A prayer on this 98th day of physical distance from others:
Prayer 33 from The Book of Common Prayer, Episcopal Church:
Heavenly Father, in your Word you have given us a vision of that holy City to which the nations of the world bring their glory: Behold and visit, we pray, the cities of the earth. Renew the ties of mutual regard which form our civic life. Send us honest and able leaders. Enable us to eliminate poverty, prejudice, and oppression, that peace may prevail with righteousness, and justice with order, and that men and women from different cultures and with differing talents may find with one another the fulfillment of their humanity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer 36 from The Book of Common Prayer, Episcopal Church:
Look with pity, O Heavenly Father, upon the people in this land who live with injustice, terror, disease,and death as their constant companions. Have mercy upon us. Help us to eliminate our cruelty to these our neighbors. Strengthen those who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law and equal opportunities for all. And grant that every one of us may enjoy a fair portion of the riches of this land; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Rather than sing something tonight, I’ll just post this video of the Episcopal Church Virtual Choir and Orchestra.
The strife is o’er indeed . . . for now.
I heard several heart-warming stories on NPR yesterday.
My day did not need to be brightened, but it was anyhow!
Parable of the Piston:
Sunday in D.C. Humid. Overcast until later afternoon.
Choral Eucharist at St. John’s Lafayette Square. Brunch of delicious crab cakes at Old Ebbett’s Grill. Long walk to National Building Museum and the Baltimore movie theatre exhibit. Shorter walk on over to Postal Museum and that incredible stamp collection. Such history there. Cross the street to Union Station and find some pastry. Metro back to Farragut North and then walk to hotel.
Nearly four miles of walking today, and nearly 12K steps. Weariness reigns. I’m staying in and watching futbol on Sunday evening. Mr. Lincoln can wait for tomorrow. (I’ve missed him my last two trips here, and really need to say hi this time.)
From the National Building Museum:
From the Postal Museum:
Two of the oldest USA stamps in the collection:
Street views from near the Postal Museum:
I attended Holy Eucharist on Sunday at Washington National Cathedral, the See of the diocese, and a cathedral for all people.
This was a spur-of-the-moment decision. The morning session at NASM was less interesting than I thought. I jumped in a cab. Five minutes later (I could have walked) I was at the Cathedral.
And then I discovered that the final hymn was Herbert Howells’ MICHAEL.
There’s a reason that inner voice told me to be at the National Cathedral today.
With the rain on Wednesday, I stayed in at my flat and did some school work and email management.
Just before 12 noon, I bought an Oyster card at the Lambeth North stop and walked half a block to catch a red double-decker bus, and then rode across Westminster Bridge to Westminster Abbey.
The bell tower (‘Big Ben’) at the Houses of Parliament is completely shrouded in scaffolding, so I’ll have no iconic photos this trip.
At 12.30 p.m. sharp, the bell rang inside the Abbey and a priest walked toward the altar in front of the grave of Sir Isaac Newton. And 100 or so pilgrims celebrated noonday Eucharist together in this most special house of worship. No matter that tourists were milling around on three sides, or that the din of their chatter never allowed for holy silence. God is in this place.
N.B. — in this country, when asked where you are from, kindly say “Saint Louis, USA.” Missouri means nothing in the grand scheme, but many Britons know of the Arch and Saint Louis.
After Holy Eucharist, I lunched in the Abbey Cellarium on salmon with blistered cherry tomato, artichoke, new potatoes, and capers. And feasted on dessert of white chocolate and lemon mouse, with a black cherry sauce. Lunch was heavenly.
As I was finishing dessert, two older gay men with American accents sat down at the adjacent table.
Said one, “I wonder what the soup is today.”
I leaned over, feigned a shudder, and said “sweet potato and celery,” which was true.
Then ensued a brief conversation. One of the men took degrees from SLU and WashU, and used to go the Opera Theatre on the Webster campus before moving to San Francisco. His partner grew up in Cape Girardeau. They met in Saint Louis.
By the way, they did not order the soup either.
The world is plenty small sometimes!
Here’s a shot of the west front of the Abbey from a couple of blocks away, taken in the rain today:
In the distance at left, you can see the scaffolding that is completely hiding the famous Big Ben.
The Matins antiphon this morning: Before the morning star begotten, and Lord from everlasting, our Savior is made manifest to the world today, Alleluia.
And the Collect for Epiphany:
O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
I attended services this morning at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lee’s Summit.
Growing up here, I was vaguely aware of St. Paul’s as the church a block from the house of my best friend. And another childhood friend, Chad Giddings, went to church there, as I recall.
I’ve been to St. Paul’s twice now, both when visiting my father and having family obligations that kept me in Lee’s Summit on Sunday rather than going to my home parish of Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kansas City.
St. Paul’s is a cute little place; the church building itself is on the national historic register. And the people are friendly.
But any time I have the Book of Common Prayer, I find the church inviting and home.