Easter 2024

26 August 2013
liturgy - future, the "twerk" of the people

We turn our attention now, as we so often do, to the Video Music Awards.

Sarcasm clarification: This is not true. This is the first time we have ever turned our attention to the Video Music Awards.

Given that trends in "contemporary Christian music" tends to follow popular culture about 15 years or so later, you should look for a similar scene in a church near you in August 2028.

10 August 2013
Bible - Gray Letter, Proper 13C to Proper 14C

Ever see one of those bibles where the words of Christ are in red letters? This is sort of like that, except that it only includes those passages of scripture omitted by the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL). The RCL, a three-year cycle of biblical readings for Christian worship, is the most commonly used set of readings in American churches. So why are these parts of the bible so unimportant that we just skip over them?

Welcome to the Gray Letter Bible.

This week, we bridge the gap between Proper 13C and Proper 14C

He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Status: kind of a gray area.

We actually do read very similar words to this (Matthew 6:24-34) on Epiphany 8A (or Proper 3A, depending), which last occurred on February 27, 2011.

We will not read them in 2014 (No Eighth Sunday after Epiphany, and no Proper 3A either). I have no knowledge about 2017.

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07 August 2013
Mead, Andrew - "Music Everywhere" sermon

I opined yesterday that the homily I heard at the National Cathedral missed the golden opportunity to preach about music to some young people who have given their whole selves to the task.

Father Andrew Mead, the Rector at Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, New York made no such mistake.

The great events of the Gospel are attested by song and music. The births of John the Baptist and Christ are surrounded by canticles by the parents and burst of praise from the angels. The apostolic writings about the Lord’s incarnation, death and resurrection, from John to Paul, break forth constantly into hymns. But most significantly, Jesus himself, having had his Last Supper with the disciples, having instituted Holy Communion, having been betrayed, before he went to his Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, sang a hymn with his friends. Music was at the very center of our salvation. Our Lord died with fragments of the Psalms on his lips: into thy hands I commend my spirit.

"Music Everywhere." A sermon preached by Fr. Andrew Mead at St. Thomas, Fifth Avenue. 4 August 2013.

I commend the whole thing to your hearing/reading.

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06 August 2013
Evensong - summer

You might think that there would be fewer Evensong services in the summer, and you would be right.

But there are some wonderful things that happen in the summer that lead to some great singing at Evensong services. I took part in my own at the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) Carolina Course last month at Duke Chapel.

And I'm just back from Evensong from the Washington DC RSCM Course concluding Evensong at the National Cathedral on Sunday, where the service was also splendid.

I'm not familiar with much about the National Cathedral, and I wish I didn't have to be critical of what was a very fine service, but I will say that one of the things that made the Carolina Course evensong so meaningful was the excellent preaching, and the focus on music in the sermon. I think that with choristers from all over the country, (even a couple from Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis!) this was a real missed opportunity this past Sunday.

Girls' Choristers Course at St. Thomas, Fifth Avenue, New York City

The Three Choirs Festival

Choral Evensong

The Southern Cathedral's Festival

Choral Evensong (will air tomorrow, Wednesday 7 August and be available for the week following).

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01 August 2013
McCarthy, Michael - "Give me that stranger"

I have to thank a good friend and colleague M+ for introducing me to "Give me that stranger" by Michael McCarthy.

McCarthy is the canon director of music at the Washington National Cathedral. At the Cathedral, this work is performed on Good Friday in the Chapel Joseph of Arimathea.

It seems fitting to mention all of this today on the Feast of Joseph of Arimathaea.

This unusual and compelling text from the Byzantine Liturgy (Troparion for the Burial of Christ) speaks of the devotion of Joseph of Arimathea as he begs for the body of Jesus. The music reflects Byzantine sensibilities, yet is grounded in twentieth century American choral style. A soloist sings in recitative and then against an undulating choral repetition of the title words, telling the story as if speaking to Christ. Chilling and otherworldly.

I have already ordered my copies.

Direct link to mp3 on the web.

Information about the score.

Spelling Tangent: The Episcopal Church seems to like "Arimathaea", but everybody else, "Arimathea".

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parallel dimension - Christian worship in a

A colleague's old Æolian-Skinner organ is going to Bryn Athyn Cathedral in Bryn Athyn, Pa.

I hadn't heard of Bryn Athyn Cathedral. Is it Roman Catholic? What's the Episcopal Diocese out there? So I went to Google.

What I discovered was a Christian worship as in parallel dimension.

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About Bryn Athyn.


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