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Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Meaning of the Music

As long as we are going to hear this holiday music 500 times between now and January 1, wouldn’t it be nice to get something out of it?

Here I am not talking about Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  It is a snappy little Christmas ditty, but I don’t think it is going to help me find meaning and purpose.

But what about an ancient classic like O Come O Come Emmanuel?  (If you have spent any time in churches during Christmas, you have heard this hymn.  But it is also one of those cross over songs that shows up on the holiday albums of Brittany Spears and Foghat.  If you are still drawing a blank, listen here and see if you don’t recognize it.)

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer I could probably figure out on my own. With O Come O Come Emmanuel I’ll need some help.  Thankfully, Lumunos writer Angier Brock has written a series of four reflections on this ancient piece of music.  With her thoughts and questions, I’m hoping O Come O Come Emmanuel will be more than a beautiful piece of music. I’m hoping it will help me navigate the landmines of this season.  I’m hoping it will help me quiet down rather than amp up; simplify rather than add debt; pay attention to important relationships rather than ignore them; and uncover some of the deeper meanings of this time of year that reside below the surface mayhem.  It is a lot to ask of a piece of music I know.  More than anything I think it is the willingness to stop and reflect that does it.

If you care to join me, you can find the reflections here.  There is one for every week leading up to Christmas.  Let me know what you discover, and I’ll do the same.

Doug Wysockey-Johnson
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