- Mirabile dictu, you can now subscribe (via any news reader), or listen online - anytime - to the complete weekly service of sung Compline (Night Prayer) from St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, Seattle. Get the feed at this page; now we can have this wonderful service delivered to our readers directly. My plan is to listen to Sunday's recording each night during the week, and then start anew when the next week's recording becomes available. Here's the music from the October 5 service (yesterday's is not available yet):
ORISON: "Jesus, Redeemer of the world" (Jesu, nostra redemptio, plainsong, Mode 8, Worcester MS., 13th century)
PSALM: 104: 25 - 37 (Peter Hallock)
HYMN: "Lord, make us servants of your peace" (tune: Dickinson College, Lee Hastings Bristol, Jr. [1923 - 1979])
NUNC DIMITTIS: (setting by Orlando Gibbons)
ANTHEM: "Iustus germinabit sicut lilium" (Jakob (Handl) Gallus [1550 - 1591])
Imagine! Free! It's just beautiful.
Compline has been sung each night in monastic communities for centuries, and on Sunday night at St. Mark's for over 50 years. The Compline Choir's website is here. Compline in the Book of Common Prayer is here (a PDF file). (Read a wonderful article about Compline at St. Mark's here.)
You can also access audio files of sung Compline, offered each Sunday but available anytime for everyday listening, as above, at the website of the Minnesota Compline Choir. You can subscribe to the podcast here. (Note: The liturgy for this webcast is taken from the Lutheran Book of Worship.)
This is all in addition to the wonderful St. David's Compline Choir of Austin, TX, who also post their services online - and who've been invaluable for me as I write about hymnody (and other topics) for this blog.
We are very lucky to be the beneficiaries of the generosity of these choirs.
- In other news: This blogger writes about the closing of the Order of St. Helena's convent in Vails' Gate, NY.
I'd never been there myself, but others in my area loved the place - and I have met a number of the sisters. The New York sisters have moved to their branch convent in Augusta, Georia - so it's not as if they are shutting down the order completely. They seem to be planning to move again, to someplace entirely new:
What has brought this about? For several years we have been facing an increasingly serious budget deficit, and we have also come to realize that our shortage of “sister power” is draining us of the energy we need to do ministry, both to the church and to our own sisters, some of whom are aging and in need of special assistance.
While the decision was made with much heartbreak and many tears, we do feel the Holy Spirit has led us to this point. We have been in both the Diocese of New York and the Diocese of Georgia for many years, and the idea of leaving both brings us much pain, but we recognize that we can no longer afford to operate and staff three convents.
We do not as yet know where we might end up, but we have faith and confidence that God is leading us into new directions for new ministry. In the meantime, we ask your prayers and support as we begin this journey of faith.
God be with them. I wish now I'd gotten to the New York convent; it does look like a wonderful place.