is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Silver Bells (It's Christmastime In the City)

I have had a marvelous weekend.

Nothing serious, just enjoying the sounds of the Season and reveling in everything that is joyous.  
I learned some new Christmas songs on the ukulele like White Christmas, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Here Comes Santa Claus, and more (Little Boxes qualifies, right? :)

I also tirelessly played Happy Xmas (War Is Over)  on the piano and listened to some great tunes by Rosemary Clooney and other Christmas-friendly singers, and started getting the house ready for the Holiday that feast that is to be when my gorgeous sisters make their way through the snow to see me on Christmas Day. 

 Karen will have played a marathon of Masses and Kelli will entertain as only Kelli can - my nieces will join us and we will go tell it on the mountain, trust me.

On Christmas Eve, my buddy Tom Bragg will sing O Holy Night, a true gift for all of us because his vocal health has suffered a bit recently (but he's fine now, and sounds wonderful).

Soo, back to my weekend and why I'm yammering on about how terrific it was. Last night, I of course tended bar during the UK game, but made enough for cab fare to make it over to Chevy Chase Inn just in time to see The Squirrels, a fantastic swing band - I dare to say it's western swing, even, although I don't know enough to define that sort of genre - headed up by some great local folks, including J.P. Pennington, who was and is and always shall be one of the best guitarists I've ever heard.  

CCI on Saturday night was hoppin - music by The Squirrels! 
What a treat!  They played Sweet Georgia Brown, My Baby Thinks He's a Train, and a medley of Gospel songs like Bringing In the Sheaves/Will The Circle Be Unbroken/I'll Fly Away and several other standards.  I got home late, but it was totally worth it, and reminded me that I need to take the time and effort to go see/hear/do things that make my life more full of ... well, full of life :)

Sunday morning warm up in the Evans Music Room 

In worship today, we were treated to Anabelle and Penny's duet, The Angel Gabriel with Kate Covington accompanying on piano, violinist Pam Hammonds played Gesu Bambino and Betty Rhodes sang Sweet Little Jesus Boy.  It's the last Sunday of Advent, so we lit the last candle, the Candle of Love.  Tears. Love.  Goodness.  I just was very moved by the carols we sang as well - Joy To the World and The First Noel.  The church was full of poinsettias and the kids were all decked was just a lovely time.

As I have said before, at Central, we honor other holy histories and traditions as we celebrate the worth, dignity and gifts of every person as a child of God.  Our church is not a hell-fire-and-damnation sort of congregation, we're more of a "there are many rooms in my Father's house" sort of folk.  Accordingly, in today's worship, a baby boy was dedicated, the blessing of a child of God, and two women were baptized, during which we sang I Come To Be Baptized Today, which is the same tune as Eva Cassidy's version of the folk song The Water Is Wide.  It was, again, simply a lovely time.  

Here's a part of what was said during the lighting of the candle of Love:

Love's memory is long
As we come to the last Sunday of Advent,
we recall the many times we have been here before
with still so much to do and so much love left unexpressed.

Long ago the people were given a sign of God's presence.
"Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they
shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us."

Love's promise is often kept in unexpected ways.

God's love endures forever.
In a world where even evergreens turn dry and brittle,
God's love is the one reality on which we can rely.
Today we prepare for the greatest expression of that love.

God's love endures forever.
Through acts as simple and common as the birth of a baby,
God transforms the world, and God's promises are kept.
It is that expression of faithful love
we anticipate and celebrate this day.
It is that promise that brings light to our deepest night.

Oh, and I just saw Autumn holding hands with 
Winter, walking under the mistletoe at dusk...

pray for peace, people everywhere,

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