Monday, January 4, 2010

Because We're All on the Same Train (Music for Mondays)

Posted by Webster 
I had the honor of serving at my second funeral this morning. As I learned in the theater, the second “performance” is always harder than opening night. The first time, you’re working on adrenaline and the Holy Spirit. The second time, it’s all on the Holy Spirit, and doesn’t he like to humble you? So there were a few minor goofs, noticed only by Father Barnes, I’m sure, and he’s too polite to say anything.

After my posts yesterday on the Second Coming, this one and this one, Father Barnes was back circling the subject in his homily, citing a Negro Spiritual called “Same Train.” The train that took our ancestors, our grandparents, our parents—that train is coming at us too.

The communion hymn, “In the Bleak Midwinter,” sung at the funeral by a wonderful soprano (name unknown) to the accompaniment of organmaster Fred MacArthur, is another beautiful tune, from an entirely different tradition. Recently, someone posted or sent me this clip.  It’s still pretty bleak around here (big snow in Boston over the weekend), but we can take hope from this message.