Candlemas to Lent:
A Meditation in Words and Music
all too easy to forget that an enormous amount of music, and
poetry and prose too, can be a vehicle for thought,
meditation and even prayer, if we can only find the time and
space to let it have its effect on us.
Much of the finest
English verse expresses some of the deepest human experience
in vivid and telling language – of the search for meanings
in life, for belief and faith. But the usual round of church
services allows few opportunities for reading it and quietly
listening to it.
Similarly, over the centuries a vast amount of music has
been written, especially for the organ, which has been intended to
lead our thoughts and aid our prayers and devotions. Present-day
services are often so busy that even when we hear it we tend to
ignore it and relegate it to the background; and much of the best
such music is rarely played because it refers to melodies and ideas
which are no longer common or well known.
we can only find out what it is supposed to be about, it all
becomes clear and makes its true effect.
this in mind we initially devised a short meditation, which
focused on the period from 'Candlemas to Lent', in which
readings and suitable organ music alternated - a brief
period of stillness, as a vehicle for quiet reflection and
private thought. It was not a service – at least in the usual
sense: there were no hymns, sermon or ceremony. Words and
music, we trust, spoke for themselves.