Friday, August 04, 2006

My Passion Series - Church Music

Sometime in 1985 before my 6th birthday, I did a duet with an older niece during one of our children’s day service. The song title was “There’s a saviour at the door”. That act was a milestone in my life as I am to sing in church choirs till now 22 years after. “There’s a saviour at the door” though wasn’t really a classical music but written in hymnal style of verses and a chorus.

As I grew up, I kept discovering how much I love the Anglican Church singing. The canticles and chants were to become my best of music as they were always sang as congregational song in Nigeria Anglican. I loved the psalms but the act of speak-singing them makes them even more unique and enlivens my link to who I believe.

When finally I joined a standard cathedral choir after my 11th birthday having graduated from the children Sunday school choir (see pics below), I developed a special interest in the more powerful classical loving the worded works of George Fredrick Handle more than any others. His Messiah tends to be the best being a compilation of various gospel praises and prayer.

Today, what people churn out like products of a war bakery is, to me nothing compared to the hymns written in the 18th century and beyond. The likes of Wesley, Marthin Luther, etc, wrote hymns based on pure and sincere visions and what seems to me to be a pure spiritual link with God. For me today, I find more truth and strength in the words of hymns and psalms than in the rest of the bible. I say these because the writers then did not ‘compose’ but passed out a message or displayed a non-contaminated link with the spirits.

Handel was another core spiritual writer whose works can be said to be deeply meditated and without bias regardless of whether he write them for the English monarchs or orchestras. “Zadok the priest” is an example of such elevation of the king with a spiritual mediation.

In all, I love church music and they remain my main source of drawing assurance and connecting with God..


Anonymous said...

My dear friend i never know you to be this vocal or comment are acceptable and appreciated only if those concern can take note.

Felix (Lagos Nigeria)

Chippla Vandu said...

Though not an Anglican, I have always deeply loved the singing tradition of the Anglican Church. It's music that transcends culture and sometimes belief. The Wesleyan hymns found in books such as Hymns Ancient and Modern are great pieces of poetry in addition to being spiritual pieces.

To the best of my knowledge, Handel barely ever got to write the librettos for his sacred oratorios. These were supplied to him by friends or sponsors. But Handel was a master composer. The Messiah, Judas Maccabaeus, Solomon, Samson, The Coronation Anthems…Awe inspiring is how I feel they could best be described.

Like you, I had the opportunity of singing in a choir but for a while. It was there I came to realize that fully appreciating choruses such as the Hallelujah Chorus, Zadok the Priest and Let their Celestial Concerts All Unite required that one should sing them. There is something uplifting about singing in a choir.

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