Friday, November 28, 2008

P. K.
My 10-month-old daughter Gloria Christi got marooned at Church with me this evening, which means she got to attend Evensong, practice her stair-climbing techniques going from the Parish Hall to the Nave, chomp on cookies left over from the Holiday Bazaar, visit the Nursery, investigate lots of nooks and crannies here and there, and observe me doing the endless parish admin work. It worked pretty well (she is the most patient child I have ever seen) but it was good when Mom, Danny & Mary Eve came back from shopping. Poor little preacher's kid: usually she's at home, cozy and snug.
Eve of Thanksgiving - Choral Evensong, and Visitor Gift Bags

It was almost like being in an English Cathedral in one sense : a well-trained, vested choir, singing Evensong to a mostly empty nave! (The idea of Thanksgiving is still catching on here.)

But no matter : we had such a good time doing the Service. It was an altogether beautiful evening because of all the love that was poured into it by the Choir and dedicated volunteers from the Parish. It was a real sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, offered to Almighty God on the Eve of Thanksgiving.
The music performed was the Evening Service (Mag & Nunc) in E-flat, by Sir Edward Bairstow; Psalm 98 to a double Anglican Chant setting of G. M. Garrett; the Responses were plainsong; the Anthem was "A Gaelic Blessing" by John Rutter; the Hymns included "The day thou gavest...", "O Brightness of the immortal Father's face..." (Office Hymn for the lighting of the candles), and "All people that on earth do dwell...". On the last verse of the last hymn, which is to the tune Old Hundredth, Dr. Josephine played a grand alternate organ accompaniment by Bairstow.

Deirdre, Kathy and Claire collaborated on putting together some gift bags for visitors: each bag contained a card, some things to read, and a fresh-baked loaf of Hallah bread (baked by Kathy). Another nice touch was that Claire provided some authentic, spiced cider in the Narthex to warm our hearts after Service. I've never had anything like this at an English Cathedral!

Then, at Matins & Communion, Thanksgiving Day, Drew preached an altogether fine sermon. It was a real treat - we're going to hear more from him, I am sure.