PipeChat Digest #2704 - Thursday, February 14, 2002
 
Aluminum pipes
  by <TubaMagna@aol.com>
Re: Aluminum pipes
  by "Stephen Barker" <steve@ststephenscanterbury.freeserve.co.uk>
OHS 2001 North Carolina - Report No. 7
  by "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net>
RE: Ash Wednesday for the unrepentent  masses
  by "Alan Freed" <parishadmin@stlukesnyc.org>
RE: Ash Wednesday for the unrepentent  masses
  by "Mark Harris" <M.Harris@Admin.lon.ac.uk>
Re: Ash Wednesday for the unrepentent  masses
  by <quilisma@socal.rr.com>
RE: Ash Wednesday for the unrepentent  masses
  by "Alan Freed" <parishadmin@stlukesnyc.org>
RE: Ash Wednesday for the unrepentent  masses
  by "Alan Freed" <parishadmin@stlukesnyc.org>
OFF-TOPIC: Ashes, etc.
  by <quilisma@socal.rr.com>
OFF-TOPIC: Ash Wed., Psalms, etc.
  by <quilisma@socal.rr.com>
 

(back) Subject: Aluminum pipes From: <TubaMagna@aol.com> Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 09:18:55 EST   Ladies and Gentlemen:   Yes, aluminum pipes are lightweight. If the amount of weight saved on = a 16' Principal is of structural concern to somebody, the organ and gallery = are in peril, anyway. Aluminum must also be welded, not soldered, in the manufacture of = pipes. This requires special equipment, and the seams are not always very attractive. Cutups must be made with jewelers' saws and metal files, rather than standard knives and voicing tools. Subtle and delicate voicing and = finishing is a challenge, if even truly possible. Yes, one CAN make organ pipes out of many things, and on all of these chat lists, the concept of cardboard pipes continues to surface, as does carbon composite, as well as pipes made of extruded lowfat cream cheese, hardened by a laser. There are very good REASONS that for seven or more centuries, we have been making organ pipes (most commonly) from pewter alloys, timber, and = zinc. Other materials have been used, but these three are the most common, and = for some very good reasons. They work. They are easily tooled. They are easily repaired. They sound good.   Sebastian Matthaus Gluck New York City Tonal Director, Gluck New York, Restorers and Builders Editor, Journal of American Organbuilding  
(back) Subject: Re: Aluminum pipes From: "Stephen Barker" <steve@ststephenscanterbury.freeserve.co.uk> Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 15:07:38 -0000   > Yes, one CAN make organ pipes out of many things,   In the February edition of Organists Review in the UK, there is an article about the Manila Bamboo Organ, so yes it does seem that organs can be made out of anything!!   Steve Canterbury UK   .... off to find some spare bamboo canes in the garage to make that tuba = that he's always wanted... ; ^ )        
(back) Subject: OHS 2001 North Carolina - Report No. 7 From: "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net> Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 12:00:54 -0500   Dear Lists and Friends,   We're winding down. This day is the penultimate full day of the 2001 OHS convention, but as you read the menu items one by one, you might well = think we are actually winding up - not in quality, just in instrument size. Musically we stayed on one level - way up there! OHS people cannot be = easily stereotyped. Some get really emotional about little one-manual organs, others are gaga over organic immensities! Well, here is how the pipe count goes for today, steadily upward, with just one little blip: 362, 363, 951, 4926, oops 1038, and finally 6663. Anyway, for those in need of a bit more rest, the day began with an almost two hour bus ride to New Hope Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill, where we heard Steve Barrell, best = known as a player of the Clavichord. The 1987 one-manual organ by John = Brombaugh, with a sensitive suspended mechanical action was perhaps not too much of a transition for Mr. Barrell, and anyway, he can't be all that inflexible, having served, during his time of study at Queens College in New York, as organist of St. George's Church, Stuyvesant Square, with the big Moller on which Power Biggs made his famous Romantic Organ music recording. In fact, let me tell you the list of this man's teachers, and you can see what fire power went into playing this little one-manual instrument. Organ: Vernon deTar, Calvin Hampton, Hans Fagius, Hans van Nieuwkoop. Harpsichord: Paul Maynard, Raymond Erickson. Voice: Max van Egmond. Clavichord: Santiago Kastner, Gustav Leonhardt. The program: Pieter Cornet (c. 1560-c. 1630) - Four Versets on "Regina Caeli." We heard various combinations of sound, = some of the fuller bits somewhat on the harsh side, with some individual voices quite beautiful. Divided stops made possible solo and accompaniment, used = to good effect. Johann Pachelbel, from Hexachordum Apollinis (1699), Aria = Prima with Six Variations. We heard the second variation on a beautiful Flute = with tremulant. Mr. Barrell's playing was so very sure and elegant that the richness of all of this music became abundantly clear. For something entirely different, we sang the hymn "Were you there" and, even though a harmony was printed in the convention hymnal, we did not get to use it, = but could not complain too much, because Mr. Barrell used a harmony of his own devising, based on the music of Fats Waller, and it really was gorgeous. Much applause ensued.   