Saturday, February 28, 2009

Requiem æternam redux

Scott Symons, whose novel Place d'Armes dealt frankly with gay subject matter before the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada, died early this week. Born to a wealthy Rosedale family, he scandalized the Canadian literary scene by leaving his wife and child for Mexico with his underage boyfriend in the pre-Omnibus bill era. A Requiem High Mass was offered at St Thomas's, Huron Street, yesterday for the repose of his soul.

Although a Solemn High Mass, the requiem was a said service. There was no choir, no requiem minor propers, and the prayers were not chanted. The psalm was read by a lector. There were, however, hymns. John Tuttle played the service. The lovely old black High Mass set from the First World War was in use.

The funeral sentences were followed by "O God our help in ages past" (St Anne). The rector quoted extensively in his homily from Mr Symons' accounts of Mass at St Thomas's in his diaries. The offertory hymn was "Immortal, invisible" (to St Basil, which always seems odd to me). The Agnus Dei (in the traditional requiem form) was said as versicles and responses. The Communion hymn was "King of glory, king of peace" (Gwalchmai)

My sister objects to my habit of showing up whenever a requiem is offered at any of the parishes I regularly attend, apparently fearing that I'll end up like Janet Leigh on The Twilight Zone. But "It is ... a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins," as the Apocrypha tells us, and no one seems to mind a friend of the parish coming to join in this prayer. I'd actually like to join the Guild of All Souls, but they're not active in Canada.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Get thee hence!

I would be remiss not to exhort you all to go to William Craig's Magazine for the very finest in lectionary commentary. Let's show Father that his work is appreciated!

-Geoff "Rosie"

Saturday, February 21, 2009

From the Department of Tragic YouTube comments

I'd never heard anything from Cher until now. This is the first Cher song I've heard and it's amazing. Superb! I wish I had know before this singer. I feel I've waste part of my time. However, I'm young. I have time enogh. - posted 21 hours ago on "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves"

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A festal day

I don't have a valentine...but today is my baptismal anniversary!

Blessed are you, Lord God, ruler of the universe; we praise you for your love and mercy which you have shown to all your people.

Today we give you thanks and glory as we celebrate the anniversary of the day when you made Geoffrey your son in baptism.

Give him the grace to live in your love, and help [his] family to come closer to you by faith, prayer, and example.

All glory is yours, Father, through Jesus your Son in the communion of your Spirit, now and for ever. Amen

- from the Book of Alternative Services

Friday, February 13, 2009

For Faye Dunaway, thanks be to God

Sometimes, when you have essays coming out of your ears, when the man you love is going on a romantic weekend away with your own fair friend who broke bread with you, when you've been listening to reactionaries bang on about the apostasy of the Episcopal Church in the USA and affiliated just need something to lighten your day.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A post for February!

Well, it's been a while, hasn't it?

Yesterday, I went low-church in the morning and Anglo-Catholic in the evening. I took in Morning Prayer at St Olave's, Swansea, which is the site of the winter reunion for the St Michael's Youth Conference. I read the Gospel lesson and got to see all my camp friends. The rector vested in cassock-alb and violet crossed stole for Septuagesima. There was lots of Anglican chant. Afterwards, we all had a lunch of pizza and lasagna. St Olave's is where I like to go for my dose of Prayer Book Evangelicalism. A parishioner described it to me as "a little country church lost in Toronto." Highlight: belting out "A Mighty Fortress is Our God."

Then Solemn Evensong and Benediction at the Church of St Mary Magdalene. Green for ordinary time. All plainsong. Highlight: seeing a woman deacon parata at Evensong and Benediction.

I was sad that that the Accession Service (pdf leaflet) at the Cathedral conflicted with this month's SE&B, which I never miss. I always enjoy singing "God Save the Queen" in French to everyone's annoyance while watching the Lieutenant-Governor scoot up the aisle in his mobility device for his formal seating. Even more strangely, the rector of SMM was the homilist at that service, so we lacked him at his own church. Someone didn't plan this all very well.

Treat of the week: a gallery of photos from last weekend's Solemn High Mass for the Society of King Charles the Martyr in Rhode Island.