Marcus and I are finally in our new home, though many of our possessions are still in boxes and our walls are bare of any sort of decorations. Sometime soon we hope to really move in and be at home. I have an office/music studio in our new place (insert happy dance here) and am finally able to file and organize all of my music. I can’t begin to explain how exciting this is for me.
From a box that I hadn’t opened in years came my copy of a very special choral work written by Morten Lauridensen. I first encountered this piece as a high school student at Benaroya Hall. Gonzaga University’s robe-clad undergrad choir sang it, and at the time no sweeter sound had ever entered my ears. Nearly three years passed before I heard it again for at the time I, a novice listener, didn’t think to write down the name.
Later I wished I had remembered it. Choir music became more precious to me as I progressed through high school, and for the next two years I actively tried to find that piece without much to go on. I could only recall the feeling of that song, the tearful dissonance, the glorious cres- cendo, the thick chords and soaring high notes. The rich bass. I wanted to experience it again. One evening—the song all but forgotten—I was “surfing” for choral music and came upon a recording of O Magnum Mysterium. I was unfa- miliar with the composer. The words, however, are a famous text. I pressed play. A warm texture emanated from my speakers. A bittersweet melody meandered around the other voices, and collectively the voices grew. It was only moments later that I realized what I had stumbled upon and wow! I couldn’t believe my ears. Hearing Morten Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium for a second time was truly a spiritual experience for me. Music of that nature brings me closer to God. To this day I have never sung the piece but cherish every opportunity I have to hear it.
O Magnum Mysterium is about the mystery of Jesus' birth and life, and therefore our faith. As we reflect on the wonder of his death and Resurrection this Lent take time to hear the words we sing and the notes we play. I hope Spirit finds you through the music that we share this Sunday and throughout the entire year.