Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thursday Afternoon Dolphin Photo

Coming up for air....

The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Sparrow Says Grace

Thank you God for daily bread.

George Herbert: The Windows

The Windows

Lord, how can man preach thy eternall word?
          He is a brittle crazie glasse:
Yet in thy temple thou dost him afford
          This glorious and transcendent place,
          To be a window, through thy grace.

But when thou dost anneal in glasse thy store,
          Making thy life to shine within 
The holy Preachers, then the light and glorie
          More rev'rend grows, and more doth win;
          Which else shows watrish, bleak, and then.

Doctrine and life, colors and light, in one
          When they combine and mingle, bring
A strong regard and aw: but speech alone
           Doth vanish like a flaring thing,
           And in the eare, not conscience ring.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Evening Psalm

Psalm 68 (33-36)

33 Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth; *
sing praises to the Lord. 
34 He rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; *
he sends forth his voice, his mighty voice. 
35 Ascribe power to God; *
his majesty is over Israel;
his strength is in the skies. 
36 How wonderful is God in his holy places! *
the God of Israel giving strength and power to his people!
Blessed be God!

Morning Prayer: Seeing Signs

John 4:43-54 (NRSV)
43 When the two days were over, he went from that place to Galilee 44(for Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in the prophet's own country). 45When he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the festival; for they too had gone to the festival. 46Then he came again to Cana in Galilee where he had changed the water into wine. Now there was a royal official whose son lay ill in Capernaum. 47When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48Then Jesus said to him, 'Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.' 49The official said to him, 'Sir, come down before my little boy dies.' 50Jesus said to him, 'Go; your son will live.' The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way. 51As he was going down, his slaves met him and told him that his child was alive. 52So he asked them the hour when he began to recover, and they said to him, 'Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him.' 53The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, 'Your son will live.' So he himself believed, along with his whole household. 54Now this was the second sign that Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Night Prayer

The Cape Lookout Lighthouse (NC)

O God, your unfailing providence 
sustains the world we live in 
and the life we live: Watch over those, 
both night and day,
who work while others sleep, 
and grant that we may never forget 
that our common life 
depends upon each other's toil;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Morning Prayer

Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Now the Day is Over....

Night is drawing nigh.
Shadows of the evening
Steal across the sky.

Collect for the Second Sunday in Lent

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Music for Lent: Agnus Dei

Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, the Agnus Dei.

I'm not sure what recording this is, but the visuals are lovely, so enjoy.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday Afternoon Bird Photo: The Loon

Loons hang out in the winter time here in Virginia. They swim in the ocean. This one, however, was either very late or very early - I took this photo last August when loons are supposed to be in much colder climes.

They are quite awkward on land - their feet are situated for use in the water and not on land so they are ungainly to say the least. This one had been swimming for a long time, apparently, when it got tired and decided to hit the beach for a rest. I actually thought it was injured until I read up on how their legs work on land.  It let me get pretty close to take its picture.

Morning Collect: For Peace

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Rest

(Click the photo to enlarge it.)

Stopping to rest when one reaches a juncture seems like a good thing to do. Especially during Lent.

Morning Prayer: The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Music to Think About During Lent

It's Lent. Have we forgotten what is sacred? I don't think The Duhk's list is at all comprehensive, but it's a start. What do you think about how one thinks about The Sacred? How are we missing out on the sacred dimension in our lives?

(Fast Paced World, by The Duhks, a Canadian band, from their 2008 album Fast Paced World.)

Morning Prayer: Venite

Double crested and great cormorants

Come let us sing to the Lord;* 
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving* 
and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.

For the Lord is a great God,* 
and a great King above all gods.

In his hand are the caverns of the earth,* 
and the heights of the hills are his also.

The sea is his, for he made it,* 
and his hands have molded the dry land.

Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee,* 
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.

For he is our God, 
and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.* 
Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Evening Psalm

