Category: Uncategorized

National Summer Preaching Series 2013

May 29th, 2013 in Uncategorized


Baccalaureate Prayers 2013

May 19th, 2013 in Uncategorized

Dearly beloved, let us pray.

Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Eternal.

We pray today for our graduates here at Boston University:

We give thanks for their achievements

We give praise for their wisdom and understanding, and

We ask you to guide them to hear the sound of the genuine in themselves,

That they may continue to excel in leadership, scholarship, and service,

That they may come alive to lives of fulfillment and joy, and

That they may prosper and flourish in their vocations.

We pray for the parents, families, and friends of our graduates:

We give thanks for their accompaniment to this point,

We give praise for their perseverance and dedication, and

We ask you to empower them in a new manner of nurture and guidance,

That they may find ongoing joy and satisfaction in the accomplishments of their graduates,

That our graduates may continue to find nourishment in the traditions and values of their roots, and

That they together might enter into a new manner of relationship in mutuality and partnership.

We pray for the faculty, staff, and administrators who have guided this class of graduates throughout their years of study:

We give thanks for their leadership, scholarship, teaching, and service,

We give praise for their graceful presence and compassionate shepherding,

We ask you to empower them to persevere in the ongoing work of forming, informing, and transforming students at Boston University,

That they may find ongoing fulfillment in teaching and guiding as sources of inspiration for their scholarship,

That their striving for wisdom and understanding may bear fruit in compassionate service of this community and the world, and

That future classes of graduates may attain to similar and greater heights of achievement as those who graduate today.

We pray for the greater Boston University community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni:

We give thanks for the greatness this University has achieved and will achieve to the divine glory,

We give praise for the great cloud of witnesses who provided and provide vision for this campus and community of learning, virtue, and piety, and

We ask you to inspire our hearts and minds to pursue and attain to even greater knowledge and insight,

That the ordering of our society and its affairs might be improved,

That justice and mercy might prevail, and

That your glory may be known upon the earth.

We pray for the members of the Class of 2013 who have died:

Austin Brashears, Binland Lee, Daniela Lekhno, Lu Lingzi, Kanagala Seshadri Rao, and Christopher Weigl:

Grant to them eternal rest, O God, and may light perpetual shine upon them.

Grant consolation and peace to their families and friends, and to those who mourn, and

Guide our community toward healing, wholeness, and reconciliation.

In all of these things, we fulfill your command, O God, as we rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, and so we offer you all praise and glory this day.  Amen.

-Br. Lawrence A. Whitney, LC+

Max Miller Memorial Service

April 25th, 2013 in Uncategorized

Dr. Max Miller, Remembered: Hosted by Marsh Chapel, we are joined by Boston's chapter of the American Guild of Organists in celebrating 'Uncle Max's' life of teaching and service at Boston University. The service will take place at Marsh Chapel, Boston University on Sunday, September 8th, 2013 at 3:00 in the afternoon. A reception will follow in Barrister's Hall at the Law School with refreshment provided. Please save this date for what will certainly be an emotional and loving tribute to our beloved colleague. Gifts in Max's memory may be made to the Organ Library.


Max Burdorf Miller (1927-2013)

Max Miller served on the faculties of the School of Music and the School of Theology at Boston University for forty-two yeas until his retirement in 1991.  He was simultaneously University Organist, Director of Music at Marsh Chapel, Director of the Master of Sacred Music program, conductor of the Seminary Singers, and Professor of Organ in the School of Music.  He took the Seminary Singers on tour every year, and one suspects that that participants could contribute many anecdotes about Max’s aplomb under the inevitably unpredictable vicissitudes of such an enterprise. (cont. below picture)



He taught organ not only to majors in that instrument but also to those studying within the MSM program.  For Max every student was his student, whether they could play the most difficult of Reger’s Phantasien or more modest repertoire.  He guided all of them to develop their musicality to the highest level possible.  Probably he did not often say to a student “don’t you think that’s too difficult for you.”  All of his students remember him with the greatest affection.

Max Miller began his study of the organ in his native California.  He must have been precocious player.  While studying Arnold Schoenberg’s difficult Variations on a Recitative, he received coaching from the composer.  (Max published a reminiscence of this encounter, a copy of which is kept the Arnold-Schoenberg-Archiv in Vienna.)  Max and his wife Betty lived in Vienna for several years, while Max studied with the eminent Austrian virtuoso, teacher, and composer, Anton Heiller.  Max received his Ph.D from Boston University and was a Fellow of the American Guild of Organsts.

