Music and Spirituality:
Personal and Community Experiences
Singing in The Choir this Liturgical Year:
Music is an essential part of my personal spirituality, i.e. my lived experience of Christian life.
The ambient sound of my house is formed by our local classical music station.
Several times a day the sounds of Gregorian Chant, Eastern Chant, Anglican Chant
and/or contemporary music fill the house like the hours of a Benedictine monastery.
Internet resources have increasing connected my “house church”
with the larger world either with live services or archived music being experience by others.
On Sunday evenings the choices include Choral Evensong from Saint Thomas in New York
or Vespers earlier recorded from a Benedictine Monastery in Europe.
These monks retain the same Latin Divine Office
that I sang with the monks of Saint John’s Abbey Collegeville in my youth.
My copy of the Antiphonale Monasticum lets me continue that practice.
Solitary life can be close to “heaven on earth.”
There are many “solitary” and “Benedictine” options potentially available.
My solitary option includes an ecumenical range of local, national, international happenings.
Music is an essential part of the spirituality, “lived Christian experience,” of a local parish.
Like many other parishes what the people sing in this parish is mostly
from the Breaking Bread missalette provide by Oregon Catholic Press.
The choir provides the contemporary Christian music featured in this series of posts,
most often as preludes and reflection pieces.
They do record the music and make it available to the parish as CDs.
Unfortunately it is not posted to the parish website.
Our music and other Contemporary Christian music is available on YouTube.
HOWEVER YOU CAN RECREATE THE PARISH EXPERIENCE BY WATCHING THESE VIDEOS.
I tried watching them; it’s a completely different experience.
This Series of Posts on Music and Spirituality
1. Will provide you with a spiritual practice with this videos that will maximize the similarity of your experience to first the experience of people in the pews listening to this music, and then to my experience in singing this music.
2. Will discuss this practice in the context of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius.
3. Will relate this practice to the practice of lectio divina
4. Show how this practice relates to the psychology of music, i.e. why we like songs
5. Will relate this practice to improving music in our worship services