Sunday, April 01, 2007

Palm Sunday

This morning at St. Mary’s, we had our annual procession around the block. I can’t recall when we first did it, but it was sometime in the 1960's and Dick Gary was Priest in Charge. St. Mary’s used to have its annual episcopal visitation at evensong on Palm Sunday. Sometime between his election as coadjutor in 1969 and his enthronement in 1972, Paul Moore made a visitation on Sunday morning, and took part in the procession. We continued to have visitations on Palm Sunday for awhile after that – probably through the 1970s at least – and most of those were in the morning. A number of those visits were by what Cathy Roskam calls rent-a-bishops – that’s easy in Manhattan. These days, the episcopal visitation is at another time. This year, we had Bishop Roskam, as I thought I had noted in another post, but I can't find it now.

In any case, we have processed around the block annually on Palm Sunday for decades now. This time I thought I might sit it out since my legs are bothering me, but Marie Runyon walked it at age 92, so I decided to do it too. For the past few years we have been led by a bagpiper, Tommy Chang. This year Tommy had invited some friends from Bethlehem, PA so our ranks were swelled by about eight Bethlehemites.

Bonnie decided to go to Chicago this week to visit her son Eddie and before she left, she recruited Liz and me as readers in the Passion and Liz to read the Epistle. On Thursday, Liz went to Binghamton for our regular visit with my mother – I had a meeting Thursday evening, and we decided that it was important not to wait because my mother has fallen several times in the past two weeks. After Liz got there, several of the folks involved in my mother’s care, including Liz and me, decided that it was important for my mother to go to rehab and get some physical therapy. The wheels are in motion for that – meanwhile, Liz and I decided that it is not wise to leave my mother alone, so Liz stayed in Binghamton. That meant I had to find a substitute reader. I sent an email to one person Saturday night, but she didn’t check her email when she got home tired from a retreat so of course there was no reply. I got to church 15 minutes early so that I could find someone and when I got there the folks from Bethlehem were in our usual pew, so I sat in front of them. (Digression: Apparently, St. Mary’s was one of the first Episcopal churches to abolish pew rents, sometime in the century before last.) I did find a highly competent substitute, although I was prepared if necessary to read the great Christological hymn in Philippians 2: 5-11 (for the purists, I know the hymn starts at verse 6. And, not by the way, there is not a hint there of the view of the atonement as the propitiation of a psycopathic god.) My part in the Passion narrative was to deny Jesus three times.

It’s been two weeks since I posted anything about the what’s going on in the Episcopal Church.
Two things struck me as informative – Father Jake, among others, points us to an illuminating report by Bishop Pierre Whalon of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe. The rest of Father Jake’s post is also very much worth reading. Second, Jonathan the Mad Priest gives us a good pointer to a BBC interview with Bishop Chane of Washington.

Last week I posted about a memorial dinner for Jane’s father Bronson Dudley and mentioned that Jane’s second cousin Carol was there. Carol is interested in Dudley genealogy and since I am the genealogist in the family she sent me copies of material she had. In the past few months I have been engaged in a discernment process about how I want to spend my time and the material from Carol gave me a push in the genealogy direction. Bronson’s mother was Taney Keplinger from New Orleans. I’ve managed to find Taney’s paternal grandparents. Her mother’s family is another matter since her surname was Jones. I see that there are Keplingers in Thibodaux, a city I learned about while blogging, but I don’t think they are closely related to Taney because she had no brothers as far as I can tell, so that in branch of the family the Keplinger surname has died out.

I don’t know how deep into genealogy I’m going to get – there’s also my work on Pope’s 1728 Dunciad to consider, not to mention the question of whether I want to return to active beta testing.

Monday Liz comes home to go to the dentist and I will immediately drive back up to Binghamton to take care of my mother until a bed opens up so she can go to rehab. So I have no idea how my Holy Week will play out. I don’t want to miss Tenebrae, the Thursday night vigil, or the Good Friday service at St. Mary’s, but what will be will be.

My internet participation will be limited because I am on dialup when I’m there.


Grandmère Mimi said...

Allen, I missed church Palm Sunday to take the Katrina disaster tour. It was church, in a way for, as near as we live, there were devastated parts of New Orleans which I had not yet seen. Quite a sobering beginning to Holy Week.

I came home and read the Scriptures from the Lectionary and prayed Compline here at home to the sound of the beautiful meditational music at Tobias' place.

Grandmère Mimi said...

P.S. God bless you and Liz as you care for your mother. I will pray.

Anonymous said...

My name is Peter McLean and I am Taney Keplinger's nephew, the son of her sister Doris Keplinger McLean. If I can be of any help with the genealogy I can be reached at I would certainly like to know the history of Bronson Dudley.