3/17/19: Joyful and Not-Quite-Joyful Noise

A Jewish friend once admonished me for passing up a recreational day trip. He let me know that one day when we face God, He will say “I filled this world with innocent wholesome pleasures. What pleasures did you go and enjoy?”

Well here is a new innocent wholesome pleasure to add to the post-bucket list.
I can pull out my cell phone and say “Look at all these nice hymns all about You that I figured out how to record right on my cell phone. At night while flossing or ironing, I could turn on the phone inside my waist pack pocket and play them back.” It’s a great way to learn those grand old German Lutheran hymns that we Catholics missed along the way while we kept the indulgences and relics and Luther left with the really good music, and then composed more.

And today’s catch of the day was especially good, including “I Bind Unto Myself Today,” with the lilting Irish melody “St. Patrick’s Breastplate.” Why have I never once heard this melody in a Catholic service? To make up for lost time, here’s a clip with the Keble College choir, ending with some wonderful harmonies:

And another with the sheet music:

When first recording hymns three weeks ago, I couldn’t help noticing that the phone picked up a sound which wasn’t audible to the naked ear in church. It happens whenever our gifted organist strikes the first note of a hymn. It’s an awful whirring howling growl, starting low and ending high and angry. The first time I heard it on a cell phone recording I thought “Goodness. Did a cat jump into the organ?” How strange — it happened every time the organ struck up a song!

It was only while standing in church today that I figured it out. Eager to record the very first note, yet not wanting to appear that I was texting or surfing the ‘net during the hymns, I would whip out the phone, press Video, aim the camera at the name of the hymn in my worship book, drop the phone back in the waist pack, and — Whirrrrrrrrrrraugh!!!! yank the pack zipper closed. Mystery solved.

Next time the world dismays me with its noise, it is worth checking to see whether the racket, external or internal, begins with me. Meanwhile, Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Let’s put on the breastplate of the Trinity and go appreciate some innocent pleasures!

About maryangelis

Hello Readers! (= Здравствуйте, Читатели!) The writer lives in the Catholic and Orthodox faiths and the English and Russian languages, working in an archive by day and writing at night. Her walk in the world is normally one human being and one small detail after another. Then she goes home and types about it all until the soup is done.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 3/17/19: Joyful and Not-Quite-Joyful Noise

  1. Bill Sheehan says:

    I regret to tell you that St. John the Evangelist on Bowdoin Street in Boston is no more. It closed over three years ago. The Lady Altar ended up in St. John’s Bowdoin Street, Winthrop. Given that it was originally opened as a mission to the slum tenement dwellers of the West End and the habitués of the fleshpots of Scollay Square, it’s a wonder it lasted as long as it did. Church of the Advent lies on the western side of Beacon Hill and the Cathedral is on the eastern side, and there just aren’t that many Episcopalians living there anymore.

    But Sarah and I will always remember it as the site of the first of many happiest days of our lives.

    • maryangelis says:

      Dear Bill, Thank you for that news about St. John’s. It is a wonder that our traditional churches keep open their doors at all these days, and it is good to hear that at least the Lady Altar is now at St. John’s in Winthrop. And yes, there are many of us still out there who look back and remember that day as a profoundly joyful one, with much joy to follow. Love to you both, still your penpal M

  2. Bill Sheehan says:

    Loved the recording of St. Patrick’s Breastplate, my only wish was that they had used the hymntune called “Deidre” for the a cappella bit. (You may remember this hymn from a little service at the former St. John’s on Bowdoin Street, Boston about 27 years ago…)

    • maryangelis says:

      Why Bill, Goodness Hello! Thank you for contributing that pointer at the moon — I’m happily listening to “Deirdre” right now, which has just morphed into a perfect little side tangent (yes, why did they not use that?) and now Hark is back at the main tune again. Just perfect. Bowdoin Street had so much beauty flying past and through one’s head at all times. In fact, on my next visit Back Yonder I will make it a point to stop in there. Now on to your next comment… Love to you both and unto your house, M

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.