A sampling of submissions to All Saints’ Anniversary Flower Festival, September 17-18, 2016. An astonishing assortment of vibrant colours, floral scents, and whimsical designs in celebration of All Saints’ 150 years of ministry activity.
A young red maple has been planted in commemoration of All Saints’ 150 years and in memory of deceased members of the church. A gift from a current member, the tree recognizes the deep roots that All Saints’ has in the Town of Whitby and it honours the Christian ministry of our first founders and the generations of parishioners who have gone before. The tree has been dedicated and blessed, and in the years ahead, we will have the pleasure of watching it grow, just as All Saints’ continues to grow and reach out in faith and fellowship with its community.
The tree is located beside the path at Bassett Boulevard opposite Lismer Drive (behind the Town Hall).
A cohort of the All Saints’ congregation enjoyed a fabulous Whitby Brass Band outdoor concert at the Whitby waterfront on July 21st. The Band put together its usual high quality repertoire with many familiar hits and challenging new arrangements of classic pieces, and All Saints’ got a special shout-out in honour of the church’s 150th anniversary. (Note that the Band itself only just celebrated its own sesquicentennial.)
The commentary for the evening included highlights of All Saints’ history in the community, including its first Sunday service in November 1866, the role of the steeple in firefighting in Whitby, its stunning rebuilds after, not one, but two fires, and its foodbank and outreach ministry in the downtown neighbourhood.
The band saluted us specifically with a wonderful rendition of the hymn For All the Saints and a prayerful arrangement of Crimond (The Lord’s My Shepherd). The All Saints’ crowd could be heard quietly humming along to both. (Although, the Tom Jones medley also seemed to inspire the same audience participation!)
Many thanks to Whitby Brass Band for helping us celebrate our anniversary year. The Band performs again at the Heydenshore Pavilion at the waterfront on August 4th. It’s a great concert on any occasion.
The St. Cecilia window is dedicated to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Joseph and Emma Agg and their family. Joseph Agg was organist and choir director at All Saints’ from 1919–1926, Emma was an active member of the choir and the Woman’s Auxiliary.
The window is rich and warm in its varying shades of cream, gold, green, and brown. The bright golden organ occupies the right foreground of the window and is commanding in its mass and brilliance. The angel rising in the upper back third of the window is dramatic and eye-catching. The compression of its wings in the arch of the window creates the impression that the grandeur of this angel is barely contained within the scene. The subject of the window, St. Cecilia herself, occupies the left-hand portion of the window. The nimbus and red shawl collar of her cloak serve to frame her lovely face.
Conspicuously central to the window, in the space between these three major elements — the saint, the organ, the angel — is Cecilia’s single upraised hand. Her fingers are elegantly outstretched and her thumb slightly crossed over her palm as if she has just raised her hand from the keyboard. Consider also the tilt of her jaw and the way she is glancing sideways and upward toward the angel. This is no question that this central gesture is that of a conductor, perhaps cueing her trumpeter to an entry or maybe a tempo change in her song. How fitting a memorial for a music director.
In her time (c 200 AD), Cecilia was a cultivated young Roman woman who vowed her virginity to God. On her wedding day, “as the musicians played, she sang in her heart to God only” (cantantibus organis illa in corde suo soi domino decantabat). Cecilia told her new husband, Valerian, that she was accompanied by an angel, and in order to see it, he must be baptized. Valerian and his brother were converted and later martyred for their faith. Cecilia was also killed. Some accounts indicate that as she was dying, Cecilia again sang in her heart to God. By the 15th century, St. Cecilia was declared Patron Saint of musicians, poets, and church music. In art, she is most often depicted playing the organ and accompanied by cherubim or an angel. Palms, a symbol of martyrdom, and lilies, the flowers of purity, also often appear in St. Cecilia depictions. Not surprisingly, St. Cecilia windows are usually situated in choir lofts, music rooms, or near to the organ.
A final notable feature of this window is the last line of the dedication: “Given by the late Ronald Agg 1985.” It was Ronald Agg, Joseph and Emma’s youngest son, who spearheaded the arrangements for the window’s creation and installation. He did not live to see it dedicated.