Sunday, December 23, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

2PM Mary
This is one of the busiest weeks of the Church Year, as it leads up to Christmas. My calendar right now includes everything from meetings with parishioners to choir rehearsals. There is a 'ton' of admin work to do. Then there is also a special feast day tomorrow for St. Thomas, Apostle (Dec. 21, which also happens to be Winter Solstice). We'll celebrate that with Solemn Evensong this evening and Matins & Holy Communion tomorrow morning.
Yesterday afternoon my calendar contained the entry, "2PM Mary". This was written in by my wife because she had a doctor appointment to go to, and she was going to drop off my 18 month old daughter Mary Eve (here pictured) to hang out with me at Church. As it turned out, I went home instead and stayed with both Danny (my son, 3 years old) and Mary Eve. Most of that time they were down for their afternoon naps.
I don't know how Roman priests can stand being single, because I sure think that family life is the way it was meant to be for most men. That may be because my family is really great (am I just a little biased here?). Not every family situation is a happy one, but I am thoroughly blessed. One neat thing that Josephine and the kids do each day is gather at the top of the stairs to greet me when I return home from work, and I get to hug and smooch each of them. They wait for the signal which is the garage door opening, and the sound of my car driving in. : ) Spending our evenings together, as well as some times here-and-there during the day is so nice (even if I have to pencil it into my calendar) because they are usually still asleep when I leave home in the morning.

Monday, December 10, 2007

"Fr. Sparky?"

The other day while helping to repair some outdoor lighting at the Church, the fact emerged that I spent a couple of years working for an electrician when I was a teenager.

Soon, the electrical puns and electrician jokes were flying! "Isn't it nice to have a priest who is also an electrician?", it was asked. "Because:
He is well-'grounded',
He doesn't 'shock' anyone,
He knows how to avoid 'polarizing' the congregation,
He patiently works to identify and correct our 'faults',
He 'lights-up' the Church,
He knows how to hook us up to the 'power'."

I guess the electrical field is pretty well-suited for puns, because I remembered at least one or two myself from my two year stint, such as "sooner or later every electrician meets a 'shocking end'." (That's one that I can repeat!)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Advent Hymns (I)

Here is a hymn that I am using at Church as an Office Hymn for Matins during Advent. Although it is written in a style similar to the hymns of Saint Ambrose, the earliest known manuscript of this hymn dates from the 10th century.

hymnal 8, Verbum supernum
O WORD, that goest forth on high
From God's own depths eternally,
And in these latter days wast born
For succor to a world forlorn;
Pour light upon us from above,
And fire our hearts with ardent love,
That, as we hear thy truth today,
All wrong desires may burn away;
And when, as judge thou drawest nigh
The secrets of our hearts to try,
To recompense each hidden sin
And bid the saints their reign begin;
O let us not, weak sinful men,
Be driven from thy presence then,
But with thy saints for ever stand
In perfect love at thy right hand.
To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, ever one,
Praise, honor, might, and glory be
From age to age eternally. Amen.
Latin, 10th century
Advent Hymns (II)

Here is a hymn that I am using at Church as an office Hymn for Evensong during Advent. It dates back to a 9th century manuscript of Bern and is also found in the Canterbury Hymnal of the 10th century. The Doxology serves as a proclaimation of God's praise, together with an affirmation of his infinity. This English translation of John Mason Neale first appeared in the Hymnal Noted, 1851.

hymnal 6, Conditor alme
CREATOR of the stars of night,
Thy people's everlasting light,
O Christ, thou Saviour of us all,
We pray thee, hear us when we call.

To thee the travail deep was known
That made the whole creation groan
Till thou, Redeemer, shouldest free
Thine own in glorious liberty.

When the old world drew on toward night,
Thou camest not in splendour bright
As monarch, but the humble child
Of Mary, blameless mother mild.

At thy great name of Jesus, now
All knees must bend, all hearts must bow:
And things celestial thee shall own,
And things terrestrial, Lord alone.
Come in thy holy might, we pray;
Redeem us for eternal day
From every power of darkness, when
Thou judgest all the sons of men.

To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, Three in One,
Laud, honor, might, and glory be
From age to age eternally. Amen.
Latin, 9th century