8.15 am. My colleague, who is currently in Australia, confirmed the marks and comments for those MA students who I’d examined in his absence and stead. Matt. 20.22 was begun. This and the next verse are particularly long. (The hill at the end of the journey seems always to be the steepest.) The composition of intercessions for tomorrow morning’s church service was my primary task for the first hours of the day:
In the Anglican Church, public prayers are more often prepared and read rather than extemporized (as is the practice of Protestant Nonconformist denominations). Both approaches have their virtues and pitfalls. As one vicar (who was quoting a bishop) once advised me: ‘Whether it’s before or during the time of prayer, you still have to choose your words’:
In prayer, we press in upon you, like the halt and the lame in the gospel narratives; like those, too, who came, full of faith and on behalf of others, believing that just a word from thy lips was sufficient to restore, unbind, and correct. Make thy people whole; pour upon the Church the salve that eases the troubled conscience, alleviates the dull throb of chronic doubt, and strengthens the weakened limbs of resolve.
We who are ‘not worthy to have you come under [our] roof’ approach thee, at thy bidding, confident not of our deserving but in thy creatorial authority over every cell in our bodies; fully persuaded that all that inexpressible hope of, and yearning for, consolation that we have, over many years, sunk in our hearts out of sight of friends and family is nevertheless open and known intimately by you.
We press in, not only because we know that you are able to help but also in the acknowledgement that Christ is touched by ‘the feeling our infirmities’, and yearns to intervene in, and ease those, troubles. Be gracious then, and make thy people’s case thine own. ‘Lord, in thy mercy: hear our prayer’.
We implore you to bestow upon the clergy of this parish and diocese the bodily and mental wherewithal sufficient to fulfil their calling with vigour and joy. Infuse with the life of God the inner ‘man’ of the soul of all bishops, priests, lay readers and non-formal ministers and administrators of the Church. Grant them fire, the intent of setting the Lord God ever before them, and a large pastoral heart in imitation of the Great Shepherd. ‘Lord, in thy mercy: hear our prayer’.
In the Anglican Cycle of prayer, we commend the Rt Revd Brian Thomas of the province and state of Idaho, and thy blessing upon the forthcoming Diocesan Convention on the theme of service. ‘Lord, in thy mercy: hear our prayer’.
As the UK government joins the multi-national operation to strike at so-called Islamic State targets, we pray for a speedy and strategic success directed by solid intelligence, and for the safety and defence of Iraqi civilians. We are mindful of the great majority of Muslims in our country who have disavowed the actions of those who claim to act in their name, and ask that their communities will be protected from mindless, extreme-right backlashes. Grant, also, success and protection to doctors and aid workers dealing with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. They have put their own lives on the line in the cause of healing others. Honour, then, their efforts. And, as well, enable physicians and scientist on the World Health Organisation to quell the spread of this appalling disease. ‘Lord, in thy mercy: hear our prayer’.
Our own afflictions seem, so often, to be slight in comparison. So we count our blessings, which are far in excess of the deficits we suffer. Nevertheless, because you entreat us to ‘cast all our cares upon’ you, we ask that you either unburden us or else dispose more strength that we might bear them with you. And so, in a moment of unuttered conversation we would speak to thee of the needs of this congregation, and of those elsewhere who are dear to us …
‘Lord, in thy mercy: hear our prayer’.
We recall the memory of those faithful women and men who have flown to that far country, where they now stand and fully know even as they are known. May the example of their consistent commitment, and of the often invisible and unacknowledged service that they rendered to the Church, inspire in us like determinations.
11.40 pm. Back into the studio. Three things to do over today and tomorrow: 1. Set up the guitar and tube amp to record a sample solo; 2. Test the new solid state/digital amplifier before Tuesday’s Art/Sound class; and 3. Configure the Moog filters and voltage controller. They’re all hands-on tasks and a welcome break from the computers that I’ve been tied to for the last week.
1. The Fender Twin reverb is now fitted with a attenuator/load box and a headphone amplifier. This allows me to monitor the guitar sound at point in the signal chain after the Fender’s preamp and reverb sections, silently:
I’m endeavouring to keep the temporary pedalboard effectors to a minimum in order to produce a raw sound that can be modulated later:
guitar > tuner > compressor > gain > distortion > EQ > wah-wah > amp
2. The new Line 6 Amplifi is more than loud enough for a lecture theatre. I shall explore task 3 tomorrow.
6.30 pm. An evening with the family.