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Re: [liturgy-l] FW: [Celt] Modern Language Christmas Pageant

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  • Douglas Cowling
    ... My favourite pageant anecdote comes from a few years ago. Before the service, an extremely anxious 7-yr old Mary came up and whispered to me, ³I¹ve
    Message 1 of 14 , Dec 31, 2006
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      On 12/31/06 12:52 PM, "Daniel Lawson" <k95dl01@...> wrote:

      > At the rehearsal for our pageant (which I attended despite my dislike
      > of pageants because my 8-month-old was the understudy for Jesus), our
      > Curate was walking the actors through the script and showing them
      > where to stand, when to enter, etc., while doing a running commentary
      > on the script. He was explaining why Joseph was concerned about
      > scandal, and that Mary was having a baby but she was not married. At
      > that point, one of the fifth-graders waiting in the wings piped up,
      > "Wait a minute, wasn't Mary supposed to be a virgin?"
      >
      My favourite pageant anecdote comes from a few years ago. Before the
      service, an extremely anxious 7-yr old Mary came up and whispered to me,
      ³I¹ve forgotten the name of the baby!² I helped her out and she went away
      very relieved.

      Of course, the rector used the story in his sermon later that evening at the
      midnight mass!


      Doug Cowling
      Director of Music & Liturgical Arts
      Church of the Messiah, Toronto




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • frpeterdr@webtv.net
      Christmas Pageants are anonther occasion for this particular parish priest to display the fixed grin and glazed look that I get when I am having to do things I
      Message 2 of 14 , Jan 1, 2007
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        Christmas Pageants are anonther occasion for this particular parish
        priest to display the fixed grin and glazed look that I get when I am
        having to do things I hate, but other folks think are cute. These are
        usually occasions when it is expendient for me not to display my usual
        "father knows best" way of dealing with parish business.

        Peter

        The Very Rev. Peter D. Robinson
        Rector: St Paul's Anglican Church, Prescott, AZ
        Dean of Arizona, ACA:DOW
        http://www.prescottanglican.ozonez.com
      • Janet Roth
        Peter, I am sorry that you hate (or think you do) Christmas pageants. Far from being considered cute in my parish, the pageant is considered to be a
        Message 3 of 14 , Jan 1, 2007
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          Peter,
          I am sorry that you hate (or think you do) Christmas pageants. Far
          from being considered "cute" in my parish, the pageant is considered to
          be a ministry which the children offer to the parish/ in the parish.
          The pageant is normally the "Liturgy of the Word" for the 4p 12/24
          service which is considered by all to be the first Eucharist of
          Christmas. (There is always a very short homily and ALWAYS eucharist
          attached.) In part I think because of the earlier hour and because of
          the authenicity and the ability for this service to really engage
          people, this first Christmas service is often better attended than the
          11p service.

          The script does not change much from year to year. Always short
          readings from Luke and Matthew with John1:1-? added. The songs change
          a little from year to year --- except the nursery/ kinders who are
          angels and always sing "Away in the Manger."
          (If you'd like to see our script, I'd be glad to find a copy to send
          you.)

          Like lots of others we had four services this year on Dec 24 -- Two for
          Advent, two for Christmas. They were all equally wonderful in
          different ways.

          Janet Roth


          On Jan 1, 2007, at 12:53 PM, frpeterdr@... wrote:

          > Christmas Pageants are anonther occasion for this particular parish
          > priest to display the fixed grin and glazed look that I get when I am
          > having to do things I hate, but other folks think are cute. These are
          > usually occasions when it is expendient for me not to display my usual
          > "father knows best" way of dealing with parish business.
          >
          > Peter
          >
          > The Very Rev. Peter D. Robinson
          > Rector: St Paul's Anglican Church, Prescott, AZ
          > Dean of Arizona, ACA:DOW
          > http://www.prescottanglican.ozonez.com
          >
          >
          >

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Michael T. Hiller
          Available on http://www.hillerleiturgia.com, for Sunday bulletins, and brief commentary on the readings from the Eucharistic Lectionary. -- The Rev. Mr.
          Message 4 of 14 , Jan 1, 2007
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            Available on http://www.hillerleiturgia.com, for Sunday bulletins, and
            brief commentary on the readings from the Eucharistic Lectionary.

