Such a perfect day

Today was a very good day. Everything seemed to fall into place. The music at the cathedral all went well, and my parents arrived bang on schedule at lunchtime. I also had a great time in the pub after evensong, and I had my dinner cooked for me. If only every day went so smoothly.

Christmas preparations

As of this morning, I have a new-found respect for my mother – not that I didn’t respect her before. It’s just that the high level of previous respect has shot up to an even greater level.
This is the first year that I’m not due to celebrate Christmas in my parent’s home (I’m being careful with language here, as my folks have moved house twice since I ever lived with them – so where they live is not really my home). Instead they’re coming here to Dublin.
It made sense to invite them over, because I need to stay in Dublin to fulfil my singing duties at the cathedral up until and including Christmas morning. And rather than my sit crying into my microwave turkey dinner all on my own (which would never have happened – I’ve already turned down 2 offers of Christmas dinner from friends, and would no doubt have got more), I thought it would be nice for them to come to me. And it would give me the opportunity to play host for once, and perhaps take some of the pressure off them. After all, despite their spry appearance, they are both pensioners.
The thing I didn’t really appreciate was the amount of work that goes into preparing for Christmas. There’s the preparation of the house – tidying and cleaning – and the purchase of all the food, and all those ‘extras’ like crackers.
turkeyI was at Marks and Spencer at 9.30am this morning picking up my turkey, as well as a whole load of other food. And as I write this at about 11.00am, I’m contemplating a further two food shopping trips today. It doesn’t help, of course, not owning a car. I can’t just fill a trolley and dump it in the boot – whatever I buy I need to be able to carry home (without my arms dropping off).
Anyway, I feel that I’m beginning to ramble now – and that’s probably because I’m trying to avoid having to go out again. But I suppose I should switch off the computer and get going – and hope that I find the strength to battle through the crowds in the city centre.
Thank goodness all my present buying is completed.

Christmas cards

In case anyone is wondering, I’m not sending any Christmas cards this year. After discussing the matter with a friend recently, I decided it would be much better to take the money I would have spent on cards and stamps, and donate it to charity instead. So I hope you aren’t offended by not receiving a card.

Funeral service

The funeral service of the Very Reverend Desmond Harman took place at 11.00am today in Christ Church Cathedral Dublin.
At the request of his family the service was a Eucharist of Thanksgiving and Celebration, and it was celebrated by the Most Reverend Dr. John Neill, Archbishop of Dublin. The sermon was given by the Venerable Edgar Swann, Archdeacon of Glendalough and the late Dean’s brother-in-law (sermon text).
The following music was performed:

  • Organ music before the service: Pièce d’orgue (BWV572) – J.S.Bach, Carol – Gerald Finzi, Fugue in E flat major (BWV552ii) – J.S.Bach
  • The Funeral Sentences – William Croft
  • Requiem – Maurice Duruflé
  • Psalm 122
  • Hymn: Now thank we all ord God (Nun danket)
  • Bring us, O Lord God – William Harris
  • Hymn: Praise, my soul, the King of heaven (Praise, My Soul)
  • The Spirit of the Lord – Edward Elgar
  • Set me as a seal – William Walton
  • Sussex Mummers’ Christmas Carol – Percy Grainger
  • Hymn: Christ triumphant, ever reigning (Guiting Power)
  • Expectans Expectavi – Charles Wood
  • Organ Voluntary: Praeludium et Fuga in G (BWV541) – J.S.Bach

Much of the music for today’s service was chosen by Dean Harman for his installation service on 26th April 2004. That service ended the same was as today’s service, with the motet ‘Expectans Expectavi’ by Charles Wood.
The interment took place privately.

New OSP web site

It was back in 1995 that Robin McMorran created the first web site for my old church in Edinburgh, Old Saint Paul’s; hosting the site on a free server somewhere in the Netherlands.
Then in 1998 I took over and design and maintenance of the site; moving it to its current domain name of osp.org.uk. Since then the Old Saint Paul’s web site (also sometime known as OSP Online) has gone through many design iterations, including this version of the site from 2005:
OSP website 2005
But just as I moved away from Edinburgh in April 2007, disaster struck. The web hosts were hacked, and all the content of the server (including all backups) were lost. I was busy moving to a new country, and didn’t really have the time to rebuild the site from scratch. So the vestry made the sensible decision of commissioning someone more local to home to build a new site.
Justin Reynolds has a long association with Old Saint Paul’s, and has produced numerous web sites for other organisations in the Scottish Episcopal Church. Plus he’s a professional web designer – and as such, was an obvious choice. I’m just glad that, amongst his other commitments, he was able to find the time to work on the OSP site.
Anyway, so the new site went live this morning, and I’m sure you’ll agree it’s pretty fantastic. Do have a look around, and let me know what you think. The address is: osp.org.uk