Saturday, December 13, 2014

Vespers: Choral Evensong

The setting of the Sun on a wintry day in the far north is almost anti-climactic. If it's never fully light, of what significance is the early darkness?

Upon entering sanctuary, the warm smell of incense hangs in the air. The flickering of candles subtly illuminates the darkness within, punctuated by the shimmering reflections of gilt, all around. The ambient chill is held in abeyance by the warmth of atmosphere.  Calm. 

A single voice rises, pitch-perfect. Two-score voices respond, in velvety harmony.  Underscoring the melody and harmony, the colossal organ speaks profoundly of that which is mightier than man. The liturgy in song is as remarkable as it is rare.  The near-perfect acoustics of the nave and apse conspire to transport the spirit to a heavenly place:  a truly altered state. 

For a fraction of an hour, in one small space, fewer than a hundred brothers and sisters live and breathe in the perfect peace of faith. 

"For whenever two or more of you are gathered in my name..."

May the peace of the season be upon you, now and always. 

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