            --
            The Rev. Mr. Michael T. Hiller
            415.468.1001 (home)
            415.999.8606 (cell)
            mailto:priestly@...
            webpage: http://www.hillerleiturgia.com
          • L. Sissel
            Available on http://www.hillerle iturgia.com, for Sunday bulletins, and brief commentary on the readings from the Eucharistic Lectionary. The Rev. Mr. Michael
            Message 5 of 14 , Jan 1, 2007
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              Available on http://www.hillerle iturgia.com, for Sunday bulletins, and

              brief commentary on the readings from the Eucharistic Lectionary.

              The Rev. Mr. Michael T. Hiller












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              Fr. Lee



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            • frpeterdr@webtv.net
              My antipathy to Christmas Pageants is a bit out of character, as I like mediaeval mystery plays, and the old carols. I often wonder if my antipathy would
              Message 6 of 14 , Jan 2, 2007
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                My antipathy to Christmas Pageants is a bit out of character, as I like
                mediaeval mystery plays, and the old carols. I often wonder if my
                antipathy would survive getting the kids to use an abridged and updated
                version of one of the mediaeval texts.

                The Very Rev. Peter D. Robinson
                Rector: St Paul's Anglican Church, Prescott, AZ
                Dean of Arizona, ACA:DOW
                http://www.prescottanglican.ozonez.com
              • Mark Preece
                I too have an ambiguous relationship with the pageant. My 4pm family Christmas Eve eucharist (with pageant) is threatening to become the whole Christmas
                Message 7 of 14 , Jan 3, 2007
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                  I too have an ambiguous relationship with the pageant. My 4pm family
                  Christmas Eve eucharist (with pageant) is threatening to become the whole
                  Christmas shebang for my parish: the pageant is very popular and my older
                  folks don't like driving at night. When I was young, I recall staying up
                  for the midnight mass was a sort of rite of passage, like getting to watch
                  Johnny Carson on New Years Eve, but now I find lots of kids who graduate
                  from the pageant want to keep coming to that service anyway. My candlelight
                  service is shrinking as the family eucharist grows, and as far as I know
                  nobody has ever come on Christmas day in this parish.

                  On the other hand, I love the pageant, for all the reasons everybody else
                  does (cute kids), and also for ones having to do with my calling as a
                  Christian leader: the kids, the families, and many in the rest of the
                  parish are involved and energized by this event. I'm thinking of moving it
                  to a Sunday in Advent, but I don't know yet. The Christmas Eve pageant
                  makes Christmas the culmination of work done in Advent, which is one of the
                  few ways I have of keeping Advent as a season of preparation rather than as
                  "the holiday season." Is my problem just an aesthetic longing for the
                  candlelight of my youth, or is it a real concern that something important
                  gets lost in the more circus like atmosphere of the pageant service? Dunno.

                  Now to the point of writing the email: This year we used Gretchen Wolff
                  Pritchard's "A Child of Might," which is based on mystery plays from York
                  and elsewhere. I liked it, though there was some initial resistance to
                  making the kids learn rhyming old english poetry. Near the end of the
                  rehearsals, around Advent 3, I was driving somewhere when my 5-year old
                  daughter, an angel this year, suddenly asked me what "Amen, amen, say we"
                  means. A teaching moment, of course, but it made me wonder how much she
                  actually got of the play's content (which begins with speaking parts for
                  God, Moses, Isaiah, and others). Still, I recommend the play: the kids did
                  a good job and I think they experienced a sense of accomplishment for
                  mastering something unfamiliar.

                  Peace,

                  Mark.

