Tuesday, December 30, 2008

poco a poco

The construction fund now stands at 132,000 dollars.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

On the Feast of Stephen

I spent a couple of Christmases in Switzerland and was charmed by the observance of St. Stephen's Day (December 26). In England they keep Boxing Day on the same date. In America, what do we do? Hit the malls for post-Christmas sales? You may do what you like but at our little parish of St. Stephen the Martyr, we have an evening Mass followed by potluck supper. During the meal several people noted that, if you are a member of this parish and if you play your cards right,you will never have to cook. There is also a meal on somewhere.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

They Really Do Sing That!

Here is actual proof. And it was not my idea.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's almost Christmas, and that means trains

The forces of Political Correctness have nativity scenes in their crosshairs. But they have not yet targeted model train displays. Deo Gratias.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lessons and Carols Practice

I think that tomorrow's celebration of Lessons and Carols at St. Patrick Church is going to be wonderful. The choir sounds exceptionally good. During practice last Wednesday I took this photo which seems to indicateheavenly assistance. See you there!

This is your parish at 5:00 a.m.

We began our celebration of the Feast (in Mexico: Solemnity) of Our Lady of Guadalupe with MaƱanitas at 5:00 in the morning. There were about 150 devoted souls present and 4 different bands (we only knew about 3 of them in advance). For me, this year's highlight was the Dance of the Old Men (viejitos), several young men dressed as old men, complete with papier-mache masks. Curiously, when they spoke to each other, it was not in Spanish, but in an Indian dialect. This is another sign of how much immigration is taking place -- it's not just people from border towns anymore. Many are coming from rather remote areas in search of work or a better life in the USA.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Quoadusque, Domine?

The construction fund is up to 119,000 dollars. Only 81,000 to go!

Lessons and Carols

Almost every year for the the past eleven years (is it that long?) I have played the organ for the annual service of Lessons and Carols at Saint Patrick Church in downtown Columbus. This devout community of souls is under the care of the Dominican Fathers, who dedicate themselves fully to the spiritual welfare of their flock. For the past decade, the music life of the parish has been cared for by Kathleen Tully, who has quietly created one of the finest parish music programs that you will find anywhere. The choir, which has grown from 4 to 40 voices under her cheerful leadership, give their very best out of love for the Lord. It is a joy to make a joyful noice with them.
This year's service of lessons and carols begins Sunday, December 14 (Gaudete Sunday) at 6pm. Due to illness of some choir members rehearsals were curtailed and some more ambitious pieces had to be postponed until next year. So, here is this year's lineup:

Excerpt from Horn-lokk Sigurd Berge
(This is a piece for solo horn. The hornist is a parishioner and member of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.)

I. The Fall Reading: Genesis 3:8-19
The Race that Long in Darkness Pined William Billings

II. The Prophecy of Emmanuel Reading: Isaiah 7:10-14
Processional Hymn: O Come, O Come Emmanuel Collegeville Hymnal 179 (Stand)

Opening Prayer Stand

III. The Rod of Jesse Reading: Isaiah 11:1-9
Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen Johannes Brahms (arr for string quartet)

IV. The Restoration Reading: Jeremiah 31:10-14
Hymn: O Come, Divine Messiah Collegeville Hymnal 173 (Stand)
arr by Thomas Buffer. Organ and Brass Quartet

V. The Fulfillment of the Prophecies Reading: Matthew 1:18-25 (Stand)
Pastorale Arcangelo Corelli
Organ and strings

VI. The Annunciation Reading: Luke 1:26-28 (Stand)
Ave Maria Franz Biebl
double choir!

VII. The Nativity Reading: Luke 2:1-7 (Stand)
Hymn: See Amid the Winter’s Snow Collegeville Hymnal 221
Verses 1-2: ALL Verse 3: Women Only Verse 4: Men only Verse 5: Solo Verse 6: ALL
Organ, Brass, strings, whatever else we have sitting around

Choir: Riu, Riu, Chiu Traditional Spanish Carol

VIII. The New Creation Reading: Revelation 21:1-5

Hymn: Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending
Organ and Brass

IX. The Incarnation Reading: John 1:1-14 (Stand)
Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence Gustav Holst
Organ, strings, brass, etc.

Closing Prayer and Blessing Stand

Recessional Hymn: Come, Thou Redeemer of the Earth Stand
arr. Thomas Buffer
Organ and Brass

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Novena, Day Two

This is the second night of the novena in preparation for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Every evening families gather in the Church to pray the Rosary. Tonight they are praying the Luminous Mysteries. Mass will be celebrated at 6:30 pm followed by my adult education class. Tonight I will be leading them through the Annunciation scene in St. Luke's Gospel. I have learned some new Spanish words for the purpose. On the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Friday, December 12, we will have a full church at 5 am for the celebration of MaƱanitas. Mass will be celebrated at 6 am in Spanish and 8 am in English.