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:

Lux, Lux
Lux, Lux
Lux Lux
Gravis que
Gravis que
Gravis que
Pura velut aurum
canunt et canunt et canunt
et canunt angeli
canunt moliter
natum, modo natum

Light, Light
Light, Light
Light, Light
and heavy/loaded/pregnant/deep/dignified*
and heavy/loaded/pregnant/deep/dignified*
and heavy/loaded/pregnant/deep/dignified*
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.


Pat - Arkansas said...

I have been properly edified. Amazing music and a fascinating story of how the virtual choir came to be.
A Blessed Holy Week to you and yours, RWP.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you, Robert. A beautiful post.
'Worthy is the Lamb' is such a reverential piece, almost word for word taken from Revelation and not sung so often in our part of the world nowadays, so thank you for sharing such an enthusiastic and worshipful rendition of it.
The virtual choir is an amazing feat and a wonderful reminder of what can be achieved when people are willing to bring their individual gifts and abilities together in one purpose.

"commendat autem suam caritatem Deus in nos quoniam cum adhuc peccatores essemus Christus pro nobis mortuus est"

rhymeswithplague said...

Pat, thank you for your good wishes. An amazing thing happened today. I found the Easter card I e-mailed to you this morning a day after creating and scheduling my post for Easter Sunday. Just another little blessing.

Elizabeth, I remember just enough from my college Latin class to be able to tell you that I love Romans 5:8 in any language.

Where is "[y]our part of the world"?

Elizabeth said...

I thought you would recognise it, but knowing your penchant for word games, thought I would test you!

I'm just down the road from Yorkshire Pudding - in the more refined part of the county ;-) x

Katherine said...

Peace and love to you and yours Robert.

Thank you for the link to the virtual choir. That was breath-taking and very meaningful for me.

kylie said...

hi mr plague,
i wanted to stop by and thank you for introducing yourself on my blog a little while back. sorry it has taken me some time, i dont seem to have a lot to say of late.
i thought i would take a look at the links tomorrow (good friday) as a little addition to the day...

and i see you are sharing your family album. there are a bunch of folks doing a sepia saturday theme and they would love to read about your family. i'll be back sometime to give you the link

bless ya

Sam said...

Most beautiful choir, indeed. Thanks for posting that, it was truly beautiful. I'm going to have to post a link to your post so more people can see it!