                  The Rev. Mark Preece
                  Trinity Church, Gulph Mills
                  King of Prussia, PA

                  At 07:52 PM 1/2/2007, frpeterdr@... wrote:
                  >My antipathy to Christmas Pageants is a bit out of character, as I like
                  >mediaeval mystery plays, and the old carols. I often wonder if my
                  >antipathy would survive getting the kids to use an abridged and updated
                  >version of one of the mediaeval texts.
                  >
                  >The Very Rev. Peter D. Robinson
                  >Rector: St Paul's Anglican Church, Prescott, AZ
                  >Dean of Arizona, ACA:DOW
                  >http://www.prescottanglican.ozonez.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >Visit the liturgy-l homepage at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/liturgy-l/To
                  >write to the owners/moderators, please send an email to:
                  >liturgy-l-owner@yahoogroups.com
                  >Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • theodore lorah
                  ... Don t you have the Eucharist at the candle light service? I am also unsure what the family Eucharist is. Eucharist I understand, but it is in the
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jan 3, 2007
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                    On Jan 3, 2007, at 9:49 AM, Mark Preece wrote:

                    > My candlelight
                    > service is shrinking as the family eucharist grows, and as far as I
                    > know
                    > nobody has ever come on Christmas day in this parish.

                    Don't you have the Eucharist at the candle light service? I am also
                    unsure what the "family Eucharist" is. Eucharist I understand, but
                    it is in the tradition of the Church to celebrate the Eucharist on
                    Christmas Eve, and since the same people would not be attending two
                    of them, the same lessons would be in order, unless you did the Nine
                    Lessons and Carols, which could substitute for the Liturgy of the
                    Word. How you celebrated could be oriented toward younger Christians
                    rather than the older ones. I guess what I'm saying is that you
                    could "mix and match" and come up two liturgies that satisfied the
                    requirements of the Christmas Eve mass.

                    Ted Lorah
                    Honey Brook, PA

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Mark Preece
                    Sorry for the confusion. We have two Christmas Eve services, both straight Book of Common Prayer Rite 2 Eucharists. One s at 4pm, with the pageant more-or-less
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jan 3, 2007
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                      Sorry for the confusion. We have two Christmas Eve services, both straight
                      Book of Common Prayer Rite 2 Eucharists. One's at 4pm, with the pageant
                      more-or-less replacing the sermon (though I say a few things!), and with
                      lots of noise and commotion. The later one, at 9, has choir, sermon, and
                      candles.

                      Peace,

                      Mark.

                      At 10:51 AM 1/3/2007, theodore lorah wrote:

                      >On Jan 3, 2007, at 9:49 AM, Mark Preece wrote:
                      >
                      > > My candlelight
                      > > service is shrinking as the family eucharist grows, and as far as I
                      > > know
                      > > nobody has ever come on Christmas day in this parish.
                      >
                      >Don't you have the Eucharist at the candle light service? I am also
                      >unsure what the "family Eucharist" is. Eucharist I understand, but
                      >it is in the tradition of the Church to celebrate the Eucharist on
                      >Christmas Eve, and since the same people would not be attending two
                      >of them, the same lessons would be in order, unless you did the Nine
                      >Lessons and Carols, which could substitute for the Liturgy of the
                      >Word. How you celebrated could be oriented toward younger Christians
                      >rather than the older ones. I guess what I'm saying is that you
                      >could "mix and match" and come up two liturgies that satisfied the
                      >requirements of the Christmas Eve mass.
                      >
                      >Ted Lorah
                      >Honey Brook, PA
                      >
                      >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >Visit the liturgy-l homepage at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/liturgy-l/To
                      >write to the owners/moderators, please send an email to:
                      >liturgy-l-owner@yahoogroups.com
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                      >
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                    • R Drake
                      All of your points, Mark, are very familiar, and I also am ambivalent about pageants and such (from the perspective of a musician, not a clergy-person). We
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jan 3, 2007
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                        All of your points, Mark, are very familiar, and I also am
                        ambivalent about pageants and such (from the perspective of
                        a musician, not a clergy-person). We may have a larger
                        congregation than you do - we run 3 services Christmas eve
                        (children's with Xmas musical, contemporary, and
                        traditional with choir and all the trimmings), all with
                        Eucharist, and one on Christmas Day (very poorly attended,
                        but the feeling is that it should happen regardless). NB,
                        we do put on the musical at one service on Advent 3, then
                        again Xmas Eve.

