A lot of things came together today. So many things that I have to take this time to put it down for others to see.
It’s the last week of the 55th year of the Rensselaer Program of Church Music and Liturgy, and my nineteenth time teaching in it. I’m typically behind on my grading, and I should be doing that now instead of blogging–but I think my students and fellow faculty will understand.
I’d like to spend a good bit of time writing about this program and how much it has meant to me, its history, its importance, but that will have to wait. Right now, I want to write about Marian, and how being here in Rensselaer provided me with a chance to honor her in a way I wasn’t expecting.
You see, Marian Krajewska, who passed away this past Friday, was the voice teacher at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College for over 35 years. She had taught at Drake and at IU, but as far as I know, she had no direct connection with Saint Joseph’s College, the home of the Rensselaer Program. There are lots of connections between The Woods and Saint Joe’s, though. And tonight, there was another.
Angela Daughtry is one of the Rensselaer Program’s graduating students. She will be receiving the degree Master of Arts in Pastoral Liturgy and Music on Friday, August 1. Tonight, July 30, Angela presented her “capstone” project, called a Ritual Presentation. Angela’s RP (that’s what we call them for short) was entitled “Vigil for the Deceased,” and those attending were encouraged at one point to come to the altar to light a candle and speak the name of the deceased friend or family member they wished to honor.
I lit a candle and spoke Marian’s name tonight. At this same RP, a new setting of Psalm 27 was premiered–one that I composed. See what I mean? A lot of things came together.
I remember when Marian retired. I was Area Coordinator at that time and was called upon to say some words at the retirement celebration. I said, “Marian, you are the class, the professionalism, and the graciousness of our Department. We will try to keep these things after you’re gone–and when we do, we’ll think of you.”
Sometimes I feel as though all those things left with Marian, especially now that she’s gone to be with her Lord. But, then again, I’m thinking of her. Some of those things she brought us in such abundance are still around. Marian, we’ll do our best.