Along with the Episcopal Diocese of New York, the Anglican Communion, and the World Council of Churches, Ascension will be celebrating a “Season of Creation,” with a focus on our relationship with and care for the earth. This diocesan- and worldwide celebration will take place from September 1 until the observance of St. Francis’ Day, October 4, when the Blessing of the Animals takes place.
Most of our parish events will begin Sunday, September 9. In the meantime, this Sunday, September 2, we will celebrate the beautiful plant life God has created. Through the glorious aria “With verdure clad the fields appear,” from Haydn’s Creation, sung by soprano extraordinaire Sarah Chalfy, we will hear the words in German (ascribed to the angel Gabriel in Haydn’s work) inspired by verses of English poet John Milton’s Paradise Lost, themselves inspired by Genesis 1:12:
With verdure clad the fields appear delightful to the ravish’d sense;
By flowers sweet and gay enhanced is the charming sight.
Here vent their fumes the fragrant herbs,
Here shoots the healing plant.
By loads of fruit th’ expanded boughs are press’d;
To shady vaults are bent the tufty groves
The mountain’s brow is crown’d with close wood.
Throughout these six weeks we will be treated to Sunday after Sunday of special music dedicated to the glories of the earth and on October 4, with our commemoration of St. Francis Day, the animal kingdom. Much of the musical selections will come from Haydn’s amazing masterpiece, The Creation, but also works by Schubert and others. Our wonderful soloists will be singing famous arias through September 23. And on September 30 our full choir returns with rousing choruses in the creation theme. More about this Season of Creation to come!