Monday, October 31, 2016

Poem for Hallowe'en

Theme in Yellow

I spot the hills 
With yellow balls in autumn. 
I light the prairie cornfields 
Orange and tawny gold clusters 
And I am called pumpkins. 
On the last of October 
When dusk is fallen 
Children join hands 
And circle round me 
Singing ghost songs 
And love to the harvest moon; 
I am a jack-o’-lantern 
With terrible teeth 
And the children know 
I am fooling.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 32:1-8

Beati quorum
Happy are they whose transgressions are forgiven, *
and whose sin is put away!
2 Happy are they to whom the Lord imputes no guilt, *
and in whose spirit there is no guile!
3 While I held my tongue, my bones withered away, *
because of my groaning all day long.
4 For your hand was heavy upon me day and night; *
my moisture was dried up as in the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you, *
and did not conceal my guilt.
6 I said," I will confess my transgressions to the Lord." *
Then you forgave me the guilt of my sin.
7 Therefore all the faithful will make their prayers to you in time of trouble; *
when the great waters overflow, they shall not reach them.
8 You are my hiding-place;
you preserve me from trouble; *
you surround me with shouts of deliverance.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


Sally is happy for Bella to sleep on the bed. 

Just don't get too close, okay?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Music: Satie's Gymnopediae

Paul Barton (born in Yorkshire, England, but living in Bangkok, Thailand) plays all three of French composer Erik Satie's Gymnopedies, written in 1888.

They are supposed to be played at a pace that sounds like "painful" (the first) or "sad" (second) or "grave" (the third). Satie was a very close friend of Claude Debussy, who orchestrated the first and third of these pieces. He felt that the second one wouldn't work.

I love these pieces for their simplicity and the tranquility they seem to embody. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Salve Regina

8th Century Byzantine mosaic of Mary, Mother of Mercy,
in the Church of San Marco, Florence
(it is believed to have come to Florence from St. Peter's in Rome)

Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae;
vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae.
Ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia ergo, advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.
Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria.

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
Our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To you do we cry,
Poor banished children of Eve;
To you do we send up our sighs,
Mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
Your eyes of mercy toward us;
And after this our exile,
Show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving,
O sweet Virgin Mary.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

In Memoriam

Today we said and sang the burial rite for our Director of Music at St. Stephen's, Peter Hopkins. Peter died very suddenly on Monday morning of an apparent heart attack. He was 57. We have all been reeling from the shock. I still can hardly believe it.

The service was glorious. All five of us clergy participated and we had 70 people singing together - the Virginia Girls Choir, the Virginia Boys Choir, our St. Stephen's choir and Sanctuary, our Compline choir. Peter was the director all of these choirs.

The hymns were "Christ is made the sure foundation" (Westminster Abbey); "The King of love my shepherd is" (St. Columba); and ALL the verses of "For all the saints" (Sine nomine), singing the seventh verse a cappella. There were people from other choirs among the congregation, and it is not often that I am in a procession out of the church walking between such beautiful voices singing in all the parts. My heart, and my eyes, were so full. 

The choirs sang as anthems O How Amiable (Vaughn Williams); Rise Up, My Love, My Fair One (Healey Willan); O sacrum convivium (Giovanni Croce); and ended with the Thomas Weelkes Nunc Dimities

Never have I heard such beauty at a funeral. Bittersweet. Peter, into paradise may the angels lead you. At your going may the martyrs receive you, and bring you into the holy city Jerusalem.

Life is short, and we do not have much time to gladden the hearts of those who make the journey with us. So, be swift to love, and make haste to be kind.


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