A very short bus ride brought us to Hillsborough and St. Matthew's = Episcopal Church for the next recital, by Grant Hellmers, an Australian by birth, = who has been at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Richmond for 20 years, and was assistant for the four years before that! Obviously, everyone gets along. Before his time in Richmond, he held church positions in Australia and in Vienna, during his time of study with Heiller. He also studied with Marie-Claire Alain in Paris. Well, once again, it is lots of fire power meeting a very small instrument. Now here's an idea for your next parish fund-raising project: This two-manual Hook & Hastings stock model organ = from 1883 was bought with the power of Lingerie. The ladies in the parish did needle work for a New York manufacturer and made enough to buy the organ! John Bishop quipped that with its lovely Victorian case, this was = Victoria's Secret! I quipped that had Grant made any mistakes, which he decidedly did not, I could have said his slip was showing! He began with Humoresque (L' organo primitivo), Toccatina for Flutes, of Pietro Yon. For a complete contrast, next came the beautiful Schuebler "Wer nur den lieben Gott Lasst walten," after which we sang the two stanzas given for the chorale, one in harmony, and the second in unison with Grant playing what seemed like a = very nice reharmonization. The power of even half of an OHS convention was just too overwhelming (we were split in two groups at this point), so we could basically only see the harmonies, not hear them. Every stop was indeed on! Following the hymn, Grant played three charming pieces by Leopold Mozart, from Der Morgen und der Abend (Morning and Evening), Twelve Pieces for the "Salzburger Stier." (With help from Grant and also from Hans Hell, I have learned about this Salzburg Bull - there is a Bull statue somewhere in Salzburg, but there is also some idiomatic meaning to this Salzburger = Stier concerning sound which no one has been able to explain clearly - I'll be happy to hear from anyone who can. I just thought you'd like to know I am not lightly passing over this mystery!) For May, Menuetto Pastorello, for June, Scherzo, and for July, Menuetto. Then, "Lied" from the Vierne 24 Pieces in Free Style with the lovely Open Diapason for the melody. Then, Percy Whitlock - Divertimento, Number 2 from Four Extemporisations. This little finger breaker was wonderfully played, ending on the gorgeous Great Dulciana. Finally, Allegro from Number 6 of Six Short Preludes and Postludes, Set 2, Opus 105, of C. V. Stanford. Well conceived and beautifully played was this program, and the little stock organ really is lovely, even if it got swamped by us OHS singers. No normal congregation could ever equal our decibels!   Both New Hope Presbyterian and St. Matthew's Episcopal provided lunch for their half of the convention party, after which buses brought us all together, following a digestive bus journey, in the Chapel of Peace = College in Raleigh. Rosalind Mohnsen here played her 16th OHS Convention recital! The organ is a transplant, a gift to the college given by Christ Church, Raleigh - and what a gift. I don't know how many intact organs by Pomplitz = & Company are extant. When I lived in Baltimore, home of the builder, there was one fine instrument in an old Roman Catholic church there, soon to become a seniors' residence, and there was great concern about this instrument. I hope that Pomplitz found a home. Here at Peace College, at least this 17 stop instrument found an excellent home, and it and the college were presented with an OHS Plaque in recognition of this. It was accepted by the President of the college, who said a bit about how much = she enjoys this instrument. With only 17 stops, this two-manual organ nonetheless has both a 16' Double Open and a Bourdon, and is quite robust = in other ways as well. Ms Mohnson has studied both at University of Nebraska and at Indiana University, holding a Master of Music and the Performer's Certificate from the latter. She also studied with Langlais in Paris. She = is a master at program building, and in a recital with six pieces, I knew = only one. Improbably, she began with a Pedal Study, a march, from Ten = Progressive Pedal Studies of George Whitefield Chadwick, a study worthy of a place in = a recital program - much fun. Then Gavotte Pastorale by Frederick N. = Shackley (1868-1937), a Boston composer, a truly charming piece, a scherzo and rondeau. Then, Prelude in E-flat Minor (Opus 66-1911) of Vincent d'Indy (1851-1931). This is a truly wonderful piece, slightly