God in Music and Silence

I’ve been watching the BBC’s 1995 “The Choir” series, based on the novel by Joanna Trollope. Anthony Way sounds marvelous (below is his Panis Angelicus), the sounds are beautiful, and the music is a brilliant escape from all the noise of bickering men with collars. A much more delightful way to hear, to feel, and to know God, than a noisy argumentative chapter meeting (or in my case a rather memorable parish breakfast and God knows how many other coffee natters)…

… I thought tonight at a Monthly Meditation gathering, that the beautiful sound of silence, lasting for twenty minutes, was perfect, because in it, was true peace. In it only my own thoughts could hurt me. In it their were no words, no threats, just peace. I could let go of my worries, my troubled thoughts, and also let go of the happy ones, and simply sit in the empty space, in the silence, in the air, in the breath of God. And the music of Panis Angelicus, and my few but fabulous visits to Cathedrals for Choral Evensong, are somewhat similar. Breathtaking, and no room for argument, in the simple space of complete surrender in beauty…

Silence is Golden; it has divine power and immense energy. Try to pay more attention to the silence than to the sounds. Paying attention to outer silence creates inner silence: the mind becomes still. Every sound is born out of silence, dies back into silence, and during its life span is surrounded by silence. Silence enables the sound to be. It is an intrinsic but unmanifested part of every sound, every musical note, every song, and every word. The unmanifested is present in this world as silence. All you have to do is pay attention to it. – Eckhart Tolle

Where there is devotional music, God is always at hand with His gracious presence. – Johann Sebastian Bach

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2 Responses to God in Music and Silence

  1. Have you tried a Quaker meeting? All our worship is silence, and if someone is moved by the spirit to speak, that can deepen the silence. I still love the Anglicans, but I love the Quakers more.

    • Rachael Eliz says:

      You know I haven’t, but I’ve been planning to for weeks. I’ve been round many different churches to get to know the various traditions better, and I know of a Quaker meeting place not too far away – when I do go, I’ll blog about it, and make sure to leave another reply for you so you’ll get an email and be able read what I thought. đŸ™‚

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