The last sentence of former student Joey Fala‘s letter which was read on Sunday at my 35-year celebration was this: I’m looking forward to seeing you in Boston this summer! Who would have guessed that just a day later, people around the world would have the city of Boston in their hearts and prayers? The horrific images of the carnage at the Boston Marathon have been all over the news and we are stunned that this has taken place in one of our favorite cities. In fact, we will be attending the Boston Early Music Festival in June. Joey will be in Boston to do an internship in architectural lighting, and we have already made plans to meet.
In the last 24 hours, we have made several connections with our Boston friends, including Edith Ho (now retired) who was choirmaster of the Church of the Advent. You can check out my previous posts about how Edith was a musical mentor to my husband, Carl.
One of our Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (ALCM) colleagues, Greg Peterson, used to be the organist/choirmaster of Old South Church, which is called “The Church of the Finishing Line.” The locus of the bomb was about a half block from Old South Church, where the Boston AGO chapter had its organ playing competition just a week ago.
And just today we heard from Michael Kleinschmidt who is in Hawaii on vacation with his spouse. Until a couple of years ago, he used to be the organist/choirmaster of Trinity Church, Copley Square in Boston (see map above). We’ll have dinner with them tomorrow night.
I couldn’t help but recall the words of the hymn, O God of every nation (tune: LLANGLOFFAN), text by William W. Reid Jr.
O God of every nation, of every race and land
redeem your whole creation with your almighty hand;
where hate and fear divide us and bitter threats are hurled,
in love and mercy guide us and heal our strife-torn world.
From search for wealth and power and scorn of truth and right,
from trust in bombs that shower destruction through the night
from pride of race and station and blindness to your way,
deliver every nation, eternal God, we pray.
Lord, strengthen all who labor that all may find release
from fear of rattling saber, from dread of war’s increase;
when hope and courage falter, Lord, let your voice be heard;
with faith that none can alter, your servants undergird.
Keep bright in us the vision of days when war shall cease,
when hatred and division give way to love and peace,
till dawns the morning glorious when truth and love shall reign,
and Christ shall rule victorious o’er all the world’s domain.