influenced by = Franck, with whom d'Indy studied. From Three Preludes and Fugues (Opus 99) of Camille Saint-Saens, we next heard the delightful one in B Major, with a wonderful fugue subject. They're really all wonderful, I think. William Wolstenholme (1865-1931) was a blind British organist, friend of Hollins, and a tremendously prolific composer. The list of his compositions in Henderson takes almost two complete columns. It is quite impressive. Rosalind Mohnsen played a Pastorale in D Major, opus 13, from 1900, a charming work. I know I am using the word "charming" quite a bit, but it justly applies to a number of the pieces in this program. The last piece = on the program was an Allegro Moderato in D by Henry Smart (1813-1879), a fun finish. Smart was a celebrated concert artist and composer in his day in England, and the list of his compositions is a long one. It was he that cleverly arranged famous choruses for organ alone. "For unto us a child is born" from Messiah is one such. One works hard to learn that = accompaniment, so it's nice to get an organ piece out of it, and people respond to it, knowing the "tune." Smart lost his sight at about the age of 50. As for = his music, I will let John Henderson have the last word, quoting from his Directory of Composers for the Organ: "Several pieces . . . . . vie with Lefebure-Wely for honest vulgarity." The Directory is available readily at www.ohscatalog.org/ or at 804.353.9226. The recital came to a rousing = close with us singing "The Day of Resurrection" in glorious harmony to Henry = Smart 's well-known tune, Lancashire. What a great event - really wonderful playing and a fascinating choice of music for us to hear. Thank you = Rosalind Mohnsen.   A bus ride of about half an hour brought us to the beautiful campus of = Duke University, with a chapel boasting three remarkable organs, upon each of which we heard what could only be described as a perfect recital, tailored to match the qualities of the instrument! We began at the west end of the chapel with the famous four-manual Flentrop of 1976, with Mark Brombaugh offering a recital of Buxtehude, Scheidemann, d'Grigny, and a partita by James Woodman, commissioned by Mark Brombaugh in honor of his father. This was the first of two commissioned works by James Woodman heard in this convention. One more will be heard in the closing concert on the last = night. The Buxtehude Toccata in D Minor (155) was played in the requisite robust manner, and I think I was not alone in being impressed also with the = robust nature of the opening full sound. I had not heard the organ in quite a while, and I wrongly thought of it as being more restrained. It really permeates the building wonderfully, having that special "klang" of the = Dutch organs in their great hard stone homes. The unequal temperament adds to that. Duke Chapel is one of a number of great buildings with Guastavino = tile interior walls that were treated with several coats of sealant, the sister chapel at Princeton being another, and the acoustical transformation is wonderful. In addition to a robust sound, two works of Scheidemann (1596-1663) demonstrated the great clarity of the instrument. In the = chorale prelude on "O Gott, wir danken deiner Gut" and in verse 2 of a Magnificat = on Tone VI, a chorale fantasia, every voice and movement could be heard = grandly and with great intensity, even in the very live acoustic. From a Mass on = the First Tone (from the Gloria) of d'Grigny, we heard four movements that = gave us voluptuous small and not so small combinations of sounds. Fugue a 5, Cromorne en taille in two parts, Trio en dialogue, and Dialogue sur les Grands Jeux, each an exquisite gem in the hands of one who plays this = music with very contagious commitment and skill. James Woodman's name was new to me until I heard in the year 2000 a major work of his that was played by Peter Sykes at the dedication of the Mander organ a Chestnut Hill Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, commissioned for the occasion by that church. Peter plays that work again at his concert that ends this convention. With all that, it was with great interest that I heard = "Partita on 'Spanish Hymn'" written in 1999 on commission from Mark Brombaugh, as mentioned above. It was first played on brother John Brombaugh's organ at Christ Episcopal Church in Tacoma, Washington in April of 1999. I think = this is another fabulous work, enriching the repertoire for our instrument bigtime. There are seven sections, Prelude, Chorale, Bicinium, Trio, Aria, Fughetta, and Canon. I was thrilled and moved by this work, and by Mark's playing of this entire musical event, which ended, of course, with our singing of "Spanish Hymn"! We not only had three harmony verses, but yea, even a bit of a descant! Mark has taught at University of Oregon, Westminster Choir College, and the University of Illinois. He has degrees from Oberlin, University of Louisville, and Yale University (Doctorate). I have heard evidence of his versatility for years. Not only is he able to perform the earliest music convincingly, along with music of all periods, but from a concert he gave in the Princeton University Chapel some years ago, I learned about and learned to love some amazing music of Percy Whitlock, music with Tubas blazing all over the place. Mark Brombaugh does it all.   Dear Fellow Organists, can you believe that the next event generated something akin to hostility? Ours is a genteel profession, but I suppose = the behavior of, in reality, a very few of our colleagues, might be compared = to the reactions of some who demonstrated their opprobrium at the first ever performance of Rite of Spring. Well, in truth, no tomatoes were thrown on this occasion, but it saddens me to report that a number of people left = the building, saying things like "I don't have to listen to this." Some even said things like: "I listened to the damn Flentrop, but this is too much!" Sticks and stones may break my bones, but Pipe Organs cannot hurt me! Mean Tone is not nearly as sinister as it sounds! I heard Margaret = Irwin-Brandon, I think for the first time, at OHS Boston the previous summer, where she = had the assignment of playing on the fascinating Charles Fisk dual-temperament instrument at Wellesley College. The anti-anything-different folks were in evidence there too. As at Wellesley, she chose a program absolutely = perfect for the instrument at hand. Frescobaldi: Toccata Sesta, Bk. II, per = l'organo sopra I pedali, e senza; Conzona Quarta; Toccata Quinta, Bk. II, sopra I pedali per l'organo, e senza. Then we sang "Savior of the nations, come" - Nun komm der Heiden Heiland, five harmony stanzas in our hymnlet, which means we all sang in Mean Tone without any permanent injury, with the exception of Stanza 3, which got switched amazingly into a triple meter, which we all managed quite well, I thought. Then Canzona II of Froberger, followed by "Ballo della Battaglia" of Bernardo Storace, who flourished in the mid 17th century, this wonderful piece being from 1664. Now, if anyone was in doubt about the personality of Mean Tone tuning, the Frescobaldi works left no doubt. There are intervals that jar our well conditioned brains and ears, and I found myself, as at Wellesley, looking straight up = at the organ, and listening with as much attention as I could muster, this contemplation coupled with a totally relaxed attitude. This is edgy, this = is somewhat unsettling, but I CAN get used to it, and find these sounds more = of a condiment than a threat. I believe I succeeded at Wellesley, and the = very gentle beauty of this Brombaugh organ at Duke beguiled me into complete acceptance, and pleasure at having the opportunity to hear something from the history of our instrument, and now available increasingly in our time! The Froberger was wonderfully gentle and sweet, and then the Storace was, well, a battle, with the little Regal on the Brustwerk doing yeoman = service! If you are a member of the Organ Historical Society, and I would urge = anyone who is not, to fix that quickly, you will have the Organ Handbook from the convention of which I am writing, and I commend to you the excellent essay by John Brombaugh on page 129, detailing the history and thought behind = this wonderful little instrument. Speaking of yeoperson service, Ms = Irwin-Brandon has taught at University of Oregon, Reed College, Lewis and Clark College, Pacific Lutheran University, and Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She has = been College Organist at Mt. Holyoke College (with a wonderful Fisk organ in Italian style) and is Director of Music at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Greater Springfield, Massachusetts.   As most of you know, the journal of the Organ Historical Society is called The Tracker, and back in the very early days, this was the perfect name. Conventions included visits to, if not totally exclusively, almost exclusively mechanical action instruments. The broadening happened gradually, and now convention goers visit historic E. M. Skinner organs, = on which are often conferred OHS plaques in honor of their preservation and maintenance. We have often even visited new organs of note, no matter what mechanism makes the pipe speak, e.g. the new Letourneau instrument of our first recital of the convention! Welcome, I think, to the real world, with = a broader view of real excellence. I have not, and I know others who are driving the work of OHS have not, abandoned a belief in the great virtues and advantages of Tracker action. This does not prevent me from thrilling = at the sound of the Wanamaker Organ, for example. The full circle we have = made was brought in to full view by all the buzz and almost palpable = anticipation of the next event, a recital on the Aeolian Organ in the east end of the chapel, an organ so reviled in times past that there was a powerful = movement to junk it. It makes the heart glad