On That Note – May 2019

From Markus Grae-Hauck, Music Director

“The only true voyage, the only bath in the Fountain of Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes.” – Marcel Proust

You may have noticed that recently we have been repeating one of our gathering hymns every Sunday for a month at a time. We also sing the same prayer response (in the middle of the service, right before the readings) for an entire month, concurrent with our monthly themes. I have occasionally wondered whether this is a good idea or whether people might get bored with this approach – until a few weeks ago I heard our 8-year old singing “I Know This Rose Will Open.” Not just the first line (which is also the title), but the whole thing:

I know this rose will open

I know my fear will burn away

I know my soul will unfurl its wings

I know this rose will open

In addition to the text, she had also correctly memorized the music (the melody of each line starts the same way but ends slightly differently).

When I heard Beatrice intone the hymn that we had sung at the beginning of each worship service in February,  I realized that what we were doing was working. Bringing back the same song four weeks in a row allows us to not just hear it but absorb it. Aside from being able to recall something because we have heard it multiple times, repetition can lead us to listening deeper, to finding additional layers of meaning, to entering a deeper relationship with a melody or lyric.

May you discover ever new ways of seeing, hearing, and feeling the world around you, even (and especially) if that world is very familiar to you.

PS: Don’t miss the dance party co-sponsored by the Music Committee and Out Front on Saturday, May 4th, at 7 pm in Fletcher Hall. May the Fourth be with you!