Reflection: As we celebrate Advent and Christmas, music has always been a central part of that celebration. When we praise God, or remember all that God has done for us, we naturally turn to music. When the heavenly host praised God that first Christmas day, we first think of them singing “Glory to God, Glory to God in the Highest”, or at least that’s my vision as orchestrated by Handel.
It seems that music is a way we express that awe, wonder, and praise. A little before this passage in Luke, the pregnant Mary greets her cousin Elizabeth, we read Elizabeth’s response and then Mary’s Song (The Magnificat – my soul magnifies the Lord). It’s only natural that many composers have set those words to music, and that music magnifies the scripture passage. A little later in Luke, when Simeon was presented with the Christ child in the temple, we hear the Song of Simeon (in Latin, the Nunc Dimittis), now borrowed in many liturgies as parting words, but for me it is part of the Christmas story, another recognition of God with us.
We recognize that putting words to music adds much to our understanding, the emotional content of those words, and even our ability to remember those words. So, as we tell the story of Advent, or Christmas through music, it is ingrained in our memories, and I trust our souls. Let it be so this year.
What will be your song this year?
Prayer: Lord as we anticipate and finally celebrate the birth of Jesus, let the wonder, the emotion and the power of music bring us closer to you and remind us of Emmanuel, God with us.
Dick Entz, Trustee