(for context: The concert in celebration of our CD "Homecoming" took place shortly after the Paris bombing attach)
I feel I need to acknowledge that the events of this week have put the concept of Homecoming under a certain pale. Home itself feels threatened: homes are no longer safe nor are the neighborhood cafes and other places were friends congregate. Millions of people are fleeing their homes no longer even dreaming of returning.
And so we dedicate this concert to those who have lost their homes or have lost their faith in home. Today WE are fortunate that we can look forward to going home or family members coming home for Thanksgiving.
We are nearing the close of the liturgical year, nearing the days when Mary and Joseph would return to the home of their forbearers and Mary would give birth to a son. The Season of Advent reminds us that Jesus made a home in our troubled world. And that he has made a more perfect home for us in the world to come.
We live in the world and in the hope of the world to come. They are both home. Home is home whether you are there or not.
The Homecoming service of St. Mary’s Chapel provided a reason for this singing circle to come into being. Since 2009 we have provided music for this very special gathering of local families for whom this crossroad chapel has been a meaningful part of their lives and their understanding of themselves. As a result of that initial invite we have met together on a monthly basis for compline, a service of prayer at the end of the day, and singing, and in the process we ourselves have become a little community.
We are not a choir. We don’t all read music. Sometimes the number of beats in a measure is a complete mystery. But we bring ourselves to every song. We find our own harmony. We sing for the simple pleasure of the sound and we offer up our songs to God.
As we begin our concert I want to ask this blessing on our time together. It is from the compline service and I love the words:
Visit this place, O Lord, and drive far from it all snares of the enemy; let your holy angels dwell with us to preserve us in peace; and let your blessing be upon us always; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.