Psalm 44 

We have heard with our ears, O God,
our forefathers have told us, *
the deeds you did in their days,
in the days of old.
How with your hand you drove the peoples out
and planted our forefathers in the land; *
how you destroyed nations and made your people flourish.
For they did not take the land by their sword,
nor did their arm win the victory for them; *
but your right hand, your arm, and the light of your countenance,
because you favored them.
You are my King and my God; *
you command victories for Jacob.
Through you we pushed back our adversaries; *
through your Name we trampled on those who rose up against us.
For I do not rely on my bow, *
and my sword does not give me the victory.
Surely, you gave us victory over our adversaries *
and put those who hate us to shame.
Every day we gloried in God, *
and we will praise your Name for ever.
Nevertheless, you have rejected and humbled us *
and do not go forth with our armies.
10 You have made us fall back before our adversary, *
and our enemies have plundered us.
11 You have made us like sheep to be eaten *
and have scattered us among the nations.
12 You are selling your people for a trifle *
and are making no profit on the sale of them.
13 You have made us the scorn of our neighbors, *
a mockery and derision to those around us.
14 You have made us a byword among the nations, *
a laughing-stock among the peoples.
15 My humiliation is daily before me, *
and shame has covered my face;
16 Because of the taunts of the mockers and blasphemers, *
because of the enemy and avenger.
17 All this has come upon us; *
yet we have not forgotten you,
nor have we betrayed your covenant.
18 Our heart never turned back, *
nor did our footsteps stray from your path;
19 Though you thrust us down into a place of misery, *
and covered us over with deep darkness.
20 If we have forgotten the Name of our God, *
or stretched out our hands to some strange god,
21 Will not God find it out? *
for he knows the secrets of the heart.
22 Indeed, for your sake we are killed all the day long; *
we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
23 Awake, O Lord! why are you sleeping? *
Arise! do not reject us for ever.
24 Why have you hidden your face *
and forgotten our affliction and oppression?
25 We sink down into the dust; *
our body cleaves to the ground.
26 Rise up, and help us, *
and save us, for the sake of your steadfast love.

Morning Psalm

Psalm 41 

1Happy are they who consider the poor and needy! *

the LORD will deliver them in the time of trouble. 
The LORD preserves them and keeps them alive,
so that they may be happy in the land; *
he does not hand them over to the will of their enemies. 
The LORD sustains them on their sickbed *
and ministers to them in their illness. 
I said, "LORD, be merciful to me; *
heal me, for I have sinned against you." 
My enemies are saying wicked things about me: *
"When will he die, and his name perish?" 
Even if they come to see me, they speak empty words; *
their heart collects false rumors;
they go outside and spread them. 
All my enemies whisper together about me *
and devise evil against me. 
"A deadly thing," they say, "has fastened on him; *
he has taken to his bed and will never get up again." 
Even my best friend, whom I trusted,
who broke bread with me, *
has lifted up his heel and turned against me.
10 But you, O LORD, be merciful to me and raise me up, *
and I shall repay them.
11 By this I know you are pleased with me, *
that my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 In my integrity you hold me fast, *
and shall set me before your face for ever.
13 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, *
from age to age. Amen. Amen.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Collect for the First Sunday in Lent

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be
tempted by Satan; Come quickly to help us who are assaulted
by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of
each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through
Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with
you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saturday Movie: Jesus in the Wilderness

I've posted this video before, but I think it's worth watching every year at the beginning of Lent.

Video by Si Smith, music by West Texas (Explosion in the Sky).

Friday, February 15, 2013

Evening Psalm

Psalm 35:27

Let those who favor my cause sing out with joy and be glad;
let them say always, "Great is the LORD, who desires the prosperity of his servant."

Friday after Ash Wednesday: A Song of Penitence

A Song of Penitence    Kyrie Pantokrator 
          Prayer of Manasseh 1-2, 4, 6-7, 11-15

O Lord and Ruler of the hosts of heaven, * 
    God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 
    and of all their righteous offspring: 
You made the heavens and the earth, * 
    with all their vast array.

All things quake with fear at your presence; * 

    they tremble because of your power. 
But your merciful promise is beyond all measure; * 
    it surpasses all that our minds can fathom. 
O Lord, you are full of compassion, * 
    long-suffering, and abounding in mercy. 
You hold back your hand; * 
    you do not punish as we deserve. 
In your great goodness, Lord, 
you have promised forgiveness to sinners, * 
    that they may repent of their sin and be saved. 
And now, O Lord, I bend the knee of my heart, * 
    and make my appeal, sure of your gracious goodness. 
I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, * 
    and I know my wickedness only too well. 
Therefore I make this prayer to you: * 
    Forgive me, Lord, forgive me. 
Do not let me perish in my sin, * 
    nor condemn me to the depths of the earth. 
For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, * 
    and in me you will show forth your goodness. 
Unworthy as I am, you will save me, 
in accordance with your great mercy, * 
    and I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life. 
For all the powers of heaven sing your praises, * 
    and yours is the glory to ages of ages. Amen.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

What We're Doing During Lent

So it's officially Lent. As you see, I've pared down the layout of this blog for the season. If you click around on the options for viewing, you will see that there are many ways of looking at the blog - mess around with the tabs on the top left (that say classic, magazine, flipcard, etc.) to see the possibilities.  I hope you'll enjoy it and use the images and posts in your Lenten reflection.

