrats who want to be forced into a relationship with you.

Ooh! I feel a Venn diagram coming on. Wait, it's passing now. Okay, no diagram.

And be careful. Your preposition is dangling.

She has to be attractive so that my attention is on her at all times.

This sounds obsessive to me, and I don't see an opportunity for a long term relationship to form. Relationships are based on more than just physical attraction. I am also concerned that you may have an unhealthy image of the female body and would relentlessly impose these unrealistic societal "norms" on your target.

Why can't your attention wander? What is it that you're worried about exactly? Men? Mr. Kennedy, are you worried that you might have feelings for the opposite gender? The opposite gender of Ms. Coulter?

Someone who likes taking chances both physically and emotionally.

Mr. Kennedy, I assume you know that unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy and/or disease. Your future girlfriend will be taking emotional risks if she is forced to be in a relationship with you, develops an eating disorder, gets pregnant and, all the while, has to listen to your political perspective

A girl who understands what the true meaning of happiness is. Who is not rapped [sic] up in themselves [sic]. Who makes me as happy as I hope to make them [sic].

At this point, your incessant use of the third person plural makes me wonder if you aren't expecting to live some kind of double life (i.e., you would have multiple romantic partners) -- that is, if you aren't living one already.

Have you seen Brokeback Mountain? I have not. Would you like to go sometime?

Will stand up for herself. Is not engulfed in drama 24/7. Did I mention she has to be able to have fun in any situation?

Mr. Kennedy, your parents have both died in a terrible car accident. You are summoned back to Greensburg, your hometown, for the funeral. It's Thursday, and it's raining. You and your girlfriend Amber go into the church, hang up your dripping outerwear on the rusty narthex coat rack and are ushered into the small, carpeted church, all the way to the front of the nave. The organist is playing a historically-informed rendition of Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir, S. 687 on organo pleno. Amber touches your arm and gives you a knowing look. She stands up for herself, surprisingly not engulfed in the drama that surrounds her. She trots up to the organ and slides onto the bench. After a moment, she pulls the Quintadena and Nasard in the left hand, the Rohrflute and Tierce in the right, and begins pounding out the "continuo" for Heart and Soul. After some convincing, the church organist begins playing the melody line on the Regal. They finish to thunderous, yet weepy applause. Amber joins you back in the pew and offers you a Mentos. What a catch.

Doesn't take life too serious [sic]. Accepts me for who I am. Yeah, I know, this is a lot, but she is out there.

Word, Mr. Kennedy. Word. But I think you might be talking like you're gay.

Whatever that means.

It's not just me: Wikipedia currently references Coulter's IU speech, "Liberals hate both God and America."

UPDATE: (27 Feb 22:31) Shane Kennedy has written me to express that he feels wildly misrepresented by the IDS article: "I do feel the need to let you know that I am in no way a 'homophobic frat boy', and understand your thoughts after reading the short quote taken out of context that would lead you to feel that way."

With his permission, I am hosting a letter Shane Kennedy sent to the author of the IDS article.
(I received this in an attachment from Shane Kennedy. The document properties summary, however, lists the author as John P. Ramey.)

UPDATE: 18 Feb 2011 To protect the privacy of a third party, we have removed the MS Word document from, but the full text of the letter is below:

Mr. Adam Aesen,

Once again I have trusted you and given you my time for an interview that I thought would be represented fairly. In your mind you may have thought that you did indeed represent me fairly, but once again I am disappointed to say that I feel as if you haven't. During our 10 minute interview we discussed a wide range of topics which would have portrayed me as the moderate I am, and not the neo-conservative who believes everything that Ann Coulter says and does. Maybe you should have put my quote in the article where I said that a large majority (including myself) of conservatives don't agree with everything Ann Coulter said. You only quoted me on the one topic in which you could spin to be controversial. Where you have failed to be unbiased as a journalist is the way you lead into my quote. It enabled the reader to already be hostile towards my upcoming quote that they have yet to read. By saying I was defending Ann Coulter for calling a kid gay. I was in no way defending this, but stated my feelings on the fact that she said it. That was the question, not whether she was right or wrong for doing so. It is not my place to pass that judgment.

