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By Rev. Greg Little

Music has always been a big part of my life and continues so today. 

Yesterday, Lorna and I participated in a “Joyful Noise” service at our parish church of St. John the Evangelist in Strathroy, Ontario.  I can say it was both joyful and noisy in a good way. 

Lorna and I are also embarking on a musical journey which will end on Good Friday at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, Ontario, with a performance of Faure’s Requiem. 

This latter endeavor is turning out to be something of a challenge as neither of us are as familiar with the piece as we thought we were, having last been involved in a performance more than 25 years ago.  I know the music is buried in my memory somewhere, but the excavation has not revealed much so far.  In any case, a bit of a musical challenge never hurts – even for someone of my advanced years.

With these current musical exploits, my thoughts have turned to the part that music can play in our lives. 

Whenever I think of music in a religious setting i.e. church choirs and music in worship, I think of the quote by St. Augustine who is famous in choir circles for the quote, “He who sings prays twice.”  One comment I found on this quote suggested that “singing adds to our praise and worship of God—that our voices are gifts, with which we can make music to the Lord.”

I certainly agree with that as music has been a gift in my life that may have waxed and waned at times but has never left me and I thank God for that gift in my life and for the joy it has brought to the world. 

Writing this, I am reminded of a Twilight Zone episode where aliens landed on Earth and things looked pretty grim for the human race as the aliens, with their vastly superior technology and weaponry, were deciding if there was any reason why humanity should be spared extinction.  Well, thank God, someone whistled a tune – perhaps whistling in the dark at the dark possibility that lay ahead.  This amazed the aliens who did not have music of any kind in their world.  Well, you can guess the rest - they were enthralled by the rich music that was available and on offering and humanity was saved.

As with many of the episodes in that wonderful TV series, that edition caught the essence of being human.  Perhaps the lesson is that we need to keep making music to save our world. 

I am sure music has saved many human beings literally and metaphorically.  It has certainly been my rock and salvation which has brought me joy and comfort frequently in my life.  I invite you to reflect on the part that music has played in your life.  Do you have a song that resonated with you deeply when you first heard it?  For me it was ‘How Can I Keep from Singing’ by Robert Lowry.  Do you have a song that is connected to a special event in your life?

In any case, let's keep on singing and making the music of the spheres and may you be blessed with music on your journey. Now, back to relearning the baritone part of the Requiem. 

Rev. Greg Little is Honorary Assistant at St. John the Evangelist, Strathroy.