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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Music Video: Comfort ye, My people

Handel may be a Christmas war horse...but it's not the Hallelujah chorus that reaches me at this season, but this movement - which takes its text from the Isaiah pericope many of us heard last week.

Make straight in the desert, a highway for our God.

I drove straight highways in the desert this fall - on the Sinai penisula. And I'm on the brink of my own desert time of "Long Retreat" - 30 days in silence undertaking the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, so the images in text are a bit richer for me this year. What will my path look like through that metaphorical desert?

Origen, in his commentary on this passage offers "....the way of the Lord is made straight in two ways: by contemplation...and by activity, which follows sound contemplation". We are more than halfway through our Advent stillness - what actions will grow from our sound contemplations?

I'm contemplating, soundly (I hope) and sounds!

What sounds did you make, hear and contemplate this weekend? How might they move you to action?


  1. We sang O, Come Emmanuel...and a few others...which I can't recall....we sang Comfort last week...

  2. we had the cantata today--the choir was completely awesome singing rutter's gloria!!!! they sounded like there were tons of them...which, for us, there were (32). we sang "o lord how shall I meet you" and "lift up your heads" which are also lovely. it was a great, great day.

  3. We sang "lift up your heads" last favorite this week was My Soul in Stillness Waits, a modern take on the O Antiphons.

    ...but I still long for straight paths!

  4. We have been singing a simple "Advent Gathering Chant" by James Chepponis every week. The text is simply "Come, Come, Emmanuel, Come Emmanuel". We've used it with cantor lines that we have written ourselves that change slightly every week of Advent. It's been a good touchstone for me in our worship service and has implanted itself firmly in my head so that I keep singing it during the week.

  5. Oh, I love My Soul in Stillness Waits, Michelle--haven't heard it in a while. We sang Comfort last week too; this week's anthem was a nice Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming.

    I was thinking your Long Retreat was coming up soon, esp. as I blogged briefly about mine today....Keeping you in prayer for that amazing adventure.


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