All Saints Day

Commemorating all saints, known and unknown, on November 1:

"Therefore, having so vast a cloud of witnesses
surrounding us, and throwing off everything
that hinders us and especially the sin
that so easily entangles us, let us
keep running with endurance
the race set before us,"

Hebrews 12:1
(International Standard Version ©2008)

Seen above, "All Saints" by the Rev. Scott Fisher,
St. Matthews, Fairbanks.

Mary's Song

Mary's song is her response to her cousin Elizabeth's spirited greeting, but it is more than that. It comes from deep inside her. It knits together in a new way the sacred experience and language and hope of her people like pieces of a quilt transformed from scraps to splendor.

Nowhere in this song do we hear the name of her child, but somehow he is there in every phrase. Mary's song is not hers alone; it is the song of the child who wants to come, who comes to do the will of God. This song echoes in the events of her son's life, his death, and his exaltation. The song celebrates the God who keeps promises -- not only to Abraham, but also to us.

The Church has picked up this song and sung it often, particularly in daily evening worship. Mary's song, The Magnificat, is a central text in the liturgy of the historic Church. Who knows what number of settings musicians have composed for it through the years? Who knows how many voices have joined with Mary’s in singing her song through the centuries? From "The Song of Divine Triumph" by the Rev. Charles Hoffacker. Read it all HERE.

Image: "Magnificat" by Virginia Wieringa

Understanding the Role of Art Today

The Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe ...

This week, Mel Ahlborn offers visual prayer in the form of a Laura Fisher Smith icon. She says "Smith's icons of the homeless, such as the one seen above, proclaim what she values most, and bluntly reveal her concern for the marginalized, the sick and the needy. With a creative vision filled with both mercy and advocacy, she paints individual persons who are homeless with a dignity and grace once reserved for saints."

Followed by
The Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation Prayer, the post lights up the heart.

"...Open our eyes to the structures of oppression from which we benefit, and give us courage to accept our responsibility, wisdom to chart a sound course amid complexity, and perseverance to continue our work until it is finished."

Read it all

Paying Attention

"In Verona, Italy, there is an alley that leads off the main street into a small courtyard below the famous balcony on which Juliet is supposed to have appeared to Romeo. Along the walls of the alley leading to the courtyard are layers of post-it notes, placed there to commemorate loved ones and romances.

The texture of the wall of notes is very appealing, so I took several photographs, but there were so many tourists that it was hard to get the wall without them and without being jostled by them. None of the shots I got were particularly crisp, but this one seemed to be the best of the bunch. It's not very exciting -- there's no obvious center of interest -- but I like the texture, the color, and the light." Read more

Image and words by
Diane Walker.