Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pancakes and Compline = WIN

Earlier tonight, the Episcopal Centre at Duke University hosted a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, followed by a chanted Compline at St Joseph's Episcopal Church. The pancake supper was wonderful, and we had a good crowd turn up to enjoy pancakes, eggs, sausage, and bacon. Many thanks to the students who cooked, especially Laura, Anne, and Meg. (And if there are others, please let me know and I'll add their names here.) And of course, thanks to Karen for putting it all together.

Afterward, we had sung Compline in the church. Before I go on, special thanks to my friends from the Compline Choir at Chapel of the Cross for coming by and helping us lead the people in this service: James, Lewis, and Charlotte. I would also like to thank George, Chris, and Fred for lending their voices to this effort. We received a lot of compliments with pleas for another sung Compline service in the future.

As for the service: it followed the David Hurd setting that we've been using at Chapel of the Cross. We chanted to Tone 8, Psalms 4 and 134. James chanted Jeremiah 14:9, 22, also to Tone 8. The Hymn was "To You before the close of day" (TE LUCIS ANTE TERMINUM, mode 8). The Nunc dimittis setting was by Ford, again to Tone 8. We ended the service with the Marian antiphon, Ave Regina Cælorum right after the Dismissal. This we chanted in English, however, and I ... well, I suppose "translated" is the only word that is popping up in my head at the moment, the neumes to modern music notation, using ABC Music Notation. It's not that difficult, once you get the hang of it.

All in all, it was a successful service. It was a nice way to end the day. My day will start early tomorrow morning - I will be cantoring the 7.00 am Mass at Immaculate Conception, thus returning the favour to a friend of mine who stepped in for me during the time I was beset by that three-month long laryngitis I was afflicted by last year.

So I shall end with one of the prayers from the Compline service as it seems quite appropriate now (and it's very much in my mind at the moment):

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ, give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous, and all for your love’s sake. Amen.

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