The Church Deployed
The Church Deployed
The Church Deployed
Dear Christ Church,
Well, a lot has happened since the last time that I wrote you in our monthly newsletter. Just a month ago, the Corona Virus was something that we saw in international news, and the full gravity of its impact had yet to be seen. It’s humbling to know that its full impact won’t be seen for some time, even though it has disrupted our lives so much already. I spend much of every day trying to keep up with the reality presented to me in the morning. I make plans with the leaders of the Church, try to follow through with those plans, and I wake up to find out everything had changed overnight, and then we start all over again. 
Be safe, stay compassionate, and remain faithful,
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Music in the Time of Plague

The Black Death ravaged Europe for three years.  As we face our own plague of Covid-19,  I thought it would be interesting to see what was going on in the world of music in the mid 14th century. One would think that in that time of fear and crisis, religion and religious music would become of greatest importance.  However, music expanded in new directions as society collapsed in the face of the plague. Composers who survived the terror and death of the plague came out of it interested in exploring new secular musical forms.
In general, when faced with disaster and the inevitability of death, people seem eager to party—“eat, drink & be merry, for tomorrow we die” mentality.   Medieval Europe was no different.  They indulged themselves in wine, beers, music and raucous parties.  There were complaints of large groups of wanderers loudly singing songs.   The social order of Europe completely broke down.
As the social order disintegrated and chaos followed, new forms of secular music flourished—song forms like the virelai, ballade, and rondeau.  These songs were part of a movement toward more complex music.   Music became increasingly a part of the secular social fabric of European life, not just the religious part.
Between 1348 to 1350, one quarter to one half of the European population died of the plague.  People believed it was the wrath of God delivered upon them, causing mass hysteria.  Some chose to repent, others indulged themselves, still others isolated themselves.  One who isolated was composer Guillame Machaut, who wrote in the Ars Nova, or New Art, style.  He composed many secular love songs in different forms and firmly established the new style.  He composed only one religious work,  the Mass of Notre Dame.
In contrast, in Milan, Italy, worshippers who feared the plague stayed home and joined together in singing sacred songs from their open windows and doors.  St. Sebastian became the “plague saint”, the one to whom petitions for deliverance were offered.
Toward the end of his life, Machaut wrote of mortality and the last things in his work titled “My End is My Beginning”.  It is a play on words.  Only one and a half lines of music were written down. One singer started at the beginning and sang to the end, another singer started at the end and sang backwards to the beginning.  A third singer sang the half line, then turned around and sang it backwards. All three singers were singing their parts at the same time, resulting in a polyphonic piece of great complexity accurately mirroring the very tumultuous and complex times of the Black Plague.
Lynn H. Gardner,
Upcoming Video Services and Events
Sunday and Holy Week Services will be available on our website.  A list follows:
Palm Sunday, April 5 at 10:30 - Palms will be available behind the brick wall, in front of the church, that is between the stairs and the sidewalk
Maundy Thursday with Stripping of the Altar, April 9 at 7:00
Good Friday Stations of the Cross, April 10 at 7:00 via Zoom
Easter Sunday, April 12 at 10:30
Morning and Evening prayer and a Noonday service will be offered on other days on our Facebook page.  Not a member of Facebook?  No problem, you may connect from our website homepage.  Coffee hour will be held on Sundays through the Zoom app, we hope you can join us.

Loaves and Fishes To-Go Meal

The Mission Committee has agreed to supplement the Loaves and Fishes budget so we may offer weekly meals until the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions have passed.  We will host to go meals only in the Parish House parking lot on Wednesdays.  Your assisstance and donations may be needed, watch the volunteer link of the website for updates.
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