Tuesday, November 1, 2011

31 October—All Hallows Eve

Celui qui croit en moi, fût-il mort, vivra (John 11:25). Plate 28, from George Rouault's Miserere 2 series. This was on the cover of the worship bulletin that was distributed to everyone before the beginning of the candlelit All Hallows Eve service at Duke Chapel on the evening of October 31.

As mentioned on the leaflet: "Tonight is the eve of All Saints' Day, the festival in the Church that recalls the faith and witness of the men and women who have come before us. The service celebrates our continuing communion with them, and memorializes the recently deceased. The early church followed the Jewish custom that a new day began at sundown; thus, feasts and festivals in the church were observed beginning on the night before. The night before All Saints (or All Hallows) became known as All Hallows Eve, or Hallowe'en."

Everyone gathered on the Chapel lawn before the service, huddled around a fire, which symbolized the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the saints and martyrs.

Here follows the list of music, as well as a list of testimonies about those gone before us. Numbers are out of the United Methodist Hymnal. I can tell you now: it was a very beautiful service, and I can see why it numbers amongst peoples' most favourite services that Duke Chapel offers. The service choir was the Duke Vespers Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Allan Friedman.

Choral Introit: Requiem: Introit—Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986)
Hymn: 90, Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones (LASST UNS ERFREUEN)
Witness of the Saints: St. Anthony of Egypt (251-356)
Anthem: O Taste and See—Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
Witness of the Saints: St. Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582)
Witness of the Saints: Sojourner Truth (1797-1883)
Anthem: Kyrie from Officium Defunctorum (Missa pro defunctis cum sex vocibus)—Tomás Luis de Victoria (1549-1611)
Witness of the Saints: Fr. João Bosco Bournier (1917-1976)
The Great Thanksgiving: Musical Setting D: 23, Holy, Holy, Holy; 24a, Christ has died...; 24b, Amen (Carlton R. Young)
Music During Distribution: Versa est in luctum—Alonso Lobo (c. 1555-1617)
Hymn: 709, Come, Let Us Join Our Friends Above (FOREST GREEN)
Postlude: Deuxième Esquisse, Op. 41, No. 1—Marcel Dupré (1886-1971)

Of course, I forgot to mention that the ab-fab David Arcus was the man behind the console, and his hymn-playing was spectacularly inspirational to me. And, of course, his playing of the Dupré was nothing short of amazing. It was a fitting end to a very moving service.

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