Thursday, July 16, 2009

Integrity Eucharist @ General Convention 2009

As a singer, I don't usually remember most of the events or church services that I participate in. However, last Friday's service at the Episcopal church General Convention, a triennial event, struck me with particular joy and thankfulness for gifts granted to me.

It was a Eucharist service, with communion, brought to us at the Anaheim Hilton by Integrity. It was full of ubuntu (I in you and you in me), incense, multi-culturalism, and love, and Christ. Episcopalians from across the country formed a standing room only congregation of perhaps 1600 people.

The sermon was outstanding, brought by the Episcopal Church's first female priest, retired-Bishop of Massachusetts Barbara Harris. I have to say that as a performer, I usually put myself at length from the service, as I have to stay somewhat focused on the music. But this sermon was honestly poignant, assertive and frank. For the first time in my life, I had to restrain myself from standing and shouting "Allelujah", as I was sitting directly behind the Bishop during her sermon...

So, since this is my entertainment blog, here's my recap of the music.

We sang
Wade in the Water - arranged by Carl Hayward
Wana Baraka, - traditional Kenyan folks song arranged by Shawn Kirchner
Sanctus - from Misa Bilingue, Kevin P Joyce
Savior of the world, save us - Community of Taize
Take, Oh Take me as I am - John L Bell
Sweet Hour of Prayer - words William W Walford, Music William Bradley, arranged by James Walker
Lead me, guide me - Dois Akers, arranged by Richard Smallwood
Nada te turbe - Community of Taize
Breathe on me, Breath of God - Nova Vita, Lister R Peace
Siyahamba - South African folk song

We also sang a processional song, along with a Cantor: Amen, we praise your name, O God, by Gobingca George Mxadana. Check out a supershort clip.

The words were:

Amen sia-kudu-misa! Amen sia-kudu-misa!
Amen, ba-wo. Amen, ba-wo. Amen, sia-kudo-misa!

The procession included drums and worked itself throughout the entire crowded ballroom.

Here's another short musical clips I found.

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