It’s been an uneventful week and I wasn’t entirely sure what topic would make for a good post. Maybe this time I should celebrate the mundane.
The church I where I sing is undergoing extensive renovations. The building will be magnificent when complete, but for the moment we’re celebrating the services in the parish hall. The parish is known for its excellent music. Singing there is the only real reason I’ve got for attending. The sanctuary has pristine acoustics. The parish hall can be euphemistically described as “comfy.” There are no hard surfaces and any sound is swallowed. Construction is delayed a bit and now we’re not likely to be back in the sanctuary until after Easter.
Our director has used this as an opportunity to be creative, selecting anthems that sound lovely sung with a piano or a cappella. The organ isn’t an option so he doesn’t lament. I admit that I’d be prone to griping in similar circumstances. I’m not the director, I don’t have to worry about the music, and I’m fine with both things. Credit it to my Lenten maturity. Ha!
Today I’m thankful for occasional chances to live slowly.
Today is Ash Wednesday. I’m ambivalent toward formal religion and lean agnostic. Even so, I sing in the choir of a local Anglican church. Singing is like breathing to me. I need both to live. I attend most Sundays because we sing at set points through the entire service. I don’t believe in the metaphysical aspects but I still find beauty in the rituals, and consider “seeking justice and loving mercy” a worthy idea.
I honestly love the liturgical calendar. I’m struck by the idea that every day is a feast honoring someone. Every day becomes a celebration. Dividing the year into various “-tides” that reflect the cycle of seasons feels far less artificial to me than worrying about quarterly goals. I don’t suffer from misguided nostalgia in thinking the past was “purer” because survival required so much more effort. I do wonder whether we’ve compartmentalized and subdivided our lives so much as to be pointless.
I don’t sacrifice anything for Lent. That would mean abiding by proscriptions I just don’t believe. I do try to use the season to live an examined life. I don’t have any grand final insights. I write what I see. I probably won’t be an objectively better person by Easter but I will be reminded that what I do has consequences for good or ill. I don’t think knowing that is ever a bad thing.