So Why This and Why Now?

This was my question last night as we ate supper.  My Muse responded thus:

“Because my friend, Kevin [Allen], is singing in this, George.  He had such a beautiful voice, he made mine sound good just standing next to him.

And because St. Barnabas was my first parish, and my first love and this was ‘our’ song.”

I then asked her to write something about the Paschal magnificat. So I turn you all over to the Muse herself as she continues to enumerate her reasons:

“One of our own, an Orthodox family, lost a daughter from the swine flu in 2009 and I promised myself I would remember her every time I sang this song.  I sing it often, lest she be forgotten.  

And, well, it makes me cry with joy to hear St. Barnabas sing and I could use a little cheering up right now, even if it’s early.

Why?  Because this song reminds us that the resurrection was, is, and always will be, a certainty.  It’s like knowing the end of the story before you begin.  Without the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, no one would even open this book because the ending would be just too hard to take. 

So as we mourn the death of Christ this week, let’s skip to the end, just for a moment, which in truth is our beginning, so we aren’t completely overtaken by the loss of not being able to come together.  Let’s open the locked Church doors, in spirit, and let in the light, even if we can’t yet walk through them.  

Pascha is almost here, George.  There are no padlocks that can keep us from entering the life of the world to come even if it is just for a moment.  If that isn’t something to celebrate all year, every year, I don’t know what is and I badly need to focus on the resurrection right now.  This pandemic has hit too many.  As my grandmother used to say: “Everyone passes in the spring.”  Never was this more true than now. 

We need to be resurrected from the plague, we need to be  resurrected from the ashes of what’s left of our economy, we need to be resurrected from the deep helplessness we feel seeing our world turned upside down. . . we need God.  The hope of the resurrection is only possible through Him.    

So forgive me for being weak, George.  I need to sing.  I need to sing with Kevin, who is no longer beside me, with Yumi, Wendy, Mary, Sophia, Scott, Loraine, and with all my other brothers and sisters in Christ at St. Barnabas who were my first, but by no means my only, love.  I need to sing with them at the top of my lungs so I can face the rest of the week, the losses it will bring, the indignities we will suffer, the fear of what’s coming next, and of course the remembrance of the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.    

Jesus was gentle with Mary, who anointed His feet with her fragrant hair and her tears, knowing what was to come.  Would He withhold the same mercy from those of us who want to sing in anticipation of what is to come?  Because I think He would say, “Let them sing,” as my own patron Saint, St. Galina did, with The Holy Martyr Leonidas and the Holy Martyrs Charissa, Nike (Nika, Victoria), Kalista (Kalida), Nunekhia, Basilissa, Irene, and Theodora who suffered at Corinth in the year 258.  They threw them into the sea, but they did not drown. Instead, they walked upon the water as if on dry land, singing spiritual hymns. The torturers overtook them in a ship, tied stones around their necks and drowned them.  We will be commemorating them this week.  –  So, I am going to sing through my sadness this week, like Saint Galina, and I hope you’ll be singing with me. 

“And the angel cried. . .” 


Interestingly, I also ran across an article called, What Can the Righteous Do? by Father Lawrence Farley that answers my Muse’s question.  Here is an excerpt:

“. . . But God’s providence has placed us all where we are, and with it, given us the obligation to fight for the truth in the battleground in which we find ourselves. The results of our striving are not ours to know in advance. Perhaps we shall prevail; perhaps we shall go down in flames. Perhaps western civilization may again arise like a phoenix from the ashes to build upon the foundation that we preserve in secret. Perhaps we live at the end of days, and the changes we see represent the final apostasia/ rebellion foretold by St. Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. We cannot know. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. We need not fly like a bird to the mountains. Now is not the time for flight. Now is the time for battle, for standing our ground, for truth-telling, for generous deeds, and perhaps for martyrdom. If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? We can do what we have always done: love and sing and serve the Lord. And lift up our heads when the powers of the heavens are shaken, for our redemption draws nigh.


So, yes, my Muse, we will sing today.  We will sing tonight, if you would like, and we will sing tomorrow, as well.  We will sing as much and as often as we can.  And in doing so, we will love and serve the Lord.


  1. Jacob Lee says

    Kevin was a great friend and a wonderful generous Christian. May his memory be eternal.

    We had some great times together. The Palm Springs convention, serving the homeless with FOCUS and of course his podcast.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Yeah, I really liked Kevin and worked with him on some of his podcasts. He always used to tell me, “Gail, you and I get along really well because you think like a man!” I miss him.

    • I learned so much Kevin Allen’s podcast.  Still listen to it periodically.  His 5- or 6-part series where he interviews Subdeacon Gregory Hendry about the Sdcn’s experiences with St John of San Francisco (when the Sdcn was a kid) is one of my favorites.