May ended on Sunday with a lovely evening at Church of Music and Readings to honour Mary. In music, readings and images we explored the role of Mary through 2000 years of Christian history.
The singing by St Chrysostom’s Evensong Choir was simply beautiful – who can forget their rendering of Lukaszewski’s Ave Maria?
The evening was enriched by a wide variety of music – including a beautiful and powerful rendering of an ancient Armenian Song in honour of Mary by Kheyli Vartan sung by the cantor from the Armenian Church.We were delighted to hear of the excellence of Mary in the Quran sung in Arabic (and translated) by Muslim friends…
Different things will have stood out for different people on this special evening. Here are some comments from some who attended:
“My favourite part of the evening was the Traditional Irish Hymn, Bring flowers of the rarest. We all sang to that lilting, Irish rhythm.
It ends: “How dark without Mary life’s journey would be”. There was a tear in my eye. And I thought of Irish gardens, especially in the North-West coast of Ireland, which even at the beginning of Mary’s month, May, could be struggling to be “radiant with flowers” (as the hymn says).”
“The final Ave Maria by Lukaszewski was amazing…. the choir sang it so well. I also really enjoyed the Ethiopian Anaphora, with the lines such as “Your womb bore God, before whose majesty mortals stand in awe… your knees supported the lion, whose majesty is fearful” then the link that it made to bread and wine. This was powerful and very helpful for my own reflection.”
“…wonderful evening of music and prose for Our Lady; it was excellent.” “Inspiring…”
“‘Rosemary’s for remembrance’ – and the sprig of this fragrant herb that went home with me was a lovely reminder of a very special evening in honour of our Lady – a celebration of Mary that was a feast for the mind, the heart, the eye and the ear. – And also for the inner person with delicious refreshments.”
The final spoken words of the evening were from ‘Mary, Mary’ by the American poet, Alice Tarnowski:
” Stop! Be silent! Hear me!
I’m Miriam, the Jewish girl of Nazareth
Who said ‘Yes’ to life.”