Friday, May 27, 2011

Lux Arumque and my thoughts on Sacred Music

I recently was forwarded a youtube post about Eric Whitacre and his "Virtual Choir":

Here is the full version released:

Watching this got me to thinking about Sacred Music. The text of the piece above is a reflection on the nativity of the Christ child.

Lux Aurumque:

warm and heavy as pure gold
and the angels sing softly 
to the newborn baby.

Lux, Lux
Lux, Lux
Lux Lux
Gravis que
Gravis que
Gravis que
Pura velut aurum
canunt et canunt et canunt

My thoughts came around to the melding of the sound and the meaning and there was something deep present!

Here is then the product of that thought:

In Sacred Music we often settle for “Festal” joy, which tends to amuse the intellect. Rather, Sacred Music should aim at “Sublime” joy, which humbles the intellect through wonder and awe at a mystery beyond itself.

Too often our Church Music is the saccharine expression of popularism that wants to amuse and, dare we say it, entertain. Sacred Music should express itself to a deeper part of the human heart than the appetites. It should penetrate to the core whence love springs from the melding of intellect and will touched by mystery.