Sunday, February 22, 2009

From the ridiculous to the sublime

My previous post contained the claim that I am Jackie Kennedy. Ridiculous! This post contains one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written. Sublime!

Here, sung by one of the best choirs ever assembled, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, is “O Divine Redeemer”

The words and the music were both written by French composer Charles Gounod (1818-1893).

O Divine Redeemer
by Charles-François Gounod

“Ah, turn me not away, receive me though unworthy.
Ah, turn me not away, receive me though unworthy.
Hear Thou my cry, hear Thou my cry,
Behold, Lord, my distress!

Answer me from Thy throne,
Haste Thee, Lord, to mine aid!
Thy pity show in my deep anguish,
Thy pity show in my deep anguish.
Let not the sword of vengeance smite me,
Though righteous Thine anger, O Lord!
Shield me in danger, O regard me!
On Thee, Lord, alone will I call!

O divine Redeemer, O divine Redeemer!
I pray thee grant me pardon, And remember not,
Remember not my sins!
Forgive me!

O divine Redeemer! I pray Thee, grant me pardon
And remember not, remember not, O Lord, my sins!

Night gathers round my soul
Fearful, I cry to Thee,
Come to mine aid, O Lord!
Haste Thee, Lord, haste to help me!

Hear my cry, hear my cry!
Save me, Lord, in Thy mercy;
Hear my cry, hear my cry!
Come and save me, O Lord!

O divine Redeemer! O divine Redeemer!
I pray Thee, grant me pardon, and remember not,
Remember not, O Lord, my sins!

Save in the day of retribution,
From death shield Thou me, O my God!
O divine Redeemer, have mercy!
Help me, my Savior!”

I also want to show you something else I consider sublime:

Press photo © 2000-2006 NewOpenWorld Foundation

This statue is called Christ the Redeemer. It stands atop Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The sculptor was Paul Landowski (1875-1961). To read more about the Christ the Redeemer Statue, click here.

I am not a Mormon, but I know a great choir and a great piece of music when I hear one. Neither am I a Roman Catholic, but I know a great statue and a great location when I see one. When a great choir sings a great piece of music by a great composer, it is sublime. When a great statue is built by a great sculptor in a great location, it is sublime.


  1. Amen and Amen. And I'm quite serious. Thanks for sharing such an inspiring post.

  2. 'Tis true...they are both beautiful, whatever one's persuasion.

  3. Give me the ridiculous anytime, but that's just because I'm shallow and an atheïst ;-)
    But your post did inspire me to make a musical post of my own. And I even think that you will like it.

  4. i am a moron, i mean mormon and i agree. yes i agree with you

  5. Hi Bob,
    I don’t have an e-mail for you so I have to write to you in this way. Scot Mcknight is having his readers advice a pastor on baptism. I’m reminded of baptism in O’Connors fiction. I thought you could add your one liners and have Scot then take you to the “wood shed”. You had some good insights into the whole Jesus Creed crowd.

    Anyway, the family and I are driving through GA on the way to FL and thought of stopping at O’Connors Milledgeville. It would be sort of a pilgrimage.

    Keep up the good reading.

  6. Sublime, indeed! Thanks for the link to the choir.

  7. Thanks to everyone who commented!

    Rosezilla (Tracie) andReamus (Michael) - Very kind words from Florida and California.

    Carolina - I enjoyed your post about duelling cellos very much; thank you for thinking of it.

    Ruth - Thank you, ma'am.

    Putz - You are not a moron, but I am confused that the angel's name wasn't Mormoni.

    Bob - I remember you from about a year ago! I don't know that I want to take on the entire Jesus Creed community just now. If you go to Milledgeville, the farm is named Andalusia. You can reach me by email at rbrague at windstream dot net.

    Pat, a lay delegate - Just the thing to listen to upon returning home from the 137th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas!

  8. I am also neither Mormon nor Catholic, but agree completely! I wandered over from Carolina's great post.. thanks for another beautiful performance tonight :)

  9. pictureeachday - Thank you for dropping by my blog, even by way of Carolina in Nederland. I am partial to good choral music, but go bonkers over orchestras as well.

    You take excellent pictures, by the way.

  10. ii was going to try to answer your very adroit question, and i did not misspell's son was named moroni and he[MORMON] died before the plates{golden{ were buried so he did not come back to show ole joe smith where they were buried because he did not took the son moroni to do it since he knew exactly where they were buried, on a hill in new york...SO THERE YOU HAVE LDS 101

  11. Putz, I thought Moroni was an angel. Was Mormon an angel? Do angels beget children? Do angels die? Or were Mormon and Moroni humans who died and, in your belief, became angels? Where is it written that humans become angels when they die? This is a pop-culture belief that does not arise from scripture.

    Please enlighten me, as I am more confused now than I was before.

  12. we believe in the resuurection...butwe do not believe that you get your body immediately after there were two PEOPLE [father and son] LIVED ON EARTH AS PEOPLE 800 B.C. ON THE AMERICAN continent and after a war that killed mormon, his son moroni was left[LAST chapter of the book of mormon] ,,,they were now both angels but only 1 knew where the plates were buried...this really makes a good story.......fully resuurected beings do bear children with their wives of course[ SPIRIT CHILDren] JUST like you are a spirit child of father in heave......they {us] all came to earths to get bodies....ok, now there are two deaths only....spiritual death where it is that you don't want to be around God because that is repulsive to you and a physical death which only happens angels do not die,, they just get resurrected...cabeesh????the scriptural reference is in the book of mormon but i won't quote that to you because you don't believe in the book of mormon where it talks about the two deaths and angels...most people believe in angels...i would be surprised if you don't, but does not the mormon tab group sing great??

  13. Putz, I do believe in angels, but in the way the New Testament speaks of them. Matthew 22, Mark 12, and Luke 20 all tell of Jesus being asked about a woman who had been married to seven brothers, each of whom had died, whose wife would she be in the resurrection? (asked by the Saducees, who didn't believe in the resurrection, in an attempt to trap Jesus). And Jesus answered that in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels in heaven. From that answer I deduce that angels are not married, and also that in the resurrection, humans are AS the angels in heaven (in that they won't marry or be given in marriage), not that they BECOME angels.

    But, yes, I do think the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings great!

  14. one last clarification, we believe that as man now is god once was and that as god now is man may agreed no marriage in heaven, but in our temples, marriage and baptims by proxy are performed and in force if they want it