I am leaving you well and whole.
That is my parting gift to you.*
Lord, Dear Lord of love, God Almighty, God Above,
Please look down and see my people through.
Come Sunday ~ Duke Ellington** [1899-1974]
We rest easier in our hearts today knowing your words, your voice remain even as your earthly presence has been reborn as eternal and unbounded. You know that the celebration of you, through the jazz vespers you designed, was as glorious an hour as any of us have ever spent and we know you speak to us from each phrase, each note, each breath - the most joyful noise resounding beyond the barriers of earth and ether, hearts and souls.
The prayers, the Scripture (from The Message, of course), and mostly the music and the lyrics have given us the clearest blueprint for all of us to follow til we meet again. Knowing that you put this together in the very last days, as you knew you were leaving this life, is the purest, most ideal, truly inspirational model of how to live and die with the utmost grace, dignity, and peace.
Thank you, my friend. All of us who knew and loved you will carry your love for us forever and give it away as often as we can to as many as we can, as you did. AMEN and HALLELUJAH!
A few of the selections from the Jazz Vespers at the Episcopal Church of Sts. Andrew & Matthew in Wilmington, DE on Saturday, June 28, 2014 designed by and in memory of our dearest brother in Christ, The Rev Rod Welles:
Come Sunday by Duke Ellington
Hold to God's Unchanging Hands, music by Paul Halley
Ecclesiastes 12:6-7 (The Message):
Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over.
Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends.
The body is put back in the same ground it came from.
The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.
1John 4:7-13 (The Message)
John 14:12-17. 25-27 (The Message)
.....*vv 25-27 speak clearly to me of Rod's directive to us all:
I am telling you these things while I am still living with you.
The Friend, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send at my
request, will make everything plain to you, reminding you of
all the things I have told you. I am leaving you well and
whole. That is my parting gift to you. [emphasis added]
I'm So Glad Jesus Lifted Me, a Negro Spiritual
In That Great Gittin' Up Mornin', A Negro Spiritual
Take the 'A' Train, Billy Strayhorn/Duke Ellington
and so much more...
**Duke Ellington, American composer, musician, and jazz orchestra leader for more than 50 years is an icon of American music. If you need to know more, just listen.
I cannot post the video here but use the link below or go to YouTube and search for Duke Ellington, Come Sunday and click on the link for the version by Kathleen Battle and Brandon Marsalis, oh my!
Come Sunday - Kathleen Battle & Brandon Marsalis
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