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Posts Tagged ‘Music’

At Christmas: the littleness of God

Enough dwelling on the anger of Islam: time to remember that, while Muslims fear their Allah because he is ‘great’, Christians love their Lord because he is little.

Time to think again of the central proposition at the heart of our history and civilisation and hope: that ‘the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us… full of grace and truth’. That the Mind of God, the act of absolute Being, ‘that beyond which nothing greater can be thought’, revealed his face and heart in the baby of a faithful Jewish girl, born under the rule of Caesar Augustus the ‘god-man’. And a baby born to die, for reasons beyond our ken, as ‘the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world’. Enough in that notion of the incarnate and dying God to forge a new civilisation, and to re-create a weary one.

ANZAC: ‘Known unto God’ therefore loathed by the Left

ANZACANZAC day pushes all my buttons. I get to sing the New Zealand national anthem, mine from school days (“God of nations, at thy feet, in the bonds of love we meet…”), the British anthem, mine by ancestry and heritage (“God save our gracious Queen…”) – on the first ANZAC day in 44 years that a British royal and his most gracious wife and bouncing bairn were with us – and our own anthem (“Beneath our radiant Southern Cross…”). I feel the bond of gratitude across generations to my grandfather’s, himself just too young to join the resistance against the German menace, and there is no better public sentiment than grateful admiration.

‘A broken and contrite heart’ – Allegri’s masterpiece for Lent

Psalm 51, 3000 years ago: David’s shame and pleading for reconciliation after his condemnation by the prophet Nathan. This unexpectedly great king, this shepherd boy summoned from obscurity by God as a “man after My own heart”, now covered in the filth of his adultery with Bathsheeba and his complicity in the death of her husband. Larger than ordinary life, but applicable to the mix of faithfulness and filth found in most lives, and therefore a timeless prayer.

Something beautiful enough for Christmas: ‘O Magnum Mysterium’

If the role of sacred music is “sursum corda”, to lift up our hearts, then the US composer Lauridsen is a good and faithful servant. I gave you the excerpt last Christmas from his “O Nata Lux”, and I have had to wait a year to share this even more touching setting of the ancient “O Magnum Mysterium”. Everybody has had a go at setting this one – Byrd, Palestrina, Victoria et al – but none can hold a candle to this contemporary composer, at least on this occasion.

The Vee Gees live at the Toowoomba Carnival!

Bach double, slow movement: Johnny & Robert – Mum on piano.

On the principle that a father is not meant to enthuse in public about ‘the kids’, I have resisted posting any music video for years – but I will bend my rule for this one. This was today, Jane and the boys at the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers midday concert at the beautiful St Luke’s Anglican Church.  In case I get hit by a falling rock this movement of the Bach double violin concerto is what I want at my funeral… Bach’s music gets as close as art can get to the mind and heart of God.

Spring has sprung, and thoughts turn to Tom Lehrer…

“O Light born of Light” – to lift your heart this Christmas.

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STEM CELLS & EMBRYOS: ABC LATELINE AUGUST 2002 SURROGACY: KERRI-ANNE SHOW JANUARY 2011 SBS INSIGHT ON GAY MARRIAGE 2013 (see post Aug 15 2013) EUTHANASIA & THE 'DUTY TO DIE', 2014 THE HARMS OF HOMOSEXUAL 'MARRIAGE', 2014 ABORTION - 'the silent innocence of the unborn', 2014 SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: SYDNEY UNI 2012 (start 2min20) SURROGACY BILL QLD JANUARY 2010
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