Saturday, April 19, 2014

St. Matthew Passion, J.S. Bach

The perfect music to accompany your contemplation of God's amazing gift to us -
forgiveness through His Son.

St. Matthew Passion by J.S. Bach is among the most beautiful music ever written to the glory of God.

And in case you don't have it on CD, of course YouTube has it ready and waiting.

Have a blessed Easter weekend!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday

'Christ on the Cross'
Eugene Delacroix, 1853
National Gallery London

"The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
    a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
    nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
    a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.

One look at him and people turned away.
    We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
    our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.

We thought he brought it on himself,
    that God was punishing him for his own failures.
 But it was our sins that did that to him,
    that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
    Through his bruises we get healed.

We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
    We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
    on him, on him."

Isaiah 53:2-6 (The Message)


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Maundy Thursday

York Minster
Great West Window

Christ washing the feet of his disciples
Jacopo Tintoretto
National Gallery London

Maundy Thursday:

I'd never heard of Maundy Thursday before visiting a Lutheran church some years ago and seeing the words printed in the church program. Even there, no one seemed to know what Maundy Thursday was or its significance. (I'm sure the pastor did, but I happened to ask a few parishioners who were standing around after the Sunday service.) 

When we were in Cambridge, England, we attended a Maundy Thursday service at King's College Chapel. I've written about this before, but anyway, it was a very moving service. There may have been foot washing at some point before the service we attended, but there was the celebration of the Lord's Supper followed by the stripping of the altar, where all altar appointments were removed and doors were closed over the painting above the altar in preparation for Good Friday. At the end of the service the sanctuary was stark, dark, and quiet. Everyone walked out in silence.

From Wikipedia:

"The Anglican Church uses the name "Maundy Thursday" in the Book of Common Prayer, whereas it treats "Holy Thursday" as an alternative name for Ascension Day. But outside of the official texts of the liturgy, Anglicans sometimes apply the name "Holy Thursday" to the day before Good Friday...

Most scholars agree that the English word Maundy in that name for the day is derived through Middle English and Old French mandé, from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase "Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos" ("A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you"), the statement by Jesus in the Gospel of John 13:34 by which Jesus explained to the Apostles the significance of his action of washing their feet."

King's College Choir, Samuel Barber, Agnus Dei

If you'd like to hear this beautiful piece of music and all you're seeing is a black square on your monitor, try clicking on it.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, grant us peace.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, grant us thy peace.
Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, redeemer of the world, grant us peace.



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Red Phone Boxes, England, Vee's Notecard Party

Across from a restaurant in Cambridge

And every time I see that photo, the word Estuary pops into my mind.

I'm joining Vee this week for her Note Card Party. I've always been meaning to do this, but even now when I'm finally remembering the third Wednesday of the month*, I really hope I don't get arrested or anything for having five photos on the notecard box top collage. Actually, there are technically only four different photos because one is a detail of another.  I didn't notice if there was supposed to be a theme, but if so, I doubt it was red phone boxes. They're always a favorite of mine, and I wish the Brits weren't replacing them with the ugly modern black and gray ones. Why on earth would they do that??

In Kettlewell
I've actually used this photo for a note card. It's so Yorkshire!

*Trying to remember the third Wednesday of the month reminds me of when our two youngest sons were grade school age, I had them alternate which days of the week they would shower. One had Monday, Wednesday, Friday and the other had Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. How hard could this be to remember, right? But each always had a fussin' fit whenever he had to shower, claiming that it wasn't his day! I can't believe how long it took me to come up with the idea that they each shower every single day - and that totally eliminated the problem. No more fussing. It was amazing!

Near Bolton Abbey

In the Westminster area of London

Note card box top


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