Tuesday, March 30, 2010
For your Holy Week edification
I realize that not everyone who reads this blog is Christian. I have friends who are Jewish and friends who are atheist and one friend who is Muslim. I don’t think I have ever had any friends who are Hindu or Buddhist or Shintoist, but let me know if you’re interested.
In the Christian faith, this week is known as Holy Week because of the events that happened on Good Friday (the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ) and Easter (the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead) almost two thousand years ago.
I want to share with you two pieces of Christian choral music from opposite ends of the spectrum. Both are worth watching and listening to even if you are not Christian. In both choirs, people of all ethnicities, races, and backgrounds are welcome.
The first one is the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir of New York City singing “Worthy Is The Lamb”. The people of the Brooklyn Tabernacle meet in what used to be a theater. Jim Cymbala is the pastor and Carol Cymbala directs the choir.
And the second one must be seen to be believed. It is what Christianity Today magazine has called “the most beautiful (virtual) choir in the world” singing “Lux Aurumque,” written and conducted by Eric Whitacre.
Here are the words of “Lux Aurumque” in Latin and an English translation:
Pura velut aurum
canunt et canunt et canunt
et canunt angeli
natum, modo natum
Pure as if gold
(They) sing/prophesy and (they) sing/prophesy and (they) sing/prophesy.
* ‘Gravis que’ is actually written and said as one word, Gravisque, meaning “and [definition].” There are many words listed because it actually means all of those, in a poetic sense that is difficult to capture in one English word.
And here Eric Whitacre explains how the virtual choir came about.
Listening to both of these choirs brings me an incredible sense of peace and makes me think of the words of Jesus: “Come unto me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
One way or another, I trust you have been edified.