Saturday, January 07, 2012

Not quite ordinary



In a few hours we will be back to Ordinary Time, Christmastide having run its all too quick course. A friend laments the abrupt shifts from great feasts to ordinary time, at Pentecost as well as at the end of the Christmas season. We will sing of the three kings (in all likelihood we will sing "We Three Kings") with their exotic gifts and accoutrements who will then depart, taking with them all the verve of the season, leaving the Holy Family fleeing for Egypt and us in the January doldrums. As antidote to "We Three Kings" I offered this Bach cantata up on for the RevGals Sunday afternoon music. It was first performed for Dreikönigsfest — the feast of the Epiphany — in 1724.

But the music that truly helps move me from out of this season and back to Ordinary time is Arvo Pärt's gorgeous and haunting Anthem of John the Baptist. I couldn't find an online version, but it is on iTunes and well worth the listen. It gives me an entirely different way to imagine the scene of the two cousins meeting. Less outward drama, but inwardly a seismic shift.

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