Tag Archives: worship


Nokia Ring Tone

[Orthodox Jewish synagogue in Presov Slovakia – Lukáš Kmiť plays the viola – by Milan Ferencik/Greatmilan & Jakub Hasko/CTZ Films]


Dear Family & Friends, 

Try the link above or Google “Nokia Ring Tone” and you can find the link to Youtube.  Please view it, before you read any further:  It will require only one minute of your time!

The musician is most certainly a gentleman.  He extended grace to the person who created the interruption.  Mr. Kmit is brilliant, educated, cultured, and devoted to his art. He has invested decades of his life to the study and mastery of performing beautiful classical music.  Imagine how disappointed Mr. Kmit was, to hear the “ring-tone” disturb the beauty and grandeur of the silence, at the end of the musical offering.  And this was not merely a concert; the setting for the concert was an Orthodox Jewish Synagogue!

Stop and think for a moment:  Are you like the inconsiderate concert-goer?

Before, during, and after Worship, are you the “person-with-the-cell-phone-on,” the one who cannot disengage the culture for even one brief hour?

Are you the undisciplined one, who interrupts the silence of Worship in the Sacred Space, perhaps not with a “ring-tone,” but with ceaseless chatter, yakking, and whispering to his/her neighbor?

Or, do you “turn the cell-phone off” before you enter the Sacred Space?

Better yet, do you disengage from the culture (and technology) and leave the cell-phone and other distractions at home or in your vehicle?

Do you practice the discipline of silence, in order to worship the One True Living Holy Trinity?

The Hebrew Scriptures declare, “The Lord is in His holy temple: Let all keep silent before Him!”

Be awed into silence before his beauty and majesty.

Leave the culture behind, before you step into the Sacred Space.

Walk in slowly, reverently, and silently.  Dip your hand into the Baptismal Font and remember your Baptismal vow.

Bow as you face the Eucharistic Table and the Cross.

Sit in the pew, kneel, pray. Be silent, reverent, and respectful of this holy hour.

You are in the Presence of the King.  He calls us into His Presence, as the Body of Christ, to offer our corporate Worship.

The Holy Trinity calls us to worship, as the Body of Christ, as a people “set apart,” sanctified.

He calls us into the Sacred Space, where heaven and earth intersect.

He calls us to receive this one hour, which is sacred time, and to honor Him with that hour.

Let us practice the discipline of silence:

Come let us enter in silence, as we prepare for the Liturgy and The Mystery of Faith:

We remember his death

We proclaim his resurrection

We await his coming in glory.

Only in silence, will we hear the Music of the Spheres.

Only in awe and reverence, will we Sing with the Angels.

Coram Deo,


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Filed under Sanctuary

To a Winter Rose


Dear Readers,

[Note:  This is a re-post.  Monday December 10, 2012 will mark the one-year anniversary of the death of my friend, Cheryl.  I am providing this link on Face Book, to honor the memory of Cheryl.]

January 10, 2011

Exactly one month ago, my friend, Cheryl, died — on the same morning that the first of the Camellias bloomed in our garden.  Since it is difficult for me to find the words to express what her friendship meant to me, I will borrow from the language of flowers:

The Camellia is The Winter Rose but I first met Cheryl in the summer, only six months ago.  I remember my first impression:  she was elegant and lovely yet fragile and delicate.

We refer to the Camellia, poetically, as the rose without thorns.  Yet, I soon learned that Cheryl’s life did contain thorns:  when her mother died of breast cancer, Cheryl was only thirteen years of age.  When I met her, Cheryl was battling breast cancer for the third time, within a span of ten years.

In spite of her affliction, she was spirited and vivacious.  She and her husband, Doug, downplayed the seriousness of Cheryl’s health challenges:  They were brave, courageous, and optimistic.

She possessed a beauty borne of years of suffering.  The natural tendency, in suffering, is to isolate oneself.  Instead, over the decades, she invested herself in nurturing strong relationships with family and friends.

In the autumn, as Cheryl’s health declined, the families of both Doug and Cheryl welcomed me into their closely knit circle.  They taught me how an extended family cares for each other, during the deepest and darkest season of affliction.

Doug was her protector:  She depended upon him and he was entirely trustworthy.  He arranged for her comfort and companionship, during the hours that he was at the university.  He was unfailingly energetic, optimistic, and gracious to everyone, in spite of struggling with the harrowing thought of losing his wife.

Their commitment to marriage [almost 31 years] and to each other was strong, pure, and everlasting.

Cheryl’s life demonstrated the symmetry of integrity:  She knew what she believed and she lived out what she believed.  She was consistent in both character and virtue.  Her commitment to both Christian faith and practice was unwavering.

Elegant and beautiful yet fragile and delicate; loving and trusting her husband and family; generously giving herself in friendship and service to others; trusting in the Holy Trinity for her life on earth and for her eternal future:  Those were the enduring qualities of my friend, Cheryl.

On this winter day, glancing out my window, I can see our Camellia bushes:  The red and pink blooms offer a welcome burst of color in the cold, dreary, rainy landscape.  As I pause to admire the perfect blooms, I remember the gentle and light fragrance of Cheryl’s life.   She loved the Holy Trinity  “with all [of her] heart, soul, mind, and strength.”  It was this self-emptying love for God and for others that drew family and friends to her.  Even when her own life was fading, she was concerned for the welfare of those around her.

Cheryl loved beautiful, sacred music, as do I, and she was gifted with a superb singing voice.  Every Sunday morning, at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, the voices of both the congregation and the choir combine to sing the ancient hymns of worship. As we lift our voices with “all the company of heaven,”  I can imagine the lovely sound of Cheryl’s clear and soaring voice, a reflection of  the depth and beauty of a life lived well, to the glory of God.

“ . . . with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify thy glorious Name, evermore praising thee, and saying,

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts:

Heaven and earth are full of thy glory.

Glory be to thee, O Lord Most High!” 


“You only are immortal, the creator and maker of mankind; and we are mortal, formed of the earth, and to earth shall we return.  For so did you ordain when you created me, saying, ‘You are dust, and to dust you shall return.’

All of us go down to the dust; yet even at the grave we make our song:  Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!”


“Grant her your peace; let Light Perpetual shine on her; and, in your loving wisdom and almighty power, work in her the good purpose of your perfect will; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.”

“Give rest, O Christ, to your servant, Cheryl, with your saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.  Amen.”

Coram Deo,


[Written by Margot Blair Payne, January 10, 2012].

[Quotes are from the Book of Common Prayer.]

In her book, “A Victorian Flower Dictionary,” Mandy Kirby notes that the Camellia is “the Empress of Winter,” bringing lightness and gaiety to a dark time of year.

“It was the belle of winter flowers, gracing dinner parties, balls and concert rooms,” Kirby writes, and soon came to represent “a simple expression of feminine beauty and love.”

The Camellia:

The Empress of Winter

The Belle of Winter

The Rose Without Thorns

Qualities: Longevity, Evergreen, Symmetry

Feminine Qualities:  Elegance, Loveliness, Beauty,  Lightness, Gaiety, Trust

Masculine Qualities:  Protection, Excellence, Steadfastness, Trustworthiness

Qualities of Love:  Strong, Pure, Everlasting

Other:  Admiration, Perfection, Gratitude



Filed under Life and Death of a Friend