Archive for June, 2016

Remembering Orlando

Candles in front of altar

At Compline last Sunday, we prayed for the victims who died in Orlando, Florida that morning. Before the service, the Peace Bell tolled fifty times while members of the Compline Choir placed fifty candles on the altar steps. Then a response and collect for the dead were sung, followed by the Kontakion for the Departed sung in procession. I have excerpted here the last three tollings of the bell, followed by the prayers:

The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The Lord is the strength of my life: And my salvation
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Let us pray.
O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered: Accept our prayers on behalf of the fifty persons slaughtered in Orlando, and grant them an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of thy saints; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. AMEN.

Give rest, O Christ, to your servant with your saints:
where sorrow and pain are no more;
neither sighing, but life everlasting.
You only are immortal, the creator and maker of mankind;
and we are mortal, formed of the earth,
and to earth shall we return.
For so did you ordain,
when you created me saying,
“You are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
All of us go down to the dust;
yet even at the grave we make our song:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Later in the service we sang a lovely hymn, which combined a text by Albert F. Bayly (1901-1984) with the tune “St. Helena,” by Calvin Hampton (1938-1984):

Lord, whose love through humble service bore the weight of human need,
who upon the cross, forsaken, offered mercy’s perfect deed,
we, your servants, bring the worship not of voice alone, but heart,
consecrating to your purpose every gift that you impart.

Still your children wander homeless; still the hungry cry for bread;
still the captives long for freedom; still in grief we mourn our dead.
As, dear Lord, your deep compassion healed the sick and freed the soul,
use the love your Spirit kindles still to save and make us whole.

As we worship, grant us vision, ’til your love’s revealing light,
in its height and depth and greatness, dawns upon our quickened sight,
making known the needs and burdens your compassion bids us bear,
stirring us to tireless striving, your abundant life to share.

For the whole podcast from this memorable evening, which included Peter Hallock’s setting of Psalm 13, and “Salvator Mundi” (1599) by the Venetian composer Giovanni Bassano, click here.

[On June 15, 2016, a vigil service was held at St. Mark’s Cathedral, after which there was a procession to St. James Cathedral. For more information, see the St. Mark’s website or the website for The Compline Choir].

Candles - side

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