Wednesday, April 11, 2007

On the Wednesday after Easter

I slowly recover from my first Holy Week as the rector at St. Mary Magdalene.

It was an eventful few days. On Maundy Thursday, during the washing of the feet, Karen and I had a rare opportunity to sing together during worship. We sang a duet, "Softly and Tenderly". The words are below.

Karen and I became godparents for the first time on Saturday evening. We gave our two new godgirls bath toys and Bibles. Appropriate enough, I'd say.

After the Easter Vigil Karen and I treated St. Mary Magdalene to champagne, sparkling apple juice, cheese and crackers. Christ is risen! A good enough, if not the best of reasons, to party!

And Sunday morning we flowered the cross. I had never done this before, and it was quite moving. I'm already looking forward to doing it again next year. Pictures of the flowering will be posted soon over at red eggs (the parish blog), and I will direct you all there when the time comes.

If all this wasn't enough, five services and four sermons in eight days, a saint from the parish of St. Margaret's, long known to Karen and I, was dying in the hospital. So Easter afternoon Karen and I sang to her what we sang on Maundy Thursday:
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
Coming for you and for me.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

O for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!
The meaning of this hymn sure changed as Karen and I sang this to that dying saint - it would probably be a little heavy handed if we didn't know her. One of my memories of her was that she hardly felt like she could worship without confession, so she knew sin along with the great value of pardon. Karen and I couldn't sing it all the way through without choking up.

It was hard to tell how aware she was, but she sure nodded her head when I said after singing that Christ is risen. I'm sure, though she couldn't speak, that she responded "the Lord is risen indeed" in some hidden way. Alleluia.

The word is she has passed away.
Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

3 Comments:

Anonymous Karen said...

It still makes me cry just thinking and reading about singing for her! She was a really special person. The following is a link to an article my mom wrote about her.

http://generalsynod.anglican.ca/ministries/departments/mm/1998/spring/mm09.html

Friday, April 13, 2007 4:34:00 PM  
Anonymous karen said...

opps half the link was chopped off. Here is the rest

/mm/1998/spring/mm09.html

Friday, April 13, 2007 4:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a lovely thing.. that Mary was serenaded to by you both in her dying days. All our lives a circle. It makes me smile. Our lives diminished by her death, but vastly enriched by her witness.

...an old and far-away friend

Thursday, May 10, 2007 10:54:00 PM  

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