Monday, November 30, 2009

The First to Be Called

The Season of Light:
The Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle and Martyr

The Season of Light contains many special days recalling people who were called by the Lord. The feast of Andrew is on the cusp of the season - sometimes it falls during Advent and sometimes it doesn't.

Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist and is attributed to have said upon seeing Jesus for the first time, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" (cf. John 1:38-40). He was instrumental in introducing his brother Simon (Peter); who would likewise follow Jesus. When the multitudes were miraculously fed, starting the Bread of Life Discourse (John 6), it was Andrew who pointed out the boy carrying the five loaves and two fish.

Following the Great Commission and the first Pentecost, Andrew ended up in Patras in Achaia (modern-day Greece). There he ran into resistance from the proconsul, Aegeas. Aegeas ultimately sentenced Andrew to death by crucifixion - but in Andrew's case, he was bound to an X-shaped cross by ropes and hung there two days before he died.

According to the ancient monastic Office of Readings:
Andrew was led to the place of martyrdom, and as soon as he saw the cross he cried out, "O precious cross, which the members of my Lord have made so honorable, how long have I desired you! How fervently have I loved you! How constantly have I sought you! And now that you have come to me, how my soul is attracted to you. Take me from here and unite me to my master, that as by you he redeemed me, so by you he may take me to himself." Then he was fastened to the cross, where he continued to live for two days, not ceasing to preach the faith of Christ. Finally, he passed into the presence of him, the likeness of whose death he had loved so well.

His life was not his own, but that of his Master.
He was put to doing and suffering, sent by Christ and ultimately laid aside for Him.
He had nothing save the Word of Christ, but in this he had everything.
And, he freely gave all, including his life, to the will of God.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Light Sings

The Season of Light:
The First Sunday of Advent

The Word:
Jeremiah 33:14-16 (I will cause a good seed to spring forth from David)
Psalm 25:4-14 (You are God my Savior, and for you I wait all day long)
1 Thessalonians 3:12 - 4:2 (When Christ comes may he strengthen your hearts in holiness)
Luke 21:25-36 (Your redemption is near at hand)

In a recent post I defined the timeframe of what I call the Season of Light; generally that is from the First Sunday of Advent through the traditional date of Epiphany, January 6. Apparently I'm not alone in this assessment - a Google search rendered several hits that at least suggested others agree to some degree.

The Season of Light is symbolized by the the candles of the Advent wreath, the menorah of Hanukkah, the Yule Log; in the lights we use to decorate greenery and our homes; and in the legendary Star of Bethlehem, one of the heralds of the birth of Jesus, the Messiah. It is aptly placed at the onset of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, when there is less sunlight.

Themes of justice are prevalent as we await the coming of the King. To be a Light-Bearer, one will do what he/she can to adjust the imbalance between peoples. Over this first week I will post a couple of examples. I think I need to do that, as suddenly I have come to something of a crossroads of reality.

I had an interesting conversation with my dear wife after celebrating Thanksgiving with her family. There are now several new additions in the extended family, and all are struggling under the weight of the cost of living and the state of the economy. I've never considered myself to be financially well-off, but over the course of our conversation we realized that among that half of the extended family, we're the most affluent. Honestly, that scares me a bit. There's a correlation to affluence and influence, one that is all too often misused.

While Christmas is nearly here, and Advent is the gateway, it is too easy to miss both by not celebrating one or the other. This year, our little family trio have set a goal to celebrate Advent. We want to experience much, and will do our best to do so simply, so that the resources we might otherwise use can be offered to those who need it, whether they be family, friends, or the passerby. It means being careful. It means being watchful and ready, and making choices - sometimes on short notice. It's the foundation of what will hopefully turn out to be a truly, wonderfully, warm and bright season.

Refrain:
God of all power
You kindle the stars
Spark in your people
Spark in us a season of light

God turns now to the world
To see if anyone will uphold him
For fools rage in the land
They turn away from God and his Word
(Refrain)

The nations go astray
They crumble ev'ry road, ev'ry pathway
They lay waste to the land
They trample on our dreams for the future
(Refrain)

The heedless have their day
They take away the breath of our children
Lord, when will they accord
Lord, when will they accord with your Word?

(Refrain)


The Lord will hear the just
He will overthrow the plans of the reckless
The Lord will give us blessings
And then shall we rejoice and be glad
(Refrain)


--A Season of Light (1985)

Paul Lisicky
verses based on Psalm 53

Thursday, November 26, 2009

In Praise and High Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day (US)

The Word:
Sirach 50:22-24 (Now thank we all our God)
Psalm 113:1-8 (Blessed be the name of the Lord, forever)
1 Corinthians 1:3-9 (I give thanks always to God for you)
Luke 17:11-19 ("Ten lepers were cured - where are the other nine? Was there no one to return and give thanks to God except this Samaritan?")

