Today is Good Friday, the commemoration of the Crucifixion and Death of Jesus, a Day of Fasting and Abstinence. In the Secular world, today is National Pan America Day.
The Crucifixion from the Isenheim Altarpiece, painted by Matthias Grünewald in the early 16th century, was painted for a hospital specializing in skin diseases; it is unique in having John the Baptist at the Crucifixion, as he had died sometime before the Passion of Jesus, according to the New Testament. (I always said I wanted a print of this painting to put in the baby’s room, but never got around to it, and now the babies are long since grown up and out of the house. Perhaps I will find an art print of this painting to send to Matthew and Callie for my granddaughter’s room.) Today is a day of both Fast and Abstinence; only one full meal in the day is permitted (one can have two smaller meals, not to equal a full meal), and no meat. The Service (no celebration of Mass is celebrated on this day) generally begins at 3:00 pm, the hour at which Christ died. The liturgy consists of three parts: the Liturgy of the Word, the Veneration of the Cross, and Holy Communion. During the Liturgy of the Word, the Passion from the Gospel of John is read, with the priest reading the words of Jesus and the congregation reading the group responses. This part concludes with a series of prayers for the Church, the Pope, the clergy and laity of the Church, those preparing for baptism, the unity of Christians, the Jewish people, those who do not believe in Christ, those who do not believe in God, those in public office, and those in special need. The second part of the Good Friday liturgy is the Veneration of the Cross: a crucifix, not necessarily the one that is normally on or near the altar at other times, is solemnly displayed to the congregation and then venerated by them, individually if possible, while special chants are sung. The Service concludes with the distribution of Holy Communion, using hosts consecrated at the evening Mass on Holy Thursday, after which the congregation leaves the church in silence. The Way of the Cross may be said during the Service, or at some other time of the day. It should be noted that the Easter Triduum Liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil are not three separate liturgies, but one single liturgy. The Holy Thursday liturgy has a Greeting, but it does not have a Concluding Rite; the Good Friday Service has neither a Greeting nor a Concluding Rite, and the Easter Vigil does not have a Greeting, but does have a Concluding Rite. In the secular world, Pan American Day is a holiday observed by several countries in North and South America. It commemorates the First International Conference of American States which concluded on April 14th, 1890, creating the International Union of American Republics, the forerunner to the Organization of American States (OAS). The holiday was originally proposed by the organization in 1930, and was first observed on April 14th, 1931. In the United States, Pan American Day is observed by Presidential proclamation on April 14th. In addition, the entire week on which the holiday falls is observed as Pan American Week. On April 7th, 2017, President Donald Trump proclaimed Pan American Day and Pan American Week.
Last night our #8 LSU Tigers won their College Baseball game with the Ole Miss Rebels by the score of 15 to 2.
When I woke up to get ready for work I posted to Facebook that today was National Pan American Day. I did my Book Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the First Day of my Divine Mercy Novena. Today was a Heavy Business Volume Day at the casino, and also a Paid Holiday, so Richard and I were paid time and a half for our eight hours today. When we clocked in Richard was on Mini Baccarat and I was on Pai Gow. On my breaks I started reading Shanghai Girls by Lisa See via Kindle on my Tablet.
When we got home from work I read the morning paper; I then took a nap from 12:30 pm until about 4:15 pm. (I thus did not go to the Good Friday service at church.) When I woke up we watched Jeopardy!, then went over to Rocky’s Cajun Kitchen, where Richard had the seafood buffet and where I happily ate five pounds of crawfish. When we got home I reconciled the bank statement, which had come in the mail today, then got busy with today’s Daily Update. In sports, our #11 LSU Lady Tigers lost the first game of their College Softball Doubleheader with the Ole Miss Lady Rebels by the score of 0 to 1, and our #11 LSU Lady Tigers are now playing the second game of the College Softball Doubleheader with the Ole Miss Lady Rebels. And our #8 LSU Tigers will be playing another Home College Baseball game with the Ole Miss Rebels.
