Friday, October 5, 2007

Dearest Harry

I've been trying to write, but every time I think I'm ready to leave something here I read something else that turns it all upside down and leaves me speechless. Harry has done that several times the last week or two over at Jake's place. This morning it was more than a pause -- it was Harry's turn to Stop the World.

The occasion was Harry's Dinner with Katharine. It brought me laughter and tears. The laughter came from his masterful account of what it's like to attend clergy functions as the Quirky Other and Love of His Life. I've done very little of that but boy does he capture it all -- everyone talking about how great things are in their parishes, the Anglophilia, the elegance, and the ease with which a non-clergy person can provoke silence and quizzical looks. I, for one, often feel like I'm one of those sea monsters in the film Harry described, walking around dripping on the hotel floor with people wondering what I'm doing there.

And the toes! How can I ever stop for a moment of reflection now without first thinking of toes? Wiggling, dancing, right out in your face ugly, pink, white, and fleshy toes, glorious toes.

Of course there was so much more, those deep, odd moments of synchronicity: planes and mothers and fathers and death and reconciliation. Tough honest talk about bishops and archbishops, primates, cabbages and kings. Sleepless nights. And then.........the World Stopped at a school in Central Tanganyika.

Maybe we don't need another hero, but I must confess that Harry is mine.
And I wonder when we are ever gonna change it
Living under the fear till nothing else remains
All the children say

We don't need another hero
We don't need to know the way home
All we want is life beyond the thunderdome

What do we do with our lives
We leave only a mark
Will our story shine like a life
Or end in the dark
Give it all or nothing
We sang and danced and paused to look at our toes. The World Stopped.... and went on. Thank you God for Harry.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Send Thy Archangel, Michael to Our Succor

We celebrated the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels in grand style today at our Sunday Eucharist, with full smells, bells, and our own choir singing to the heavens. Here were the words of our opening hymn:

Christ, the fair glory of the holy angels

Christ, the fair glory of the holy angels,
Thou Who hast made us, Thou Who o’er us rulest,
Grant of Thy mercy unto us Thy servants
Steps up to Heaven.

Send Thy archangel, Michael, to our succor;
Peacemaker blessèd, may he banish from us
Striving and hatred, so that for the peaceful
All things may prosper.

Send Thy archangel, Gabriel, the mighty;
Herald of Heaven, may he from us mortals
Spurn the old serpent, watching o’er the temples
Where Thou art worshipped.

Send thy archangel, Raphael, the restorer
Of the misguided ways of men who wander,
Who at Thy bidding strengthens soul and body
With Thine anointing.

Father almighty, Son and Holy Spirit,
God ever blessèd, be Thou our Preserver;
Thine is the glory which the angels worship,
Veiling their faces.

Words: Rhabanus Maurus (776-856) (Christe, sanc­tor­um de­cus An­ge­lor­um); trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by J. Athel­stan Ri­ley and Per­cy Dear­mer in The Eng­lish Hymn­al (Lon­don: Ox­ford Un­i­ver­si­ty Press, 1906), num­ber 242. Music: Cœ­li­tes Plau­dant, Rou­en church mel­o­dy (MI­DI, score).

Courtesy, The Cyber Hymnal

Also listed in The Hymnal 1982, No. 282