Musical Moods of Advent
Musical Moods of Advent

Advent can be a daunting season if we allow it to take over our spiritual lives as well as our material lives. One way of getting into the spirit of Advent is to allow the music sung at liturgy to transport us to a different place as it has the power to evoke a seasonal mood, a memory, a sensation of peace or even a plea for mercy.

Music has the tremendous ability to impact how we feel: it is a language of its own and expresses and conveys ideas almost intuitively. This is where film composers excel! From tender love themes to thrilling action sequences, film composers shape our response to a film often times without our even being aware of it.

Hopefully through the efforts of our music ministry you will sense a change in season as we move into Advent. Noticeably absent is the singing of the Glory to God. The Gloria is not sung during Advent in order to heighten our awareness of the hymn when it returns to our worship at Christmas time. It is an ancient hymn from the treasury of early Christian hymns first used as a song of praise on Easter dawn and modeled on the Bible.

The opening hymn at most of the masses this Advent is the simple mantra “Gift of God” by Marty Haugen. The assembly sings, “Come to us, O Emmanuel” , while the cantor sings verses that call upon God to stir us with his presence and to wake us from our complacency.

We know that God does so by sending us the gift of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Word Incarnate. Let’s make Advent a prayerful season of reflection and quiet anticipation of the coming of Jesus at Christmas.

May we, this Advent, take time to slow down our hectically paced lives to allow Jesus the time and space to come into our hearts and to dwell within us.    Amen.   (November 27, 2005)

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