This is the Lenten season.
Sarah & I are now attending a Presbyterian church. The Presbyters are a confessional denomination. Corporately, we recite prayers of confession during our church services. I appreciate this intentionality.
We’re currently examining the seven deadly sins, concluding yesterday with wrath. Sunday’s unison prayer of confession ended this way:
“…we acknowledge that while our lips have praised Him, our steps have often led us away from Him… We have spoken words we should have silenced.”
This reminds me of Romans 7:17-20. Or to use the Homer Simpson translation:
“Oops, I said the quiet parts loud and the loud parts quiet.”
Which brings me to Brahms. As you know, Sarah & I are also in church choir together. Learning music was literally one of the Things To Do Before I Die. I’m still learning, and it will be a long while before I really get it. It’s been incredibly rewarding, yet also incredibly challenging.
I’m a perfectionist at heart. It aggravates me not to understand something quickly, and music has been no exception. It’s mathematical in its precision and calculation. But as with math, there are many ways to note things, different ways to express the same musical thought. It’s definitely a lifetime study.
We are performing the Brahms Requiem this Friday night.
This is a monumental piece of music. Seven movements. The most challenging music I’ve seen yet. Intensely difficult rhythms and pitches. So in keeping with Lent, I have to admit that I’ve fallen into occasional anger over Brahms.
There, I said it. I wish you all could hear us sing it Friday. Perhaps you could offer a prayer for the evening. And one for my wife who must live with me during Brahms practice!