I have set up a little home altar in my living room.
The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri gave some guidance for worship in a time apart, and I thought to follow that guidance, since I always do the whole shipoopi during Holy Week anyhow.
The crucifix came from a visit to Ely Cathedral in 1995. I was gifted the experience of cantoring Evensong thereone late-July day that summer, and then singing glorious English Renaissance music in the Lady Chapel.
This is one of the most sacred weeks of the year. My ordinance this week shall be daily Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, as usual throughout the year. I will additionally read the (incredible, lovely, dense) poems of the day from The Christian Year by The Rev. John Keble. For this week I will also sing the daily psalms, rather than recite them, and for the Triduum, follow the monastic tradition.
These have been my practices during Holy Week for well more than two decades now, and truth be told, nearly three decades.
Perhaps with God, some order will come to these strange days.
Meanwhile, lovely flowers adorn my home, thanks to Andrew Martin and his floral skills.
While I have been an itinerant staff singer at various places, and while I have roamed from parish to parish in search of the ‘right’ fit, CSMSG has been my anchor, and my best fit as a parish home. My church membership is there.
I sang at CSMSG during my first school year in Saint Louis, singing two services most Sundays plus the occasional funeral and Evensong and one-off liturgical event, but I knew that a return wasn’t the best for me or them since my travel schedule was fairly demanding and I could not meet the choir’s expectations for stability and attendance.
Recently, though, Rob Lehman and I have discussed various scenarios that would allow me to return home. As I wrote last week, “I am confident that I am making a healthy choice to sing the literature and liturgy that nourishes me so, and also to worship in context of the theology that comports with my own outlook and understanding.”
Rob is leading a very fine choir in the best liturgy in town. While the acoustics are troublesome, the music is glorious, and the people with whom I sing are committed and true.
I’m excited to join them on Palm Sunday for three services, and then to be immersed in the music and liturgy of Holy Week. Rehearsals start for me this week.