STLT#36, When in Our Music

A meta celebration.

When in our music God is glorified,
and adoration leaves no room for pride,
it is as though the whole creation cried Alleluia!

How often, making music, we have found
a new dimension in the world of sound,
as worship moved us to a more profound Alleluia!

So has the church, in liturgy and song,
in faith and love, where centuries of wrong,
borne witness to the truth in every tongue, Alleluia!

Let every instrument be tuned for praise!
Let all rejoice who have a voice to raise!
And may God give us faith to sing always Alleluia!

I don’t know what I expected when I turned the page to this hymn – something with a hint of a justice and compassion hook, maybe…. something to reflect the importance of this day (American presidential election day). What we have is a song about singing.

Totally meta.

And completely appropriate.

There are few things that cut so perfectly through all of the ideologies and theologies as music. There are few things that draw us together into intentional harmony as music. There are few things that vibrate our every essence so completely as music. There are few things that give so pure a voice to our spirit as music.

Music invokes deep memory. Music fills our empty spaces. Music speaks when words cannot. And music is universal – everywhere there is humanity there is music, and while musical styles sometimes feel foreign to us, there are some basic truths about music that cut across culture. I love the example Bobby McFerrin gives in a panel at the World Science Festival in 2009:

It’s amazing how much music brings us together.

And so, on this day which is all about choices, divisions, winners and losers – it’s a joy to be reminded of something that hooks our very souls into that something greater.