Friday, October 02, 2009

friday five: holy, holy, holy

At RevGals Sally asks: where do you find God's peace and presence? Is there:

1. A place that holds a special memory?

That would be here, at Christ Church Cathedral, Hartford, CT.
It is the place of spiritual awakening, renewal and conversion that changed my life. Following a profound experience of God while praying in these pews (about half way up on the right, if you want to know!), I was later baptized and confirmed. It was here that I was led to an encounter from which my call to ordination manifested itself. It was here that I was hired after seminary while the timing of my ordination was in question, and here that I was ordained priest.

2. A song that seems to usher you into the Holy of Holies?
There are any number of songs that do that for me, but two stand out. Whenever I hear them they send shivers down my spine and I totally enrapt.
This first is from Bizet's opera The Pearl Fishers. I'm not necessarily a fan of opera, but this piece...
Appropriately enough it is titled At the Foot of the Holy Temple.
This is the long version, but the best recording.


The second is the chorale section of Gustav Holst's Jupiter, from The Planets. An orchestral setting is most moving, but this young man does an oustanding job with it as well. It is a national hymn in Great Britain, and was sung at the wedding of Prince Charles to Diana. It is also the music I used as the bridal procession when I got married.



3.A book/ poem/ prayer that says what you cannot?
Again, there are several, but the following is what comes to mind (perhaps because it is short and easy to recall!):

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year,
"Give me a light that I may find my way in the darkness."
And he said,
"Put your hand in the hand of God,
for it is better than light, and safer than a known way."
written by Minnis Louis Haskins, and English school teacher, and recited by King George VI during a Christmas broadcast to the people of England (I forget which year).

4. How do you remind yourself of these things at times when God seems far away?
Ah, the $65,000 question.
Whenever I feel distant from God I strive to remember the times when I felt divine grace, and experienced kairos. Christ Church Cathedral is one such place, but there are others. Scotland is where my soul feels most at home in a "place," so I imagine myself there. I also listen to music or try to manage a change of scenery.

5.Post a picture/ poem or song that speaks of where you are right now in your relationship with God...

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8 comments:

MaineCelt said...

Thank you for the music links-- I love stepping outside my usual favoured genres and finding myself moved by something different and new. The poem about darkness is great too-- it speaks to my own struggles. Thanks! Great play!

Sophia said...

What a beautiful church, and powerful stories connected with it. I look forward to hearing the music but right now my students are taking a quiz!

Moved by your reflections on mission farther down and praying that they will bear fruit in deepening as well as other sorts of growth.

Mompriest said...

beautiful church, beautiful music, beautiful photos....lovely play!

Sally said...

beautifu, beautiful, beautiful....

Jan said...

Ditto to Mompriest and even more so to Sally. Thank you.

Jayne said...

What a gorgeous church. :c) We can find the holy presence and peace if we can remember beauty like this.

Jennifer said...

These are so lovely and evocative. Thanks-- and thanks for stopping by my blog. Yes, the first picture is Cape Cod. I grew up spending summers in Chatham.

angela said...

I so agree with all. And the last picture just speaks to me too--there's a kind of peace and rhythm at the ocean that there is no where else.

blessings for a great week.

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