Tomorrow is Holy Saturday, the day when Christ’s body lay in the tomb while his soul went to the abode of the righteous dead to usher them to Heaven. Normally, tomorrow would be Tax Day, the day when one needs to have one’s Federal Income Tax return filed for their 2016 taxes. But tomorrow is Saturday, and Tax Day must be on a weekday. And on Monday, the District of Columbia celebrates Emancipation Day, which is normally April 16th, but that’s a Sunday. Emancipation Day affects taxes the same way federal holidays do. Therefore, the tax deadline is pushed out to Tuesday, April 18th, giving taxpayers three extra days to file their returns. And Early Voting begins in Louisiana for the Municipal General Election on April 29th. Tomorrow is also the birthday of Richard’s niece Jenny, the elder daughter of his sister in Iowa. Richard and I will work our eight hours at the casino (plus the extra 0.25 hours we get for attending the Pre-Shift Meeting, and I will ignore all blandishments from my phone to continue reading Shanghai Girls by Lisa See via Kindle on my tablet. When I get home from work I will eat my lunch salad, then I will do my Daily Update and turn in early; if I wake up to go to the Easter Vigil at 8:00 pm, well and good, and if not, I will hope that my non-attendance at the Vigil will not be the only reason I do not make it to heaven eventually. Our #11 LSU Lady Tigers will play a third Away College Softball game with the Ole Miss Lady Rebels, and our #8 LSU Tigers will be playing a third Home College Baseball game with the Ole Miss Rebels.
Our Parting Quote on this Good Friday Afternoon comes to us from Percy Sledge, American singer. Born in 1940 in Leighton, Alabama, he worked in a series of agricultural jobs in the fields in Leighton before taking a job as an orderly at Colbert County Hospital in Sheffield, Alabama. Through the mid-1960s he toured the Southeast with the Esquires Combo on weekends, while working at the hospital during the week. A former patient introduced Sledge to a mutual friend, record producer Quin Ivy. An audition followed, and Sledge was signed to a recording contract. Sledge’s soulful voice was perfect for the series of soul ballads produced by Ivy and Marlin Greene. “When a Man Loves a Woman” was Sledge’s first song recorded under the contract, and was released in March 1966. According to Sledge, the inspiration for the song came when his girlfriend left him for a modelling career after he was laid off from a construction job in late 1965, and, because bassist Calvin Lewis and organist Andrew Wright helped him with the song, he gave all the songwriting credits to them. It reached No. 1 in the United States and went on to become an international hit. “When a Man Loves a Woman” was a hit twice in the United Kingdom, reaching No. 4 in 1966 and, on reissue, peaking at No. 2 in 1987. The song was also the first gold record released by Atlantic Records. The soul anthem became the cornerstone of Sledge’s career, and was followed by “Warm and Tender Love” (covered by British singer Elkie Brooks in 1981), “It Tears Me Up”, “Take Time to Know Her” (his second biggest United States hit, reaching No. 11; the song’s lyrics were written by Steve Davis), “Love Me Tender”, and “Cover Me”. Sledge charted with “I’ll Be Your Everything” and “Sunshine” during the 1970s, and became an international concert favorite throughout the world, especially in the Netherlands, Germany, and on the African continent; he averaged 100 concerts a year in South Africa. Sledge’s career enjoyed a renaissance in the 1980s when “When a Man Loves a Woman” re-entered the United Kingdom Singles Chart, peaking at No. 2 behind the reissued Ben E. King classic “Stand by Me”, after being used in a Levi’s commercial. In the early 1990s Michael Bolton brought “When a Man Loves a Woman” back into the limelight again on his hit album Time, Love, & Tenderness. On the week of November 17th to November 23rd, 1991, Bolton’s version also hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, exactly 25 and 1/2 years to the week after Sledge’s did in 1966. In 1994 Saul Davis and Barry Goldberg produced Sledge’s album Blue Night for Philippe Le Bras’ Sky Ranch label and Virgin Records. It featured Bobby Womack, Steve Cropper, and Mick Taylor among others. Blue Night received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album, Vocal or Instrumental, and in 1996 it won the W.C. Handy Award for best soul or blues album. In 2004 Davis and Goldberg also produced the Shining Through the Rain album, which preceded Sledge’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Songs on the CD were written by Mikael Rickfors, Steve Earle, the Bee Gees, Carla Olson, Denny Freeman, Allan Clarke and Jackie Lomax. The same year Sledge recorded a live album with his band Sunset Drive entitled Percy Sledge and Sunset Drive – Live in Virginia on WRM Records produced by Warren Rodgers. In May 2007 he was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame in his home city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In December 2010 Rhino Handmade issued a four-CD retrospective, The Atlantic Recordings, which covered all of the issued Atlantic masters, as well as many of the tracks unissued in the United States (although some were simply the mono versions of songs originally issued in stereo; Disc 1 comprises Sledge’s first two LPs which were not recorded on stereo equipment). In 2011 Sledge toured with Sir Cliff Richard during his Soulicious tour, performing “I’m Your Puppet”. He had twelve children, two of whom became singers (died 2015): “I keep my feet on the ground because of my roots and the way I was raised.”