He wouldn’t consider himself a giant, according to all who know this quiet and gentle man, but to this 8-year-old, now 51,his words still ring loudly in my memory.
News outlets are reporting that former U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong, who stepped from the Apollo 11 lunar module on July 20, 1969, to become the first man to walk on the moon, has died at the age of 82, his family says.
I sang this morning with Schola from The Church of Saint Michael and Saint George at a powerful Mass that celebrated the Solemn Profession of Life Vows by Br. Dunstan at the Abbey of Saint Mary and Saint Louis.
Br. Dunstan is a friend of our choirmaster, and a big fan of the music at our parish.
He chose the music for today: the Kyrie and Agnus Dei from William Byrd’s glorious ‘Mass for Four Voices,’ the hymns EVENTIDE and LAUDA ANIMA (two tear-inducing hymns for me), a Robert Parsons Ave Maria, and the Byrd Ave verum corpus, a perennial favorite. Rob composed a couple of things as well.
This was glorious music!
The most powerful part of the service, of course, is the profession of vows, followed by the candidate’s prostration before the altar. Br. Dunstan was covered with a funeral pall as we prayed for him. The symbolism, of dying to this life and rising in newness, was almost more than I could bear.
I am so blessed to have been a part of this service today, and to in some small way join with Br. Dunstan in the closest thing he’ll have to a wedding.
The Abbey Church bells were pealing in joy after the service:
And here’s my ‘in a tie at 7.40 a.m.’ shot from this morning: