Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March 27, 2013 / One More for Holy Week

Hello Everybody,

Holy Week advice:

1. Remain open.

Each and every Holy Week this funny thing happens. A song, or songs appear. They present themselves like holy offerings-- sometimes right on Good Friday, or if I'm lucky the week before.

We have listened to a song, for the first time, on Good Friday morning and sung it at the noon service.

This additional song for Maundy Thursday or could be sung on Good Friday as well, was suggested by Hannah, a high schooler at Grace. She is a bit of a liturgical music savant. Has been for years.

Last week Hannah says, "what about Timshel by Mumford & Sons?"

Of course it is perfect. I know and love this song, but I didn't connect the dots.

Last night during practice Hannah said "and if you change the word death to life it is the perfect baptism song."

Yes indeed it is. Thanks Hannah.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

April 7, 2013

Hello and welcome to Easter!

Acts 5:27-32
Psalm 118:14-29 
or Psalm 150
Revelation 1:4-8
John 20:19-31

Belief. Forgiveness. Gratitude. Peace.

Wow, that seems like plenty to work with.

Inspired by Iris Dement this week as she performed here at Grace Palm Sunday evening.
Church in the morning.
Church in the evening.

If you get a chance to see Iris live--do it.

Gathering: Sweet Hour of Prayer 
Text: William Walford, 1772-1850
Music: William B. Bradbury, 1816-1868 

Opening: I Saw the Light by Hank Williams

Gospel: I Believe In You by Bob Dylan
I like this version:

Offertory: Is Love Enough by Michael Franti
The kids have led this one.

Communion: Mercy Now by Mary Gauthier
An old favorite. Great line about doubt and fear in verse 2.

After Communion: Let the Mystery Be by Iris Dement

Closer: I'm a Believer by Neil Diamond
I am old enough to appreciate and remember the Monkees--AND Neil Diamond.
I don't think we've ever done this one on a Sunday morning...but on the right Sunday it would be really perfect. And somebody really getting into the tambourine--come on--goodness.
Rock it Neil.

Friday, March 22, 2013

March 31, 2013 / Easter Sunday

Ah, here we are.
Easter Morning.

A standard Grace Easter hymn is Here Comes the Sun by George Harrison.
The kids won't let me skip this one! I miss George.
The kids will sing the verses and we all sing along on the chorus.

Rise by Eddie Vedder
Love this one.

Joyful, Joyful from Sister Act II

Have had this sheet music in the filing cabinet for YEARS. Finally doing it this year thanks to Darden Burns, a Grace musician/music director extraordinaire! 

March 30, 2013 / Easter Vigil

This year we are led through the Easter Vigil service by liturgist Jim Friedrich.

Fire, story, drama, song and prayer.

Some music we'll do for the vigil:

Row On Row On

Roll Away the Waters by Bob Franke

Story of Isaac by Leonard Cohen (additional lyrics below by Jim Friedrich)

I offered no resistance
My hands were bound in silence
I waited for the end.
As I lay upon that altar
my father’s hand was trembling
when he slowly raised his knife.
The sun stood still above us
the desert air was soundless
no one shouted no.
A terrible purgation
with nothing left to save us
nor anything held back.
But if the child dies,
the child who is the promise
how can the story live?
Who’s really being tested:
is it Abraham or Isaac
or maybe even God?
Just when the shadow deepens
when life betrays its future
the sacrifice defers:
the knife becomes an angel
the lamb cries from the thicket
the hand of God provides.
Was it all about surrender
the pain of dispossession
the test of what we love?
Can we lay it on the altar
our ego and attachment
and live in naked trust?
Or is the price too high:
to burn our dreams to ashes
and let the laughter die?
Must we always pass this way
the valley of the shadow
the awful time of trial?

Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen with supplemental lyrics by Scott Lawrence
I so love Rufus Wainwright. Have seen him in live performance several times. He does not disappoint. Ah. For this service two high school singers will sing the verses and the congregation will sing the chorus.

When night stands still, its stony dark holds entombed your longing heart,
And peace is just in pieces all around you.
You remember time undone, when love and light were always one,
Before you lost that precious hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

By night they stole your love away, forever lost to yesterday,
They hung the world upside down around you.
Then surprised you saw your lover’s eyes return, you recognized
The sweet enfolding, shining, hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

Now instead of fear you feel a love that time cannot steal.
No darkness can conceal the light within you.
This loving grace, this love divine, seeking all that’s lost will find
The ever-living, singing, hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

All Shall Be Well  by Cynthia Bourgeault
Well, check this out--have not heard this one before and NOT the one we are using, but, well, kind of great.
Pete Townshend--come on.

Healing River of the Spirit by Ruth Duck sung to CHARTRES

Rise by Eddie Vedder with additional lyrics by Scott Lawrence
A Grace Easter standard.

Such is the way of the world, can never know
Just where to put all your faith, and how will it grow.
Gonna rise up, burning black holes in dark memories.
Gonna rise up, turning mistakes into gold.

Such is the passage of time, too fast to fold.
Suddenly swallowed by signs, lo and behold.
Gonna rise up and find my direction magnetically.
Gonna rise up and throw down my ace in the hole.

Such are the stories we bring, telling the toll.
Laughter and tears full the sky, echo below.
Gonna rise up and stand in the light that I cannot see.
Gonna rise up and live all the stories I know.

Such are the songs that we sing, fears to unfold.
Music, like water, wells up, unbending our soul.
Gonna rise up and fly from the tomb that’s been holding me.
Gonna rise up and sing myself a new home.

AND Song After Communion: Imagine by John Lennon

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March 29, 2013 / Good Friday

Hello Everybody,

This year we begin Good Friday with a noon meditation. Silence.
Next several artists will create, under the guidance of Jim Friedrich, an art installation piece that follows the stations' template.
Later in the afternoon Bill Harper will lead a stations' walk outside on our grounds with moments to pause, sing, pray and listen.
The day closes with a Good Friday liturgy led by Arienne Davison and Bill Harper.
This liturgy includes some quiet common hymns and chants and also is an opportunity for some powerful anthems. Here are a few we've sung in year's past.

Redemption by Nick Lowe
Imagine this on piano--a bit slower and sung by a woman...of course it's no Johnny, but we did alright.

Bridge Over Troubled Water by Paul Simon
These kids and Mr. B break me everytime. LOVE.

Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.

Change by Tracy Chapman


AND last but not least. This is how things go around here. 
I had sent out a plea to the high school singers earlier in the day--help! Any ideas for Holy Week? And voilĂ , one of the students offers this one--before she even read the message I sent!

Best for Maundy Thursday perhaps.

We Don't Eat by James Vincent McMorrow

And one more, forgot to add this one. Service opener at the evening service this year.
Let It Be by Lennon and McCartney. An inspiring version from Across the Universe. LOVE this film.

AND, how could I forgot this one?
Jesus Was an Only Son by Bruce Springsteen.

March 28, 2013 / Maundy Thursday

Hello Everybody,

Thinking about kindness and foot washing.

Every year in our Maundy Thursday ritual we eat together, we wash feet together, we read/listen to poetry/story together.

For years (and years) I happily hid behind the piano and played my way through the footwashing part of the service. It completely freaked me out. I did not want anybody to wash (or even touch) my feet--nor did I want to bathe (or even touch) anyone else's feet. No thank you. I sent a VERY strong silent message that I was not interested. Then one Thursday evening, many years ago now, a sweet man in our music circle invited me into the footwashing circle. I said yes, please.

Why had I waited so long? This is the most tender and beautiful symbol of Christian love and caring.

I reciprocated and washed his feet. Again, why had I waited so long? To offer and receive a gentle touch. To be reminded to be kind--that we are capable of kindness. So very good. Since then I've washed and been washed quite a few times. It is always surprising and sweet. A simple act of kindness-acted out in quiet and with love.

This year our rector Bill Harper has invited some of the high school kids to join him out on a street corner in our little downtown main street to offer footwashing to passersby. Bill has done this solo once before and as you can imagine, the stories are good. Turns out folks out on the street say YES to footwashing.

Yes indeedy, we are capable of kindness.

We are also capable of great violence.

Both. And.

This is the day we remember to hold the tension of both truths.

This service is musically quite spare usually a few chants and some instrumental footwashing music.
Sharing some poetry we may use in the liturgy and a few song ideas too.

Kindness by Ryan Adams

Orange Sky by Alexi Murdoch
My salvation lies in your love. 

The Sun (literary magazine) has a piece in the March 2013 issue by Steven Robertson titled Punch.
There is not an online source but PLEASE find a copy of the magazine. It speaks about the violence and potential for violence within each of us. Here is an excerpt:
"I didn't punch him, but I wanted to, with every fiber of my being. For a moment in the kitchen, at one in the morning, I wanted to smash the face of the boy I'd seen emerge into this world from inside the woman I love, the boy I'd rocked and cuddled and wept over when he was sick, the boy whose vast grace and humor I'd marveled at as doctors rebuilt his faulty plumbing, as he lay many an hour sore afraid. For a moment in my kitchen I was my own sweet, gentle father, goaded beyond reason and love, cocking a fist to end an argument, close a mouth, finish a war."
Powerful stuff.

Obituary Options 
by William Maxwell
(The Very Rev. William F. Maxwell, former dean of The Cathedral Church of St. Mark, Salt Lake City and presently one of the associate clergy at Grace)

"In lieu of flowers, vote for a Democrat."
Obituary, Salt Lake City Tribune 

I have no immediate plan
to die, but certainly
the day is coming.
I have some thoughts
about my own obituary.

"In lieu of flowers.....
...make love slowly.
...have a drink with a friend, and remember me.
...forgive someone.
...take global warming seriously.
...sing a song you remember from your childhood.
...adopt a homeless dog or cat.
...wander slowly through your town library.
...make love again, more slowly.
...give a gift to help hungry children.
...write the loving letter you've been meaning to write. attention to a flower or a bird or a cloud. something peaceable.
...remember there are a hundred ways
     of making love beyond sex. Try one.
...think of me, and grin.
...remember a time when I told the truth,
     or pointed you toward hope,
     of spoke of God's love.
...surprise yourself.
Or, if you must, send flowers."

I Will Remember You by Sarah McLachlan



Sunday, March 10, 2013

March 24, 2013/Palm Sunday

Hello and welcome to Holy Week.

At Grace we have made a habit these past few years to add several chant or chant-like pieces to the Palm Sunday liturgy. This service is upside and backwards so I'll skip the usual Gathering-Closing hymn format today. Overall keeping a quiet, contemplative tone.

Over the years many of the Grace folk, regular musicians and otherwise, have written songs--lyrics, music or both. I am including some of these chants/songs here.  Caroline Clucas and Scott Lawrence are both huge contributors to our Grace music circle. Their music and poetry is thoughtful and very moving. Feel free to use these songs in your services.

Open My Heart to Your Light and Truth by Ruth Cunningham from Music By Heart

Kyrie by Paul Merritt

This one was written during our Lenten evening program last year-- a group effort, mostly kids!
Written by Grace Episcopal Church Lenten Program 2012

Comes Jesus to Jerusalem
Music: Jesu dulcis memoria, plainsong, Mode 2 from Hymnal 1982 (#134)
Text: Scott Lawrence
What Wondrous Love/Chant by Ann Strickland. Inspired by the American folk hymn.
When Jesus Entered Jerusalem
Music: Traditional; Lyric: Scott Lawrence

Desert Winds by Caroline R. Clucas
Not quite for Palm Sunday, but a great Lenten piece.

ONE more. Last year we ended with a beautiful solo a capella version of
Winter Sky by Billy Edd Wheeler. The congregation then exited in silence. Powerful.

Judy Collins - Winter Sky from drakemerchant on Vimeo.

Credit Grace work as follows:

Music and lyrics copyright Caroline R Clucas, Grace Episcopal Church, Bainbridge Island
Lyrics copyright Scott Lawrence, Grace Episcopal Church, Bainbridge Island
Music and lyrics copyright Ann Strickland, Grace Episcopal Church, Bainbridge Island.
Written by Grace Episcopal Church Lenten Program 2012, Grace Episcopal Church, Bainbridge Island