Sunday, April 24, 2011

Washington National Cathedral Greets Pinnacle of Christian Year-Easter 2011

Happy Easter! 
To all of you around the world, wherever you may be and whether or not you even celebrate Easter.

At Eastertime, I play the part of the Easter Bunny, offering chocolates to my family who are already far too advanced and well-fed for such luxury.

Thus, I had to resort to listening online from my home computer perch many miles away to the incredible services at the Washington National Cathedral, though it would have been better to be there in person.

Actually, I had a "Cathedral Marathon" and saw far more on the internet than I would  likely have done in person, and might have attended maybe one or two of the Easter services...not the four I watched online! In addition, watching services on the internet now resembles a sports game on television because it is well-televised, and close-ups bring the principle players up close, in this case the Ministers, Organist and Choirs.  Watching at home one does not have to take a back seat. The performances are so polished, it makes sense to record them and send them out to a wider audience, as expensive as it must be. I still wish I could have been there in person for the excitement of the live service of worship.

The Services at the Cathedral are always so perfect, and the processions are powerful to behold. The music, hymns, anthems, and especially Widor's Toccata were played perfectly by Cathedral Organist Scott Dettra. He infuses his music with personality and emphasis to perfection. He is the best organist, although being televised from Washington National Cathedral helps. Organists around the world help make Easter celebrations more spiritual.

The Cathedral had an incredibly busy schedule with Easter services at the pinnacle of the Christian year all week, and on Good Friday afternoon (for three hours), Saturday evening (probably two hours or maybe three with baptisms) and then two services of  one and one-half hours Sunday. In his perennially welcoming words, Cathedral Dean Samuel T. Lloyd III said he wants to open our hearts and tease out the possibilities.

It's possible to watch the webcasts, too, after the services and experience some of the soothing psychological benefits of spirituality for yourself at your convenience. This is especially important to those too busy to take part in the services as they happened.

The flowers by themselves must have employed hundreds! They filled a huge paragraph in the Service leaflet (p. 15). There were beautiful bouquets...I counted seventy-eight honorees of flowers in the leaflet at least. 

As usual, the Cathedral conscientiously publishes Permissions (p. 15) to sing hymns, and in that way is a fine example to other churches. 

Whatever your religious persuasion, watching the webcasts on the website is a pressure-free way to see the religious services if you would like to understand more of the benefits they would bring to you. The Cathedral Archives conveniently online are a great help to clergy and anyone with an interest in, or curious about, previous worship services.

Please give generously to the National Cathedral. Hope you had a Happy Easter!!!

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