Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Wonderful Wednesday

Today we enter fully into that mad rush we call Holy Week -- with our Lenten Lunch.

Then I go shopping to get the rest of the stuff I need for our Seder Meal tomorrow night. (The list has stuff like "brown paper bags," "assorted fingertip bowls" and "new LCD projector bulb." Assorted and random.)

For our Seder, I'm putting the responses on the big screens and we are going to have a live camera feed onto the big screens. Probably not necessary since we are going to have only about 100 people, but it will be good practice. (Shoot! Still no one to run the Media -- hmmm.... Since I'm going to be at the head table, along with the kids and the Sr. Pastor's family, I'll see if the Dear Loving Husband (Jack of all Trades) will do it... It's better than donkey wrestling (the donkey was stubborn on Sunday. Imagine that, a stubborn donkey.))

For Friday, we have the Tenebrae I wrote last year with some music changes.

For Saturday -- Easter Egg Hunt and Labyrinth Walk.

For Sunday FIVE services. Full Media at two -- again, hard to be two places at one time, I sure hope I have a helper....

So, now for the prayer time and then begins the time when I rush around like a chicken with its head cut off -- or rather, time to play whack-a-mole -- time to borrow LGF's trout.

I start with one of my favorite hymns -- one that I'm singing today at our Lenten Lunch.

Into the woods my Master went,
clean forspent, forspent,
into the woods my Master came,
forspent with love and shame.
But the olives they were not blind to him.
the little grey leaves were kind to him,
the thorn tree had a mind to him,
when into the woods he came.

Out of the woods my Master came
and he was well content;
out of the woods my Master came,
content with death and shame.
When death and shame would woo him last,
from under the trees they drew him last,
'twas on a tree they slew him last
when out of the woods he came.

-- Sidney Lanier, 1880*

*Lanier, the “poet laurete of Georgia,” earned his degree from Oglethorpe College. In 1879, he was appointed lecturer on English literature at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. This hymn first appeared in the Methodist Hymnal of 1905. He was raised a Methodist with a strong Presbyterian mother -- growing up around Macon, Georgia. When Lanier moved to Baltimore, he lived a somewhat more liberal life -- both as to creed and conduct -- he wrote: "If the constituentsand guardians of my childhood-- those good Presbyterians who believed me a model for the Sunday-school children of all times -- could have witnessedmy acts and doings this day, I know not what groans of sorrowful regret
would arise in my behalf." His family mostly lived south of Macon and into North Flordia. He was also an accomplished concert flutist. He became first flutist in the Peabody Orchestra in Baltimore, Maryland in 1873, and in 1876 he wrote a cantata for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. At least one of his descendents is a concert trumpet player. He was only 39 years old when he died.

Music and God were intertwined for Lanier. Lanier believed in the religious value of music; it was a "gospel whereof the people are in great need, -- a later revelation of all gospels in one." "Music," he says, "is to be the Church of the future, wherein all creeds will unite like the tones in a chord." He was one of "those fervent souls who fare easily by this road to the Lord." Music tended "help the emotions of man across the immensity of the known into the boundaries of the Unknown." He would have composers to be ministers of religion. He could not understand the indifference of some leaders of orchestras, who could be satisfied with appealing to the aesthetic emotions of an audience, while they might "set the hearts of fifteen hundred people afire." The final meaning of music to him was that it created within man "a great, pure, unanalyzable yearning after God."

No comments: