At Evensong: Incense & Organ, Unexcelled
We arrived just before Evensong, which kicked off the evening (for us). It was beautiful!
We don't usually have a procession from the Narthex for Evensong but this was a special occasion, and Banning and Stephen did an excellent job as Lucifers (I can tell Acolyte Master Ranjit has been working with them). Already I've got things out of order, because we were treated to more of Josephine's excellent organ work for the prelude, procession, and throughout the service. She doesn't usually play for Evensong but that's okay because I also like the a cappella singing -- we're in good hands with Fr. Daniel, George and Kathy, and (though I admit I'm there but rarely) it's getting ever better. And with all the folks we had this evening, more than we'd have for a Sunday service some years back (estimating by voices, because I was in a pew up front), the accompaniment didn't swamp us.
And as we do on special occasions, the thurible and incense were brought out. Drew has quite some practice at this, I could tell, far more than me. Then again, my main experience is on Sundays with parishioners present with breathing problems so I have to try to limit the "emissions."
But overall, tonight's Evensong was, in my experience, unexcelled.
Afterwards, we retired to the Parish Hall for final dinner preparations. During this hour Bishop Provence was meeting individually with a couple of men from the church. Downstairs, we realized that we're likely to have an overflow crowd tomorrow so one of the group decided to bring a number of folding chairs up in advance and set them up outside the pews and I volunteered to help.
When we got upstairs I saw one of the men sitting in the front pew, and realized he was likely reflecting and praying before his interview. The minimal noise (initially) and social situation "required" him to interrupt that for greetings, etc. I felt bad about that, and worse that another present missed the whole thing, with the result that the quiet of the church was completely disrupted for this fellow. And it got worse when I brought some "spare" folding chairs to be stored in the Narthex in case they were needed and they wouldn't go into place without more crashing noise.
With that done, I went back down to the Parish Hall and considered how to spend the rest of the remaining hour before dinner. One idea I've been kicking around lately was a montage of photos, "The Flowers of St. Bartholomew's", featuring the wide variety of flowers that bloom in our gardens. A big reach for a thoroughly amateur photographer, but "nothing ventured, nothing gained." All I had was the point-n-shoot pocket camera, but it was good enough for a test run. So I went around taking some test shots and ran into the fellow we'd disturbed in the Narthex, now out in the parking lot. We talked briefly and he apologized for interrupting my photography. He didn't know that that I was praying for the interviews, including his, at the time.
In any event the interviews were soon done, and dinner began. We'd looked at "catered" dinners in local restaurants as we've done in recent past, but they tend to be expensive and hard on folks' budgets, so per Mary Ellen's and Fr. Daniel's suggestion Kathy arranged a dinner in the Parish Hall. This was not "potluck" but organized from appetizers through dessert, to accomodate various known dietary restrictions. With the many good cooks we have, it came off splendidly well. (Ranjit came up with a pasta dish that I really liked, and I don't usually care for pasta at all.)
After dinner we were treated to a sonata for piano and cello, performed by Josephine and Ruby. Sammartini? Sonata in G something? My notes were not clear -- unlike theirs. Just beautiful!
A wonderful evening. Waiting to see what tomorrow brings...