Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Saint Groundhog

One of the many things I appreciate about Candlemas (or Saint Groundhog, as I say to those family members who don't get why I go to church today) is that it is a fixed date, and one can expect the timidly growing winter light to be the same every year. We used to get a pretty big crowd for the service, but no more, despite the pot luck dinner afterwards. It's the last thing we celebrate that's rooted to the Nativity, and I can't believe that it's just a week until Lent. Half the houses in our neighbourhood still have Christmas wreaths on their door.

Anyway, it's such a beautiful service. I love all that candlelight, and the music. We do a Lumen ad revelationem by a brilliant local composer who was interim choir director the year before I joined, and who also composed a motet for our wedding. It begins with a hush that is entirely the opposite of the triumphant Byrd version we did for years. Byrd makes me happier than most things most days, but this new motet is just magical in its simplicity. We still do Byrd's Senex puerum portabat - way too fast this year, and the amazing tension between moving intervals was lost, glossed over. But hey, pot luck! Give me my Godmother's wild rice and mushroom salad, and I'll sing Byrd naked from a trapeze.

Crikey. Band Camp loometh. Sigh. Must make reeds for unknown students.


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