Good Friday Special: Marcelito Pomoy – The Prayer

It’s unseemly to whine, but when enough little train wrecks pile up, it’s not quite the Ever Given in the Suez, but it can feel as difficult to get cleared out. Yesterday, on top of the bizarre spectacle of the assistants to three different doctors ghosting me (all with practices that have official “we schedule appointments in 24 hours” policies), USPS just messed me up with returning a letter I’d sent certified….as undeliverable….to Vanguard with the correct address! And that itty bitty SEP IRA contribution needed to be postmarked by March 15, which can’t happen absent a time machine. BTW, the MDs ghosting me had nothing to do with insurance or payment; we hadn’t gotten that far in the intake process.

So rather than attempt to write a post and have it either not be all so hot or take too long due to my frazzled condition, a change in programming seemed to be in order.

Today is Good Friday, which the Christian world outside the US takes more seriously than Easter. For instance, when I lived in Australia, the only two days of the year pubs were required to close were Christmas and Good Friday. By contrast, we Americans with our Disney tastes prefer to focus on the happy ending to Christ’s Passion.

I grew up in a non-religious household and barely had any acquaintance with normal Christian habits. We did belong to the Unitarian Church for the two years we lived in Boston, which had a grand traditional building, and very briefly to a Presbyterian Church down the street from the first house we lived in in Oregon (we moved to a much more glamorous company house in a few months after my father was promoted and the church attendance stopped). So most of Lambert’s Scripture citations are lost on me. But one part I was aware of missing were the holiday sermons and the music. I very much like choirs, particularly when they are big enough to produce a wall of sound, as well as gifted soloists.

Thus this musical offering isn’t an Easter special in the traditional sense, but I hope you will enjoy it. Marcelito Pomoy came from the most desperate background imaginable in the Philippines, abandoned by his mother after his father was imprisoned, and then leaving his adoptive father at the age of 8 when he remarried. Pomoy lived on the streets, managing to find enough odd jobs to eat. He’s self-taught, learning to sing by watching from outside at music halls and imitating the performers exactly. The inspiration for Pomoy’s rendition is a performance of The Prayer by Andrea Bocelli and Céline Dion. Oh, and fun fact: performing seated is far more difficult, it reduces your lung capacity.

There’s even a genre of “reaction” videos to this performance. My fave:

Voice Teacher Reacts to Marcelito Pomoy – The Prayer

And a small sampling of the many many more:

Enjoy!

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16 comments

  1. Basil Pesto

    Today is Good Friday, which the Christian world outside the US takes more seriously than Easter. For instance, when I lived in Australia, the only two days of the year pubs were required to close were Christmas and Good Friday.

    True enough, I’m in one of a cluster of resort/holiday towns on the coast of South Australia atm, and the pubs are conspicuous by their closedness, but this seems more like a holdover from an older time in what has always seemed to be to me (born in the late 80s) to be a pretty secular country. For instance, while pubs (which are very distinct institutions) are closed, bars are not (the law probably varies from state to state, though). Drive-thru bottle shops (liquor stores) aren’t all closed in SA either (different to other states) and they were well peopled by youngs stocking up on last minute drinks to drink with their mates on a staggeringly nice 30 degree (proper degrees) day before the clocks go back, their memories of the superstitious significance of Good Friday relegated to increasingly distant memories of yawnsome and far-fetched stories they dimly recall from school (religious secondary schooling is a very popular and lucrative market in the capital cities here). I myself am writing this from some kind of backyard craft brewer. Nice Kölsch.

    Reply
  2. John Zelnicker

    Yves – I suspect you’ve thought of this, but would Vanguard accept your contribution as timely if you sent the original unopened envelope showing the original postmark in a new envelope? They could see pretty clearly that you made a valid and timely attempt and were stymied by events beyond your control.

    Reply
  3. diptherio

    I stumbled across this a couple years ago and then proceeded to watch just about all the videos from this program. Pomoy is a standout, even among the multitude of incredibly talented performers they’ve featured.

    Reply
  4. rl

    “which the Christian world outside the US takes more seriously than Easter. . . . By contrast, we Americans with our Disney tastes prefer to focus on the happy ending to Christ’s Passion.”

    I respect the point you are making, Yves, but the Eastern Orthodox Church — after the Roman Catholic Church, the second largest Christian communion worldwide — notably also emphasizes Pascha (Easter Sunday) over Holy Friday. It wouldn’t be accurate to say “more seriously”; nevertheless, the focal point of Great Lent and of the Paschal Triduum certainly is the Resurrection.

    This is a difference of perspective going back many centuries, and has been a point of “dialogue” between the two communions since the mutual excommunications were lifted in 1965 (and, at least on the Orthodox side, polemic too). The Orthodox tradition generally holds that even the Passion should be understood as “bittersweet,” not just bitter, because like all of Great Lent and Holy Week (and life) its fulfillment is in the joy (chare), love (agape), and “unending day” of Pascha and Bright Week.

    So, it may not be that Americans prefer the happy ending. For some reason, Americans prefer a marketable and ultimately superficial shadow of a holiday — bright colors, merchandisable “traditions,” The Family Dinner(TM) — over the astounding depth and intensity of Pascha.

    That being said: to everyone observing the feast this weekend, Anesti!

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    1. rl

      *mutual excommunications — should be anathemae. Apologies . . . Latin ecclesiological vocab is not my speciality, especially before coffee. ;)

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  5. Pat

    Yves, did you send the Vanguard deposit to Pennsylvania? If so that may be the problem. Vanguard has shut down the Wayne center and moved the certified/overnight/FedEx address to a processing center in Texas. And IMO they haven’t made that obvious to anyone.

    Good luck with that.

    Reply
  6. Dirk77

    I can speak only from my own limitations, but he must have a great ear to go with his voice. With so much righteousness these days, ultimately based upon a sand of faux rationality, the more I appreciate faith within religion. To paraphrase Nassim Taleb, at least they have aesthetics, such as this song.

    Reply

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