Thursday, April 17, 2014

The sound of music

Chicagoland does not feature much in the way of hills, but the plains certainly are alive with the sound of music. Especially now, during Holy Week.
I have the joy and honor of singing in two choirs, Grande Prairie Singers and my church's. This week is especially rich in harmony--and dissonance, as befits the solemn aspect of these days--at St. John's Episcopal Church. We're singing at the Maundy Thursday service tonight, Evening Vespers tomorrow, the Great Vigil of Easter Saturday night, and of course Sunday morning's joyous Easter celebration. We are blessed to sing excellent anthems, hymns, and chants and privileged to help lead the congregation in worship.
Through music, we also can connect with the communion of saints reaching back centuries. In what our choir sings this week, many of the words are from Scripture and the early church; the music, spanning the Middle Ages to Mozart to 19th-century hymns to contemporary service music. Imagine how many believers have praised, confessed, and prayed via these works. Even now, throngs join us from heaven to worship God.
One of the many blessings of the parish of St. John's is that our music director, Michael Soto, is an accomplished--no, make that truly gifted--organist. He enhances our worship more than he knows. To quote Victor Hugo, "Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent."

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