I have decided to come back to blogging, and this is my first installment in months. Michael Odom, our organist-choirmaster and I spent a week in Indianapolis at the national convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. Many good experiences and much music we\re had by both of us. It will take time for us to separate the gold from the dross.
Summer is half over, and today we celebrate the feast of St. James, Apostle of Christ and patron of Spain where his aid was invoked during the reconquista, and was apparently effective since it earned him the sobriquet: Matamoros, or Moor-Slayer. The great shrine at Compostella was a major pilgrimage goal in the middle ages, and is still so today.
One noteworthy thing on this feast as it is celebrated at Compostella is the botafumeiro, a gigantic thurifer that is hung from the ceiling. Once it gets going, it is swung by men like a large pendulum from the ceiling of the church. Such a wonderful thing would make a great addition to our church here in El Dorado.
Along with St. John, he, with the help of his mother, was trying to get to sit on either side of Jesus when our Lord had come into his kingdom. He was beheaded by Herod Agrippa around the year 44, and was the first of the apostles to die a martyr. Saint James, pray for us, and for the Church in Spain!