I have received numerous emails today from random people who are very upset with what I said. Granted, if I were to read the article without having any knowledge of the other topics discussed between you and I, and not knowing me as a person, I would be angry as well. Dealing with the press is new to me, I took this job to learn a different type of leadership. The Army's way of leadership is much different than motivating a bunch of volunteer college students to do a job. I am learning how a few of my words can be speculated and construed in many different ways, therefore allowing many people to view me in a very unsatisfying manner.

I am hereby requesting that you either print everything that was discussed by you and I in a timely manner (7 days), or I will go to the Herald Times for an interview to get this cleared up.

At first, I was not bothered by the emails because I realize that no matter what I say or do, or how sincere my intentions are, people are going to disagree with me. But when they have the right to be angry with me due to an article being depicted in a way to make me look the way you have, then I feel as if it is my responsibility to clear this up. I have done two articles with the IDS so far, and you guys are 0-2.

This letter is being Carbon Copied to the editor of the IDS as well as some other people who deserve to see this.

[Email address redacted]

Howells, Herbert (1892-1983) - anthems of

Recently, I was asked to name my top five favorite anthems. This is not an easy task.

The person who did the asking was Brett Maguire, Organist/Choirmaster at Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church, Danville, Virginia. Brett now writes a weekly "About the organ selections."

Herbert HowellsAmong the works I considered were three anthems of Herbert Howells:

I consider these to represent a sort of "Holy Trinity" within Howells's choral literature.

I assumed that the three I had named made up 75% of his Four Anthems, but this is not the case.

Howells's Four Anthems, SATB, org, 1941, consist of

  1. O Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem
  2. We Have Heard with Our Ears1
  3. Like as the Hart
  4. Let God Arise; Great is the Lord

I'd never heard of We Have Heard with Our Ears or Let God Arise until I saw them listed in Grove's today

The anthem that I thought was one of the Four, My Eyes for Beauty Pine (text by Robert Bridges), was set in 1925, nearly 15 years prior to the Four.

As it turns out, there are a lot of Howells's anthems I don't know.

I Love All Beauteous Things, SATB, org, 1977, for instance, another text by Bridges, was set toward the end of Howells's life in 1977.

Does anyone want to loan me a copy? Or a CD?

Yes, it's official: I'm becoming obsessed.

What are your favorite anthems?

1 As if there's any other way to hear . . . I tried to hear with my eyes, but they only pined for beauty (homage a Mitch Hedberg)


math - new

23 February 2006
hymn - Glaucoma


Glaucoma, Glaucoma, Glaucoma
Constricting vision slowly
Halted by progress of science
Vision of a world united
Beyond all science knowing

"Glaucoma Hymn"
Erik Greve, June 2005 (via BoingBoing)

That would be the metrical index number of the above "hymn." I don't have any tunes that fit the bill in my hymnal.

The closest might be LACQUIPARLE (96.99.96)

Getting this text to fit with LACQUIPARLE would be like shoving a square peg into a round eye of a needle. It would sound awful. But would it work? I haven't perfected a technique to determine a "syllabification index number," but it seems adding the numbers together might yeild something.

9+7+8+8+7 = 49 (Glaucoma text)
9+6+9+9+9+6 = 48 (LACQUIPARLE)

49-48 = 1

So, it turns out there would just be an extra syllable to cram in somewhere, again, not that this would be in any way musical.

Is the text above, however, really a hymn? I don't think so. Hymns are strophic. This text is not.

And what's with the "Beyond all science knowing?" I can't really make sense of this, and the lack of punctuation doesn't clarify the author's intent. (Part of me is worried that the author's intent shows through in the title: "hymn." Hymns don't need to make sense and they're made up of clichéd phrases that people won't think about too much anyway.)

Try harder, you random Glaucoma people.

The BoingBoing post suggests "a song for every disease." That's fine but let's call a spade song a spade song. Not a hymn.

Elsewhere: Ah, Olympic women's figure skating. Where else can you hear an audience try to clap along to a Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto?


22 February 2006
Parsley, Osbert (1511-1585) - part of the Anglican Choral Tradition

OsbertI keep up with the relatively new "Canterbury Tales," an Anglican blog. Recently, it has propagated the idea that the Episcopal Church, nay, the Anglican Communion itself, isn't really worth saving. Anglicanism, however, has produced a few things worth saving: architecture, choral music, "lay appreciation for the Divine Office," "educated clergy and laity," and a good liturgical sensibility.