                        My take, FWIW, on the matter of kids staying on at the
                        early service after they have technically 'outgrown' it is
                        that we have, overall, eliminated much of the
                        differentiation between children and adults. Adults don't
                        want to be seen to be older than about 35, and preteens
                        want to dress and act as adults. We maybe need to make
                        more of passages, so that kids know that they come to each
                        opportunity in turn, but then outgrow it. We also could do
                        with more recognition of the concept of 'mystery', not to
                        be confused with the 'in crowd' and the equivalent of lodge
                        greetings. That's one thing that is usually missing from
                        the services I've seen aimed at youngsters.

                        In our area, where most families have two working parents,
                        there is an additional factor pushing the early service.
                        If the family wants to worship together, it has to go to
                        whatever is appropriate for the youngest member. That
                        pretty much means that as long as there is a child in the
                        family between toddler and age 14, they're all at the
                        children's service.

                        Re your specific play, Mark, it sounds fascinating, but I
                        should think that it really needs not just ordinary
                        learning of lines, but to be the culmination of the fall
                        term's Sunday School program. I know this would play hob
                        with a standard curriculum, but it sounds like the show you
                        did recounts about 2/3 of salvation history, and surely
                        this is a golden opportunity to teach it as a connected
                        whole!

                        Fr. Peter, are you a medieval enthusiast, or concerned that
                        what we say/play/sing reflect our theology? If the latter,
                        there ARE more recent pieces (both concert and carol) in
                        which the theology is not dumbed down, as well as the
                        treasure trove of carols from all over the world and
                        several hundred years of time. In fact, how about a
                        pageant or play that tells the story through the
                        perceptions of Christians around the globe?

                        Peace and a happy new year to all,

                        Robin Drake
                        St. Anne's, Reston
                        Virginia

                        --- Mark Preece <mwmp@...> wrote:

                        > I too have an ambiguous relationship with the pageant. My
                        > 4pm family
                        > Christmas Eve eucharist (with pageant) is threatening to
                        > become the whole
                        > Christmas shebang for my parish: the pageant is very
                        > popular and my older
                        > folks don't like driving at night. When I was young, I
                        > recall staying up
                        > for the midnight mass was a sort of rite of passage, like
                        > getting to watch
                        > Johnny Carson on New Years Eve, but now I find lots of
                        > kids who graduate
                        > from the pageant want to keep coming to that service
                        > anyway. My candlelight
                        > service is shrinking as the family eucharist grows, and
                        > as far as I know
                        > nobody has ever come on Christmas day in this parish.
                        >
                        > On the other hand, I love the pageant, for all the
                        > reasons everybody else
                        > does (cute kids), and also for ones having to do with my
                        > calling as a
                        > Christian leader: the kids, the families, and many in the
                        > rest of the
                        > parish are involved and energized by this event. I'm
                        > thinking of moving it
                        > to a Sunday in Advent, but I don't know yet. The
                        > Christmas Eve pageant
                        > makes Christmas the culmination of work done in Advent,
                        > which is one of the
                        > few ways I have of keeping Advent as a season of
                        > preparation rather than as
                        > "the holiday season." Is my problem just an aesthetic
                        > longing for the
                        > candlelight of my youth, or is it a real concern that
                        > something important
                        > gets lost in the more circus like atmosphere of the
                        > pageant service? Dunno.
                        >
                        > Now to the point of writing the email: This year we used
                        > Gretchen Wolff
                        > Pritchard's "A Child of Might," which is based on mystery
                        > plays from York
                        > and elsewhere. I liked it, though there was some initial
                        > resistance to
                        > making the kids learn rhyming old english poetry. Near
                        > the end of the
                        > rehearsals, around Advent 3, I was driving somewhere when
                        > my 5-year old
                        > daughter, an angel this year, suddenly asked me what
                        > "Amen, amen, say we"
                        > means. A teaching moment, of course, but it made me
                        > wonder how much she
                        > actually got of the play's content (which begins with
                        > speaking parts for
                        > God, Moses, Isaiah, and others). Still, I recommend the
                        > play: the kids did
                        > a good job and I think they experienced a sense of
                        > accomplishment for
                        > mastering something unfamiliar.
                        >
                        > Peace,
                        >
                        > Mark.
                        >
                        > The Rev. Mark Preece
                        > Trinity Church, Gulph Mills
                        > King of Prussia, PA
                        >
                        > At 07:52 PM 1/2/2007, frpeterdr@... wrote:
                        > >My antipathy to Christmas Pageants is a bit out of
                        > character, as I like
                        > >mediaeval mystery plays, and the old carols. I often
                        > wonder if my
                        > >antipathy would survive getting the kids to use an
                        > abridged and updated
                        > >version of one of the mediaeval texts.
                        > >
                        >

