Thursday, March 19, 2020

Two can be as bad as one. It’s the loneliest number since the number one.

     From the song by Three Dog Night



Social Distancing.......

If anyone knows me, you know that I live with someone in the health-care field.  She has first-hand knowledge of the impact of our current state on both ends of the spectrum:  physically healthy school-aged children and the elderly who are suffering from illnesses other than the corona virus.

Social distancing.

A way to slow the spread of the virus.  
For some (uninfected) the cure might be worse than the disease.

Side effects:  
increased loneliness
extreme withdrawal

While the antidote is uncertain, I’d like to suggest the 5 c’s? *

1. Contact
2. Connection
3. Concern
5. Care

BTW:  It’s progressive.  Start with 1 and move to 5

If you’re in danger:                       CALL 911

If you’re sad and sinking:            CONTACT ME

If you’re reading this blog:          Consider this my invitation 
                                                     to YOU to connect.



The memes and what-not are great but they leave us psychologically and spiritually distant.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Lent III updated with music

Liturgical Notes for 3/15

Updated with links to songs sung by Gabrianna and Bruce

Lord, you have probed me,
 you know me:
you know when I sit and stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
Psalm 139 verse 1b - 2

Prelude:        O God, You Search Me #437
Listen and open your heart to God
The words of psalm 139 resonate with me as a father.  God probes me; the way I probe the face of my 17 year old when she returns from school.  God knows me; the way I can detect different tones in the voice of my 21 year old when she calls and tells me about her day at work.  

Kyrie: Sung Kyrie
One of the earliest prayers of the church translated from the Greek as “Lord have mercy.”  We sing the Kyrie during lent to highlight the penitential nature of the season.
Click to listen

Scripture readings.  
Link to recording of today’s psalm
In today’s readings we hear two stories about life “in between”.

The Isrealites are “in between” drinks of water.  Wandering, wondering and grumbling they incorrectly interpret their dilemma as having been abandoned by God.

The Samaritan woman is “in between” knowing that the Messiah is coming (see John 4:25) and living in harmony with this knowledge.  So mired by broken relationships, she fails to see herself as Jesus sees her.

Are there applications in these readings for us?  As we live “in between” health and freedom and the possibility of illness and quarantine?  Or the ups and downs of the financial markets affecting the security of our future? 

I can hear the rhetorical question of a priest friend:  “Am I talking to the right people?”  

Consider the words of Paul who preaches of Jesus who passed through the “in between” of cross and grave to the divine and eternal “now.”

We boast in hope of the glory of God...we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Romans 5:2b-5

Offertory               Come to the Water #603
Jesus calls each of us to come to the him in the Eucharist. We come as we are; thirsty, poor, wandering, grumbling  i.e. “in between” who we are and who God calls us to be. Listen and reflect on for what you thirst

Communion           Lead Us to the Cross        In Bulletin
Like Jesus, our Lenten journey turns toward the cross.  (More on this next week.). Listen to Lead Us to the Cross

Recessional          Change Our Hearts   #648
The Lenten practice of fasting and acts of penance help us move toward the fullness of conversion - a changed heart.

Chanted entrance antiphon, instrumental procession, sung Kyrie, chanted response to the Prayer of the Faithful and Eucharistic Acclamations
See last previous liturgical notes in the bulletin or at

Blessed to walk this lenten journey once again with you at St. Mary’s,


Next update: 3-17 for St. Patrick’s Day

Image result for st. joseph famous art + free download


A Prayer for the Current Times
Lord Jesus, you came into the world to heal our infirmities and to endure our sufferings. You went about healing all and bringing comfort to those in pain and need. We come before you now in this time of illness asking that you may be the source of our strength in body, courage in spirit and patience in pain. May we join ourselves more closely to you on the cross and in your suffering that through them we may draw our patience and hope. Assist us and restore us to health so that united more closely to your family, the Church, we may give praise and honor to your name.  Amen.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Lent II

“Jesus on the mountain peak, stands alone in glory blazing.  
Let us, if we dare to speak, join the saints and angels praising.”
                                                        from “Transfiguration” text by Brian Wren

Today’s Liturgical note comments on the liturgy, readings and music in the order in which they occur on this Second Sunday in Lent.

Prelude:         Transfiguration #131
For me, the prelude serves as transition from private prayer to the focus of the day’s scripture.  Brian Wren’s text places us on the mountain top with Peter, James and John as they witness Jesus’ speaking with Moses and Elijah and then hear the voice of God.  

Chanted entrance antiphon and instrumental procession
The entrance antiphon (introit) is part of the Introductory Rite.  At St. Mary’s it is chanted by the cantor to highlight the solemness of the Lenten season. 

The instrumental procession creates space for personal reflection as the server carries the cross - the symbol of Christ’s sacrifice and ultimate victory over sin and death.

Sung Kyrie
One of the earliest prayers of the church translated from the Greek as “Lord have mercy.”  We sing the Kyrie during lent to highlight the penitential nature of the season.

Scripture readings
Today’s first reading speaks of the relationship between God, Abraham and Abraham’s descendents.   This relationship continues through Jesus, God’s “Beloved Son”. Like our Jewish brothers and sisters we are called to share this blessing with others.

A commentary on today’s psalm by U.S. Council of Bishops furthers this point:
A hymn in which the just are invited (Ps 33:1–3) to praise God, who by a mere word (Ps 33:4–5) created the three-tiered universe of the heavens, the cosmic waters, and the earth (Ps 33:6–9). Human words, in contrast, effect nothing (Ps 33:10–11). The greatness of human beings consists in God’s choosing them as a special people and their faithful response.  

Prayer of the Faithful
The chanting of the response; Lord have mercy reflects the solemness of the season and our reliance on the goodness and mercy of God.

Offertory    Transfigure Us, O Lord  #499
A second song about the transfiguration?  Yes. The verses to this song are somewhat “literal”.  Jesus is: God’s love, light, forgiveness, food etc. The refrain, however, speaks of the lenten call to conversion.  BTW. The fourth verse points toward the next part of Jesus’ earthly journey, his walk to Jerusalem and crucifixion on Golgotha.

Mass of Christ the Savior    Dan Schutte #912, 915, 916, 917
We sing this setting for both lent (where the Gloria is it omitted by liturgical rule) and the Easter season.  The lenten Memorial acclamation speaks of Christ’s cross and resurrection as the way to salvation.

Communion          Psalm 27
Psalm 27 is the source of today’s entrance antiphon.  The psalmist trusts in God’s protection and God’s rescue from whatever seeks our ruin.  This particular setting was composed in a gospel style by Andrew J. Witchger, church musician and current director of music for the Duke University Catholic Center.

Recessional        Lead Me, Lord #726
The verses are an adaptation of the Beatitudes.  The image of the narrow gate contrasts the choice to obey or not obey Christ’s words and comes from the gospel. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.”  Matthew 7:13.   

Blessed to walk this lenten journey once again with you at St. Mary’s,


Why won't you be my neighbor?

  October 25th 2020 3oth Sunday in Ordinary Time   Thus says the LORD: You shall not oppress or afflict a resident alien,  for you were once...