Today is the feast of the Trinity, the beginning of a long stretch of Ordinary (counted, as in ordinal in math) time. When I was a child, these were the "Sundays after Trinity" in the Anglican calendar.
I used to think of this as the "long green season" because of the liturgical colors. The hymns settled down into a fairly predictable rotation of favorites as the choir and the organist took summer vacations, and the congregation was left to sing as best they could.
Today at Mass the music was the choir director on the organ, our pianist on the keyboard, the choir director's husband singing melody, me singing alto, and my husband singing baritone. We were at the right front corner of the church, where we could barely see Father at the altar through the columns. As it gets summery, we tend to stay out of the choir loft because it gets hot and stuffy up there. Here is what we sang:
Holy Holy Holy (nicaea)
All Hail Adored Trinity
How Great Thou Art
Holy God we Praise Thy Name
We sang harmony on the psalm and the mass parts.
What was wonderful about singing these more traditional hymns was that the congregation joined in at full voice. I hate it when it feels like the choir is performing for an audience, instead of leading the congregation. But today we were all singing together, singing praise to our God, to the mystery of the Trinity, to the beauty of the Eucharist. It was a grace filled moment, and one could almost see the Spirit moving among the people.
There was something in the readings today that really struck me, given that I have been praying and worrying about so many things lately, from Nathan's 'apostasy' to my sister-in-law's health, to our family's ability to keep things on an even keel. I've been fussing and fretting like Martha, having a rough time remembering that Mary chose the better part. I want to do, not just be!
Romans 5:3-5 (NAB)
3 Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance,
4 and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope,
5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Boast of our afflictions, hmmm.
We are all afflicted by many things. For some, the affliction is an almost overwhelming desire to indulge in various sins of the body - and in a culture which is "anything goes" between 'consenting adults', it takes great grace to resist these urges. And yet, here we are told to boast in our affliction (but not in our sins!) because this affliction (fighting one's besetting sin) will bring endurance, leading eventually to the hope that does not disappoint.
The apostles remind us in another place
2 Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials,
3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
4 And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing
I guess it's time to get back up on the horse.