Friday, December 31, 2010

At Year's End, a Song of Praise

As the civil calendar turns the page to a New Year, the ancient tradition of Holy Church on its Eve calls its own to lift up the great song of thanksgiving, the Te Deum.

Ergo, with thanks for the blessings of the year ebbing away, and in hope of renewed grace for the one just ahead, church, let's do it:


From the Premier See to the City of Angels, Britain to Burke -- and, as ever, well beyond in every direction -- 2010's especially been one to remember on the beat, and here's to even more in 2011.

On a side-note, the year-end Te Deum is a double "thanks" of these pages -- last week saw six years since the day when an idea popped into this scribe's head... and, a lot of everything later, here we are.

One day down the line, what happened in between would make for a wild book. For now, though, to all of you who've made this place part of your days and kept the party going through the gift of your presence, no words could ever say enough or sufficient thanks; even when your narrator's hands can't keep up, you're in my thoughts, prayers and heart every hour of the day, and if you could, as you've got a chance sometime these next days, please send up a good word for me, this work and the road ahead.

To one and all, your loved ones and those you serve, every joy, gift and blessing in the New Year and ever beyond... and lastly, as the morrow's praise and thanksgiving sound somewhat different in the place that birthed these pages, we'd be remiss to pass through the Gate of the Year without a taste of this River City's most ecclesial of folk Traditions, which steps off early tomorrow for the 111th time:

Banjos, backpieces, glockenspiels and all, even on a non-obligatory holyday, the 22nd edition of the Mummers' Mass begins at 4 o'clock. And as ever, it'll be packed.

Again, a blessed, joyous and Happy New Year to you and yours. More on the other side... and for all of it, as always, stay tuned.

SVILUPPO: Just in case anyone's Vigil proved a downer, no worries -- we've got something for that.

Live from the spiritual heart of Mummerdom -- indeed, the very sanctuary where your narrator made his Sacraments -- a taste of (post-)liturgical dance, Pharaohtown style...

...and just outside its doors, the after-Mass Sacred Music:

And, well, just another of Ed Hallinan's great gifts to God's people keeping on... even if, as ever, he couldn't get the coverage to make it back himself.

What a blessing to be of this place.

PHOTO: Getty