Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Penny Scott quotes Kathryn Thompson, a Bowen friend who showed up at our Choral Evensong last week and wrote an article about it for The Undercurrent. Kathryn very kindly says this:

On Sunday I experienced something extraordinary – a choir of angels was singing in the United church. This choir must be Bowen Island’s best kept secret but this intimate music is too inspirational to be kept a secret for long.

The music is contemplative, consisting of plainsong (Gregorian chants) and hymns. The vocal harmony is beautiful – each voice responding to the others with great sensitivity, even delicacy. The simple service combines candlelight, silence and scripture with these simple chants to help build awareness of Spirit in our selves and in community. Alison Nixon explains “The chants are meant to be sung for at least seven minutes and ideally for 15 to 20 minutes. It takes at least that long for the chant to penetrate the heart.”

William Allen, Cantor of St. Barnabas Anglican Church explains Gregorian chant this way: “the vision of creation expressed in by this music is one in which the life of humanity is ever more surely becoming the divine life. It’s sound is unified, loving and merciful, pointing to healing and wholeness.”

As I listened to this music, I experienced a deep sense of the sacred and a mood of stillness and reverence. T.S. Eliot contemplated this experience in Four Quartets: “To apprehend the point of intersection of the timeless with time, is an occupation for the saint…for most of us there is only the unattended moment, the moment in and out of time, the distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight…or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply that it is not heard at all, but you are the music while the music lasts”.

Wow. Thanks Kathryn (and Penny for quoting it).

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