How a trip to the eye doctor’s and the Serenity Prayer renewed my interest in Turlough O’Carolan, the blind Irish harper

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xInuesYrUPA Steve Cooney's arrangement of 'Si Bheag Si Mohr' (Carolan's melody begins at 1:32). It started with a visit to the eye doctor's back in October, when the case positivity rate for Covid-19 was low enough to allow for routine medical appointments. My eye test came back with signs of the very beginnings of something … Continue reading How a trip to the eye doctor’s and the Serenity Prayer renewed my interest in Turlough O’Carolan, the blind Irish harper

‘Christ was born in Bethlehem’ — an Appalachian ballad that sums up Holy Week and the Easter season

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzmzb1ZyL6c Norm Williams, Amanda Parker and Bob Mallalieu, Maidencreek Festival, Maier's Grove, Blandon, Pa., Aug. 29, 2010 (song begins at 1:29). Our services for Holy Week are all online this year, and it's quite a different experience for someone who always sang in the choir and couldn't quite shake the feeling they were performances. I … Continue reading ‘Christ was born in Bethlehem’ — an Appalachian ballad that sums up Holy Week and the Easter season

Scratch outline — ‘Swedes in Roger Williams’ Garden’ (pinned here for easy reference, other posts below)

Rough notes and outlines for a research project ... Working title?: "Swedes in Roger Williams' Garden: Acculturation Inclusion and Community in Swedish Immigrant Churches, 1848-1861″ -- or -- "Luther’s Dear Angels in Swede Town: Acculturation in Immigrant Churches, 1848-1860-1861″ ... potentially expanding the presentation I gave at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in … Continue reading Scratch outline — ‘Swedes in Roger Williams’ Garden’ (pinned here for easy reference, other posts below)

‘The UK Blessing’ — in a time of fear and political rancor, a virtual choir calls, gathers, enlightens and makes us holy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUtll3mNj5U&fbclid=IwAR1A_TK23D99XEordzKjoE_uhYP7qNlMJO6T54d8QBxXLMREi5sREyrBNQA The UK Blessing -- 992,403 views (as of Monday night, May 4) -- Premiered May 3, 2020 This weekend marked the two-month anniversary of the day I went into voluntary self-quarantine when I got out of the hospital. As luck would have (good luck, for a change), a virtual choir video came out to … Continue reading ‘The UK Blessing’ — in a time of fear and political rancor, a virtual choir calls, gathers, enlightens and makes us holy

‘Glory (Let There Be Peace)’ — SATB arrangement and song session of anthem for Christmas Eve service

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7h2relyt_d8 MATT MAHER - Glory (Let There Be Peace): Song Session Posted here and my music blog Hogfiddle so I can memorize the bass part. We're singing the choral arrangement at our Christmas Eve service, and the other basses will be out of town for the holiday. So I can't fall back on my old … Continue reading ‘Glory (Let There Be Peace)’ — SATB arrangement and song session of anthem for Christmas Eve service

For flatlanders, too: ‘What We Lost When We Lost Our Hymnals’

I saw this article -- "What We Lost When We Lost Our Hymnals" -- on the Appalachian Magazine website, where an anonymous editor or webmaster recalled, with a real sense of nostalgia, "... the sight of my mother holding up a raggety old red hymnal and singing to the top of her lungs the songs … Continue reading For flatlanders, too: ‘What We Lost When We Lost Our Hymnals’

Zen COPD: A harmonica on the nightstand and a promise to turn over a new leaf

Here's something that got my attention! (I'll copy-and-paste excerpts below.) But, first, what's it doing on a spiritual direction blog? It's an article about a guy who "has used the harmonica to help breathing patterns in adults with problems such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder." Interesting, eh? Especially if you’ve got COPD. But whatever else … Continue reading Zen COPD: A harmonica on the nightstand and a promise to turn over a new leaf