Saturday, December 17, 2016

Music for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

I am taking a sabbatical from my full Musical Advent Calendar. I hope to prepare the full calendar in again for Advent 2017, but for Advent 2016, I will have a selection for each Sunday of this season. New posts in the series will be available on Saturday evenings.

Sunday, December 18 | The Fourth Sunday of Advent

"Adore Him"
Words and music by Kari Jobe, 2009
Performed by Kari Jobe on the album Worship and Adore: A Christmas Offering

(Song text is displayed in the video)


Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever, Amen.

The Collect for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Music for the Third Sunday of Advent

I am taking a sabbatical from my full Musical Advent Calendar. I hope to prepare the full calendar in again for Advent 2017, but for Advent 2016, I will have a selection for each Sunday of this season. New posts in the series will be available on Saturday evenings.

Sunday, December 11 | The Third Sunday of Advent

"The First Noel"
Words a traditional English carol, exact origin unknown
Music by John Stainer, 1871, adapted by R. Christopher Teichler, 2006
Performed by the Wheaton College (IL) Concert Choir, Men's Glee Club, Women's Chorale, and Symphonic Band at the 2006 Wheaton College Christmas Festival

(Song text is displayed in the video)


Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and forever, Amen.



The Collect for the Third Sunday of Advent

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Music for the Second Sunday of Advent

I am taking a sabbatical from my full Musical Advent Calendar. I hope to prepare the full calendar in again for Advent 2017, but for Advent 2016, I will have a selection for each Sunday of this season. New posts in the series will be available on Saturday evenings.

Sunday, December 4 | The Second Sunday of Advent

"O Magnum Mysterium"
Words are a responsorial chant from the Matins of Christmas
Musical setting my Morten Lauridsen, 1994
Performed by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, during "Christmas at King's," 2009

O magnum mysterium et admirable sacramentum
O great mystery and wonderful sacrament
Ut animalia viderent Dominum natum jacentem in praesepio
That animals should see the newborn Lord lying in a manger
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt portare
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy to bear
Dominum Christum, amen
The Lord Christ, amen



Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever, Amen.

The Collect for the Second Sunday of Advent

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Music for the First Sunday of Advent

I am taking a sabbatical from my full Musical Advent Calendar. I hope to prepare the full calendar in again for Advent 2017, but for Advent 2016, I will have a selection for each Sunday of this season. New posts in the series will be available on Saturday evenings.

Sunday, November 27 | The First Sunday of Advent

"Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus"
Words by Charles Wesley, 1744
Music by Rowland H. Prichard, c. 1830
Performed by Fernando Ortega on the album "Christmas Songs," 2008

(Song text is displayed in the video)


Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now and in the time of this mortal life in which your son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever, Amen.

The Collect for the First Sunday of Advent

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Gratitude

On this Thanksgiving Eve, some things I am thankful for (surely an incomplete list)...

Naomi, my wife
Ed and Becky, my parents
Paul, my brother
Vel and Dorothy, my grandmothers
My extended family members
Tony and Gerald, my bosses at Wheaton and Calvary, respectively
Dr. Wilder and Todd, their bosses, respectively
My colleagues at Wheaton and Calvary
My student staff at Wheaton
The orchestra members at Calvary
My friends within the Calvary Young Adults community group
Wheaton College and Calvary Memorial Church, and not just in their context as my employers
My appointment to the Executive Committee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Overture Council
The Chicago Cubs, and their 2016 season
The precious, limitless, relentless grace of God

Sunday, October 2, 2016

2016 MLB Postseason Predictions

My predictions are based loosely on the competing teams' head-to-head records and factoring home field advantage. Obviously I do not have a future as a sports journalist. And I am biased toward one of the teams. But just for fun:

American League Wild Card: Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays
Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays

National League Wild Card: San Francisco Giants at New York Mets
Prediction: New York Mets

American League Division Series: Toronto Blue Jays at Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox at Cleveland Indians
Predictions: Texas Rangers in 5, Boston Red Sox in 5

National League Division Series: New York Mets at Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals
Predictions: Chicago Cubs in 5, Los Angeles Dodgers in 5

American League Championship Series: Boston Red Sox at Texas Rangers
Prediction: Texas Rangers in 7

National League Championship Series: Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs
Prediction: Chicago Cubs in 6

World Series: Chicago Cubs at Texas Rangers
Prediction: Chicago Cubs in 7

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

First Seven Jobs

Because who doesn't love being part of a trending topic? Here we go...

My first job was paper carrier for the Wednesday Journal of Oak Park and River Forest. My route covered the four blocks of East Avenue between Roosevelt Road and the Eisenhower Expressway. I walked my route every Wednesday for many years and received lots of nice tips every Christmas.

My second employer was the Park District of Oak Park, and I had three different positions over five summers. My first summer, 2006, I was a bike attendant for the pools, an entry-level position that was new that summer. The next year I was a pool maintenance technician, and the following three summers I was a facility operations coordinator, the shift supervisor for all the maintenance staff.