to know that the OHS had a role in the campaign to save it, so there was some reveling in all of this as we = settled down to hear Ken Cowan give as convincing a demonstration of this = instrument as anyone could. I have written a lot about Ken in recent years, and consider him a special credit to our profession, both as musician and as human being. Therefore, I wrote after yet another great recital, something to the effect that a Ken Cowan review can now just consist of a list of = the repertoire played, and following that, a compendium of all the adjectives used for describing previous appearances. No matter how over the top they may be, they are guaranteed to fit - always. Here's what he played: = Allegro vivace from the Widor 5th, and I made a note in my program that this is an organist who knows how to listen to the building and accommodate registration, tempo, and articulation to it. (Yes, I have said that = before!) Ave Maria of Marco Enrico Bossi (1861-1925) demonstrating the ravishing strings of the instrument, and doing credit to one of his teachers, Tom Murray, in his dexterous control of the swell pedals for the three = enclosed divisions! The Seth Bingham Roulade is a wild and wonderful piece, and I = am glad Ken and a few others keep it in the repertoire. Immediately after = this piece, someone turned to me and said: "Gosh, I think he really outdoes Virgil with this piece, but for God's sake, do not quote me in print, or there might be Cyber reprisals." I think words are useless in trying to describe the thrill of hearing in this space with this organ and this organist, Wagner's Overture to The Flying Dutchman, so I will just shut up and let you imagine it. "You had to be there," as the saying has it. Ken chose for us to sing "In our day of thanksgiving one Psalm let us offer," = to the glorious St. Catherine's Court, with HARMONY. Let it be here stated = that Ken Cowan does know how to accompany a hymn. I wrote in my book: "What an accompaniment!!" Once again, I have to say that words won't do in = describing Ken's simply stunning performance of a perfect piece for right where we were, the Liszt Ad nos, ad salutarem undam." That's not a cop out. It's = the reality. Use your imagination. The long bus ride back to Winston and the hotel and exhibit area - and bar - seemed somehow shorter than expected, such was the happy chatter about what we had just heard, and what we had heard throughout this extraordinary day. If you don't come to an OHS convention, this sort of wonder can't come your way - and there is still tomorrow, one more day to tell about.   Cheers,   Malcolm Wechsler Mander Organs, U. S. A.              
(back) Subject: RE: Ash Wednesday for the unrepentent masses From: "Alan Freed" <parishadmin@stlukesnyc.org> Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 12:04:01 -0500   -----Original Message----- From: Randy Terry [mailto:randyterryus@yahoo.com]=20 Subject: Re: Ash Wednesday for the unrepentent masses   As for me, the only time I thought about Lent was once when I noticed someone in the store who was brave enough to leave the ashes on her forhead following service.   Alan responds:   How different from New York! EVERYbody here (even Moslems and Jews, it seems) wears their ashes all day. As a mark of human mortality, there's no one for whom it does not apply.   Alan    
(back) Subject: RE: Ash Wednesday for the unrepentent masses From: "Mark Harris" <M.Harris@Admin.lon.ac.uk> Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 16:13:53 GMT   Alan Freed wrote:   > As a mark of human mortality, > there's no one for whom it does not apply.   True, but perhaps in my parish the vicar would rather forget that. Our Ash Wednesday service was ash-free! Is it apt, I wonder, to conclude by saying "go figure"?   Mark Harris =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D  
(back) Subject: Re: Ash Wednesday for the unrepentent masses From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 09:18:04 -0800   Er, ah, breaking news, Alan (grin): NYC is still an Irish Cat'lic town (chuckle).   We had a good crowd last night, and, aside from the sanctuary party = deciding to sing a different Sanctus (Willan) whilst the choir was singing another (Merbecke), the music was quite good.   Cheers,   Bud   P.S. - the sanctuary party won; we were SUPPOSED to be doing Merbecke a cappella, but if you take a wrong turn on the third note, you end up with Willan, and they did.   Alan Freed wrote:   > -----Original Message----- > From: Randy Terry [mailto:randyterryus@yahoo.com] > Subject: Re: Ash Wednesday for the unrepentent masses > > As for me, the only time I thought about Lent was once when I noticed > someone in the store who was brave enough to leave the ashes on her > forhead following service. > > Alan responds: > > How different from New York! EVERYbody here (even Moslems and Jews, it > seems) wears their ashes all day. As a mark of human mortality, there's > no one for whom it does not apply. > > Alan > > "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" > PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics > HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org > List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org > Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org > Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org    
