The immediate response to having our church closed was to feel the loss of the personal contact with our members, especially (for me) the choir. Some churches started live-streaming fake worship services on Facebook Live, or having Zoom worship. I thought that was all missing the point. Our parishioners aren’t missing the ritual as much as they are missing the personal connection of being at church. Ritual is what we do to enhance that connection, reaching together toward authenticity and spirituality. But I don’t find faux church services nourishing.
Beth and I decided to make a weekly video for our parishioners, she with a few words of reflection and me with a bit of music. The idea is to let people know that we miss them, that we are there holding down the fort, that the church continues even though the building is temporarily closed. Then in the middle of the pandemic, Beth left; that was rough, but she has a great new job as Dean of Christ Church Cathedral.
Here are links to our weekly videos — just click on the date to open a new window. Each one begins with a 3-4 minute reflection, then I dive in with some pearly words of wisdom about the music, followed by a performance.
Sunday, March 22 – Wenn wir in höchsten nöthen sein BWV641 (J.S. Bach)
Sunday, March 29 – Prelude on Slane (Healey Willan)
Sunday, April 5 – Meditation (Jeanne de la Mare)
Maundy Thursday, April 9 – O Sacred Head (Johann Kuhnau)
Sunday, April 12 – Overture to Music for the Royal Fireworks (G.F. Handel)
Sunday, April 19 – Sicilienne (Maria Theresia von Paradis) with Sandra Allan, cello
Sunday, April 26 – I Know That My Redeemer Liveth, from Messiah (G.F. Handel) with Cara Gilbertson, soprano
Sunday, May 3 – Allemande, from French Suite #5, BWV816 (J.S. Bach)
Sunday, May 10 – Panis angelicus (César Franck) with Grayson Nesbitt, tenor and Jackie Morris, violin
Sunday, May 17 – Concerto for two trumpets (Antonio Vivaldi) with Peter Crouch, trumpet
Sunday, May 24 – Lord, For Thy Tender Mercy’s Sake, featuring St John’s choral scholars and artist-in-residence
Sunday, May 31 – Dies sind die heiligen zehn Gebot, BWV 679 (J.S. Bach) [one of my all-time faves!]
Sunday, June 7 – Gymnopedie #1 (Erik Satie) with Wendy Williamson-Scrim, flute
Sunday, June 14 – Church Sonata in B-flat, K.68 (W.A. Mozart) with Jackie Morris, violin, and Sandra Allan, cello
Sunday, June 21 – Two pieces for Handbells (GJ)
Sunday, June 28 – Adagio molto for violin and organ (Philip Rüfer) with Jackie Morris, violin
Sunday, July 5 – Cantique de Jean Racine (Gabriel Fauré) with the choir of St John’s Church
Sunday, July 12 – Three Pieces for Flute Clock (Franz Joseph Haydn)
Sunday, July 19 – Rondeau from Abdelazer (Henry Purcell)
Sunday, July 26 – Laudamus Te, from Gloria (Antonio Vivaldi) with Carolyn Streich, Cara Gilbertson and members of the Strings of St John’s chamber orchestra
Sunday, August 2 – Allegro, from Sinfonia in G (Tomaso Albinoni) featuring the Strings of St John’s chamber orchestra
Sunday, August 9 – Fanfare (Jacques Lemmens)
Sunday, August 16 – Cantigas for the Blessed Virgin (anon thirteenth century)
Sunday, August 23 – Jesu Christes Milde Modder (arr. Samuel Milligan)
Sunday, August 30 – Fugue à la Gigue (Dieterich Buxtehude)
Sunday, September 6 – Après un rêve (Gabriel Fauré) with Jackie Morris, violin, in memory of Janet Roy
Sunday, September 13 – Psalm 19: The Heavens Declare (Benedetto Marcello)
Sunday, September 20 – O Praise Ye the Lord (Tune: Laudate Dominum) with choir, drums and trumpets. Welcome back to in-person worship, even if the choir is still “virtual”.
Sunday, September 27 – Ein feste Burg (A Mighty Fortress) setting by Nicholas Hanff