Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Patient and Brave and True

Today is All Saints’ Day, 2011.

Everybody knows about Hallowe’en, but Hallowe’en is significant only because of the day that follows it: All Hallows’ Day. If you’re a Christian who observes the liturgical calendar, today is the day you honor all saints, known and unknown.

The video below features a sort of musical saintliness. It’s also another reason why I love Denmark: “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart being played by a string trio in front of Rundetårn on the streets of Copenhagen today.

Judging by the angle of the sun, the performance seems to have taken place at lunchtime. And, judging by the musicians’ winter garb, it must have been chilly. But the players weren’t wearing gloves, so it was probably warmer in Copenhagen than it was here in Virginia this morning. 17° of latitude lies between us, but they feel the full brunt of the Gulf Stream up there in Viking Country.

Many thanks to Steen for recording and uploading this video:

Oh, and by the way: this is also Reason #4559 of Why We Fight.

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff sends her own meditation for today:

In countries that are still considered Christian, today is All Saints’ Day.

It is a day to commemorate those who have gone before us, for people to pay their respect at the graves of their loved ones.

I believe it is also a day for the Counterjihad to pay its respect to all those Christians who have been persecuted and brutally killed by faithful adherents to the Islamic faith. From Day One of the Hijra, followers of Christ of whatever domination were given three choices: to convert to Islam, to pay the jizya and be humbled, or to be slaughtered.

The number of murdered Christians cannot, of course, be verified, but it is too high, whatever it may be.

The page of Christian attacks since 9-11 at The Religion of Peace reminds us that the killing of Christians by the Armies of the Prophet is still ongoing. The pace of the slaughter may even be accelerating.

To round out your All Saints’ Day, consider the hymn “I sing a song of the saints of God” by Lesbia Scott (#293 in the 1982 Episcopal Hymnal). A YouTube version (not embeddable) from a traditional Anglican congregation in Detroit is available here.

Mrs. Scott was a member of the Church of England, and wrote the hymn for her children in the 1920s. It was never well-known in her own country, but later made its way to America, where a retired Episcopal priest wrote a tune especially for it. It has remained popular ever since with the laity of the church, although not among the clergy, most of whom consider it theologically trivial:

I sing a song of the saints of God,
Patient and brave and true,
Who toiled and fought and lived and died
For the Lord they loved and knew.
And one was a doctor, and one was a queen,
And one was a shepherdess on the green;
They were all of them saints of God, and I mean,
God helping, to be one too.

They loved their Lord so dear, so dear,
And his love made them strong;
And they followed the right for Jesus’ sake
The whole of their good lives long.
And one was a soldier, and one was a priest,
And one was slain by a fierce wild beast;
And there’s not any reason, no, not the least,
Why I shouldn’t be one too.

They lived not only in ages past,
There are hundreds of thousands still.
The world is bright with the joyous saints
Who love to do Jesus’ will.
You can meet them in school, or in planes, or at sea,
In church, or in trains, or in shops, or at tea;
For the saints of God are just folk like me,
And I mean to be one too.

The hymn has a wonderful tune, so the atheists among our readers may want to just listen to the music and try to ignore the words.

Happy All Saints’ Day, everyone!