The Dean’s Corner: A New Instrument for Trinity

The Dean’s Corner: A New Instrument for Trinity

The Very Rev. BJ OwensOne thing I love about the church, when we are at our best, is that we are not one thing or one person but a great mix of people from many different places and backgrounds. No church is a monoculture…at any given time a church is made up of people who grew up in all sorts of settings and congregations (or no church at all), from places all over the world to come together as the church today.

It’s true of our traditions, our liturgies and our architecture as well.  Every liturgy – even the ones straight from the book – is a carefully-curated collections of songs, prayers and rites that emerge from our history.  Even at our most polished, the church is always an amalgamation of sorts.  I like to think of it as a holy amalgamation…perhaps one that’s even more sacred when the seams show just a bit.

This Sunday at the forum (which will be held in the chancel) we’ll learn about the Aeolian Skinner organ that we’re working to have installed and completed within the calendar year. I’ll let Todd Wilson and Bryan Sickbert explain how, musically, this will enrich our liturgical life. But one thing that fascinates me is how an instrument like this actually connects us to a wider community of faith.

Here’s what I mean: like so many organs, this instrument has a prior life…indeed, it comes from several places. The main part of it comes to us from St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Reston, VA. Then, when the Church of the Transfiguration in Cleveland was to be demolished in 2014, the Diocese of Ohio donated pipes from their Skinner Organ to expand it. When we hear the installed Aeolian-Skinner Organ at Trinity, when we sing alongside the choir uplifted by this new instrument, we will be carrying forward the songs and prayers that were sung over so many years at St. Anne’s and the Church of the Transfiguration.

There’s much to learn about this instrument, so I hope you’ll join me, Todd Wilson and Bryan Sickbert in the chancel of the cathedral (where the choir sits, near the altar) at 10:10 this Sunday.

The Very Rev. Bernard J. Owens