Other passages:
Deuteronomy 8:7-18; 1 Kings 8:55-61; Isaiah 63:7-9, Joel 2:21-27; Zephaniah 3:14-15;
Ephesians 1:3-14; Colossians 3:12-17, 1 Timothy 6:6-19;
Psalm 67:2-8; 1 Chronicles 29:10-12; Psalm 138:1-5; Psalm 145:2-11;
Mark 5:18-20; Luke 12:15-21

Thanksgiving Day has a great significance in its history as a celebration in America. Evidence holds that what most of us look to as the first idyllic celebration of thanksgiving by the Pilgrims at Plymouth in Massachusetts in 1621 was a three-day foodapaloozawith 100 last-minute guests (the natives)  prepared by five women. Yes, I'm oversimplifying. Those five women had no time to complain, which may be one reason why this festival has such endearing attachment to family and home, two things of which we should be grateful.

But back to those five ladies - I'm thankful for their culinary expertise, such as it was nearly four centuries ago. Their endurance eventually won out over Yankee vs. Southern political quirkiness - and due to the persistance of Sarah Hale.

It was President Abraham Lincoln who finally set in stone the establishment of a national observance of Thanksgiving. His proclamation is all the more profound today:

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth."

--Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln, 3 October 1863.


May you be surrounded today by the things of which you are most thankful.

Thanks be to Thee
Lord God of hosts,
Thou broughtest forth
With mighty hand
Israel safe through the sea.

Thanks be to Thee
Thanks be to Thee
Thy holy name
Be ever blest
Glory, honor and praise be Thine!

Thy loving kindness doth forever prevail
Tenderly, tenderly guiding all those who come unto Thee.

Thanks be to Thee
Thanks be to Thee
Thou art the King
O'er land and sea
Praise, adoration we sing unto Thee!

--Thanks Be to Thee
(composite translation)
George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Getting it in Gear

The Thirty-Fourth (and last) Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King

The Word:
Daniel 7:13-14 (His sovereignty is eternal)
Psalm 93:1-5 (The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty)
Revelation 1:5-8 (The ruler of the kings of the earth...made us a line of kings, priests to serve his God)
John 18:33-37 (Jesus to Pilate: "It is you who say that I am a king...Anyone committed to the truth hears my voice")

It's one of those seemingly awkward points in the year.

In Chicago today it's about 60 degrees, which is warm for late November. The trees have 'decided' to shed their leaves; but the grass looks greener than it does in April, and some fresh dandelion blossoms have popped up. The stores are pulling out the Christmas decorations, and Lite FM has switched over to their "all-holiday" music format; yet Thanksgiving is still four days away. Even I have been swayed a bit and started reviewing some plans to start this year's "Season of Light" devotions. For the reader surfing by, this is my term for the period that starts with the fourth Thursday in November (Thanksgiving Day in the US) and January 6 (Twelfth Night, "Little Christmas," and the traditional date of Epiphany). I am going to do it again this year...trying my best to keep things fresh and not too repetitive since I did this last year.

It's rather ironic but at the same time most appropriate that this Season of Light takes place at the time when there's ever decreasing daylight, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. (Bear with me if your reading this from someplace in the Southern Hemisphere. It's the Season of Light there as well, but with a different significance.)

Today, Catholics recognize the representation of Jesus as King. It is the last feast of the liturgical year; as such, it's good to recall other representations in which we know Christ: the Good Shepherd, the Bread of Life, the Way, Truth, and Life; and lastly, the Light that no darkness can extinguish.

Soon we will be immersed (if not already drowning) in the sea of darkness that is the secular side of "Holiday Preparation." Is it just me, or are all the new holiday-themed TV specials having their premiere airing before Thanksgiving? There's going to be less, and there's more that is needed. Is this just going to make me wish it's all over before it even starts?

The King of Kings charged his disciples with the task of being "Light-Bearers." How important that mission is, now more than ever! To be merry and bright and preparing the way of the Lord! To not forget where we've been, but to let that serve as a reminder of the event we're supposed to be celebrating in roughly...33 days, and where it is we're ultimately heading.

These are the days of Elijah,
Declaring the word of the Lord:
And these are the days of Your servant Moses,
Righteousness being restored.
And though these are days of great trial,
Of famine and darkness and sword,
Still, we are the voice in the desert crying
'Prepare ye the way of the Lord!' 


Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

 
These are the days of Ezekiel,
The dry bones becoming as flesh;
And these are the days of Your servant David,
Rebuilding a temple of praise.
These are the days of the harvest,
The fields are as white in Your world,
And we are the laborers in Your vineyard,
Declaring the word of the Lord!

Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.


There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

 
Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

--Days of Elijah (1997)
written by Robin Mark
recorded by Twila Paris

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Music Minister's Primer

The Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Word:
1 Kings 17:10-16 (The widow of Zarephath feeds Elijah the prophet from her meager provisions; God rewards her by keeping her from running out of flour and oil)
Psalm 146:7-10 (The Lord provides food for the hungry, and sustains the widowed and orphaned)
Hebrews 9:24-28 (Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, but into heaven itself)
Mark 12:38-44 ("The widow, in her poverty, contributed all she had")

And - Judges 4 & 5 (Deborah, Israel's female judge, and why you need her - Behind every man there is a good woman)
Ephesians 5:10-20 (Do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord)


A crossroads.
The Mass of Remembrance and the Days of the Dead are now past, and the Season of Light (Advent through Christmas to Epiphany) - though not quite here yet - is now in the planning stages.

It's usually all hands on deck for church musicians for the next seven weeks. This is one of the two seasons when even the casual musician tends to get busy, adding to the general business and mayhem that prevails throughout December. It's time for the first string leaders to take a quick breather (hopefully, nobody's noticed) and the second string to take charge (again, hopefully, nobody's noticed).

I've a strong belief that church musicians should pray (often) and it should be part of rehearsals and warm-ups. That's something I wasn't always used to, but through Mike and Jeff and several of the folks at Cornerstone, it's part of the landscape and routine. Over the years I've become just comfortable enough to ad lib when called upon to lead, and that includes impromptu or spontaneous prayer. However, it's easier to have something on which to focus and adapt where necessary. I attribute this to my Catholic upbringing, where everything can be scripted - including private prayer.

For several reasons I was called upon to serve as the team leader this morning. Not wanting to leave out something I believe to be important, I went searching for stuff to use for a launchpad. Deo Gratias to the Internet and Google - and of course to the folks who were blessed enough and received the inspiration to write what I'm about to share. I offer this as a public service - a few thoughtful and prayerful moments (not to mention a few that are accompanied by a laugh or two) can go a long way to keep things in perspective..

The Traditional Musician's Prayer
(with apologies to Francis of Assisi)
Source: www.qmcorp.net/zouki/scripta/prayer.html


Lord, keep always before me
The appreciation of music as one of Your greatest gifts.
Never let me stray far from the tune;
Help me to remain faithful to the spirits
Of those musicians who have gone before
Leaving this lovely legacy in my care.

Lord, let me always remember
What Your Golden Rule instructs
So that I treat other musicians
As I would wish to be treated myself.

Lord, let me always remember
That You give Irish musicians a special gift:
The opportunity to praise and glorify You
While sitting around playing jigs and reels
In dark smoky pubs.

Lord, give me patience always
And help me to remember
That the word "tradition"
Implies sharing.

Lord, give me tolerance always
And help me to appreciate
The Great Mystery:
Not everybody likes what I like.
Never let me slip too far into self-importance
And help me use as necessary
Whatever sense of humor
You may have imparted to me.

Lord, let me never forget
That I don't have all the answers
And that there's nobody
That I can't learn from
(Even bodhrán and banjo players)

And finally, Lord - if it's not too much to ask -
Make me competent first
Then respected
And eventually brilliant.
(But Your will always be done.)

Amen.


Fifteen Dead-Certain Recipes for an Insipid Musicians' Prayer Group
Source: www.crescendo.org/download/pdf/gkee.pdf, June 1988

1. The inner attitude with which you go to group meetings is luckily unimportant. The
important thing is above all loyal fulfilment of duty, which you, as a good
Christian, are willing to take upon yourself. No-one is really counting on your
expecting something special from God during the meeting. So: drop in, and see what’s
going on.

2. It makes a bit of an impression if you arrive too late. This shows a) that you
have a full appointments diary and b) at the same time you have a deeply spiritual
attitude: you look in, even though you really have some pressing things to
practice.

3. Don’t have a bad conscience when the same old things disturb you even during the
first greetings of the evening: that F.seems so insecure, that M. is always
talking about her successes (she isn’t actually that good, anyway), and that L.
always sounds so religious. Unity isn’t made by generously looking away from the
faults of others but by recognizing the faults for what they are and trying to
convince oneself that God loves these people as well.

