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Sunday, May 9

O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, May 9 is the Sixth Sunday of Easter. Find the readings here.

Dear Friends in Christ,

This week’s worship videos are now available:

Morning Prayer, Rite II

Morning Prayer, Rite I

Well, I guess now I know people are still reading these notes. I was touched by the number of people who asked how I was doing after last week's Sunday FYI, and I'm happy to report that I'm feeling all right now. My airline got my bag back to me, too.

Generally, the clergy aren't supposed to be the center of attention in a parish — God is — and after God, the congregation and the community within which it resides are most important. So while I'm very grateful for all the attention you've been giving me lately, I want to turn some of it back by pointing out how delighted I always am to be reminded of just what a loving community our church is.

Speaking of our congregation, I first want to thank the great majority of our parishioners who have been vaccinated, because they are not only protecting their own health — and good parishioners are hard to come by these days — but also because they are protecting everyone else's health. Not only because it's far less likely that a vaccinated person will spread COVID, but also because the longer the virus circulates, the more likely it is that a more dangerous variant of it will evolve. Precautionary measures like masks, physical distancing, closures, and lockdowns have helped slow the spread of the disease, but slowing transmission won't lower the risk of it evolving. There's simply no substitute for vaccination to head off a nightmare scenario where a variant emerges that makes us lose all the progress we have made. Getting vaccinated is a powerful way to love your neighbors all over the world.

I mention this in part because we will be offering in-person worship in the church two weeks from today. And I've been so glad that, as far as I know, we haven't had a single case of COVID in our congregation. Don't we all want to keep it that way? While we won't be demanding proof of vaccination as a condition of attending church on the 23rd and 30th, if you plan on attending, I urge you to at least start the vaccination process if you haven't already done so. Here's the state vaccination Web site. As I mention in today's sermon, all of the COVID vaccines available in the US are both amazingly safe — far safer than catching COVID — and amazingly effective. If you still have any qualms about getting vaccinated, please talk to me. I'm ready to listen with understanding and respect.

Please join us for coffee hour at noon:

• To join on a computer, tablet, or smartphone with the Zoom app installed, click here:

• To call in on a smartphone, tap here: +16465588656,,86398096400#,,,,,,0#,,296917#

• To call in on a conventional phone, call (646) 558-8656 then enter the Meeting ID: 863 9809 6400 and the Passcode: 296917

Here are Mark's music notes:

Most of the music that we’ve been making for the past “COVID” year has been chosen to work well with our technology and abilities along with the overarching attention to match music to the Bible readings for the week. In other words, mostly I choose something that’s familiar to us all. This week we have two new(ish) hymns! Music for both of these hymns is by Richard Wayne Dirksen, sometime Canon Precentor of Washington National Cathedral. Indeed, he spent nearly his entire career there. He was born in 1921 so this is his centennial. You can explore more about him and his wide ranging activities as a composer, performer, teacher, and impresario here:

One other connection is his son Mark Dirksen who has been involved with music at Episcopal churches in both Beverly Farms and Hamilton. We also premiered one of his (Mark’s) hymntunes several years ago.

On to the hymns:

#211 “The whole bright world rejoices now. Hilariter” was adapted from an Easter anthem written in 1960 and was presented in the Hymnal 1982 at the request of the Standing Commission on Church Music (SCCM) who prepared the hymnal. One of our singers after learning and singing this week reported that she felt like it needed to be danced, and indeed, the music is in the style of a Renaissance dance tune!

#392 “Come ye that love the Lord” Originally written for “Rejoice, ye pure in heart!” (#557) Vineyard Haven was named for the retirement home (on Martha’s Vineyard) for the Dean of WNC, the Very Rev. Fancis D. Sayre, Jr. The tune was first sung at WNC as part of an elaborate choral setting with brass and organ for the installation of the Most Rev. John M. Allin as Presiding bishop in 1974. The composer writes:

The music reflects [the quality of rejoicing] most exactly at the two interpolated “Hosannas” … which rise like daily orisons, point the way and the reward at the end … to raise such “Hosannas” forever in his presence with the company of heaven in the life eternal.

We’re also offering a virtual choir version of “If ye love me” by Thomas Tallis which echos the Gospel reading: John 14:9-17

Organ music today is based on the German Chorale “Wir glauben all’ an einem Gott,” the congregational metrical hymn setting of the Nicene Creed. The first setting is by Johann Christoph Bach, JSB’s 1st cousin, once removed, and a great influence on the young man. The second setting is by an anonymous composer.

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