Lent is a time of penitence, of reflection, of preparation, of study, of almsgiving, fasting and prayer. It is also a time of learning and deep joy.

I hope to provide a place of reflection and joy here. You'll have to do the penitence and fasting and almsgiving yourself.

I also hope to help out with your learning by directing you to play Lent Madness this year where you go every weekday during Lent to read about and vote for the saint you think is most worthy (using whatever criteria you think appropriate) between the two who are matched up that day.

The learning and fun begins today at  Polls are open for 24 hours each day. So, go forth daily and vote!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras.  All names for this day, the day before Ash Wednesday, the day before Lent begins.

A day to eat all the eggs and butter and oil (pancakes! king cake!), to make one's confession (shriving!), to party big before the season of penitence and fasting begins.

And a day to burn last year's palms from Palm Sunday, to make the ashes for tomorrow.

I've participated in a couple of palm burning/ash producing events.  They are often more about the symbolism than about producing ashes.  After all, one can procure ashes from a number of church suppliers without having to do all that pounding and straining any more.  But I like symbolic acts, don't you?

Morning Psalm

Psalm 61

Hear my cry, O God, *
and listen to my prayer. 
I call upon you from the ends of the earth
with heaviness in my heart; *
set me upon the rock that is higher than I. 
For you have been my refuge, *
a strong tower against the enemy. 
I will dwell in your house for ever; *
I will take refuge under the cover of your wings. 
For you, O God, have heard my vows; *
you have granted me the heritage of those who fear your Name. 
Add length of days to the king's life; *
let his years extend over many generations. 
Let him sit enthroned before God for ever; *
bid love and faithfulness watch over him. 
So will I always sing the praise of your Name, *
and day by day I will fulfill my vows.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Night Prayer

Lord it is night.
The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of God.
It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been done, has not been done;
let it be.

The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you.

The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us, all dear to us, and all who have no peace.

The night heralds a new dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day, new joys, new possibilities.
In your name we pray

(From the NZ Prayer Book)

Morning Psalm

Psalm 58: 11

Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God,
and your glory over all the earth.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Evening Prayer

Psalm 8

O Lord our Governor
how exalted is your Name in all the World!

Our of the mouths of infants and children
your majesty is praised above the heavens.

You have set up a stronghold against your adversaries,
to quell the enemy and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and stars you have set in their courses,

what is man that you should be mindful of him?
the son of man that you should seek him out?

You have made him but little lower than the angels;
you adorn him with glory and honor;

You give him mastery over the works of your hands;
you put all things under his feed;

All sheep and oxen,
even the wild beasts of the field,

The birds of the air, the fish of the sea,
and whatsoever walks in the paths of the sea.

O Lord our Governor,
how exalted is your Name in all the world!

Collect for the Last Sunday after the Epiphany

O God, who before the passion of your only­begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Saturday Morning Movie: Simon's Cat/Hidden Treasure

I need to do a little housecleaning today. Simon's cat reminds me of what I might find when I do.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Afternoon Flower Break

Some fuzzy rudbeckia (also known as black-eyed Susans).

Morning Psalm

Psalm 69:15-17

In your great mercy, O God, 
answer me with your unfailing help.

Save me from the mire; do not let me sink;
let me be rescued from those who hate me
and out of the deep waters.

Let not the torrent of waters wash over me,
neither let the deep swallow me up;
do not let the Pit shut its mouth upon me.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thursday Afternoon Bird Photo: Where's the Popcorn?

Ring billed, black backed, and herring gulls bobbing for popcorn in the Chesapeake Bay. I like how their wings work.

Morning Psalm

Psalm 71:1-3

In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge;
let me never be ashamed.

In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free;
incline your ear to me and save me.

Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe;
you are my crag and my stronghold.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Dazzling

Gulls at Cape Henry.

