For this Veterans Day, colored by the sadness of yesterday's services at Fort Hood, I thought it would be appropriate to share with you a bit of music I recorded the other evening at the "Requiem and Remembrance 2009" event at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Kansas City.
What you will hear is about five minutes of the opening of the world premier of "Requiem for Peace," by Mario Pearson, director of music at the Catholic cathedral. The clip opens with about 20 seconds of silence. I didn't know it at the time, but I should have kept the recorder going for about another minute and a half and you could have heard all of the opening piece, "Introit and Requiem Aeternam."
I was sitting in the next to the last row and the orchestra and chorus were directly over our heads in a balcony section that contains the organ keyboard.
To hear a five-minute clip, click on this link:
The Pearson piece was spectacular, as I hope you can tell from this small audio taste, and the acoustics in the cathedral are excellent.
A requiem is a widely used type of music designed to plead for the repose of the dead. Perhaps my favorite is by John Rutter -- but only because I've been part of a choir that has sung it. For a video taste of the Rutter piece, click here.
The Catholic cathedral was full the other night, and when it was over, we walked, carrying candles, a block and a half or so through the downtown streets to a reception at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, the Episcopal church that works with the Catholic cathedral to put on this annual event.
Msgr. Robert Gregory of Immaculate Conception and Dean Terry White of Grace & Holy work well together and present an excellent model of ecumenical cooperation. After the event, both Terry and Robert told me of some joking e-mail they shared recently in which Terry told Robert he was not among the Anglicans who would be joining the Catholic Church (in response to a recent and controversial Vatican overture), though Terry did tell Robert that he'd think about it if he could start as a monsignor. Everyone had a good laugh at that.
On Veterans Day we remember our military dead. We give thanks for their service on our behalf. And those of us who are people of faith pray that they are safely in God's eternal company. A requiem of the quality of Pearson's or Rutter's is a perfect way to say all that.
And if you'd like to hear and see the whole Rutter requiem by an Episcopal choir in Alabama, click here.
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SOMEONE NEEDS A CONSTITUTION 101 CLASS
A federal judge in South Carolina has ruled that the state cannot issue a license plate that contains a cross, a stained glass window and the words "I believe." Good heavens. Yes, there are some difficult church-state cases that involve careful judgment, but how do such obviously unconstitutional practices as this ever get to the courts?