August 20, 2020

credit: Life Magazine, December 1994, p. 60

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost 
August 23, 2020 at 9 a.m.

Join us on Facebook at 9 a.m. to watch our live service. You can watch on our website as well.

Missed last Sunday's sermon, want to read it, or re-watch the service? You can by clicking here.


Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen   Please click here for this week's readings.

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Organ Notes - The Inner Struggles that Played out on the Organ - Louis Vierne
Health Links - Racial Justice, Gun Safety, Domestic Violence, Food Support

From DIOMASS: Expanded Guidelines for Stage Two: Holy Communion, Pastoral Visits, and Holy Baptism

Because of our focus on our community's safety and well being, we stopped sharing the Eucharist very abruptly in the initial weeks of the pandemic shutdown. We sorely miss sharing communion, and many of us have felt sad and overwhelmed by being deprived of this foundation of our spiritual lives. Over the months, we have also been learning how to experience communion with Christ and one another,even when we are physically distanced. Our Regathering Team continues to monitor the current environment and talk with the Diocese to determine the appropriate timeframe and process to reopen.  Last week, The Diocese published expanded guidelines for the administration of Holy Eucharist and Holy Baptism, as part of its "A Journey By Stages" protocols, as well as directives for pastoral and Eucharist visits. Click here to read the PDF. In particular, you might enjoy reading the first few pages, which explore some of the big questions we face during this time. 

ORGAN NOTES: The Inner Struggle that Played out on the Organ - Louis Vierne
By Linnea Wren

Louis Vierne at the organ in Notre Dame cathedral, Paris
In the spring of 1885, the fifteen year old Louis Vierne (1870-1937) met Cesar Franck, the famous organ performer and composer. "Do I frighten you so very much?" Franck asked. "Oh yes, Monsieur Franck," was Vierne's reply. And no wonder. The young Vierne had heard Franck perform his music on the Cavaille-Coll pipe organ at Paris' St. Clotilde. It was for Vierne "a profound revelation."

Three years after their meeting, Franck invited Vierne to attend private organ lessons with him. After Franck died in 1890, Charles Marie Widor became his instructor. Then in 1892, Vierne became assistant organist under Widor at Paris' Saint Sulpice. In 1900 Vierne was appointed principal organist for Notre Dame cathedral, one of the most coveted organ positions there is.

In addition to being an acclaimed performer, Vierne also composed a large body of music for the pipe organ, including six organ symphonies. His Symphony No. 1 in D minor begins with a homage to Bach in a prelude and fugue. The opening notes of the prelude become the basis for the finale's main theme. The finale has a thundering pedal melody set beneath broken chord figurations in the hands. The middle section consists of a lyrical pastorale with an oboe melody and a scherzo with a trumpet melody.

Each of Vierne's successive symphonies moved further toward an astringent, dissonant language. Observing Vierne at the organ in Notre Dame, a musicologist wrote, "There is much pain and torment both physical and moral in Vierne's face, and the hard and sometimes willful chromaticism of much of his music is symptomatic of this inner struggle."

The pain began at birth. Vierne was born with congenital cataracts that resulted in life-long severe visual impairment. He lost his younger son to tuberculosis and his older son to combat wounds in World War I. His wife left him for his best friend. He suffered multiple compound fractures in his left leg from a random street accident. Afflicted by pain, he habitually took tranquillizers, sleeping pills, and ether inhalations.

On June 2, 1937, 3000 people gathered in Notre Dame to hear Vierne give his 1750th recital concert. He was about to conclude the concert with two improvisations on themes submitted by the audience. He read the first improvisation in Braille and selected his organ stops. With his foot falling on the low E on the pedal board, he suffered a massive stroke. Losing consciousness, he died as the single note still echoed throughout the church.

Recently the progressive rock group, Inquire, called Vierne's music the beginning of contemporary rock music. Perhaps we will hear the connections between the French symphonic composer, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd as we listen to the Cavaille-Coll organ-the organ that inspired Vierne.


The Knitting Ministry is knitting and mailing pocket prayer shawls. If you or someone you know needs one, please email the office.


Interested in helping to lead Sunday Morning Prayer from the Chapel safely with masks and physical distancing in place? Contact Nick when he returns from vacation to see if reading lessons and leading the intercessions feels right for you. The schedule is hereBy the fall we plan to have in place the systems which will allow participation from church and home during live broadcasts.


We are looking for volunteers to help care for our lovely Sanctuary Garden. 
The tasks include light weeding, dead-heading, and keeping walkways and benches clean. No watering or lawn care is required.  

You are welcome to come when works for you, but please keep physical distancing of at least 6 feet and wear a mask. You can also sign up here. Email the office with questions. Your help is much appreciated!


Please email the office with your prayers for inclusion in Sunday worship.


Christ Church has deep ties to these organizations that continue to offer services and support to those in need during the pandemic. Donations in any amount are truly appreciated. It is one way to keep loving our neighbor as Jesus teaches.

MANNA has expanded their mission to be a place of solace, peace, and nourishment for those who have nowhere else to go just now, and the new costs are significant. Donate online here. Scroll down on the options drop-down menu to Monday Lunch.

The Needham Community Council is keeping the Food Pantry open and will continue to provide food supplies to Needham residents. Click here to learn how you can donate.

Circle of Hope is offering contactless emergency deliveries to partner shelters. Click here to link directly Emergency Response Wish List.

B-Safe continues to offer virtual and financial support to the young people it serves and their communities.  Donate to the SSYP Pandemic Relief fund here.

Health Links: Racial Justice, Gun Safety, Domestic Violence and Food Support



Sign up to shop at the Food Pantry here


Tuesday, August 25
8:00 a.m.      Men's Prayer (via Zoom, email Stan for the invitation) 
7:00 p.m.      Vestry

Wednesday, August 26
7:00 p.m.      Lectio Divina (via Zoom, email Heidi for the invitation)

Sunday, August 30
9:00 a.m.     Morning prayer via FaceBook
10:00 a.m.   Coffee hour (via Zoom, link in Friday's email)

Just click on the links below for...

Summer Office Hours

Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

If you or someone in your family is in the hospital or in need of pastoral care, please call the church office so that our clergy or the Pastoral Response Ministry team may be notified and tend to the need. The office number is 781-444-1469, and you can reach Nick at ext. 113.