Max was dedicated to his role as church musician.  He rehearsed the Chapel choir weekly and conducted every Sunday service.  There were special programs, to be sure, but the high quality of preparation and presentation—abetted by Max’s endearing personality—created a wonderful community.  Over the years, his Chapel assistants enjoyed a unique apprenticeship in how to run a choir rehearsal and in the fine art of service playing. For decades Max was in demand as a workshop presenter at organists’ conventions.

For many years he wrote an “Ask Uncle Max” column for The American Organist, the national publication of the American Guild of Organists.  His columns were always the perfect blend of erudition and good musical sense.  Over-specialization, however attractive it might be in today’s academe, did not appeal to Max.  His interests were very wide, encompassing theology, literature, and much else.

His knowledge of the organ repertoire was impressive, and he was the guiding spirit in the founding of The Organ Library, located in the School of Theology.  This has grown to be one of the largest collections of organ music in the world, accessible though a searchable database.  The Organ Library awards the biennial Max B. Miller prize to outstanding books devoted to organ literature and performance.

On the occasion of his seventieth birthday (October 21, 1997) a group of his students presented Max with an informal “Festschrift” as a testimony to their affection.  The contributions ranged from the scholarly to the whimsical (Max would have appreciated both!)  One of his students created a little “diploma” which concluded with the following ditty:

The organ’s firm foundation is not its reed or flutes;

It is our Max B. Miller, who makes the pipes all toot.

At Marsh he came to teach us.  The ciphers did relax.

We wish you joy and laughter.

Happy retirement, Max!

For more than four decades, Max Miller inspired so many at Boston University, not only with “joy and laughter” but also with musical artistry and erudition.  Requiescat in pace.

Help for Parents Caring for Children with Disabilities

April 24th, 2013 in Uncategorized

BU has launched a website to provide support for parents who are caring for children with disabilities. Read the BU Today article and find the link here:

Patriots’ Day 2013

April 16th, 2013 in Uncategorized

listen to the University Service of Healing after Patriots' Day 2013

Dear Friends,

Grace to you and peace.  I bring you greetings from the leadership and community of Marsh Chapel, and three brief words in the wake of yesterday’s tragic events.

First, our thanks to you for your concern about us here, and members of the community.  Our annual brunch was joyfully and fully attended, with words from Lincoln, bagels and quiche, some Longfellow poetry, and the singing of ‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee’.   Then, the afternoon.  Several of our friends and families were close to the finish line near 3pm, but all have emerged (physically) unharmed.  Chapel staff provided hospitality (rest, refreshment, prayer, and counsel) to 120 or so who came in later Monday afternoon.  At this writing, we know of one BU student hurt, who is in now in stable condition.  We appreciate your contacts, your prayers, and your thoughts.  Our brunch and marathon watch will be held, with energy, again on Patriots’ Day next year.

Second, we encourage you to continue in ways many have already begun, to find effective modes of help for those well beyond our own community who have been hurt, one way or another.  A card, a note, a check, a gift, a prayer—we all have things we can do to lean forward and help those harmed.  One of our students is active in bringing a blood bank to campus in the next few days.  It is healthy and it is helpful, in many directions, to find one thing or two things creatively to do, to bring some good to bear in the face of this tragic violence.

Third, and most significantly, we will want to live with faith and courage in the days ahead.  The radiance of Easter is still with us, shadowed as it is by Monday’s unspeakable violence.  Thankfully, from Monday itself, we have examples of people modeling dimensions of healthy spirituality.  I will only write here of the runners and the race (a metaphor not unknown to the biblical mind by the way—Psalm 19, 1 Cor 9, Hebrews 12).   I picture all the runners practicing months and weeks.  I see the lacing of the running shoes.  I hear the starting whistle and the throng surging forward.  We saw at Kenmore Square, the brightly attired elderly man, the young guy with blue hair, the student running in a tuxedo, the troop from a nearby college ROTC program, the woman running—as so many—in memory, the folks in wheel chairs, the straining forward, by mile 25, of striving, disciplined energy.  They all are models for us of running the race and finishing the course. We can lace up and run, too, in our own ways.  God’s goodness, love and presence beckon us onward.

At 5:30pm tonight (Tuesday, 4/16/13), the university community will gather on Marsh Plaza for a vigil to remember and honor those hurt and killed on Patriots’ Day.  At 5:30pm tomorrow (Wednesday, 4/17/13) our community will gather for a formal service of ordered worship, in honor and memory, in the Marsh Chapel nave.  And of course we will be together for worship on Sunday (4/21/13) at 11am.  Please join us for one or more of these services.




