The Season after Pentecost
sometimes called "Ordinary Time"
I don't normally write about work on any kind of current basis, but I had an extraordinary mid-liturgy exegetical experience that I would like to relate.
Thursday evening, at evensong, the psalm was 73. I had been practicing the accompaniment for psalm all week, mostly trying to line up the notes of the chant with the text. For this particular psalm/chant pairing, this task was a bit more exciting due to the number of passing tones. The chant, incidentally, was written by Henry Smart, who was not a dumb composer.
So there I was working away, and it wasn't as if I was ignoring the words (I usually am either singing them or mouthing the words as I work), but I wasn't quite taking in the whole meaning either.
Because once we sang the psalm at evensong, I understoood the meaning of the opening of the psalm for the very first time.
Generally in a double chant two verses are sung to the same chant tone before it repeats.
So, we begin with 8844 on the Swell.
1. Truly, God is good to Israel, *
to those who are pure in heart.
2. But as for me, my feet had nearly slipped; *
I had almost tripped and fallen;
Then, as I reached over to pull on the Oboe, I inadvertently pulled out new shades of meaning. It might have also been that there is a big difference in singing something yourself and having the same bit sung to you. I hadn't connected how dangerously close the psalmist comes to having "tripped and fallen" with what came next. It seems that his envy nearly brought him to do something that he would regret; it brought him to almost "trip and fall". The dark color of the Oboe was the perfect complememnt for the psalmist's description of the "wicked".
3. Because I envied the proud *
and saw the prosperity of the wicked:
4. For they suffer no pain, *
and their bodies are sleek and sound;
It was a strange experience, understanding for the first time what the psalmist's attitude was toward these "hard-bodies", and how it was all tied into the psalmist's feet nearly slipping. I read along as the choir sang, but was also very concious of my accompanying duties.
5. In the misfortunes of others they have no share; *
they are not afflicted as others are;
6. Therefore they wear their pride like a necklace *
and wrap their violence about them like a cloak.
I have to say, it was a unique experience, this real time liturgical exegesis, mostly because it was so distracting! Here I was, contemplating the meaning of the text while I was playing it.
It seems that I was embodying verse 22 of the psalm (which was not sung at evensong).
22. I was stupid and had no understanding; *
I was like a brute beast in your presence.
. . . not so Smart after all . . .
The page you're reading is part of Sinden.org
©MMXVII Sinden.org: a site for fun and prophet
Looking for Carol Spreadsheets?
Hungry? Try the Liturgical Guide to Altoids Consumption
Thirsty? Try the Tibia Liquida
The Eric Harding Thiman Fan Page: The greatest composer you've never even heard of.
Questions? Problems? email the sexton.
Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise
Book of Common Prayer
The Daily Office
The Lectionary Page
Ship of Fools
The Sub-Dean's Stall
Vested Interest - Trinity Church in the City of Boston
Andrew Kotylo - Concert Organist
Bonnie Whiting, percussion
conjectural navel gazing: jesus in lint form
Friday Night Organ Pump
Halbert Gober Organs, Inc.
in time of daffodils
Joby Bell, organist
Musings of a Synesthete
My Life as Style, Condition, Commodity.
Nathan Medley, Countertenor
Notes on Music & Liturgy
The Parker Quartet
Roof Crashers & Hem Grabbers
That Which We Have Heard & Known
This Side of Lost
Zachary Wadsworth | composer
Advent (Medfield MA)
All Saints, Ashmont (Boston MA)
All Saints (Indianapolis IN)
Atonement (Bronx NY)
Broadway UMC (Indianapolis IN)
Cathedral of All Saints (Albany NY)
Christ Church (Bronxville NY)
Christ Church (Madison IN)
Christ Church (New Haven CT)
Christ Church Cathedral (Indianapolis IN)
Christ's Church (Rye NY)
Church of St. Stephen (Hamden CT)
Congregational (Belmont CA)
Coventry Cathedral (UK)
First UMC (Lancaster SC)
Gloria Dei ELCA (Iowa City IA)
Immanuel Lutheran (St Paul MN)
Immanuel Lutheran (Webster NY)
John Knox PCUSA (Houston TX)
St Andrew (Marblehead MA)
St Andrew's, Oregon Hill (Richmond VA)
St Bartholomew the Great, (London, England)
St James's (Lake Delaware NY)
St James's (Richmond VA)
St James Cathedral (Chicago IL)
St Mary's Cathedral (Memphis TN)
St Matthew and St Timothy (NYC)
St Paul's (Cleveland Heights OH)
St Paul's (Indianapolis IN)
St Paul's Cathedral (Buffalo NY)
St Paul's, K Street (Washington DC)
St Peter's (Lakewood OH)
St Peter's ELCA (NYC)
St Stephen's (Richmond VA
St Thomas (New Haven CT)
St Thomas ELCA (Bloomington IN)
Second PCUSA (Indianapolis IN)
Towson Presbyterian Church (MD)
Tremont Temple Baptist (Boston MA)
Trinity (Indianapolis IN)
Trinity on the Green (New Haven CT)
Yes, but they're not the kind you buy on Wheel of Fortune.
the owner of a bower at Bucklesfordberry?
Full daintily it is dight.
interested in touch lamps?
And fountain pens.