Today is August 21st, 2011 — a day we knew about fifteen months ago when Carl wrote a letter to the congregation “Journeys come to an end.” Today was Carl’s last service at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu as its Cantor. Rather than being a day of sadness, it was a time of celebration and rejoicing — for all that Carl has done for LCH and for his great joy in creating music in this space.
If you would like to see the complete (and corrected!) bulletin, you can click here. As Pastor Jeff warned, it was not going to be a brief service and in fact, when I finished the postlude, it was exactly two hours to the minute! Then there were 15 minutes of ‘thank you’ awards and leis. Not a service for the squirmy!
Everything went smoothly — We tuned the orchestra, then young cellist Reid Womack played Bach’s “Arioso” expressively and beautifully — like a prayer —followed by the Confession. Then off we went with Carl’s grand concertato on “Christ is made the sure foundation,” with a handbell introduction and ritornello; choir, organ, and orchestra on the verses. I even got to use the Zimbelstern (cymbal star) on the last verse! After the opening sentences, people sat down while we launched into the “truly terrifying” (Carl’s words) Kyrie from the Lord Nelson Mass, followed by a glorious and happy “Gloria.” After the first reading, Psalm 138 by David Haas was sung by the 8:00 Ensemble, and as a response to the second reading, we sang Carl’s Alleluia Verse (written only yesterday!!)
The F.R.O.G.S. choir sang a spiritual, “Didn’t my Lord deliver Daniel?” and director Teresa McCreary said she picked the piece because “if God delivered Daniel from the lion’s den, God could surely deliver Carl from LCH!” Everyone had a good laugh at that!
Then after Pastor Jeff’s sermon, I played Richard Boursy’s introduction on “Built on a rock,” and we raised the roof with Allen Bauchle’s trumpet fanfare on the last verse. Everyone sat down for the Haydn “Credo” (be glad you didn’t hear this service in England where the congregation would have stood throughout!) For the Lord’s Prayer, we sang my sister’s version from the Alleluia Mass, and it was really exciting to have a full church singing this music.
At the Offertory, Allen conducted Peter Philips’ double choir motet, “Tu es Petrus” with the choir split on two sides of the orchestra, then we were into the Great Thanksgiving. Carl took some breathless tempos in the “Osanna” but luckily everyone stayed together!
During the communion, the 8:00 Ensemble sang “Let us be bread” by Thomas J. Porter, then the Compline Choir sang the sublime “To the supreme being” by Peter Hallock. The sending hymn, “My hope is built on nothing less,” was followed immediately by my postlude: the brilliant Prelude in B Major by my former teacher, Marcel Dupré. And with that, the grand service had come to a close.
But wait! there’s more! I’ll write about the “thank you” announcements in another post.