Personally, I think the Episcopal Church itself is worth "saving." Whatever that means.

Me: Are you saved?

Episcopal Church: Yes.

I was fascinated by the author's choral music list, which included the great (Britten, Byrd, Howells), the good (Gibbons, Purcell, Vaughan Williams), the obscure (Frederick Ouseley), and the very obscure (Osbert Parsley).

When I told Megan about Parsley she said: "His name sounds like a food."

Parsley is remembered as a "Singing-man" in the Norwich Cathedral Choir.

The "Non-singing men" just took up valuable space in the choir stalls. No one really knew why they were there.

Parsley: Do you sing often?

Non-singing man: Not Ouseley, no.

From a commemorative tablet1 in the cathedral:

Here lies the Man whose Name in Spight of Death.
Renowned lives by Blast of Golden Fame:
Whose Harmony survives his vital Breath.
Whose Skill no Pride did spot whose Life no Blame.

His Harmony has survived less than his commemorators may have hoped. Here at Indiana University, we have recordings of only two of his pieces and a score for one of them: Lamentations. I guess this isn't bad considering only a handful of works by Parsley survive.

I'm a little confused about how the inclusion of Parsley's name contributes to an accurate sample of the Anglican Choral Tradition (ACT). (Maybe his name was meant as a garnish?) Whatever the reasons for his inclusion, I have been made aware of him, and he has me thinking.

The church is not perfect; it is spotted by Pride and Blame. The English Reformation is revealing, because it forced composers to adapt to their circumstances. Parsley, like Byrd, was one of those composers who had to compose Catholic (i.e., Latin) and English (i.e., English) music. We know that Byrd preferred the Catholic stuff and risked his life to continue writing music with Latin words.

I don't know whether Parsley wrote Latin church music by candlelight under his blankets at night, but I do know that Grove's Dictionary of Music says that his church music set to English texts "is markedly inferior in quality to his Latin church music, being marred by stiff points of imitation and an unimaginative approach to problems of texture."

So, if Parsley's best work is set to Latin texts, but he's included in a list of "vernacular" ACT composers . . .

In a sense, I don't think there's anything inherently Anglican about the Anglican Choral Tradition. I think that composers in every denomination, nay2, every religious tradition, strive to create works of beauty that speak of a higher power.

"Jesus's [sic] sign at the Last Supper was beautiful. If it is to speak of hope in the face of death, then it must be re-enacted beautifully. Church teaching is often met with suspicion. Dogma is a bad word in our society. But beauty has its own authority. It speaks our barely articulated hope that there may be some final meaning to our lives. Beauty expresses the hope that the pilgrimage of existence does indeed go somewhere, even when we cannot say where and how. Beauty is not icing on the liturgical cake. It is of its essence."

-Fr. Timothy Radcliffe (Quoted in The New Liturgical Movement: Beauty is of the Essence of Liturgy)

So, does Parsley's work (in Latin) need to be saved because it is "Anglican" or because it is beautiful?

If you sing his English stuff in Latin, does it become more beautiful?

Do we need to be proactive about saving choral music that is beautiful liturgy-cake3, or will it manage to survive on its own?

The "Blast of Golden Flame" that inspires our music — and to whom our music aspires — will work through our denominational structures as they change over the centuries.

And there's nothing we can do about it.

1. You can purchase your own Osbert Parsley commemorative tablet. Check the Norwich Cathedral bookshop.

2. I generally try to use "nay" less than I have in this essay (twice). You can write "nay" as often as you like. You will need some sort of writing material. Check the Norwich Cathedral bookshop.

3. Available wherever cakes are sold? Nay, only the Norwich Cathedral bookshop.


16 February 2006
postmodernism - Brutal California, Green Deluxe

I couldn't believe these two consecutive articles about Arnold Schwarzenegger in my RSS reader.

Arnold Schwarzegger in RSS feed

The site is Green California. The movie is to be called Brutal Deluxe.

This just in: Apparently Arnold Schwarzenegger hit Craig Biggio with a pitch on the Feast of St. Matthew, 2005 (Pirates vs. Astros).


