There’s no question that my last post about the resignation of John Renke and the loss of the music program at St. Andrew’s Cathedral created a firestorm of Facebook shares, comments, emails, plus more from all over the world. Those of you who don’t have Facebook accounts are perhaps wondering what is “trending,” and I would say that it is a combination of a sense of loss, grief, sympathy, and outrage—especially in a church founded by Queen Emma and King Kamehameha, who went to England and loved the music and liturgy so much that they established the Anglican Communion in Hawaii! Here are some samples:
Such a loss. So sad for so many reasons. Thank you, Kathy, for all you are and do. Thank you, John! Truly there will be a hole in our music and sacred community. (M.B., Honolulu)
I have so many fond memories of the wonderful music at St. Andrew’s This breaks my heart….(V.S., Oklahoma City, OK)
…thank you so much for reminding us all how far reaching the impact will be and how important a part of the community John and the choir have been, as well as all those who have come before us in this wonderful tradition. (G.M., Honolulu)
From my point of view from Germany, Honolulu and Hawaii will no longer be the same after this loss of cultural activity and heritage. (D.A., Karlsruhe, Germany)
This is news just makes my heart ache, surely the loss of this musician will leave a gaping hole in the fabric of arts that are Hawai’i. (P.J., Audubon, MN)
I woke up in the middle of the night hurting. I hurt for St. Andrew’s Cathedral and the heritage of the Anglican Communion. Liturgy is not for all, but darn it, it’s for some! Music of the (high) Anglican tradition must continue. I would not have my deep, joyous faith without it. Ever since childhood, Liturgy and “high” church made sense to me. I am a deeply spiritual and JOYOUS person because of that upbringing. Thank you, Mom and Dad! No one can take this away from me, but man, I would still like to have SOME PLACE to GO where I can express myself in this tradition!!!!! Where to now? We DON’T HAVE ANYWHERE to GO!!!!! Please, what are we going to do???????? (S.D., Kailua, HI)
Wha-a-t?!? This is disturbing and tragic news…. Did this come as a total surprise or was it the result of a lengthy, internal struggle not previously brought to light? So, so sad. (N.R., Dallas, TX)
Bad things have happened to me and to many colleagues who have worked in the church. I can only imagine the worst— (S.K., St. Paul, MN)
This is the saddest time ever in my life as an Episcopalian. (E.C., Honolulu)
Terrible news. (J.A., Seattle, WA)
But amidst all the events of the past week, there is some GOOD news! For the first time since 2012, the service of Compline will be sung at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu this Sunday, October 2 at 7:30 pm. Carl Crosier started this tradition on August 1, 1976 and with a group of 8-12 men, sung the service weekly, in candlelight by a men’s choir. They carried on this meditative service for over thirty years. This Sunday, Oct. 2 at 7:30pm, 15 men from the Evening Prayer and 10:30 choirs will lead Compline for the first time in four years and all are warmly invited to attend. This service will feature beautiful a cappella music in a quiet, contemplative setting to end or begin your week.
I would suggest that you read some of my previous posts about Compline here: “The First LCH Compline,” “Bittersweet Compline,” and “A gift of love,” in which you can hear the Compline Choir of St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle, in a podcast devoted to Carl Crosier three days before his death.