Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dust to Daffodils, Part 1

It was a long six weeks from remember that we are dust to walking down in a cassock 9th Ave looking at daffodils on my way to be a eucharistic minister at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine's Easter 11:00 service. However, as I've contemplated the beauty of spring (and enjoyed the spring imagery I'd never noticed before) in Easter hymns, I realzied that I haven't necessarily talked a lot about what I've been doing. I posted songs and videos and commentary on news and such. Links and sundries, but not a lot of day-to-day, week-to-week goings on that I think Judy et al. might like to read about. It'll be splotchy, not chronological. Some pictures thrown in.

I had a fabulous Easter, perhaps the best I've had. Certainly the best I've had in a while. The Vigil was outstanding. I went to the Vigil on campus, where we were joined by the Church of the Ascension. All I have to say is wow. People in long white robes, shiny scarves, and a enormous cauldron of fire lighting a four-foot tall candle, then lots of people chanting as they follow this large candle. Then they sit in the dark, sing some more, then turn the lights on and sing
Earth her joy confesses,
clothing her for spring,
all fresh gifts return
with her returning King:
bloom in every meadow,
leaves on every bough,
speak his sorrow ended,
hail his triumph now.

Months in due succession,
days of lengthening light,
hours and passing moments
praise thee in their flight.
Brightness of the morning,
sky and fields and sea,
Vanquisher of darkness,
bring their praise to thee.
Christianity has never co-opted parts of other religions and used them for their purposes.

It was a fabulous service. The music was outstanding. We had a true celebration. After the vigil I went to sing karaoke with a friend of mine for a few hours then walked back to the Close for bed. I was up again the next morning to go up to the Cathedral. Me, Ben, and James opted to wear our cassocks for the commute up and take our surplices in a garment bag. We were on time, quickly briefed, did a little wandering, then went back to the sacristy to get dressed. That experience in its entirety was simply glorious.

Lining up in the ambulatory I thought, "This is a snapshot of years of ordinations and diocesan conventions to come." When the music started we were off. The processions were perfecly timed, both for us to get to the back to the church to receive the Bishop of New York, and for the whole big party to get up to the choir and sanctuary. Too many crosses in procession for my taste, but c'est la vie.  We were sitting just below the altar. The clergy were out-standing, all around. Gently and guiding, caring, and happy to have us. It was a truly joyful celebration. I served with one of the canons. There were two chalices for each paten, and let me tell you, the number of stations was great. They were expecting about 3,000 people, and it went really well. One of my favorite parts was when we were invited to "Sing the melody, harmony or another song all together" for the first and second verses of "Amazing Grace." Ben, James, and I were doing oblutions during that. And Ben and I both helped someone finish her chalice.

The service continued, we retired, and then walked back. That will be another post, though, because this is long enough.

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