13 February 2006
speaking - Satan is still, in Pennsylvania

devil maskThere once was a church in PA
that read the Good Book every day,
though not very well,
for the master of hell
has a quote
on their site every day!

I heard about St. James Church (UCC), Limerick, Pennsylvania via Church Marketing Sucks.

I agree that the marketing at St. James is pretty lame. Presumably, the church wants us to believe that the speaker of Luke 4:7 is God, as in, if we worship God all will be ours.

Um, so if God says this, why choose a quote from Satan?

6And the devil said to him, "To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. 7If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours."

Luke 4:6-7, verse used by St. James, Limerick, Pennsylvania in bold. They use the King James translation of this passage.

I have often believed that the Gospel of success, so popular in American Christianity is satanic.

For instance: Joel Osteen's gospel of success in his book Your Best Life Now. Yes, I deliberately avoided linking to that.

The strangely employed scripture quotation on St. James's website indicates that I am on to something.

Shouldn't our focus be on giving to God, not getting from him?

Ask not what your God can do for you . . .

Tangents: This makes me want to design a daycare website with an inspirational scripture quotation drawn from Psalm 137:9

"Happy shall they be who take your little ones" is the part I would use.

("and dash them against the rock!" is the part I might conveniently omit.)

My UCC affiliated daycare would open in Pennsylvania.

10 February 2006
Sudoku - sort of like organ registration

Sudoku puzzleI completed my first Sudoku puzzle today. It was pretty neat.

It struck me as being fun. But it also struck me as being sort of like registering an organ.

The rules of the game are simple: complete the puzzle so that the numbers 1-9 appear only once in every row, column and 3x3 grid.

This is just like registering an organ by setting up a limited number of pistons and divisionals. This part of the organist's craft often doesn't have much to do with music. It has everything to do with logic. Like Sudoku.

The original Sudokuish registration model seems to be the old Holtkamp switchboard. There, your generals have to be registered so well that their content can also serve the divisionals. (On early combination actions, divisional pistons could not be set independently of their corresponding generals). You might need a really loud sound, but that sound might also have to double as a cornet and accompaniment, and to use that you might have to take off the Great to Pedal coupler.

Tangent: And why is it, exactly, that we have to settle for a limited number of pistons? I mean, if we were able to stick a 60 gig iPod in the organ (for what, $400?) and program it to store the combination action, we would have like a gajillion and a half memory levels.

Wait, if I just hit a divisional piston here, how am I going to get that coupler on? or, how can I register the pedal so that it will balance both this soft sound and this stronger one? or, I want to pull on the Hautbois, but it sounds like a vomiting giraffe, etc.

I am going to assume that a lot of people have stopped reading at this point because either 1) they don't care about Sudoku, or 2) they don't care about organ registration, or 3) they don't care about either, or 4) they were offended by the giraffe comment, or 5) they have suddenly and unexpectedly lost power.

Look, I really like organs and if I want to talk about registering them in relation to a logic puzzle, well, that's what I'm going to do! Deal with it! If you'd rather read a Sudoku blog, well, that option is available to you. If you want to read an organ registration blog I'm afraid you're out of luck.

Sorry, I took kind of a harsh turn there, but maybe I'm a little overworked. I mean, try registering something by Herbert Howells. There's a lot going on. It's like a puzzle, and the possibilities are endless.

I guess the only real difference is, unlike Sudoku, there's more than one "correct" solution.

And no answer key.

Unless you count B-flat.

Elsewhere: I see that the Episcopal Church has redesigned their website. This should make trying to find stuff there a little less like trying to complete a Sudoku puzzle.

Labels: ,

08 February 2006
Epiphany theme - that

Three KingsThis may be a little late (a month, or two years, depending on how you count it), but I was pleased to figure it out anyway.

I was in France for Epiphany, 2004, and all the organists seem to have this melody that they would improvise on.

That theme is "the March of the Kings" from the L'Arlésienne Suites by Georges Bizet (1838–75).

In France, Epiphany is commonly called "Three Kings Day" and is celebrated by wearing little crowns and eating galette des Rois, (king's cake, or, I guess it should be "Kings' cake").

week - feastless

Feast sceneGlancing at the Liturgical Calendar, I noticed there's not a single feast this week. (Nor are there any fasts.)

