One holiday wish, that we could all get along.
This past Sunday was the Pilgrimage. Walking from one church to the next, sharing our Christmas traditions.
We begin at the Mt. Zion church, listening to their Hammond B3 organ (the kind used in the song House of the Rising Sun) and their rousing, get on your feet renditions of beautiful songs often called Negro Spirituals. Also the most beautiful version of Mary Did You Know that i've ever heard.
The Methodists are next, with the half orchestra and full choir. We join in when they tell us to, and it's heart stirring.
Our own Presbyterian church is third. Ms. N asked the church we partner with in another area of town to send their music team to join us. It's the church with which we were going to have 50 couples from our church and 50 from theirs to meet up each month for a year and establish better friendships across racial lines. When their church flooded, we just told them to come worship with us, and they did, and they came back for this. Add a multi-ethnic dance troupe to some non-traditional songs, praise and worship tunes rather than Christmas songs, and it was a sight to behold.
Off to the Episcopal church next, with the choir sitting facing each other between the congregation and the altar. They are famous for their Treble Choir, children from across the city between 10-16 years old, who sang Mary Had A Only One Child (yes, that's the title). We were treated lovely music and a traditional Episcopal collect of the day and a blessing i'd never heard before.
Now the Catholic Cathedral. The best, tightest, most beautiful A Capella choir, people from all walks of life (read ethnicities) joining their voices in beautiful Latin choruses. Every note pure and perfect, followed by the biggest bells in the city.
Finish off with the Baptist church. Traditional carols, a carillon version of Carol of the Bells, an exquisite piano solo, and the part so many people look forward to every year, an invitation for anyone in the audience to come up on stage and join the Hallelujah Chorus. They do, people from several different denominations, languages, backgrounds, any age, anyone and everyone whether they can carry a tune or not, on stage or from the audience, singing and making melody in their hearts to The Lord.
Cookies and cocoa and cider and coffee follow.
At each place an announcement was repeated: There will be a special program at the end of January. It is free, and it is an invitation for the churches of the whole city, not just downtown, to all come together to promote racial reconciliation. Each pastor mentioned it, and reminded us, if it doesn't start with the churches, it's not going to happen.
Can my wish come true? Can we all get along? Depends on how much we want it. Sunday night we did.
Acadian Remembrance Day -- Acadians of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island
AKC/Eukanuba National Championships -- Orlando, FL, US (top dogs from around the world compete to see -- who really is top dog? through the 18th)
Count the La's in "Deck the Halls" Day -- just so you can say you know
Feast of Hathor -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (goddess of joy, feminine love, and motherhood; date approximate)
Fiesta de Santo Tomas -- Chichicastenango, Guatemala (week long festival celebrating the town's Patron Saint that includes the Palo Volador dance, where men hang by ropes from 30 meter poles, spinning and swinging)
Full Cold Moon or Full Long Nights Moon (also Black Moon or Death Crone Moon)
Mangshir Dhanya Purnima -- Nepal (special harvest/farming festival that starts off the month of Mangshir)
Nattaw Full Moon -- Myanmar
Unduwap Full Moon Poya Day -- Sri Lanka (began sunset yesterday)
Ice Cream and Violins Day -- another of those silly made up holidays that no one can trace, but would be fun to celebrate. Get yourself a bowl of buttered pecan or rum raisin -- if you are going to celebrate, do it in style -- and put in a Mozart or Bach CD, and enjoy!
Icelandic Yuletide Lad of the Day, Giljagaur -- Gully Oaf, who tries to sneak in the cowshed and skim the cream from the pails of milk
Ides of December -- Ancient Roman Calendar; other observance
Festival for Tellus -- a/k/a Tellura or Tellus Mater, the personification of the earth's productive powers
Jum ir-Repubblika -- Malta (Republic Day)
National Day -- Santa Lucia
New Calendar Day -- time to get the 2017 model, unless you contribute to so many charities you are already flooded with them
Peace Day -- Korea (the fighting stopped in 1953, but the Koreas didn't sign a formal nonaggression pact until this day in 1991)
Pick a Pathologist Pal Day -- Wellcat Holidays reminds us that pathologists and coroners are an especially jovial lot, and befriending them is a good way to remind yourself that tomorrow is never guaranteed
Runic Half-month Jara commences (fruition)
St. Herman of Alaska (Orthodox Church Patron of the Americas)
St. Jodocus' Day (Patron of boatmen, harvests, mariners, sailors, watermen; against fever, fire, storms, and shipwrecks)
Saint Lucy's Day (Patron of authors, blind people, cutlers, glaziers, laborers, martyrs, peasants, saddlers, salesmen, sore eyes/eye problems, sore throats, stained glass workers; Begijnendijk, Flemish Brabant, Belgium; Conzano, Italy; Mtarfa, Malta; Perugia, Italy; Santa Lucia di Piave, Italy; Syracuse, Sicily, Italy; Villa Santa Lucia, Latium, Italy; against blindness, dysentery, epidemics, eye diseases, hemorraghes)
Feast of the Light-bringer -- honoring Juno Lucina (Roman goddess of light) and Lucia (Old Swedish goddess of light), all now merged with St. Lucy
Little Yule a/k/a Luciadagen or Santa Lucia (Festival of Lights in many parts of Scandinavia, honoring St. Lucia.)
Unreturned Library Book Sale -- Fairy Calendar (Imps)
Taylor Swift, 1989
Amy Lee, 1981
Tom DeLonge, 1975
Christie Clark, 1973
Jamie Foxx, 1967
Steve Buscemi, 1958
Wendie Malick, 1950
Ted Nugent, 1949
John Davidson, 1941
Aga Khan IV, 1936
Christopher Plummer, 1929
Dick Van Dyke, 1925
Archie Moore, 1913
Kenneth Patchen, 1911
Mary Todd Lincoln, 1818
Heinrich Heine, 1797
The Susan B. Anthony Dollar(USD coin), 1978
"Alice's Restaurant"(Song and Album), 1969
"An American In Paris"(Gershwin Symphony), 1928
Today in History:
The Council of Trent opens, 1545
Sir Francis Drake sets sail from England to circumnavigate the globe, 1577
Emperor Ferdinanad II delegates the first Anti-Reformation decree, 1621
The Massachusetts Bay Colony organizes 3 militias which are today seen as the founding of the United States National Guard, 1636
Dutch navigator Abel Tasman becomes the first European to land in New Zealand, 1642
Dartmouth College in New Hampshire is chartered, 1769
Italo Marcioni patents an ice cream cone, 1903
The Relay 1 communication satellite is launched, 1962
Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt begin the third and final Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) or "Moonwalk" of Apollo 17, 1972
The European Union announces that Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia will become members from May 1, 2004, 2002
Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured, 2003
The Baiji, or Chinese River Dolphin, is announced as extinct, 2006
Scientists in northeast Madagascar confirm a new species of lemur has been found, 2010
An unpublished early work by Hans Christian Anderson is found at the bottom of a filing box at the National Archives of Funen, 2012