Benedictus

I wonder if music will be like this in heaven. She is singing the Benedictus, part of the Divine Service sung each Sunday by many denominations. (Sometimes called the Common Service.) They are singing in Latin, it’s being translated into Dutch on the screen. The words in English are:

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. Hosanna in the Highest!”

Contemporary “praise” music so often has music that is at odds with the lyrics. You don’t shimmy into God’s presence shaking your backside like you’re at a club. (You wouldn’t try this in front of a judge in a court of law, you would get thrown out for contempt. Why would you before the Judge of all the earth?) Why, then, use music like that in worship? As my husband says, music sets the tone for what you are doing. When you are worshiping a Thrice Holy God, the music should reflect that.

Church “musicians” today don’t know how to do sacred. Sacred isn’t on the American landscape anymore. That’s why we need to go back and find the old musical landmarks. They knew how to do sacred back then. We have lost our way in the West in Christian worship, because we have lost our way theologically in Christianity. Music should not be allowed to lie about who God is. He is worthy of honor. He is worthy of our very best.

Gounod is the composer. He is one of my favorite composers of sacred music.

6 thoughts on “Benedictus

  1. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    My son wrote to me saying he thought the human voice was the most beautiful instrument of all. This is the “Mercy of Peace”, Byzantine chant from the Eastern church. This beauty transcends this old world.

  2. Christina says:

    Thank you for sharing this Ingrid. Beautiful music. I agree with you about music. There are people I know that say music is nuetral but there is very small handful of nuetral music. Just taking the words out of music is still conflicting. There is a spirit behind music and Satan knows that and uses it for his advantage

  3. Elizabeth says:

    My hubby is a church musician who knows how to ‘do’ sacred extremely well, both vocally and at organ. And we know quite a few church musicians who take their task quite seriously, and reverently. There seems to be somewhat of a resurgence of interest in sacred music afoot. I really think that the ‘night-club’ scene at many churches is wearing pretty thin. Maybe I am just being optimistic? I hope not.

    Music does indeed feed the soul, and hopefully the meal is akin to strawberries, wine, good meat and freshly-made bread rather than a twinkie, chicken nugget and mountain dew.

  4. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    Thank you, Elizabeth. Beautifully put. That’s why William is studying music seriously also. He wants to use it in a church setting in worship, and we pray for his path every day. At a time of such shallowness and emptiness in our celebrity culture, to serve that up in musical form in the worship of the Lord dishonors God and feeds no souls. I like your food analogy. By the way, Will’s organ teacher agrees with you. There is a resurgence, believe it or not, in interest in pipe organ across the county. Will is one of a number of young men and women who are interested in making sure those sounds never die away.

  5. Bobby says:

    Gounod’s material is beautiful and fits the tone. When his “Ave Maria” is in the songbook I used in taking voice lessons, and I have a Renée Fleming recording of it, it makes you wonder. When I can’t find a place to sing this fall, I wonder if Dr. Meredith Cornwell’s comments to me years ago are true.

    Little did I know ten years ago when I drove my truck to the School of Music Recital Hall in front of Room #012, walked in front of a young 24-year old master’s student still in grief over her mother’s tragic suicide months earlier, for that very first voice lesson at 26 how much we’ve grown together. She is now a 34-year old doctorate holder and newlywed living in beautiful horse country of Kershaw County, while I am still suffering from middle school scars, as I try to find Miss Right. We’ve sung in Haydn’s “Die Jahreszeiten” together, and still best of friends. Today, the serious music such as that we’ve seen is become the only music I’ll sing, or even accept in church. In 2011, I did not attend a single pop concert, and packed at least eight symphonic concerts and three operas.

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