My piano teacher taught me that getting the notes right wasn’t enough to make music. I had to keep in mind the musical “line.” Every piece typically begins with a theme, builds it to a climax, and then resolves it, restating the theme in a new way at the end.
Good musicians play each musical phrase with this in mind so that the high point is clear and what comes before and after work together to get us to and from that climax. My teacher described it as “making the musical line go somewhere.” This is also what progressive solemnity calls us to when preparing the community’s prayer.As the liturgical year-end approaches and you start thinking about Advent, first ask yourself: How will we make the high point clear? Click To Tweet
If the liturgical year were a musical piece, the Easter season, from Easter Sunday to Pentecost, would be our climax. That opens with our premier celebration, the Easter Triduum, which culminates with the Easter Vigil. Lent sets up the high point, while Advent and Christmas began the year by establishing the overall theme of Christ’s paschal mystery. Ordinary Time throughout opens the variety of ways to hear that theme anew.
As the liturgical year-end approaches and you start thinking about Advent, first ask yourself: How will we make the high point clear? How will we get there musically? Where will we go after it? And how will our musical choices and arrangements help the assembly along this journey?
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: kamchatka.
Read more reflections on the Sunday readings here:
- Going Further
- Can we be salt and light?
- Who is advocating for those in need?
- Bonded to Christ’s Mission
- Deepening the unity