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                      • Janet Roth
                        Hi, At what point do you consider that kids have outgrown an early service? Our pageant involves all the young people in the parish -- the high schoolers
                        Message 11 of 14 , Jan 3, 2007
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                          Hi,
                          At what point do you consider that kids have "outgrown" an early
                          service?
                          Our pageant involves all the young people in the parish -- the high
                          schoolers being the principals or helping with lighting. Most years we
                          also have returnees from college who help with lights or costuming
                          etc. Then again many of those in middle school or high school are also
                          in attendance at the 11p service -- some serving as acolytes or the
                          thurifer or possibly ushers.

                          Janet


                          On Jan 3, 2007, at 5:46 PM, R Drake wrote:

                          > My take, FWIW, on the matter of kids staying on at the
                          > early service after they have technically 'outgrown' it is
                          > that we have, overall, eliminated much of the
                          > differentiation between children and adults.

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • R Drake
                          Janet, you ask about outgrowing the early service. In our context, that would probably be around age 13 or so, since the presentation of the service is
                          Message 12 of 14 , Jan 3, 2007
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                            Janet, you ask about 'outgrowing' the early service. In
                            our context, that would probably be around age 13 or so,
                            since the presentation of the service is aimed at younger
                            children. That age was also about the time that my family
                            brought me and my siblings to midnight service. We were
                            old enough to stay up without melting down, it no longer
                            posed conflicts with the Santa concept, and we were
                            beginning to grasp a more complex presentation of the
                            theology involved.

                            Your situation sounds like what it should be - everyone
                            together, filling appropriate roles - and I bet it's a
                            wonderful place to be. Our musical/pageant is specifically
                            5th grade and under, since it comes out of the children's
                            music program which serves that age range, but yes, we do
                            have older kids helping out (though with fewer
                            opportunities).

                            We also have highschoolers (as well as younger kids) as
                            acolytes and crucifer (though the younger members of the
                            teams will usually be 'on' for the afternoon Christmas Eve
                            service), and we now have high school age members of
                            Chancel (adult) choir. One of the things we still need to
                            work towards, at St. Anne's, is encouraging our young
                            people to grow into all ministries (eg lector, usher, altar
                            guild, flower guild) that aren't age-restricted by canon.

                            Robin


                            > Hi,
                            > At what point do you consider that kids have
                            > "outgrown" an early
                            > service?
                            > Our pageant involves all the young people in the
                            > parish -- the high
                            > schoolers being the principals or helping with lighting.
                            > Most years we
                            > also have returnees from college who help with lights or
                            > costuming
                            > etc. Then again many of those in middle school or high
                            > school are also
                            > in attendance at the 11p service -- some serving as
                            > acolytes or the
                            > thurifer or possibly ushers.
                            >
                            > Janet
                            >
                            >
                            > On Jan 3, 2007, at 5:46 PM, R Drake wrote:
                            >
                            > > My take, FWIW, on the matter of kids staying on at the
                            > > early service after they have technically 'outgrown'
                            > it is
                            > > that we have, overall, eliminated much of the
                            > > differentiation between children and adults.
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Visit the liturgy-l homepage at
                            > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/liturgy-l/To write to the
                            > owners/moderators, please send an email to:
                            > liturgy-l-owner@yahoogroups.com
                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >


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