4th of July 2020

To my friends and family in the United States
you are what makes America great!

The word for July 4th is:
Neighbour /ˈnābər/: [1 noun 2 verb]
1. A person living near or next door to the speaker or person referred to.
2. Be situated next to or very near to
Old English nēahgebūr, from nēah ‘nigh, near’ + gebūr ‘inhabitant, peasant, farmer’.
Both as a noun and a verb that would be us.

Canada Day 2020

The word for July 1st is:
Confederation /kənˌfedəˈrāSH(ə)n/: [noun]
1.1 An organization which consists of a number of parties or groups united in an alliance or league.
1.2 A more or less permanent union of countries or territories with some or most political power vested in a central authority.
1.3 The action of confederating or the state of being confederated.
Late Middle English: from Old French confederacion or late Latin confederatio, from Latin confoederare, from con- ‘together’ + foederare ‘join in league with’ (from foedus ‘league, treaty’).
Hmmm… more or less permanent union… that sounds ominous!

Fly, My Thoughts

In Italy April 25th is celebrated as Festa della liberazione (Liberation Day), the day when Italy was liberated from Nazi occupation and Fascist rule at the end of the Second World War in 1944. It set of a chain of events that saw the June 1946 referendum that ended the monarchy and created the Republic of Italy. Normally it would be a day of parades, fireworks and general celebration. As the country enters it’s third month of lockdown the festivities are low keyed but one thing is certain, at some point families, neighbours, strangers will join in singing Italy’s unofficial national anthem: Va, pensiero.

On several occasions during our time in Italy we joined in what amounted to community sing-alongs of this great choral cry of longing from Verdi’s Nabucco. On one occasion we joined a jubilant audience at the Rome Opera as Riccardo Muti conducted stage and audience in an encore during a performance. Muti never gives encores but as we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Risorgimento he urged us to express love for the rich cultural heritage of Italy. And when the Maestro asks you to do something, well you do it. I can say that I sang for Riccardo Muti.

More touching was an impromptu sing-along at a late morning band concert by the Concert Band of the Carabinieri one Sunday at the Parco della musica. The chorus of the Academia di Santa Cecilia joined the band and in memory of seven Italian soldiers who had been killed that week in Afghanistan sang Verdi’s chorus. Again the whole audience joined in – including us two straneri (foreigners) – in a spontaneous outburst of emotion. I caught it on my phone – not the finest sound or visual but I think the emotional of the moment comes through.

For our Simonetta, Renato, Sheryl, Dario, Larry, Vincenzo, Mark, Robert, Gail, Cindy and Pietro, Diane, Anna, Joe, and Peter with hopes for their continued safety and health.

The word for April 25 is:
Liberation /ˌlibəˈrāSH(ə)n/: [noun]
1.1 The act of setting someone free from imprisonment, slavery, or oppression; release.
1.2 Freedom from limits on thought or behaviour.
Borrowed from Middle French libération, and from Latin liberatio, liberationem (“a freeing”), from liberare past participle liberatus (“set free”).

Easter 2020

℣Christ Has risen!

℟He has risen indeed!

Hauptkirche St Michaelis – Hamburg

The Gospel of St Luke – Chapter 24: 1-12

1. And on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the sepulchre, bringing the spices, which they had prepared and certain others with them.
2. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre, And entering, they found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
3. And while they were perplexed concerning it,
4. behold two men stood by them in shining garments.
5. And as they were afraid, and bowed down their face to the earth, they said to them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
6. He is not here, but is risen. Remember how he spake to you being yet in Galilee,
7. Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and rise again the third day.
8. And they remembered his words,
9. And returning from the sepulchre, told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.
10. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles.
11. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
12. But Peter rising, ran to the sepulchre; and stooping down, he seeth the linen clothes laid by themselves; and he went home, wondring at what was come to pass.

Wesley’s New Testament – 1755
To all my family and friends

Happy Easter – Joyeuses Pâques – buona Pasqua

Blessed Are They Who Have Not Seen

And yet have believed.

Continuing a tradition – I believe more than ever that traditions are important – that I began on Holy Saturday 2014 I am posting this video of Dame Patricia Routledge reading from the Gospel of St John. It is the continuation from the Passion setting I posted yesterday but the music is now solely in the language of the King James Bible and the voice of Dame Patricia echoing through her home parish church of Chichester Cathedral.

The word for April 11th is:
Believe /bəˈlēv/: [verb]
Accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of (something).
Hold (something) as an opinion; think or suppose.
Late Old English belȳfan, belēfan, alteration of gelēfan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch geloven and German glauben, also to lief – happily or gladly.
It’s relationship to the Old English lief would be an interesting etymological path to follow.