Today is the Feast of the Presentation, also known as Candlemas. Forty days after Christmas, today is the symbolic day of Jesus’ presentation at the Temple, as decreed in the Levitical law.
Almighty and everliving God, we humbly pray that, as your only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple, so we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts by Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Samson is snuggled by my side, gently snoring. He’s feeling better. He did decide one day this week to embrace his achiness and poop on the office carpet upstairs. But I can forgive him for that, and I have.
I went last evening to Powell Hall for a performance of the Sibelius Fifth Symphony by the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. My favorite work by Sibelius, it’s a strange concoction of murmurings and shufflings and brassiness and climaxes. And it’s incredibly powerful. I sat with some of my students way up in the gods. ‘Twas a good evening.
Today is a relatively down day, with a couple of lessons, a Mass to sing around sundown, some laundry, and a manicure.
I’m off to Chicago for two days this week, so I’ll likely do some school work today as well, since tomorrow is very full.
I can’t begin to count the number of times in the last three days I’ve found myself weeping.
I know that joy comes in the morning, and I believe that, but this darkness of sorrow and grief over lost innocence and unimaginable pain in Connecticut is really present with me these days.
We opened the service today with the great and wonderful hymn “The Church’s one foundation.”
The last verse, as it reads in the Episcopal hymnal (since many versions of this poetry exist), is:
Yet she on earth hath union
With the God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we,
Like them, the meek and lowly,
On high may dwell with thee.
This verse always makes me cry. I recall singing it in 1998 on one of the Sundays of Easter. My mother had just died the previous month, and that last verse caught me unaware, then grabbed hold of me so much I had to leave the service for a few minutes.
Today, I knew what to expect, so I just took off my glasses after the closing chord, wiped my eyes, and went on with the service.
‘Tis a good thing to love, and to lose, and to long.
Here’s a thrilling rendition, with altered words —
For those of this ilk, please send all the energy waves you can toward Heaven and/or my father, Richard, on Thursday, as he undergoes surgery for lymphoma. I am personally praying for a strong heart and faith (for him) and for steady hands (for the surgeon).