21 January 2009

Inauguration of US President Barack Obama

We watched the inauguration of US President Barack Obama on TV, and recorded it to watch again in 8 years time if I'm still around.

He made a good speech.

The orchestral music was significant in view of the theme of "change" - Simple gifts. The words were not sung, but for those who know them, they are perhaps significant:

'Tis the gift to be simple
'Tis the gift to be free
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be
and when we find ourselves in the place just right
'Twill be in the valley of joy and delight.

When true simplicity is gained
To bow and bend we shan't be ashamed
To turn, turn will be our delight
Till by turning, turning we come round right.

Which perhaps signals the end of American hubris. I hope so!

And there seemed to be an atmosphere of hope, similar to the inauguration of President Nelson Mandela here in 1994. It just felt like a similar atmosphere.

Of course hopes can be disappointed, and people perhaps have impossible expectations, which can never be fulfilled. But it's a bit like a wedding, of which Fr Alexander Schmemann said the grace and hope can be lost, perhaps in a single night, but the potential is still there.


bigbluemeanie said...

I liked Lowry's benediction. Other than that it would have been nice to have a slightly cynical commentator of the proceedings. Mine was a bit gushing.

Yewtree said...

That's a Shaker song - we sing it in Unitarian chapel sometimes.

Malcolm said...

I found Rev Lowrey's Benediction the most touching part of the whole ceremony.


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