Sunday, November 9, 2008

Liturgy, Anointing, Symphony, Steak, and Chocolate

Can a Sunday get any better than that?!
I didn't think so :)
We went to Liturgy this morning at the Melkite Cathedral. It's quite a beautiful drive, especially this time of year. And hey--on the way, we saw a turkey! He was just peckin' away in the grass, cool as can be. I mean, I guess turkeys are native to this area (pilgrims, Annie, duh!) but it was just so funny to see...
This Sunday the Liturgy was mostly in English (for big occasions--like the visit of the Patriarch and anniversary of the Church--they have a bi-lingual liturgy in English and Arabic), so it was very easy to follow along in the book and I enjoyed being able to sing so much! Fr. DePaulo anointed us afterwards. Byzantine anointings are very thorough (do they do this in the Roman anointing, too?) because the priest anoints the forehead, eyes (eyelids, actually), nose, mouth, ears, throat, and hands. All the essentials, right? :) We could smell the fragrant blessed oil all day--a reminder of the blessing we received... As he invoked Christ, the Theotokos, and all the saints for our blessing, he moved his hand from our heads (for Christ), to our ear (for the Theotokos), and then to our shoulder (for all the saints in heaven). It was quite beautiful.
We made lunch at home and spent some time "puttering" (a very technical term, including, but not limited to, completing miscellaneous tasks in no particular order) around the house. Around 2 we headed downtown to the beautiful Boston Symphony Hall to hear the Handel and Haydn Society's performance of Motzart's first symphony (yes, composed when he was 8!) and Piano Concerto # 23, and Beethoven's Overture to Creatures of Prometheus and his 8th Symphony. Maybe it was the time of day, maybe it was the program, maybe it was the size of the orchestra, but I enjoyed this symphony performance much more than other recent ones. We're looking forward to more such enjoyment in the near future :) 
The Handel and Haydn Society is a neat group--it's relatively small compared to modern orchestras or choral groups, but their aim in staying small is to imitate the size of the performing group at the time Handel and Haydn were composing. I really enjoy the smaller size. I feel like I can hear the instruments better, how they go together, what they're doing at different parts. Also, one thing that struck me particularly during this concert is the movement in music at a live concert. There's so much more to the sensory experience of music than just listening to the piece! I could see the ebb and flow of the themes and the orchestra parts and it was so interesting to see how each musician manifested the music in their bodies--in each respective section (violins, winds, brass, etc.), the hands were doing the same thing, the bows were moving in unison, but the heads, arms, and bodies were all moving in a different way. Seeing the music that way was beautiful.
Here are a few pictures of the hall:
Boston Symphony Hall, built in 1900--the first hall constructed in accordance with scientifically derived acoustic principles :)
Original chairs (which have probably been re-covered but are way-comfy)
Apparently the original idea was to have tribute-emblem-thingys, like this one to Beethoven, all around the frame of the stage. However, after adding Beethoven's name, no one could agree on what other musicians were great enough... So it's just Beethoven. The great.
After the concert we came home and made my Momma's recipe of Flank Steak Florentine--a thin-cut steak wrapped around cooked spinach and cream cheese (and I add some onions and herbs). SO GOOD! We also had asparagus and got to use one of our nifty new silverware pieces. Would you have guessed that's what it was for? :) Points for you if you did. And for dessert, this is what I call a "fun size" chocolate bar :) (that's a dinner knife in the picture, to give you some perspective). MMMM Chocolate!
Posted by Picasa

No comments:

Post a Comment