Some Thoughts on the Martyrs of Japan

The Christian faith was brought to Japan in 1549 by Francis Xavier, the Jesuit missionary. Within fifty years, there were about 300,000 Christians in that country.
The sixteenth century, of course, was a time of great exploration and missionaries were very much a part of the mix. Ships were sailing from Spain and Portugal, especially, to The New World as well as to the Orient, in response to a new emphasis on the quest for land, gold, spices, trade routes and fame on the part of monarchs and daring explorer-types. 
And every explorer’s expedition included Christian missionaries intent on the spread of the faith.
And so Christianity came to Japan as it did to many parts of the world at that time, amid a mix of politics, business interests, and religion. 
Of course there were other religions already in Japan - Buddhism and Shintoism. And there were different kinds of missionaries - some Jesuits and some Franciscans - in addition to different kinds of explorers and businessmen. For some, the pattern of Western conquest seemed suspicious. First the missionaries, and then the armies.  
If you’ve seen the movie “The Mission,” even though it takes place in a completely different part of the world, you still might get the idea of what ingredients were in the soup in Japan at that time.
When Christianity got big enough to notice, the Buddhists and the Shintoists began to complain about the Christian preachers who were attacking their religions. And the Franciscans and the Jesuits were competing with one another for converts as well. Then there was the suspicion about what the Westerners were really up to in Japan anyway, which was not helped by comments by some ofthe traders from Spain who had set up trading posts in the Philippines. 
And so Christianity was banned and a persecution began. The first victims of the persecution were twenty-six Christians who refused to step on iron images of Jesus and Mary after they were ordered to do so to show their repudiation of the Christian faith.  
The martyrs were comprised of six European Franciscan missionaries, three Japanese Jesuits , and seventeen Japanese laity.  They ranged in age from twelve to sixty-four. On February 5, 1597, they were executed at Nagasaki in a form of crucifixion by being affixed to crosses and then pierced with spears.  
Not long after that, Christianity went completely underground in Japan, and it existed without priests or scriptures or churches for more than 200 years.
It’s a sad story, the part about the martyrs and all the misunderstandings that surrounded the whole situation.
But having a faith worth dying for is not a sad story.  The strength of the faith of those who were killed lived on in the underground church - the strength of their faith was what gave the church life, real life. 
Most of us will not be called upon to die for our faith. That’s not a sad story, either.
But it is worth remembering that a faith worth dying for is what Jesus had.  It was not a faith of feeling pretty good about some things. It was not a faith based on being nice to people or belonging to a nice community of like-minded folks.  
It was worth dying for. So, too, these Japanese martyrs, and so many others who died for and because of their faith.
And their deaths strengthen our faith.
Because we want to believe in something worth dying for, don’t we? We want our faith to mean something more than membership in a club. 
We want it to be real and strong - so strong that when it comes time for us to bear whatever we have to bear, our faith will be our rock. 
It will draw strength from those who have gone before who have borne more than we will have to bear because they believed in something worth dying for. 
Because they were brave and true and faithful,we will draw on their strength when the time comes for us to bear whatever we have to bear.

Visual Morning Prayer: In Church

From the beautiful Roman Catholic Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Savannah, GA.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New Friends

A pair of Canada geese arrived at the duck pond this weekend.  I went for a walk on Sunday and found they have become a three-some. The female mallard who spent the winter at the pond alone tagged along with them everywhere they went. Just like Mary's lamb.

Here's to new friends.

Collect for the Martyrs of Japan

O God our Father, source of strength to all your saints, you brought the holy martyrs of Japan through the suffering of the cross to the joys of eternal life; Grant that we, encouraged by their example, may hold fast the faith we profess, even to death itself; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Read the story of the Martyrs of Japan here.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Evening Psalm

Psalm 65:5-9

Awesome things will you show us in your righteousness, O God of our salvation,
O Hope of all the ends of the earth and of the seas that are far away.

You make fast the mountains by your power;
they are girded about with might.

You still the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves, and the clamor of the peoples.

Those who dwell at the ends of the earth will tremble at your marvelous signs;
you make the dawn and the dusk to sing for joy.

You visit the earth and water it abundantly; you make it very plenteous;
the river of God is full of water.

Collect for Cornelius the Centurion

O God, by your Spirit you called Cornelius the Centurion to be the first Christian among the Gentiles; Grant to your Church such a ready will to go where you send and to do what you command, that under your guidance it may welcome all who turn to you in love and faith, and proclaim the Gospel to all nations; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Read more about Cornelius and his role in the early church here.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Why Are We Mad?

So our Gospel reading today is a continuation of the story from Luke last week, in which Jesus reads a passage from Isaiah in the synagogue where he grew up. He says that he has come to fulfill the scripture - to give sight to the blind and healing to the sick and freedom to those enslaved. He proclaims God's love for everyone.

