An Open Letter from Rev. Clarence, 4/10/21

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Dear Members and Friends of St. James,

I make today an observation. Many, both within our parish as well as friends, but even our bishop-diocesan and my fellow clerics, have remarked that one thing that they miss most during this period of absence of in-person worship, has been the music. And when pressed further, all admit that it is not simply the swell of the organ, but the hymns. As I have thought about it, the further realization has been for me, that without saying as such, those hymns reinforce in poetic form what we hear in scripture. And what better way to reinforce the teachings of scripture is there, than to set them to music. The Hebrew Scripture is filled with the call to sing and to dance to lyre, the harp, the trumpet. The producers of contemporary commercials on radio and on TV may catch our attention with pithy sayings, but it is the jingle, the tune which embeds itself most firmly in our minds.

To that end, I share with you this Eastertide what the rector of Church of the Advent-Boston, my titular home parish, has shared with us. I hope that you can thusly celebrate the joy of this wonderful season of renewal and new birth.

Webcast: Festival of Easter Music
For this Wednesday in Easter Week, we offer a selection of music for the season. If you have a hymnal, open it and sing along; or follow the links for online versions. Hymn numbers are from The Hymnal 1982 except where noted.

A Hymn of St Ambrose – Matthew Martin (The Advent Choir)
The strife is o’er, the battle done (#208)
O sons and daughters, let us sing (#203)
The day of Resurrection (#210)
Welcome, happy morning! (#179)
Hail thee, festival day! (#175)
Through the Red Sea brought at last (#187)
Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son (The New English Hymnal #120)
Organ postlude: Alleluyas – Simon Preston (Jeremy Bruns, organist)

I bid you not to forsake to pray for those who are ill, for those who tend them, and for those who, employing the intelligence and curiosity given them by our Creator, seek remedies for those ailments and diseases which affect our common life.

Let us give thanks in the words of the Collect of the day:
Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever. Amen.

For us and all humankind, I pray in Eastertide as the Letter to the Hebrews has taught us:
The God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the eternal covenant make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, and may the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be with you and those whom you love this day and for evermore. Amen

Priest-in-charge and your fellow sojourner in The Way