4. Last time, someone asked you if you would lead the prayer time, and you
responded enthusiastically. Now, it was right that you didn’t prepare yourself
specially for this. The more spontaneous, the more spiritual. The others should
contribute wishes. If there are prolonged pauses, just ask "What shall we do now?".
This stimulates discussion. The opposite, a prepared plan, leads on the contrary to a
serious disturbance of the discussion. (This appears rather familiar to me!)

5. During personal sharing, it is important for everyone to give the full story of all
the little things that happened in the past week. The smallest details are particularly
interesting, and lively discussions on technical matters often develop - for example on this or that teacher or on yesterday’s concert.

6. Feel free as well to say out loud where someone has got on your nerves in recent
days. Perhaps the same has happened to others, and we can pray precisely for the
person concerned. Unbridled criticism is edifying when it is laid aside again in
prayer.

7. Say long prayers and use that theological language which God understands.
Short, powerful prayers only betray a simple mind.

8. It is generally true that concrete prayer rapidly becomes embarrassing. How do
you respond when what you have prayed for doesn’t happen? God (and the people
praying) should not be pinned down to definite wishes. It is better to pray
"Lord, let many come to faith in this congregation (or assembly)" rather than "Help me to start
a conversation about you with S. in the next few days and enable me to pass on your
love."

9. The prayer requests should not demand too much faith. It seems exaggerated if you
have big goals in faith. It is better to let humility speak and to be particularly
thankful for small things. As Christians, we are not worthy to receive great things
from God.

10. Matters for prayer often weigh heavily upon us. This fact should be reflected in a
serious, oppressive atmosphere. Especially in times of intercession, praise and thanks
for God’s powerful working should be avoided. Our gaze should be fixed entirely
on the mountain of problems, which can only be levelled by grim wrestling. This - and
nothing else - is what moving mountains is all about.

11. A point concerning songs. Suggest difficult songs, not the familiar ones that
perhaps help people to fix their gaze worshipfully on God. You are musicians and
have to show your ability in prayer times as well.

12. Take care that no close contacts develop between members of the group. This
could detract from serious studies. In addition, fellowship amongst Christians
should be marked by spiritual earnestness and never by a lot of merriment. Remember:
Christians who like laughing are suspicious...

13. What should you do if a group has been spiritually asleep for weeks on end? It’s
best to do nothing, for, remember, "While they sleep, the Lord provides for those he
loves"!

14. The spiritual and mental state of the others is basically none of your business.
If someone is feeling bad, recommend some good books or a pastor. It would be a
mistake to deviate from the program in favor of a deeper discussion or perhaps to
have an extended time of prayer for a problem that has suddenly turned up. By the
way, the silliest thing that can happen in a prayer group is for someone (perhaps even
a man) to start crying. Strict measures are to be taken to prevent such situations
arising.

15. Just a last word on being interdenominational:
this offers material for hours of discussion. Questions about baptism, the significance of Mary, communion, etc., are so central that one really can’t pray until these things have been sorted out. So: we hope you have a good time!

It is true, dear friends, that the Holy Spirit covers up a multitude of mea culpas during high season. Raise your voices, and raise the roof!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

It's "All Hallows", Not "Scared Senseless"

The Solemnity of All Saints, November 1
(The Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time)
The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls), November 2
(Los Días de los Muertos)

The Word:
Revelation 7:2-14 (The survivors of ‘great distress’ are clad in white robes washed in the blood of the Lamb)
Psalm 24:1-6 (Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face)
1 John 3:1-3 (When all is revealed we shall be like God, for we shall see him as he is)
Matthew 5:1-12 (The Beatitudes)

Wisdom 3:1-9 (The souls of the just are in the hand of God, no torment can touch them)
Psalm 23 (Even though I walk in the dark valley, I fear no evil)
Romans 5:5-11 (Hope does not disappoint)
Or Romans 6:3-9 (Our Christian baptism is baptism into Jesus’ death, that we will be united with him in the resurrection)

(To view and read the citation from the book of Wisdom, click on this link: www.usccb.org/nab/110109.shtml)

Despite what you may have heard, among the things that are celebrated as October turns to November and Autumn's colorful gown is shed as Winter's dormancy begins to settle in, is the remembrance of our ancestral roots.

