Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, 988

O God of truth and beauty, you richly endowed your bishop Dunstan with skill in music and the working of metals, and with gifts of administration and reforming zeal... (from the Collect for Dunstan's feast day)

Today, one of our students celebrates her 21st birthday. Not only does it fall on Dunstan's day, but her home church is St. Dunstan's -- and so is the name of her violin! To my delight, she and her roommate (also a violinist), agreed to bring their instruments to the 5:30 Eucharist at which I'm talking about Dunstan. I'm going to ask this smaller midweek congregation to sing St. Dunstan's hymn (Hymnal 1982 #564) while our musicians harmonize to their heart's content. How many 21-yr.-olds in this university town would spend time in a midweek church service when they could be out at one of the bars in town that give the birthday person 21 free pitchers of beer? (Yes, pitchers -- not glasses.)

The musical delight that I was not expecting today, however, took place at the Agape Cafe, where we serve a hot breakfast each Wednesday. One of the regular guests summoned me to his table, pulling out a guitar of an unusual shape (round), assuring me it was not a mandolin. He asked if I would play it. Yikes! I haven't had one in my hands for a long time.

So I took it, checked to see if its strings were in tune, and picked out notes that were pretty close to the Dunstan melody. Then, one of the crusty, gruff guests said, "That's the prettiest thing I ever heard." So, Dunstan, this day is for you.


Blogger Publish and Parish said...

And I've had the pleasure of St. Dunstan's hymn...played on Dunstan, no less...lingering in my mind ever since.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Castanea_d said...

Hooray for Dunstan!!!!

I heard it too, as I was walking up the steps with some choristers after rehearsal.

8:42 AM  

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