Our wonderful Choir at St James sang the John Rutter anthem Look at the World for the feast of Christ in All Creation on Sunday. It really touched me, so much so that I headed down to Wellington Library today to see if I could find a recording of it. It's classic Rutter: beautifully singable, lushly choral, lyrically and musically interesting, and giving traditional theology a modern twist. I have been revelling in the whole album all afternoon and most of this evening (hubby was out and small daughter asleep so I wasn't bothering anyone!).
I have rejoined the Choir for the Feast of Nine Lessons and Carols for Christmas and it has been a joy to begin to sing seriously again. I hadn't realised how much I was missing my music: not just music to listen to, but music-making. There is something so wonderful about being part of a music group and making music together, blending my voice with others to make beautiful sounds. I sat down at the piano tonight for over an hour - the first time I've done this in months - and played until my fingers gave out. I had forgotten that I pray when I make music - it is a form of meditation for me and has been since I was very small. Sometimes I'm very thick about these things! I completely agree with St Benedict when he says that "he that sings prays twice".
Anyway, the Nine Lessons programme is a gorgeous one: there's Rutter's Pipe Carol, a new one by Douglas Mews called the Pohutakawa Carol, a couple of old Latin favourites, and of course the usual congregational ones (Once in Royal David's City, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, O Come All Ye Faithful, Silent Night and a really beautiful descant arrangement of See Amid the Winter Snow). There's a Poulenc, a Mahler, and some others I can't remember because I've only seen them once.