Tuesday, May 13, 2003

A musical weekend

Not just the concert:
Friday, we had a funeral for Sylvester, our old sacristan, the guy who had been on the job when I first started at St. C's. The new DM couldn't do it. It meant postponing the DC trip 'til 2pm, but it was the least I could do. We pulled the choir together. Songlist was chosen by a former cantor, who brought him the Eucharist after he was too ill to come to church anymore. She led the psalm and the commendation. A family member sang the Ave - very nice. She and I had both wanted the Gounod, but the family insisted on the Schubert.

Prelude: Eye Has Not Seen (Haugen)
............. The King of Love My Shepherd Is (PRESENCE)
............. Ps. 122, The Martyrs' Theme (Lawton)
Procession: Sing With All the Saints in Glory (ODE TO JOY)
Psalm: Ps. 23, Shepherd Me, O God (Haugen)
Gospel Acc: "Come to Me" Alleluia (Joncas)
Presentation: How Great Thou Art (O STORE GUD)
Sanctus / Amen: Mass of Creation (Haugen)
Memorial Acc B: Mass of Light (Haas)
Agnus Dei: Sing Praise and Thanksgiving (Joncas)
Communion: Song of the Body of Christ (NO KE ANO AHI AHI, Haas)
.................. Ave Maria (Schubert)
Commendation: May the Angels (Sands)
Recessional: On Eagle's Wings (Joncas)

Sylvester was 98 when he passed. Our oldest parishioner. Sorry to see him go.
Kim drove all the way to DC. we finally rolled in about 2am - lots of construction. She likes to drive in silence, especially when she's only got my CDs to choose from. Given her choice, she finally settled on some Allman Bros., and The Band's Greatest Hits. Her comment on St. Duane and the boys: "Wow, these are some really long songs!"
First concert, at the Shrine, went pretty well. We got lost in NE on the way there when one of the ramps on our route was closed. Drove around lost for a while, finally stopped for directions at a Days Inn - a hooker was checking in at the next window. Her "manager" was waiting outside. There are some things I really don't miss about DC.
The Shrine itself was lovely, but Kim didn't want to stay for mass, so we drove back to the hotel, and called around to local churches for mass times. Decided to go to Our Lady Queen of Peace in Arlington, because of the 6pm mass time.

VERY interesting mass. Pastor was a Holy Ghost Father, an order I'm unfamiliar with. "Lead Me Guide Me" was in the pews, some compelling gospel-style piano and vocal from a contralto in sweats, and some, but not lotsa, participation from the pews. Deacon's homily blasted their bishop for failing to allow girls as altar servers (even as THEY had a girl serving), the sign of peace ran for 10 minutes as everyone shook everyone's hand, prayers of the faithful included a polling of the assembly, and a number of homegrown acclamations (the Lamb of God was particularly nice). They stopped short of an altar call, and they DID observe their bishop's ban on the cup. But definitely a rebel enclave...
Dinner at our favorite restaurant in the universe: Mike's American Grill in Springfield, VA. Excellent as always. Saw "About Schmidt" on PPV. Really hit home. Decidedly different role for Jack, but he handled it perfectly. Kathy Bates and Howard Hesseman were excellent too, though maybe we saw a bit too much of Kathy. Knowwhuddimean?
We had a last minute rehearsal Sunday morning - mostly designed to get our noses out of the scores so we had more communication from our director. VERY productive. Glad we did it.
Met with friends from our former life in DC ('87-'93) for brunch. Great to see them. Young couple with a 7-month-old daughter. Kim and Jess were supposed to go out for the Christening, Jess got sick at the last minute. Glad Kim got SOMETHING out of the weekend.
Concert at the Cathedral went VERY VERY well. Every moment of it was better than any moment at any of the other concerts. Still plenty of room for improvement, but we have never sounded so musical. The Cathedral folks taped it for us - hope I get a copy. A couple of internet pals showed up. That was nice, too. Concert was followed by Evensong with the Cathedral's Men's Choir (gorgeous, but we were behind altar and mics were off, so we didn't hear readings or homily), and then by our prof's organ concert on the Cathedral's monster Skinner, ca. 1939. High points were Mendelssohn and Franck, but all was glorious.
Kim was ticked that we stayed for the concert, but I wouldn't have missed it. Made for an icy first couple of hours going home, though. We picked up some of our regional food favorites: crab chips, birch beer, cranberry nut bread. Yum. Listened to more Band, plus the Dylan/Band Basement Tapes, and a Keith Richards listening list titled "The Devil's Music", a blend of blues, old r&b, reggae, and cajun stuff, from the 30s through the 70s. Sweet.

Somehow, managed to disconnect the radio antenna. My bad. Rolled home about 4am. Spent Monday recovering. All in all, a great weekend!

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