I guess I had never heard the word “necrology” before (I could not have used the word in a sentence!) until I took a job as a parish administrator in an Episcopal church in 2004. It refers to a list of people who have died.
I couldn’t help but think back to the last time I entered Bloedel Hall, on the lower level of St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle — and that was the reception following Peter Hallock‘s memorial service, May 18, 2014.
Now just about a year later, the alumni and current members of the Compline Choir, and the founding members of the Hallock Legacy Society were invited to a dinner last night in Bloedel. It was a chance to hear the latest news about the Hallock Institute — a special fund of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia devoted to the perpetuation of Peter Hallock’s music. I was particularly proud to be part of the small number of people who were asked to stand if we had already made the Hallock Institute a part of our estate plans.
As usual, Jason Anderson, the current Compline Choir director, had thought of everything in his super organization of this whole weekend’s series of events, and even had flyers to help direct our table conversations.
At my table were Mel Butler and Mary Coon, Richard Greene (the third-longest serving Compline member who has sung for over 30 years) and Bill Turnipseed, who has sung in the group since the late 1990s. Our table was filled with much laughter over some of the Compline Choir adventures (and especially, Peter Hallock’s comments!) over its 59-year history.
We decided to go back to Fall City after dinner to listen to Compline on the radio. Before the Compline service actually began, I was especially touched to hear Carl Crosier‘s name read in the necrology list of those men who had sung with the group and had now died. I was filled with sadness when I heard all the familiar names of friends I had made in this special singing group over the years. If you would like to look at the complete list, click Necrology List. The last name on the list, Jim Weaver, was a singer who just died suddenly last Monday at the age of 57 — and I remembered meeting and talking to him at Peter’s funeral last year. In fact, Carl had originally engaged Jim to come sing the bass solo in our St. Matthew Passion, but things didn’t work out.
The anthem for the evening was Peter Hallock’s “Bring us, O Lord” which you can hear by clicking here. It was the same one which had been sung at Peter’s funeral and seems especially appropriate in remembering someone who has died: Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening Into the house and gate of heaven. To enter that gate and dwell in that house, Where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light; No noise nor silence, but one equal music; No fears nor hopes, but one equal possession; No ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity; In the habitation of thy glory and dominion, World without end, Amen.
The entire service is available on podcast and can be heard by clicking here.
After the Compline broadcast, I thoroughly enjoyed Roger Sherman’s Organ Loft program which featured my host, Mel Butler, playing an outstanding rendition of the Ascension Suite of Olivier Messiaen.
Just to let you know that this weekend has not been all music—all the time. It was Mother’s Day after all, and my son, Stephen and his wife, Jessica, and I spent the morning at the Space Needle and lunch in the Alki district of Seattle, before I took them to the airport for their return home.