St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church

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St. Bart's Blog

On Liturgy and Music

Posted by Nathan Costa on

Thank you all for being here, for praying together at Evensong, for bringing out weekend to a quiet close and in company with one another. Thanks also for sticking around for this gathering as well. When I spoke with Fr. Mark and Fr. Chris about this event last week, I knew what they...

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What is Tenebrae?

Posted by Nathan Costa on

Tenebrae (Latin, for “darkness” or “shadows”) is the term that has been used since the 12th century to refer to the ancient monastic early morning services or “offices” (Matins and Lauds, similar to the Morning...

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A Happy Lent and a Holy Triduum

Posted by Nathan Costa on

Happy Lent! “Happy” may seem a strange word for a season that begins in dust, ashes, and humility and calls us, among other things, to make do with less. But “happy” it still is. Our seasons in the church encourage us not just to dwell in the present—in Lent, that...

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Our Wagon Wheel Advent Wreath

Posted by Nathan Costa on

The Advent wreath is a domestic symbol: its simple circle and four candles mark the four Sundays of Advent for families waiting to remember the coming of Christ at Christmas. The tradition of making Advent wreaths from wagon wheels comes from ancient Nordic and Celtic sun-worshipping...

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The Gift of Advent

Posted by Nathan Costa on

As a young person, Lent was the season of the church year that resonated with me most. A substantial period of 40 days – always longer than a calendar month, sometimes spanning three – Lent sets aside time each year for us to discern the person of faith God calls each of us to be...

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Summer Music Training: Royal School of Church Music

Posted by Nathan Costa on

This summer six St. Bart’s musicians made what has become for them an annual trek across the country to spend a week at a Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) Summer Training Course in Newport, Rhode Island. Bass section leader Tim McLellan, the entire Strout family, Stephanie, Ian, Tessa...

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Liturgy and Music During Lent

Posted by Nathan Costa on

Lent, deriving from a medieval Germanic word for “spring,” is a time for renewal, preparation for the rebirth of the church at Easter baptisms. It offers us an opportunity each year to consider how we are living out our baptismal calling. As we begin this time of reflection together...

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Why We Sing

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Posted by Nathan Costa on

One of the primary aims of singing in any context - whether around a campfire, a birthday table, in a ballpark, caroling through a neighborhood, or at church - is, in fact, the opposite of exclusion, in the idea that communal song can be a great symbol and expression of our unity as a people. In...

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The Cantor and the Psalms: Humanity “at full stretch”

Posted by Nathan Costa on

The office of cantor began in early Christian communities following the Jewish practice of a hazan (cantor or music leader) chanting prayers in the temple. As singing psalms became daily prayer for monastics by the third century, the role of the cantor leading singing in liturgy also became more...

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Tags: choir, music, poway, st. bartholomew's, cantors