Monday Message 12/18/17

Dear Trinity Families and Friends,

I love history and I have learned a lot about Galveston history through many of you, so I thought I would share some history from my neck of the woods. James Pierpont was born on April 25, 1822 in Boston, Massachusetts. While he attended a boarding school in New Hampshire he wrote a poem to his mother for Thanksgiving about a sleigh ride. In 1849, Pierpont left his wife and children with his father in Massachusetts and went off to California to open a business in San Francisco during the Gold Rush. His business failed after his goods burned in a fire. More bad luck prevailed for Pierpont, as his wife died in 1856 in Boston and so he decided to follow his brother to Savannah, GA taking a post as the organist and music director of a church. To support himself, he also gave organ and singing lessons.

He had accomplished nothing he set out to do or be. His poem to his mother was turned into a song and was originally performed in a Sunday school concert on Thanksgiving in Savannah, Georgia. In 1859, it was re-released with the title “Jingle Bells, or The One Horse Open Sleigh”. The song was not a hit either time. James Pierpont died a failure in 1893.

Why am I sharing this? It’s not an uncommon story. Many nineteenth-century men had similar lives — similar failures and successes. In one very important sense, James Pierpont was not a failure. Every year, in December, we celebrate his success. We carry in our heart and mind a lifelong memorial to him. It’s a song, not about Jesus or angels or even Santa Claus. It’s a simple song about the joy of whizzing through the cold white dark of winter’s gloom in a sleigh pulled by one horse. And with the company of friends, laughing and singing all the way. No more. No less. James Pierpont wrote “Jingle Bells.”

To write a song that stands for the simplest joys, to write a song that three or four hundred million people around the world know by heart– a song about something they’ve never done but can imagine — a song that every one of us, large and small, can belt out the moment the chord is struck on the piano and the chord is struck in our spirit — well, that’s not failure. One snowy afternoon in deep winter, James Pierpont penned the lines as a small gift for his mother and in doing so he left behind a permanent gift for Christmas — the best kind — not the one under the tree, but the invisible, invincible one of joy.

John Pierpont verifies that everything we do matters.

Lessons and Carols

Lessons and Carols is on Wednesday at 10:30 and in the past, we have had a full church; therefore, for those of you who cannot attend Wednesday or want better seats we will have a full-dress rehearsal on Tuesday at 8:45. Photography is acceptable on Tuesday.

Keeping Everyone Safe

SWAT team training at Trinity Episcopal School on Dec. 21st & 22nd and again Jan. 2nd & 3rd. Do not be alarmed if while driving by you see police activity at the School. Trinity church will remain open, and students are on holiday.

Wishing you and yours a very safe and memorable holiday,

Mark Ravelli / Head of School
Trinity Episcopal School
720 Tremont Street Galveston, TX 77550