Sunday, November 22, 2009


I am in a 35 voice choir. My undergrad degree was music ed, but I was a instrumentalist.

My earliest memories of being in "band" was how much the music seemed to touch my inner parts. I wonder if that wasn't the beginning of a life long love of being part of the creation of sound. I say that to some people and they remark "you mean compose?" No ... I mean, taking someone else's musical thoughts in abstract on a piece of paper and move it to sound.

Choir adds a dimension that instrumentalists don't have ... words. The words matter ... making the "c" a little harder to give it intensity is part of it,but the real key is the poetry itself.

Somewhere I once read an article I can no longer find, that said the ancient Greeks would not allow politics and music to be combined. It was too powerful a source of emotion they thought. Maybe I dreamed that. Maybe I was in a parallel universe. I don't remember where I saw it, but it seems true.

I find that being part of the making of music fills my soul.

Peace ...

Monday, November 02, 2009

Darkness to Light

Yesterday, we celebrated the lives of people who have passed away in the last three years at Stratmoor. Some sixteen Saints, associated with Stratmoor Hills have passed away in the past three years. There is a "hole in our soul" from their losses.

In addition to those sixteen names, we also encouraged people to submit a card on anyone who had passed away, whenever it was, and we called their name as well, and we lit a candle for them.

We are a low-church church, and this looked to me when we first talked about it, like a high-church ritual.

I was wrong

By the time we had all the candles lit, we had read and called into the light, over fifty names at each service. It was an example of where ritual, making a dark room lit by memory, was a powerful sermon in and of itself. My sermon at both services was only a few minutes. I personally was left with the feeling that the sermon was the candles.

I wonder if that isn't part of the intent in the history of this All-Soul's Day remembrance for the church: to light our lives with the power of their memory?

We are going to do something very similar next week for Veteran's Day .. living as well as those who have passed away ....