Donna and I usually spend Sunday evening at Park Street, but his week we skipped the weekly service to attend a performance of Handel's Messiah. As I can be interested in the history of architecture, after I told Donna that we could stop at any church at any time when she felt the need to pray, even if the church was empty, we have visited several of the "historic churches of Boston", She liked the Temple and was impressed. I was looking forward to going because I've known that Charles Dickens, John Gilbert and Jenny Lind performed there. We were invited by the Orchestra Manager, who is a friend of Donna's and her supervisor as a church librarian; so it was a nice "Hello". On Handel, I prefer Classical to jazz and blues and listen to British Rock- the violins in the middle were furious in 16th notes that may have been 32nd notes and I do like elaborate composition.
The choral at times was gorgeous (overdubbed parts?) at first listen.
Donna sings in church every week, so there was added the hymn Come All Ye Faithful and Angels We Have Heard On High.
I tried to explain that I had read a novel entitled The Memorial Hall Murder where the detective Hamilton Dow solves a mystery revolving around a performance of Handel's Messiah where there is a mysterious murder in Mem 201 and Memorial Hall explodes during the performance. Now I can see that the two works of art are very separate, a mystery novel where the Dean jumps off the church roof and a religious masterwork of orchestral and choral music.
Please allow The Bay Psalm book on exhibit without feeling the necessity to read all of it.
My fiancee, whom I now live with, is a librarian at a church on Tremont Street, and apparently Old South, on Boylston Street, (which is a pretty church) just parted with its copy of this book, the first book printed in the United States. It is from 1640 and it is actually difficult to find graves dating back that far in the Boston churchyards. King's Chapel dates from 1685,- we have one of their coffee mugs that bears the date.
The book's importance is Puritanism- anything written by them that was new and not a direct quote from the Bible is even more fascinating when it is not the "word of God", although it was monarchy orientated and or post-Lutheren, it was "stuff they really just made up", like what to do on Sundays after leaving Europe.
It's importance to us is that she prays alone whenever needed; and consequently attends church because its something she likes, whether the church is empty or not. If I'm invited, I'm agnostic, as a poet, but it is her "freedom", not freedom confronted by tyranny, but just undiluted self-expression.
The above link is to The Bay Psalm book; keep it, as much or as little.