The Second Week of Advent

Dec 16, 2021

My Light in the Darkness…
Is Song

The short liturgical season of Advent is meant to be a time of reflection, of waiting, a chance for spiritual growth. Four weeks, during the shortest days of the year during which we await the birth of Jesus.
Unless you happen to sing in the choir. Ask any choral singer and they’ll tell you we’re already into Christmas. If our goal is to enhance the joy of the Christmas season with music, then we have to start practicing, whether it’s a familiar carol we’re leading, or an anthem we’re trying to learn—sometimes as early as October! It’s simply part of a singer’s life.
But what of reflection and spiritual growth? Does singing in the choir make it impossible to feel the waiting of Advent or the passion of Lent when one is practicing Easter music? Not for me. To me it becomes more than the cycle of the church year but a sort of grounding of my faith. And, perhaps, mystery. Christ was born. Christ died. Christ rose. Christ will come again.

I sing with “Choir of the Earth,” a large international virtual choir started during the worst of the Pandemic. There’s no audition, you join a course, and if you want, record your voice part. Then send it to an amazing 23 year old sound engineer in the UK who mixes the whole together in his sound studio, which happens to be one end of his bedroom!

Today, during the premier YouTube release of an amazing choral work, “Missa Buenos Aires- Missatango” a traditional Mass in Latin with a tango beat written by the Argentinian composer Martín Palmerí, I experienced a very thin space, that is a time when I am especially aware of the Divine. It happened during the Credo:
                          Credo in unum Deum… I believe in one God
                          Crucifixus..sub Pontio Pilato—Crucified under Pontius Pilate
                          Et resurexit tertia die…Resurrected on the third day

I know these words. I know their meaning. I’ve sung them thousands of times. But as I sang Missatango this afternoon, the words on my score seemed to jump off the page and into my heart.

It is for this the man called Jesus came to earth. It is for this I await Christmas. It is for this that the darkness of Advent will fall away. And there will be joy.

Barbara Kautz