"Let us have music for Christmas
Sound the trumpet of joy..."
MILDRED L. JARRELL
Advent is an expectant season. We wait poised for what Frederick Buechner names "the extraordinary moment." In the excerpt below, Buechner utilizes the image of an orchestra conductor waiting... until he has the full attention of his orchestra, the full attention of his audience. It's that moment just before the music begins. I've been in an audience where the maestro knew how to build that moment of exquisite anticipation. We almost hold our breath as we wait for that first note to be played.
"The house lights go off and the footlights come on. Even the chattiest stop chattering as they wait in darkness for the curtain to rise. In the orchestra pit, the violin bows are poised. The conductor has raised his baton. In the silence of a midwinter dusk, there is far off in the deeps of it somewhere a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of the silence itself. You hold your breath to listen. You walk up the steps to the front door. The empty windows at either side of it tell you nothing, or almost nothing. For a second you catch a whiff of some fragrance that reminds you of a place you’ve never been and a time you have no words for. You are aware of the beating of your heart . . . The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment." - from "Whistling in the Dark"
These days before Christmas, I am listening to the music of the season. There are definitely pieces that create longing in me as I wait for the first sweet note to begin. Especially when it's a favourite carol such as the beautiful and centuries-old Wexford Carol as it's performed by soloist Alison Krauss and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Some historians believe this Irish song originated in the 15th or 16th century.
Here in the 21st century, it remains a firm favourite in my Christmas carol repertoire. It touches a chord of poignant delight within. Two other carols that do it similarly for me include O Holy Night, Once in Royal David's City. Do you have a favourite carol that has you waiting with baited breath for its first notes to begin?
Wishing you sweet moments in the week ahead,
Image by neelam279 from Pixabay