In between those summers, when I was a student at Wheaton College, I had two different jobs. I was a stage manager for the Conservatory of Music (to which I credit my eventual arrival in the arts management profession) for seven of my eight semesters of undergrad and an office assistant to Dr. Tim Yontz, the director of bands and music education and my major adviser, for four semester.

My first "career" job (and I am not counting freelance trombone performance gigs and a handful of private lessons) was Assistant Band Director at Hadley Junior High School in Glen Ellyn, a year with all the challenges of being a first-year teacher but one I overall enjoyed and am grateful for.

And those were my first seven jobs. If you've read my biography, and have now done the math, you will know that I am already at double-digits for number of jobs held. In addition to the three I have now (with two employers), I also worked for a few months in 2014 for Quinlan & Fabish Music Company. If the hashtag had been #firstelevenjobs, I would have just made it.

So there you have it, a narrative form of my resume!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Encouragement for the Arts Manager

Being an arts manager, I am no stranger to the challenges my field faces from everything from after effects of the recession to the advent of mobile communications and entertainment technology. Hardly a week goes by without being in a staff meeting where someone references these challenges.

Perhaps I am a hopeless optimist, but I am hopeful for the future of the live performing arts, even if if looks vastly different in this century than it did in the last -- because I see that even while different than in the past, the live performing arts can still have incredible value and purpose in strengthening communities and celebrating common humanity across cultures.

I write about it today because I read two encouraging articles on the matter. A performing arts center in Southern California and a symphony orchestra in New England are not just avoiding the effects of these challenging times, but are finding ways to flourish, and doing so, it seems, with joy.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Reflection for Holy Saturday

Today is the last day of Lent. From Ash Wednesday, through the first five Sundays, and through all the special services of Holy Week, it is now Holy Saturday.

A little later this morning, I will go to the church. For the church staff, today is the day of preparation for our Easter Sunday celebration. Extra staff from all departments will be on duty. We have decorations to hang, flowers to arrange, food service tables and sound and music equipment to set, and of course our custodial team will be busy with all their usual Saturday tasks of cleaning the pews and bathrooms and so on.

I always feel like I am cheating a little bit, though, getting to see the church decorated before it is actually Easter Sunday. There is no getting around the historical fact that there was a day between the crucifixion and resurrection. Some traditions refer to this day as Silent Saturday.

Growing up, this day had a somewhat unsettled feeling for me. I always struggled to know what to do with this day. When I was living with my parents, if my family was hosting the extended family for Easter brunch, I would have my share of household cleaning to do. But, even knowing the next day was one of celebration, the day never seemed to have any real sense of purpose or direction to me. Even today, I feel a sense of disorientation, of melancholy.

It makes me reflect on what the disciples of Jesus were feeling on that first Silent Saturday. For them, it was the Jewish Sabbath, so already a day of comparatively less on their schedules. After the tragedy of the previous day, I imagine most of them spent the day in silence, whether by themselves or with some of the others. Perhaps a subdued meal, though I imagine none had much of an appetite. Lots of staring into space, or aimlessly wandering through Jerusalem or the surrounding countryside.

And of course, they did not realize what was coming the next day. Their grief was total and consuming. I would not be surprised if they were also angry, angry at God, angry at the perceived crushing of their hopes and dreams that Jesus was the promised Messiah.

And after a long day of mostly nothing, I am sure they all went to bed thinking the next day would be more of the same. More deep sadness. More feeling aimless and disoriented, as if life had lost its purpose and meaning.

But at dawn, their lives, and the world, would change completely and thoroughly.

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who lies and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
(The Collect for Holy Saturday)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

I Arise Today

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me,
Afar and anear
Alone or in a multitude

Christ shield me today
Against wounding
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength.
Of the Lord of creation.

Attributed to St. Patrick of Ireland

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Post for MLK Day, Intentionally Late

In the United States, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the third Monday of January. Last week, on the third Monday of January, I took time throughout the day to read the latest articles and blog posts and essays coming through my feed about the life, legacy, and message of Martin Luther King Jr. and many related themes.

Those themes will never translate into actions and change unless we remember them on all the days other than the third Monday in January. And so today, on this fourth Monday of January, I share just two brief selections from my reading last week, for your reflection. Neither will take long to read -- unless of course you stop to think about what the words mean.

First, Joel J. Miller writes at Theology That Sticks of "Martin Luther King Jr.'s unfinished task." He reflects on a sermon King gave in Montgomery in 1956, and explores the contrast between racism and the Christian doctrine of the Imago Dei.

Second, I found a collection of "15 Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes That Will Challenge You to Take Action." Obviously, context is key and thus the next step after reviewing the list is to pursue the original sermon or speech or letter to better understand King's thinking, but the one liners in themselves can certainly provoke thought or conversation.

Was there anything you read last Monday that made you stop and think? Share a link in the comments section below.