And today's reading records Jesus' expounding on what the passage from Isaiah means - that God is loving to the Gentiles, to pagans, to those who are not the "chosen" from the tribes of Israel.  Jesus quotes the scriptures, the stories of how the prophets Elijah and Elisha in particular ministered to people who were decidedly not Hebrews. That God's care and desire for wholeness and redemption was for everyone, not just for them.

And then Luke tells us how that message was received by the people who heard Jesus, who were at first impressed with him. They became enraged. How dare Jesus suggest that God wanted these things - wholeness, healing, redemption, salvation - for everyone and not just for them.  They were so angry they tried to throw Jesus off a cliff.

Why is it that we don't want others to have the blessings that we have? What skin is it off our nose? Why can't we rejoice that we have a God who is so lavish with love, so free with blessings, so overflowing with mercy? Instead we look around at others and declare them unworthy to have what we have. We draw lines and say, I'm in but those people are out. God loves me and doesn't love them. I deserve my blessings and those other people don't deserve the same blessings I have.

If we ourselves are blessed, why do we get upset that others are blessed, too? If we ourselves are loved, why do we not want God to love others, too? It doesn't mean God doesn't love us. Nothing is taken away from us. And yet we just can't stand it.

God shows up, showing God's self to be unbelievably generous, and for that we are ready to do murder.  That is how it played out then, and again during Holy Week, and that's how it plays out again and again in every time since then. Lord, have mercy.

But then, we already know. The Lord does have mercy. Always.

Collect for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Ruddy turnstone

Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Saturday Extra: Music for the Feast of the Presentation

Today is the Feast of Jesus' Presentation in the Temple, also known as the Purification of Mary, and also Candlemas.

Here are some images of the presentation with "background music" by Sergei Rachmaninoff - the Nunc dimittis (Song of Simeon) from his Vespers (Opus 37). This recording is by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir directed by Paul Hillier.

Saturday Morning Jazz

This hour-long video is from last Saturday's Georgia Music Educators Association All State Jazz Ensemble in Savannah, GA. My son is the tall trumpet player in the back row with a nice solo on Fascinating Rhythm. This was his third and last year at All State and he claimed it was the best by far.

The clinician for the group is Wycliffe Gordon, trombone great and faculty member at The Manhattan School of Music, formerly of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and the Wynton Marsalis Septet.  All of the songs were either written or arranged by Gordon. The selections are:  Grease Bucket (Gordon); Fascinating Rhythm (Gershwin, arr. Gordon); Basin Street Blues (Williams, arr. Gordon); The Woogie (Gordon); Swing that Music (Armstrong, arr. Gordon); Wishing Well (Gordon); and What You Dealin' With? (Gordon).


Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Afternoon Flower Break

A daisy makes a great landing pad for a hungry butterfly.

Collect for St Brigid (Bride)

Everliving God, we rejoice today in the fellowship of your blessed servant Brigid, and give you thanks for her life of devoted service. Inspire us with life and light, and give us perseverance to serve you all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Here is a lovely poem about Brigid:

"The Giveaway" (from The Love Leters of Phyllis McGinley, New York, Viking Press, 1957)

Saint Bridget was
A problem child.
Although a lass
Demure and mild,
And one who strove
To please her dad,
Saint Bridget drove
The family mad.
For here's the fault in Bridget lay:
She would give everything away.
To any soul
Whose luck was out
She'd give her bowl
Of stirabout;
She'd give her shawl,
Divide her purse
With one or all.
And what was worse,
When she ran out of things to give
She'd borrow from a relative.
Her father's gold,
Her grandsire's dinner,
She'd hand to cold
and hungry sinner;
Give wine, give meat,
No matter whose;
Take from her feet
The very shoes,
And when her shoes had gone to others,
Fetch forth her sister's and her mother's.
She could not quit.
She had to share;
Gave bit by bit
The silverware,
The barnyard geese,
The parlor rug,
Her little
niece's christening mug,
Even her bed to those in want,
And then the mattress of her aunt.
An easy touch
For poor and lowly,
She gave so much
And grew so holy
That when she died
Of years and fame,
The countryside
Put on her name,
And still the Isles of Erin fidget
With generous girls named Bride or Bridget.
Well, one must love her.
In thinking of her
There's no denial
She must have been
A sort of trial
Unto her kin.
The moral, too, seems rather quaint.
Who had the patience of a saint,
From evidence presented here?
Saint Bridget? Or her near and dear?


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