Saturday, November 28, 2009

Prep Time Again

Liturgically, it is not even "the most wonderful time of the year." That is reserved for Easter, when our salvation was secured. Even so, it is such a counter-cultural two fortnights.

There will be plenty of green to be seen. But for now, purple with a touch of rose is the current fashion.

Tonight begins Advent. Tonight begins the preparation for the birth of our Savior. Tonight begins hope renewed.

Preparation. Anticipation. Celebration.

In that order.

Let us join St. John the Baptist: "Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight His paths."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Being Blessed, Being Grateful

On this day, set aside so we can count our blessings, let us remember to invite to our gatherings of families and friends the One Who truly makes it all possible:

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We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!

We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

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Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Also, enjoy my other posts from the past:
Grateful Praise
Hymn Of Thanksgiving
Feast Song
Making It Official

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mechanical Musicianship

With the memorial of the Feast of St. Cecilia falling on a Sunday this year, it will not be celebrated.

However, in honor of the Patron Saint of musicians, I present this video. Fedora doff to Catherine Garcia for sending it to me from one of her friends.

video

The description of what you are about to see and hear:
Turn your sound on for this. Read this first, then watch. This is almost unbelievable. See how all of the balls wind up in the catcher cones.

This incredible machine was built as a collaborative effort between the Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory and the Sharon Wick School of Engineering at the University of Iowa. Amazingly, 97% of the machines components came from John Deere Industries and Irrigation Equipment of Bancroft, Iowa. Yes, farm equipment! (Personal note: This small, rural town in North Central Iowa was the childhood home of my late father.)

It took the team a combined 13,029 hours of set-up, alignment, calibration, and tuning before filming this video but as you can see it was WELL worth the effort.

It is now on display in the Matthew Gerhard Alumni Hall at the University and is already slated to be donated to the Smithsonian.
(The subject line from the e-mail was the tag line from the company's commercials. How true!)

Also for you perusal, my other post about the day:
Quotable On Notes
Quotes On Notes
Musical Quotes And Thoughts
Cantate Domino!