Today my community celebrated the Baptism of the Lord, complete with an asperges - a blessing of the water in our baptismal font and a sprinkling of the congregation with the new water. (My oldest, newly an acolyte, was shocked to discover that the water in the font comes from the tap in the back sacristy! Was I baptized in blessed tap water? Yep! )
This video, of thousands of people gathered to praise the Lord, made me wonder what the scene must have been like at Jesus’ baptism. A crowd, come to see John, and finding themselves simultaneously confronted by both God incarnate and God incarnator. Laudate Dominum, omnes gentes, alleluia! Praise the Lord, all you nations, alleluia!
The piece is a Taize chant. Taize is an ecumenical monastic community in France, found in the 1940s. The community’s charisms are service to the poor, as well as sung prayer. The prayer songs composed for the community are marked by their simplicity and meditative qualities. Many (including this piece) are structured as canons. It is music meant to center the soul. Taize’s music has a broad appeal, you can find their chants in hymnals both conservative and modern. The Episcopal Church about a mile from me has even a weekly Taize prayer service (to which I’ve never been, but maybe it’s time?).
How is your community marking the transition from Christmas to Ordinary Time? And are you relieved to be back to the plain times, or, as my spiritual director annually bemoans, does it arrive with a clunk?