Rev. Dr. Robert Allan Hill

Dean, Marsh Chapel

Professor, New Testament and Pastoral Theology

Chaplain to the University, Office of Religious Life

Boston University



April 14th, 2013 in Uncategorized

HANDEL Messiah, HWV 56

Saturday, April 20, 2013; 7:30 p.m.
Marsh Chapel Choir and Collegium
Admission: $10; no charge with any valid student ID

Easter Meditation

March 31st, 2013 in Uncategorized

Often our experience falls short of our expectation, even very short. We hope for love and find companionship. We desire friendship and find alliance. We expect vocation and land a job. We have high expectations, but low experience. So, over time, our expectations can diminish, and we find ways both to accept that outcome and to militate against it. Experience frequently trumps, and often disappoints, expectation. We want an A and get B. We want a Porsche and get a Ford. We want a full church, and get half of that.

How different Easter! The Easter gospel is so strangely, hauntingly different. It is not just a matter of a church being full (though that is very nice-we hope to see many of you, and often, this weekend!). It is the marvelous, miraculous actual experience of the women, when they enter the tomb, in comparison to their dread, fear and sorrow in expectation, as they come to the tomb. Luke begins and ends this gospel of restoration power with the women, a gathering of women engaged in a traditional task of preparing a body with spices and ointment. Luke revises, not to say restores, Mark's account, and sings the Easter news: Christ has triumphed over the cross and that triumph is based on appearances-experiences-of the risen Lord, experiences of restorative power, experiences that confound and outshine our more limited expectations. Life is more enchantment than disenchantment.

They expected a corpse and found an angel.They expected a stone and found an opening. They expected an ending and found a beginning. They expected death, real pungent death, and found life, joyous, everlasting life.

This is the good news of Easter: The lasting love of God in Christ, wherein our worst fears are not realized,wherein, in Whom, for once, our expectations are not ever quite as good, wonderful or high as our experience.

Happy Easter!

~Rev. Dr. Robert Allan Hill, Dean of Marsh Chapel

Easter Lilies

March 6th, 2013 in Uncategorized

To order a lily for Easter at Marsh Chapel, please fill out the form  below. Lilies will be displayed at the Chapel and available for pick up after the service on Easter morning.

Sorry. This form is no longer available.

Ash Wednesday Services

February 12th, 2013 in Uncategorized

Benjamin Britten 100th Anniversary Festival

January 28th, 2013 in Uncategorized

Performances of Benjamin Britten’s music are going on around the world as part of the centennial festival.

For more information on Benjamin Britten, his music, and upcoming performances in Boston or other areas, visit the 100th Anniversary website.

Dates marked with an asterisk (*) indicate worship services, and the works corresponding to those dates are performed in a religious setting. There is no admission charge for worship services at Marsh Chapel.

Scott Allen Jarrett, Conductor and Director of Music

*Sunday, January 27, 2013; 11:00 a.m.

BRITTEN Te Deum in C major
Sarah Moyer, soprano
Justin Thomas Blackwell, organ
Marsh Chapel Choir

Saturday, February 2, 2013; 8:00 p.m.

BRITTEN Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, Op. 31
BRITTEN Simple Symphony, Op. 4
BRITTEN Nocturne, Op. 60
BRITTEN Now sleeps the crimson petal

Nicholas Phan, tenor
Clark Matthews, horn
Marsh Chapel Collegium

Admission: $10; no charge with any valid student ID

*Sunday, February 3, 2013; 11:00 a.m.

BRITTEN Prelude and Fugue on a theme of Vittoria
Justin Thomas Blackwell, organ

BRITTEN Festival Te Deum in E major, Op. 32
Carey Shunskis, soprano
Justin Thomas Blackwell, organ
Marsh Chapel Choir

*Sunday, February 17, 2013: 11:00 a.m.

BRITTEN Three Organ Works
Voluntary on “Tallis’ Lamentation”
Prelude to “They walk alone”
Village organist’s piece
Justin Thomas Blackwell, organ

BRITTEN Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac, Op. 51
Douglas Dodson, countertenor
Patrick T. Waters, tenor
Justin Thomas Blackwell, piano

Friday, March 1, 2013; 8:00 p.m.

BRITTEN Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10
Marsh Chapel Collegium

JS BACH Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben, BWV 77
Margot Rood, soprano
Emily Marvosh, alto
Patrick T. Waters, tenor
Graham T. Wright, bass

BRITTEN Cantata misericordium, Op. 69
Andrew Shryock, tenor
Baritone soloist TBA
Marsh Chapel Choir and Collegium

Admission: $10; no charge with any valid student ID

*Sunday, March 3, 2013: 11:00 a.m.

BRITTEN Jubilate Deo in C
Justin Thomas Blackwell, organ
Marsh Chapel Choir
Thurman Choir