Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The Beautiful Mystery of Music
This past Sunday we not only honoured our church musician, Doug Dewell, we carried the theme of music throughout the service. I spoke of the central place of music in our worship life and how it unites us.
It happens that I was reading and have now completed the latest Louise Penny murder mystery The Beautiful Mystery, which is set in a monastery in the wilds of Quebec. The brothers of the Gilbertines (a ficticious order) make beautiful music together, singing Gregorian chant. They create an improbably bestselling CD which allows them to repair their 400-year-old monastery but leads to murder-inducing division amongst the brothers. Enter Chief Inspector Gamache to solve the case.
I found this to be Penny's most intriguing novel and unlike some other authors, her later books are better than her earlier ones. Having spent time in monasteries and convents as a retreatant I appreciate the chanting which some find mystifying and i could imagine the daily offices of Gilbertine worship.
On Sunday I quoted John Bell's observation that we can't all speak together, but we can sing together. Music does invites us into a common voice in the way the spoken word can never do. And music can help us express every emotion and open us to praise.
I have invited your comments before on the subject of music, but I would be glad to here from you again. What does music mean to you? Would worship be worship without music? What sort of music is the "right" music for praise?