Sunday, November 28, 2010

Advent Begins With Gregorian Chant

Chant for the Season

I have been a fan of Christian Contemporary music for many years now.  As a former pianist and guitar player, I have had occasion to participate in its performance, and in writing it as well.  Since the automobile accident I had almost 7 years ago, I have been on the sidelines, and for an extended period of time could not listen to music at all.  Though I can handle small doses of it today, I have none the less been touched by many forms of Christian musci these last several years, maybe in part because I can only listen, and then have to marshall my listening time.

I have always liked some of the old hits, songs like Amazing Grace, and for many years played it with various other musicians where we felt the Spirit move us into different nuances of performance.  For a lengthy period, we never played it exactly the same, and could in fact not have duplicated one of our previous efforts with it. 

When I gather with my prayer partners in the mornings to pray the Lauds from the Liturgy of the Hours, we sing a song found in the hymnal section of the liturgy book, and those songs are all oldies but goodies.  So, I have been touched outside the contemporary scene, though I still have fondness for contemporary music.

I have given some thought to Gregorian Chant, but have by and large thought about it, and not listened to it.  Today, Stephen McElligott of the Loyal to the Magisterium blog posted a beautiful Gregorian Chant to begin Advent, here.

It is deeply spiritual, and prayerful.  Where Christian Contemporary is more about Jesus meeting us here where we are, it seems to me that Gregorian Chant is more about approaching the Divine in music.

Give a listen and see if it touches you.

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