Monday, February 27, 2017

Pirate Music

Before we get into the seriousness of the Lenten Season, here's a little fun music from Scott Sutherland, who plays an arrangement of the music (written by Klaus Badelt) from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies on four instruments. These are not instruments one gets to watch people play up close very often and I enjoyed watching Mr. Sutherland's expressions as he plays, especially the cimbasso (which I'm not sure I've even ever seen before).

Anyway, in case you're giving up Pirate Music for Lent, here's a last chance to hear some.


Sunday, February 12, 2017


I have been sick. I caught the dreaded influenza. It was terrible. Then I developed bronchitis. That means lots of coughing. I have felt like, and no doubt acted like, a beast. See that Venetian beast up there? With the furrowed brow, downturned mouth, and prickly things coming out of its head? C'est moi.

I'm still not well, but I am on the upswing. If I can get my coughing under control (new meds today to help with that, I hope), I'll start making my way back into the world tomorrow. Sans prickly things, I hope.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Friday movie: The Monster (and Simon's Cat)

I can't wait to see what happens when Simon gets a Roomba. Meanwhile, enjoy Simon's cat dealing with the vacuum cleaner.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Presenting the light of the world

Today is not only Groundhog Day but also The Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, also called Candlemas.  At one time, in the Roman Church, the feast focused on the purification of Mary after the birth of her Son, but that aspect of the day has faded into the background while the Son himself is now brought forth.  Today, it is Jesus who claims the center of the scene, surrounded by both of his parents, all the people in the temple, and particularly by two prophets, one male and one female, Simeon and Anna.

For some, Candlemas is the last day of the whole Christmas season.  (Sometimes this is accidental - it just takes a long time to put away all the lights and decorations!)

To commemorate this day in church, all the candles that will be used for the year may be brought forth to be blessed, or people may bring their candles from home, or there may simply be a procession around the church with candles as a visual of the light being presented in the temple.  Yesterday's Feast of Brigid also featured light - the bonfire.  This is the true time of "bleak midwinter" - the midpoint between the solstice and the vernal equinox - and so it is hardly surprising that feasts during these days feature light.

Jesus, of course, is represented in the Gospel of John as (among other things) the light of the world, the light to whom John the Baptist testified, the light to the nations as prophesied by Isaiah.  Even the Groundhog observance is connected to light, for the groundhog cannot see his (or her) shadow if there is no sunshine.

The collect for The Feast of the Presentation:

Almighty and everliving God, we humbly pray that, as your only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple, so we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts by Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

(BCP 239)


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