The Fourth Commandment (of those famous ten that Ted Turner once referred to as "suggestions") speaks of honoring one's father and mother (see Leviticus 19:3 and Deuteronomy 5:16.) In all seriousness, this extends not only to your immediate parents, but to the ancestors on the family tree. In Catholic tradition, this sense of family extends in two ways - to honor the great men and women who achieved canonized sainthood, and to remember all the good and faithful people who died in the hope and promise of salvation in Jesus Christ.

That's what we should celebrate. That, and the success of the harvest winding down are truly big things. But for some bizarre sets of reason left through the passing of time, we have this strange attraction to the grotesque. The late pope John Paul II spoke and wrote about a pervasive "culture of death" prevalent in modern society, and one place where it would seem readily apparent is in how All Hallows' Eve (aka Halloween) is celebrated.

Without getting deep in theological debate, there's a lot of fingerpointing over who's to blame. The ancient Celts supposedly donned costumes to protect their identity from spirits wanting to steal souls. Catholics sometimes point fingers at Protestant Christians because Martin Luther posted his famous 95 Theses on the door of the cathedral at Wittenburg on October 31, 1517. Protestants retort that Catholics worshiped false gods (in the personages of Mary and the aforementioned holy men and women proclaimed as saints). All this would seem to prove nothing but that all of us have had a hand in turning what should be a recalling of God's glory and grace into anything but that.

I don't buy into this whole commercialized let's see how far we can go to scare the wits out of somebody genre. I can't. There's plenty of real-life things out there that scare me enough. Most of it is brought to me in full color on my television and computer screens. And to get paid to frighten people? Is something good supposed to come out of that? Sorry, I just don't get it.

There's a very beautiful thing about this time of year. Nature reminds us that time ultimately grows short. It's a good time to remember where we are - and the people who helped us get there. It is yet another opportunity to understand that what lies beyond this life is not something we should fear. It is not unknown; but in order to reach that place, we must cross the bridge of death, a bridge given to us by the grace of God.

These are days of remembrance and of hope. Not only for those who have passed, but for all of us still living here. Let us recall with love and affection what all our passed loved ones and friends gave us. It is this giving that is what these days are truly about. Not taking, but giving. Not grotesque, but forever beautiful and forever living. Let us not be afraid. Let us not grovel in gruesome fear. Let us dance gracefully with the dead, for in this dance we come to better know the hope to which we are called and aspire.

Recall with me a few of the more prominent names of people who have died in the last twelve months:

2008:
November 4 – Michael Crichton, American author and producer (born 1942)

December 12 – Van Johnson, American actor (born 1916)
December 18 – W. Mark Felt, American FBI agent, "Deep Throat" from the Watergate scandal (born 1913)
December 25 – Eartha Kitt, American singer and actress (born 1927)

2009:
January 13 – Patrick McGoohan, Irish-born American actor (born 1928)
January 14 – Ricardo Montalbán, Mexican-born American actor (born 1920)
January 16 – Andrew Wyeth, American painter (born 1917)
January 27 – John Updike, American writer (born 1932)

February 6 – James Whitmore, American actor (born 1921)
February 25 – Philip José Farmer, American writer (born 1918)

March 29 – Maurice Jarre, French composer and conductor (born 1924)

April 25 – Beatrice Arthur, American actress (born 1922)

May 2 – Jack Kemp, American politician and football player (born 1935)
May 4 – Dom DeLuise, American actor and comedian (born 1933)

June 3 – David Carradine, American actor (born 1936)
June 3 – Koko Taylor, American musician (born 1928)
June 25 – Farrah Fawcett, American actress (born 1947)
June 25 – Michael Jackson, American performer and recording artist (born 1958)

July 1 – Karl Malden, American actor (born 1912)
July 6 – Robert McNamara, 8th United States Secretary of Defense (born 1916)
July 17 – Walter Cronkite, American newscaster (born 1916)
July 28 - Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II, televangelist, better known as "Reverend Ike" (born 1935)
July 30 - Earl G. Lowrey, lay leader of Cornerstone Church (born 1951)

August 1 – Corazon Aquino, 11th President of the Philippines (born 1933)
August 6 – John Hughes, American film director and writer (born 1950)
August 11 – Eunice Kennedy Shriver, American founder of the Special Olympics (born 1921)
August 13 – Les Paul, American musician and inventor (born 1915)
August 25 – Ted Kennedy, American politician (born 1932)

September 14 – Patrick Swayze, American actor and dancer (born 1952)
September 16 – Mary Travers, American singer-songwriter (born 1936)

October 13 – Al Martino, American singer and actor (born 1927)
October 22 - Soupy Sales, American entertainer (born 1926)