--If Music be the Food of Love, play on
We did something shocking at our church this past weekend. It was Saturday, the night before advent. So we decided to have a "Not Christmas Music Concert". Ensembles and soloists gave a concert where the birth of Jesus or the coming of Santa Claus was not mentioned once. Such a concert would not be much of a surprise in May or June. Then you would expect songs about springtime and blossoms. In September you might sing about going back to school and the coming of fall. However, a "Not Christmas Music" at this time of year, although liturgically correct, seems strange to a 21st century ear when the stores muzak has been blasting Winter Wonderland since mid October and stores have been promising Christmas bargains for weeks. Society doesn't want to wait for Christmas like the church does. Society has been convinced that Christmas happens in the autumn (in North America) and not in the winter.
Rather than talking about advent though, I want to talk about music in general. Saturday's concert had a wide variety of music played some classical, some pop. Some songs were just for fun- a trio did a medley of Abba numbers that almost- please note the word almost- had me dancing in the aisles. Luckily my good sense made me hide my dancing skills that rival ex British Prime Minister Teresa May. However that music reached my inner happy place. There were some favourites that touched the souls of people of other age groups. There were some very secular pieces and some spiritual pieces. The one complaint about the concert was that it could have used an intermission but I think everyone found a song or two that they quietly hummed to themselves during the concert.
Music has a way to touch our souls like nothing else can. Having done some visiting in Alzheimer's and dementia wards through the years, I have seen a number of people who are basically non-responsive to their environment. However, when a familiar piece of music starts, their eyes will light up and they might even begin to sing. Music is one of the last memories to go. Music moves. Music enlightens. Music motivates. So whatever type of music enjoy be it from Haydn or Bach to ABBA or Beyonce, may the music of all seasons touch your heart. Blessings