Liturgically Red Winter

Thaxted

Three years ago, in December, I stood in the sanctuary I was raised in, confirmed in, married in. I was dressed in red, and slung my trumpet up to play “Thaxted” (from Holst’s planets). It was in celebration of a rare sacrament – a once in a life sacrament. My brother was being ordained, and the spirit of the Lord was with him as it was in Pentecost.

On January 3rd, I will stand once again in that century-old sanctuary with the view of Mt. Rainier. I will be dressed in red. I will sling my trumpet once more, and play Thaxted. It will again be for a once-in-life ceremony. My brother and his bride will become husband and wife on that day.

My l33t photography skills failed to get a single picture of them with all their eyes open, but you get the idea.
My l33t photography skills failed to get a single picture of them with all their eyes open, but you get the idea.

Guys, that’s pretty awesome. I’ve had the chance to meet my brother’s intended (who has been patient enough to put up with me calling her my “sister-in-law-elect”). She’s fantastic. I could go into details, but that would probably be bragging on my part. Let’s just say that she’s a Space Lawyer (working on becoming a Space Doctor because just one 7 year degree isn’t enough) and – best of all – she loves my brother. Also, I’m currently batting 1000 for her bringing me donuts when she comes. And there’s an extremely cute Beagle that comes into the family with the ceremony.

I’m really looking forward to spending the Holiday Interregnum with my family, in Washington State. That weekend ordination aside, we don’t all make it home for Christmas very often. (My parents, souls of gracious practicality that they are, encourage us to come home for Camp Gramp instead, which is at our convenience.) We’ll be there for about 10 days, with a mix of chillaxing, weddinging, taking off with my own husband, staying together and generally being a family. The older I get, the more I appreciate both the family of my birth, and the combined family of my married life. It seems rare to luck out on both sides!

So a little googling reveals that there’s actually a lovely wedding hymn set to Thaxted. I’ll leave you with this lovely thought:

We pledge to one another,
before the Lord above,
entire and whole and perfect,
this union of our love —
a love that will be patient,
a love that will be wise,
that will not twist with envy,
nor lose itself in lies;
a love that will not falter,
a love to hold us fast,
and bind us to each other
as long as life shall last.

We pray that God will guide us
through all the years to be,
our lives be shaped by courage,
hope and serenity.
Through joy and celebration,
through loneliness and pain,
may loyalty, compassion
and tenderness remain,
that those who share the blessing
of love that cannot cease
may walk the paths of gentleness
into the place of peace.

(Youtube for those of you who can’t immediately come up with the hymn tune… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2rednwDOd8)

P-p-p-pictures!

So I tackled the memory card issue today, in addition to getting a haircut. I have pictures of our Christmas celebration, and pictures of my brother’s ordination!

Here are photos of our Christmas:
<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/101119887511887245332/Christmas2011"https://picasaweb.google.com/101119887511887245332/Christmas2011

And here are some really nice pictures of my brother’s ordination. It was an experience that merits its own blog post – we’ll see if that ever happens!
https://picasaweb.google.com/101119887511887245332/MattsOrdination

It’s late and I’m tired

It’s late and I’m tired. So you might think I’d go to bed. Ha! You and your logic! The thing is, I miss you guys. I’ve been super-uper-duper busy, even by my standards. As usual, it’s a mix of work (it’s amazing what happens when you have a job that really needs your brains!), kids, things you have to do as a grownup (like paying the bills and doing the laundry), church, and fun activities that are more important than you are (sorry!).

Things that I have neglected to tell you about include the really amazing experience of participating in an ordination. It was wonderful, profound and meaningful. I’d love to share it with you. Maybe someday, but not tonight. Still, you’re not 100% out of luck since I posted some pictures here. (Note to the unfamiliar: not all ordinations feature cakes with replica chocolate hats as a central feature. Only the really cool ones do that.)

Then there was a week of worky worky worky. Friday after work we drove up to the Middle Of Nowhere Maine, took a left, and went to a little resort for the night and then went whitewater river rafting on the Dead River in the morning. Then we drove back. It was completely awesome and nuts and fun. There was a dinner in which we went from the standard “What’s the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve ever seen” (Mine is Coreolanus) to “Which Zombie movies are the best and why.” That, my friends, is how you know you’re having a good dinner. Sadly, there is no photographic evidence any of this took place, so I might have had an extensive and enjoyable hallucination.

Now it’s back to worky worky worky again. Or, more appropriately, sleepy sleepy sleepy.