Thursday, December 23, 2010
The lights are brightly shining outside our church and tomorrow all will be put in place for the Christmas Vigil, Midnight, and Day masses!
The choir is ready and sounding good!
I thought some of you might like to see what we are singing...so here is our program!
"Hodie Christus natus est" (Gregorian chant)
"On This Day" (an arrangement for choir and organ of Personent Hodie)
"The Angel Gabriel" in a wonderful arrangement by Robert Edward Smith
"Bring a Torch, Jeanette, isabella" arranged by Alice Parker and Robert Shaw
"As Lately We Watched" (arranged by Charles Black - some lovely divisi for the sopranos & altos
"I Wonder as I Wander" - Appalachian folk tune arranged by John Rutter
"Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine" harmonized by Erhard Bodenschatz
"Patapan" arranged by Robert Edward Smith - with piccolo and snare drum!
"Noel Nouvelet" arranged by Harold Owen - two flutes and choir
Then mass will begin with the Christmas Proclamation and the procession to the altar.
"O Come All ye Faithful" is the processional, of course!
Choir will sing "O Magnum Mysterium" by Tomas Luis de Victoria and "Silent Night" in German, as arranged by Schulz-Widmar.
All will sing "The First Nowell," "Silent Night," and "Joy to the World."
And then it will be Christmas! And all good musicians will rest well in their beds...
The babe is born!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
It is still Advent season, not Christmas yet! We're still preparing the way...I read this today and liked it a lot so I wanted to share.
"'Every valley is to be bridged and every mountain and hill leveled'; the ancients built their roads...with an eye to avoiding steep gradients -- the cutting and the embankment must eliminate rises and dips. That Christmas ought to drive a cutting through our self-conceit goes without saying; for love of us...and for our salvation, God took on himself the nature of a slave. But equally, it must bridge our gulf of self-despair; 'Christian,' says Saint Leo, 'be conscious of your own nobility; sharing as you do in the divine nature, will you return to your old groveling?' Each of us must sink to child-level before the Crib; each of us, at the same time, must rise to Incarnation-level...
Christmas has the disconcerting directness of childhood, challenges our doubts with 'Yes, but did it really happen?'; embarrasses our ingenious evasions of conscience by demanding whether we really mean it. For once in the year we have to see things with the lucidity of a child's eyes."
Monsignor Ronald A. Knox wrote this & it was published in Magnificat.
He has been dead since 1957 so I hope he doesn't mind if I share!
I also cannot remember who took the above photo which I found somewhere on the internet. Mea culpa. But I thought it was a most encouraging sky!
Friday, December 10, 2010
I just looked back to see that on August 19, I blogged about that big D word, Discipline, which has been so hard for me.
Today I am so grateful for that resolution that I made.
It wouldn't have happened without Sparkpeople and the encouraging support and tools for change that Spark provides.
Just last night my choir members were noticing my weight loss AND my renewed energy and asking about it. So again I wrote on the board, sparkpeople.com.
Today I am especially thankful. I was struggling with hymn choices back in August. Today I've just about finished hymn choices going up to March 9th - so that I can head for Paris right after Christmas and spend time with one of my spark friends there!
This is one of my favorite streets in Paris, right across the Seine from Notre Dame.
All this planning would NEVER have gotten done so soon, without my resolution to be more Disciplined. I would also never have been able to fit into size 8 small pants! And I wouldn't have been able to do 4 miles of Leslie Sansone & have plenty of energy left for last night's rehearsal!
There were FANTASTIC cookies last night. I ate some! I was up just a bit this AM - but now that snow is coming down and I have some extra time at home, I can do 4-5 miles and be ready to splurge a bit at the party tonight.
We don't have THIS much snow yet - this is a photo from my front door taken last January!
I am well ahead with my work at this point, so I can enjoy some reading, work on some French to prepare for the trip, and just generally breathe a joyous sigh of relief and have fun preparing for Christmas!
Thank you, Mr. D. Thank you, Sparkpeople and Sparkfriends new and old! It's been a wonderful year - and there will be many more to come.
My most joyful holiday greetings to all of you!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
OK, my attitude began to change a good while ago, but I've finally decided I should 'fess up publicly.
Esther's blog today hit me like a big two-by-four. She was talking about how she feels when under the scrutiny of those who don't know how much weight she's already lost and how hard she has worked to get there. I can in no way convey how accurately she portrayed her feelings -- please go to her blog (@CALLIKIA)
and read what she has to say. Other spark friends have written eloquently about this issue too, and their stories have moved me also. But somehow, Esther's blog made me think, "SAY it!"
So I will.
I used to be somewhat like those people.
True, I was overweight myself, but not as noticeably.
And when I thought critical thoughts, I was a complete hypocrite, since I wasn't making much attempt to control my own weight. But for the grace of God and fortunate metabolism - plus the fact that singing came along and woke me up to the state of my own body when I was nearly 30 years old -- I could easily weigh 200-300 pounds or more.
Well, I just want to say, NO MORE, NEVER AGAIN will I think hurtful things. I know that even if we think them, somehow they are felt.
Spark has made a permanent change in me - in this as in many other ways. At this point I think that people who tend to gain weight are some of the world's MOST WONDERFUL PEOPLE! They (we, if you will allow me to include myself) are sensitive and caring and intelligent and often have a wonderful offbeat perspective that has possibly made it hard for them to fit in/blend in/conform in life. And perhaps that is part of the reason why they (we) have all gained weight in the first place.
BUT THE WORLD DESPERATELY NEEDS WHAT THEY (WE) HAVE TO SAY AND OFFER AND DO!
And we should NEVER forget that.
Sparkfriends with a lot of pounds left to lose are at this point my heroes (or heroines!) and when I see a large person walking on the street or in the supermarket, or riding one of the carts, I am now much more likely to perceive their beauty.
I am much less likely to judge them.
I am more likely to say a little prayer that they be strengthened to know their own worth and protected from patronizing or hurtful remarks.
I haven't heard anyone making nasty remarks -- but at this point, I think if I did, I would stand up and PICK A FIGHT. At this point I do have a few muscles...
Anyway, you get the idea. I know this does absolutely nothing to smooth the way of heroines like Esther who are running 5Ks and 10Ks and still braving people's rude stares and still keeping on keeping on, even though the way seems incredibly long and rough. And working at it much harder than I have been able to...
But I thought I would just go on record that at least ONE of those people has changed, fundamentally and deeply. And it's because of YOU.
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