I subscribe to an electronic mailing list about pipe organs, and of course, music for the Royal Wedding did not escape notice. Earlier I gave you a link for all the music that was performed for Prince William and Kate Middleton, which included a lot of music which did not get television coverage. (Yes, I stayed up past 1 am to watch the wedding on TV, but Carl fell asleep during the homily and missed the rest of it.)
In case you missed the wedding, you can replay the glorious music by clicking here. The number of musicians employed for this occasion numbered in the hundreds, and included the Westminster Abbey Company of Ringers (who rang the bells before the service); the Choir of Westminster Abbey and the Choir of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, conducted by James O’Donnell (organist and master of the choristers); sub-organist Robert Quinney of Westminster Abbey; State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry; Fanfare Team from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force; assistant organist, James McVinnie, Westminster Abbey; and the London Chamber Orchestra.
There was an interesting blog posting by James McVinnie, assistant organist of Westminster Abbey, who wrote about the Royal Wedding from the organist’s perspective. A lot of the post is autobiographical, but he says amid all the hype and the fervor, “there’s also a sense that the Abbey has a tradition of worship and music making that stretches back for centuries. This somehow outweighs all the fervor. After all, it’s the same organ we play each day for the Abbey’s regular worshipers.”
Since I have been the organist at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu for 33 years, I have played for many of the parishioners’ weddings. But during the period 1996 through 2005 we opened the doors to visitors from Japan who came to Hawaii specifically to have a wedding ceremony. In all there were 3,218 couples who walked through those double doors, who might never have visited LCH or any other Christian church for that matter.
About a month ago, we had a Japanese couple visit the 10:30 Sunday service who came with their two children. They in fact stayed for the entire service and greeted me afterwards. They were one of those over 3,000 Japanese couples who had their wedding ceremony at LCH, and they wanted to show their children where they got married.
In one of my annual reports, I wrote: “We send them our blessings and pray for their happiness.”
We wish the same for Prince William and Kate.