We sang “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” last night, so I offer it to you this morning. The haunting tune is “Picardy,” another of those nice French ones, and the words are from 4th century liturgy. Here you can pick an instrument to hear it with. I like the bells.
This is a very dramatic song, and you can sing it with carefully-chosen dynamics and changes of tempo and make everyone in the room cry, if you are in the mood for that. Here is the sheet music. Here is sheet music for guitar. Here is mandolin tab with a midi file. Here you can hear an actual choir singing a completely different tune for it (St. Thomas Choir, and boy are they doing a good job, even if you generally prefer Picardy, as I do).
The song tells us to “ponder nothing earthly-minded,” and hey, good luck on that. The radio this morning was talking about how it is now “the twelve days of Christmas,” which is not the case. It is apparently time for my annual burst of irritation about that, because the 12 days of Christmas don’t begin till the 24th. It is Advent, which is why we aren’t supposed to be pondering anything earthly-minded. Most of us are probably pondering what to prepare for the holiday meals and how to finish up our shopping and when we’re going to get to the post office.
Actually, I am not pondering those things at all. I may be tired, but thanks to the HGP, I am on top of the holiday preparations and can contemplate the trinity when I am not working or rehearsing, which is nowhere near often enough. I have a peck of filing to do today, since I have been allowing chaos to reign by my desk while I’ve been so busy.
Just a week or two, actually, Chaos really leaps on the opportunity to reign, doesn’t it?
So I will vanquish chaos today, which sounds like a pretty good thing to do, and get the rocks and minerals subunit going, and then this evening is the dress rehearsal for the Big Music at church.
We are so totally not ready. Chaos, in fact, reigns in the music, which is worse than having it reign by the desk.
However, “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” reminds us that
“Rank on rank the host of heaven
spreads its vanguard on the way,
as the Light of Light descendeth
from the realms of endless day,
that the powers of hell may vanish
as the darkness clears away.”
In which case we can probably clear away a little chaos, be it paper or music or merely allowing ourselves to get overwhelmed by holiday preparations.