Every year, I love to read the Annual Report of the parish. It gives such a thorough account of the life of our church, and makes me think we may forget how many opportunities for prayer and service we have here at All Saints. One program that I would like to commend to the parish is Adult Education Forum at 9:00 on Sunday mornings, which meets in the room off of Peabody Hall. This forum explores and studies the hymns that will be sung the following hour at Solemn Mass. What better way to prepare for worship, than to study and meditate on the hymns we will sing later that morning?

{grid8}The group discusses the meaning of the hymns, the composers of the music, the authors of the words, and the contexts in which the hymns were written. When I choose the hymns, I always look at the readings appointed for that mass, and try to find appropriate pairings. Studying the hymns before mass will help you make those mental connections with the readings during worship, which will deepen and enhance your experience. Also, this is obviously another attempt on my part to improve the congregational singing here.

Holy Week is almost upon us. Holy Week is my favorite week of the year. It's the only time of year when the choir sings four days in a row. It's also the only time when we gather as a parish family for four days of prayer. As someone who is required to be here for all the Holy Week services, I can tell you that experiencing all the Holy Week liturgies here at Ashmont is a very powerful and moving thing. The three liturgies that occur on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of Holy Week are actually one long liturgy in three parts. There is no dismissal at mass on Thursday and Friday. All three liturgies are meant to be prayed together. Do yourself a favor and come to church this Holy Week. You won't regret it. And this year, bring a friend (or four) with you!

In the life of the choir, we have a new Davison Fellow, who has replaced Michael Raleigh in that capacity: Michael is now our Associate Choirmaster. Our new Davison Fellow is Quincy Cason, who began his work in that role over a month ago. He is currently in his final year at Harvard. He is very patient and helpful in the training of the choirboys, and his beautiful tenor voice has also been a great boon to the choir. The Harvard Glee Club has also agreed to the formation of choral scholarship for another Harvard student here at Ashmont. Andy Secondine has joined us as choral scholar. He now sings every Sunday with the bass section, and helps with the musical training of the choirboys after mass. When Quincy graduates and moves on later this year, Andy will replace him as our third Davison Fellow. Please welcome our new friends Quincy and Andy!

As always, we are always looking for more choirboys. We have recently had some great success in choir recruitment, but the search is ongoing for more voices. Many parishioners may have noticed that we have a few younger boys in the choir these days, which is a great development. Talk to your friends and neighbors who have boys (particularly in 3rd-6th grade). If they seem interested, call or email with their contact information and I will follow up. Thank you for your support.