Do you ever wish you could take a feeling and bottle it up for later. There is a contentment and a joy that is full and it has nestled itself comfortably in the depths of your soul. It’s a feeling I longed for most of last year but today, in this moment, as I go through pictures, thanking God for his many blessings, I feel it and want to savour it.
There is lots to catch up on, so go on and grab a cup of tea.
Today, we said good-bye to Ben’s parents. They were our last visitors before Christmas and probably for a few months, if not until April. We packed a lot into two weeks and I hope they got their fill of the Cambridge experience.
Last Friday, I pulled Jakob out of school and we went out for lunch at a little Italian place (there are a lot of those) and then to the Folk Museum, which just happens to be Jakob’s favourite Cambridge museum.
We headed home and spent the evening opening presents and eating mince pies.
|Our tree is shaping up nicely full of ornaments made with love.|
Saturday, we went to the Copper Kettle on King’s Parade for a true English Breakfast: much like a Canadian breakfast but with baked beans and tomatoes.
In the evening, Ben and I went with Ben’s dad to the Ely Cathedral to see a performance of Verdi’s Requiem performed by the Cambridge Music Society Choir, under the baton of Stephen Cleobury.
It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. While I have heard many choirs before and even been in grand Cathedrals, I have never heard a choir sing in a Cathedral.
|The dome of the Ely Cathedral|
Since coming to Cambridge I have been giving much thought the idea of these architectural masterpieces. And not just the buildings themselves but the liturgy that is sung within them. The question is: is it worth it? What significance do these buildings, which took years to create, have, not to mention the money that was poured into every detail?
A while back I read Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. I will often read books with buzz just so I can know what they hype is about. To be honest it was not that great of a book and with every page, I wondered when it was going to end but it did give me a sense of what it takes to build something like King’s College Chapel or the Ely Cathedral and I can’t help but think of it when I look at each stone that was carefully carved and put in place with mortar.
It’s not a set, it’s not a wooden replica or a painted canvas. It’s real, somebody, some man, laid each stone, not with cranes or hydraulics but with pulleys’ wedges and levers. Why? Was it an act of worship? I think so, at least for some, or at least in the beginning.
In the same way, the art of composing a Requiem, I would like to think, originated with a musician’s need to express the passion within his heart and his longing to depart this earth in peace and be delivered into the embrace of the Father’s loving arms.
Masterpieces that have lasted centuries only to become tombs of empty worship. There is an unbearable tension as I listen to worshipful music from the mouths of people who fail to acknowledge God’s sovereignty and instead sing for the sake of ceremony and their own pride.
Whew! There is so much to unpack in that last paragraph but I will save it for a different post.
Regardless, it was an amazing experience and one I will never forget.
Sunday was yet another GORGEOUS day here in Cambridge. We have been thoroughly spoiled as England has had one of its warmest, driest Autumn in years.
|Doesn’t this picture just make you smile? Love that.|
And while the English experience is shortchanged by a lack of rain it is easily remedied with a Roast Beef Dinner in an pub on Sunday afternoon, so after coffee, we headed to Baron of Beef Pub.
From there, Ben, Reg and I made our way up to Churchill College to sing in the Chapel’s Advent Service. It’s been a while since I sang for such extended periods of time but it felt good and it was a treat to see, first-hand what Ben does every Sunday evening. It was especially nice as they served mulled wine and mince pies after the service!
|The Chapel at Churchill is the same design as much of the rest of the college. Built in the 70’s it’s design is more modern than much of Cambridge including the stained glass windows and unique organ.|
|The last leaves just barely hanging on the trees. Winter is coming.|
This is getting pretty long and the kids are up from their naps so I am going to break this Catch-up post into two chapter. Stay tuned for our adventures in London…..