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July 29, 2004

A feast for the senses and the spirit ....

Yesterday we had the Mass for the Virgin Mary. The setting for the Mass is by Langlais and is one of those that is modern, but old, and can be very moving. We also had as the Gradual Anthem (Sung before the Gospel is read) a new work written by Blinko especially for the Musica Deo Sacra. Its words and its sound moved me to the brink of tears. What more can I say?

As Sub Deacon (again?) I had at least had the opportunity to rehearse this one, and it went like clockwork. Good Preacher and great music give a boost to the soul and provide food for thought on one's faith.

The feast continued in the evening with an organ recital by Carleton Etherington having fun on all three of the Abbey's organs (though not simultaneously!), with an excellent programme of works spanning the ages and suited to the different organs. It was a tickets at the door event, and I am glad to say that it seems to have been a sellout. I would have liked to have been there - but a friend I have not seen in almost 10 years arrived at lunchtime and we decided that catching up was possibly more important, as he could only stay one night.

So, I missed Carleton's playing and I missed Compline, but I know that both of these will be something I can do another time. A visit from a good and valued friend may never be repeated. As our preacher had reminded us, the future is always an uncertain quantity, especially in human relations and in terms of life itself. This was one occassion when the more important event, no matter how anticipated the pleasure of the music and of the worship, was to spend time with my friend. We hope to see each other again in a few months, but who knows, other things may intervene (as they have in the past!) and prevent it.

Tomorrow I shall attend the programmed Orthodox Liturgy. I am looking forward to this immensely, as the Orthodox Church's music is for unaccompanied voices, which I find incredibly moving. Watch this space; I will let you know how it went.

For now, it's back to the reality of earning a living.

Posted by The Gray Monk at July 29, 2004 08:53 PM