(back) Subject: RE: Ash Wednesday for the unrepentent masses From: "Alan Freed" <parishadmin@stlukesnyc.org> Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 12:16:05 -0500   -----Original Message----- From: Mark Harris [mailto:M.Harris@Admin.lon.ac.uk]=20 Subject: RE: Ash Wednesday for the unrepentent masses   True, but perhaps in my parish the vicar would rather forget that. Our Ash Wednesday service was ash-free! Is it apt, I wonder, to=20 conclude by saying "go figure"?   Mark Harris     Sure IS! (In New York, infrequent mass attenders are called "A&P" Christians. Stands for Ashes & Palms--the two occasions on which they're sure to be in church to get something for nothing.)   Alan  
(back) Subject: RE: Ash Wednesday for the unrepentent masses From: "Alan Freed" <parishadmin@stlukesnyc.org> Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 12:25:42 -0500   Bud, I guess you're right. =20   By the way, we did something quite new this year. (Well, "old.") We mounted a "Lenten Array." And it is AWESOME in the extreme. I can't wait to get photos on the website.   Our apse is lots of walnut wood, gold leaf, and bright light. But Tuesday night we hung five huge sheets of unbleached muslin from five points in the arch at the entrance of the apse in such a way that they hang down to the floor. Each is essentially a pentagon with . . . how to describe this? Very tall narrow pentagons with the left and right sides parallel, and the top part leading to a point of suspension at the top. (Heck, wait for the photos.) Then a plain off-white Jacobean frontal. It is SEVERELY AUSTERE. People stepped into the church and just started to CRY! Just shocking change from our usual stuff. All three services (Morning Prayer and two masses, all with ashes) VERY well attended. =20   Alan   -----Original Message----- From: quilisma@socal.rr.com [mailto:quilisma@socal.rr.com]=20 Subject: Re: Ash Wednesday for the unrepentent masses   Er, ah, breaking news, Alan (grin): NYC is still an Irish Cat'lic town (chuckle).      
(back) Subject: OFF-TOPIC: Ashes, etc. From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 09:44:20 -0800   It strikes me that low-church Episcopalians (and others) who "object" to the Imposition of Ashes on Ash Wednesday are simply trying to avoid being reminded of their own mortality, and the Four Last Things: death, judgment, heaven and hell.   Those same folks object to MOST of the rites that clearly illustrate what the end of human existence will BE (death), whether they like it or not: the Anointing of the Sick, the traditional funeral rites, etc. ... the Death Industry makes a MINT off of 'em with their Slumber Rooms and makeup and pink lights, etc.   A sad but to-the-point illustration: a little girl in our parish drowned in an accident last Fall. The traditional Anglican rites call for the priest and congregation to cast earth on the coffin AFTER it's lowered into the grave.   The "funeral director" went NUTS.   "You can't have that family seeing that little coffin lowered into A HOLE IN THE GROUND" (in this case, a four or five-story "condo" family grave, and it was going to the BOTTOM, as it was the first burial in the plot).   Father Scarlett (bless his heart, he DOES get it right occasionally) looked at the man and said,   "Well, that's where that little coffin is going to BE until the Last Day and the General Resurrection."   They compromised ... they lowered it six feet, and then everyone came up and cast earth on the coffin. Then they lowered it the rest of the way after everybody left.   BUT, when they went to DO it, the priests had to fold back THREE layers of Astro-Turf to GET to the dirt. It was like the funeral directors couldn't even allow the people to SEE the dirt.   "Remember, O man, that thou art dust; and to dust thou shalt return."       Bud    
(back) Subject: OFF-TOPIC: Ash Wed., Psalms, etc. From: <quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 09:51:30 -0800   We sang my new "Village Miserere" in procession at the beginning ... Mark Checkley at Belbroughton Parish in England had requested a somewhat simpler setting for those who can't QUITE manage the Allegri (grin) ... which is MOST of us (chuckle).   It was LONG enough that people settled into the mood. That always strikes me when we do a long Psalm or multiple Psalms ... people "settle in." The same thing happens at Evensong when we do ALL the Psalms for the Day, and at funerals, when we chant ALL the Psalms in the Burial Office. People have a chance to calm down and recollect themselves. Maybe that's why you're SUPPOSED to do them (chuckle).   Cheers,   Bud