December 26, 2011

...and now let us welcome a brand new year...

Kolumbova osveta-

Izleti u nepoznato su uvijek ono
što nas može učiniti sretnim.
Pritom je potrebno sreću promatrati
kao fazu, a nepoznato kao prvo što
oko sebe primijetiš.

Columbus’ Revenge -

A trip into the unknown is always something
that can make us happy.
Therefore it’s important to see happiness as a phase,
and the unknown as the first thing you see around…

~Marko Pogačar / translation Tomislav Kuzmanović

December 6, 2011

Make a Joyful Noise

While we all hold our houses of worship in great esteem, few churches have been celebrated in song as well as on stage and in the pages of books.  But the Church of the Transfiguration, affectionately known as the Little Church Around the Corner because it opens its doors with kindness to all, has held an extremely special place in the hearts of New Yorkers for a century and a half.

When the Little Church was young – before skyscrapers rose like hills about its ivy-covered courtyard – its founder welcomed actors to the church.  Not that the goodly Father Houghton approved of entertainments; rather, he believed in understanding for all.  So grateful was an actor, who had been refused services at one of the more formal churches nearby, that he exclaimed, “God bless the little church around the corner.”  Ever since, actors have mingled happily with all who would come to the Little Church.

When I first came to New York Ms. Edna took me to this church and when I lived in New York, I often found my steps taking me to the Little Church Around the Corner.  Always when I visit New York I stop in.  Although I am not an Episcopalian, I am mesmerized by the Little Church nonetheless and, in a way, think of it as my church too-as many who live in the neighborhood do. 

Perhaps it is the size, its English Gothic style, or the jewelike interior.  Perhaps I am drawn to its long tradition of marriages at the extraordinary beautiful marble Bride’s Altar.  It was built in the 1920’s from contributions made by hundreds of couples who had pledged their vows there. 

Whatever the reasons, one Christmas my hart filled to overflowing when I crossed the courtyard, where lights abounded in every tree, and I entered the church. 

Inside, the Christmas angel greeted me, and as I gazed upward to the vaulted ceiling with its host of angels, I was ever thankful to the revered Father Houghton, who founded the church, and to his successors who preserve such beauty for us. 

Gloria in Excelsis Deo. Sretan Božić.