Tuesday, January 9, 2018
"What sweeter music can we bring than a carol for to sing the birth of this, our heavenly King?"
Carol: "What Sweeter Music" - Robert Herrick
Okay, here is one more carol to consider as we move out of the caroling season. Epiphany seems to call us to move on toward Lent; however, it won't hurt us to spend one more day closer to the manger than the cross.
I just love this hymnline... or caroline! Is there any sweeter music in all the year than the carols of this season? Is there a more appropriate way to herald the birth of the King of heaven and earth? I doubt it. Many, many traditions have changed over the past several hundred years, but music -- singing in particular -- has always been central to the festivities... and this is one tradition I am happy to promote!
Yes, I know you're saying, "Yes, but he's a musician. He's done music all his life." You're right, but I think I would still love Christmas music even if I understood nothing of what I was hearing.
I've told everyone that when I retired from the full-time music ministry, I had done 41 Christmases -- and that was enough. It was sort of a joke, but there is some truth to the fact that people who conduct music put a whole lot of energy and creativity into the months between September and January. But all 41 years (and three interims since) I have fallen into my chair exhausted... but supremely fulfilled because I've tried my very best to bring the sweetest possible music to the ears of the Baby Jesus... and hopefully to the ears and lives of people in my congregations.
Seriously, folks: "What sweeter music CAN we bring than a carol for to sing the birth of this, our heavenly King?" That's not a hypothetical question, by the way!