There's nothing! Sunday is, of course, always cause for celebration,

All Sundays of the year are feasts of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Book of Common Prayer, p. 16

but aside from that, there is no feast on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday this week.

This is unusual.

Back in the first week of January, we almost squeaked by without one, but then there was that whole matter of the Feast of the Epiphany. But looking closer, I see that Sunday itself was the Feast of the Holy Name that week.

When does Sunday become a named feast day? Only for Holy Name, Presentation and Transfiguration. (see page 16 of Book of Common Prayer)

This is the first of the two feastless weeks that occur this year (the other is the week after the Second Sunday in Advent).

This happened last in Advent 2005 (the week of 12 December 2005). Looking closely at that time frame, one can see that there are no feasts on the calendar from 8 through 20 December (13 days!).

Looking closely at this February dry spell we're encountering, however, we see that this is a little more uncommon. There are no feasts from 6 through 12 February (only 7 days). We didn't hit it last year because Ash Wednesday fell during "February dry week" (9 February 2005). Ash Wednesday, technically a fast, is still a liturgical observance (and an important one!).

When was the last February fastless/feastless week? (i.e., when was the last time there were no liturgical observances during the week in the month of February?)

Sunday has to fall on either the 5th (Martyrs of Japan) or the 6th of the month in order for the window of feastlessness to open up.

The Feast of the Martyrs of Japan is a lesser feast and is not transferred when it falls on Sunday; it is simply not observed.

6 February 2000 was a Sunday. There would have been no liturgical observances that week either (Ash Wednesday wasn't until 8 March).

That was six years ago! I was in high school! I was Presbyterian (USA)! I didn't even know what the Transfiguration was!

This occasional feastless time in the calendar is like walking by the empty shelves in the library. Someone has wisely left a little space to grow. Maybe they'll be filled some day.

But it is also a good time for personal feasting. If our personalities are gradually undergoing change to the extent that every six years we would have trouble recognizing who we were, maybe once in a feastless February we should look inward and see how far we've come.

And how far we have to go.

05 February 2006
Bun-bun - long awaited homecoming of

plush Bun-bun with knifeAfter long last, Bun-bun is finally home! (For details, see the Sluggy Freelance strip of 5 Feb 2006)

If you're not yet addicted to a nerdy web comic, there's no time like the present.

In other news: It turns out that the revolution will not be televised.


02 February 2006
Bach, J. S. - Chorale Prelude on "Blessed Assurance"

cool BachProf. Bob Clark points out that Dies sind die heilgen zehn Gebot (The Ten Commandments), S. 678 from the Third Part of the Clavierübung could be billed as Bach's Prelude on Blessed Assurance.

Just take a look at the opening motive:

3-2-1-5 (in G Major)

Well, I've always been tempted to rename this one Dies Sinden, but I think his idea is better.

01 February 2006
Iraq - 2,245 American soldiers have died in

censored image of sodliers moving a coffinCindy Sheehan was arrested in the Capitol building before last night's State of the Union Address. She wore a shirt with "2245" on it. Today, she wrote this.

After I had my personal items inventoried and my fingers printed, a nice Sgt. came in and looked at my shirt and said, "2245, huh? I just got back from there."

I told him that my son died there. That's when the enormity of my loss hit me. I have lost my son. I have lost my First Amendment rights. I have lost the country that I love. Where did America go? I started crying in pain.

What did Casey [Sheehan] die for? What did the 2244 other brave young Americans die for? What are tens of thousands of them over there in harm's way for still? For this? I can't even wear a shirt that has the number of troops on it that George Bush and his arrogant and ignorant policies are responsible for killing.

"What Really Happened" by Cindy Sheehan

Other, less tragic fallout from last night's speech: Human-animal hybrids t-shirt

What a weird, insecure president.


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The author of this website is an organist whom the New York Times calls “repeatedly, insisting that he pay for his subscription”. He likes to read parking meters, music, Indianapolis Monthly, and weather forecasts in Celsius, particularly whilst wearing cassock and surplice. He serves lasagna, overhand, as an example to many, and on ecclesiastical juries. He mixes salads, drinks, and metaphors. He takes photos, lots of dinner mints, and a little bit of time to get to know.




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