May 23, 2006
May 25, 2006

May 24, 2006


As China tries to figure out what, if any, religious freedoms its people will enjoy (I'm thinking now of the recent flap between the Vatican and Beijing over state-approved bishops), it would be interesting to see a new exhibit of Bibles and other artifacts from China. The display will be at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City from June 5-12. I can't go. One of you go and report to us, please. For a bit of a preview, click here.

* * *


I keep telling readers to go to funerals. I find them amazing experiences -- no matter the religious tradition of the person who has died.

NotesThe other day I attended a funeral in my own church of one of our members, a wonderful elderly man who had struggled with Parkinson's disease in recent years.

He loved music -- especially opera. And for this service, there was music I hadn't heard before -- parts of a work called "Requiem" by Gabriel Faure. (The last letter of his name should have an accent over it, but I can't seem to get the Typepad system to give that to me.)

At any rate, four singers and our church organist performed the works, and they were wonderful. So when I got home, I dug around on the Internet to find out what I could about Faure, a French composer born in 1845. Today I'm going to pass along to you some of what I found because sacred music is such an important part of what happens in faith communities and I thought maybe Faure would interest you.

So for a good rundown on Faure and the Requiem, click here. You have to be a little careful about what you find on Wikipedia, the free Internet encyclopedia, but for the Wikipedia entry on this subject, click here. For some program notes on the Requiem, click here. And if you want an English translation of the Latin used in the work, click here.

If this happens to be one of your favorite works and you have a favorite recording of it, let me know. I'd like to own one.

To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here.


SC in KC

From Psalm 68, David wrote...

24 Your procession has come into view, O God,
the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary.

25 In front are the singers, after them the musicians;
with them are the maidens playing tambourines.

It's been almost a year since my father-in-law went home, and the music at his funeral still haunts me. It said so much about his life, his passion, his heart.

I'll always have a soft spot for the funeral processions of New Orleans. Mournful and sad, turning to jubilant celebration. When I go, I want my loved ones to mourn me for 5 minutes, then celebrate whenever they think of me walking along in that victorious procession with Christ.

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