April 12, 2009


It is the end of Holy Week. Holy cow. Palm Sunday called for our department's greatest preparation with the palm parade and donkey, and now our church's second-busiest time of the year has come to a close.

It’s times like this that I’m a little envious of those whom I serve. They are given the moments to reflect, the atmosphere in which faith is examined and culminates in glorious worship. I had a small taste of it today as I awaited the end of the early service. I had to rush in and rope off five pews in front of the pulpit for our Church School volunteers before the crowd reached them. The second and third services are always packed. On Easter, our busiest Sunday of the year, we extend our gratitude to those volunteers with premium seating in the sanctuary and Starbucks and Krispy Kremes in the teachers’ workroom. Nothing but the best for our best.

To appreciate the rest of this post fully, click on "Handel's Messiah" at the top of the playlist in the right-hand column.

As I waited for the service to end, I heard the beginning strains of the traditional close to Easter service, Handel’s “Messiah.” The choir was supported by brass and percussion and our magnificent pipe organ. I opened the door just a crack to hear it better. Ohhh. The congregation had its back to me as they watched the choir sing from the loft in the rear of the sanctuary, so I stepped in to join them in their reverie. Oh my.

The choir stands under a huge rose window. Imagine hearing “Messiah” ring out, filling the space, while looking at this window in spiritual communion.

As we lifted our hearts in song and praise for God’s astonishing grace and love, my eyes grew misty, and I was pulled finally into a moment of unhurried and heartfelt community worship. I don’t pretend for a minute to understand all the mystery of God. I have so many questions and moments of weakness. But this instant of connection brought home again the absolute certainty I have in God’s love for all of us, each of us, unchanged and exactly as He made us to be. I am unsure of so many things, but this I know.

May you know that purest of love as I do on this glorious day.


Ur-spo said...

that sounds a lot better than our service, which lasted 3 hours and had not a drop of 'joy', with all the music in minor keys.

Brian R said...

"He is risen, Alleluia". Happy Easter to you and yours.

David said...

I had a full orchestra backing me last night at rehearsal, so I have a sense of what you are talking about here.

At my synagogue services, musical instruments are forbidden, but we do have moments of transcendence as well.

THIS IS ME....ONLINE said...

What a beautiful post! Glad you got to have those special moments. I'm sure that the people there that got to just go and soak it up would be very appreciative of all your hard work....if only they stopped and thought about it for awhile. :) I'm sure that HE enjoys your work.

Bear Me Out said...

Our worship came together (in spite of my mood) and grace was definitely operative. I give thanks.

And thanks to you.

Jeaux said...

I can't help feeling that those who serve worship best.

I'm enchanted by the image of you peeking out the door, and being flooded with the grandeur of Handel, the glory of Easter. The gift of grace.

Greg said...

Oh, I wish we'd had some Handel at the mass I attended on Sunday. Easter blessings to you, Birdie!! This was lovely.

Steven said...

It's the music like this that makes the holiday that much more memorable, leading me to do my own singing hours after the service has ended. The pipe organ also tends to do a lot more roaring, creating the goose bumps up and down my back and arms. Thanks for sharing!