Cantata

This week, in the midst of so many things happening, I received an unexpected gift from a beautiful woman - a DVD of a Cantata entitled "The Birth of Christ" by Arthur T. Miller, that was first aired at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland, in August of 2006. This airing was significant because descendants of the choirs that Handel had used to perform his own Messiah participated - and these performers were comprised of both Protestants and Catholics singing with such devotion as I have rarely seen. Watching it touched me deeply and transported me to another place.

I finally had a chance to listen to it yesterday. The music was exquisite and the performances were moving beyond words. I thought of all the separations - real and imagined - that exist in this world, and in my life, and how the power of love and God can transcend all of it. And it brought to mind how music too, has the power to heal and to bridge separations.

I was mesmerized watching the expressions of Amy Bils, the soprano who sang Mary's parts - particularly the pieces relating to the Visitation and the Magnificat - which has always been my favorite canticle:

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
For he has looked with favor
on the lowliness of his servant,
And from now on,
all generations will call me blessed."

I listened to the narration by Liam Neeson and read the materials within the DVD - finding everything to be richly textured with messages for me.

And while I enjoyed this gift of Christmas in August from a very special soul, I realized it was also a gift from God at the right moment in time...

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