With prayer book in hand (and cat on my lap): achieving harmony through chanted prayer

the lord's prayerFamiliarity breeds contempt. It’s true, even with prayer. Maybe especially with prayer.

  • Do the prayers taught to you as a child still mean anything to you?
  • How can something we’ve recited so many times still stir the heart and fill the soul?

Hailmaryweb2Most of us have been reciting The Lord’s Prayer since we were children. In my Roman Catholic tradition, I was also taught the “Hail Mary,” a prayer to my guardian angel, and the “Act of Contrition,” said when I confessed my sins to the priest. I’ve said those many, many times.

In nursery school my children were taught a simple prayer before meals that is familiar to most everyone:

“God is great, God is good. Let us thank him for our food. Amen”

It was the prayer we said as a family before meals for many years.

When do prayers such as these lose their meaning? Can it be restored, and how? Continue reading “With prayer book in hand (and cat on my lap): achieving harmony through chanted prayer”

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Music for your waiting

advent wreath with votivesIt’s hard to believe Christmas is only a month away.  The waiting can be filled with much shopping, parties, busyness, noise, rushing around … not bad things, but the waiting can also be filled with quiet expectation.

Time alone.

Silence.

So one can think, ponder and imagine the scene of the coming Messiah, born as a helpless babe in the cold and dead of night.

This period of waiting, known in the Roman Catholic Church as Advent, is one of the most beautiful seasons of the church year. The decor in individual churches is simplified, featuring a single large wreath with four candles (three purple, one pink) waiting to be lit.

advent liturgyThe priest wears the purple vestment, signifying a time of preparation of the heart, repenting of past sins, and turning back again towards God.

Scripture readings from the prophets, especially Isaiah, proclaim in compelling prose the coming of the Savior of the World. The Gospel of St. Luke introduces us to the most influential woman in the world, disguised as a humble, poor young girl whose brilliance and wisdom was revealed in saying “yes” to God.

Services feature meditative songs and chants sung acapella rather than with full organ accompaniment.

Music for your waiting

insert createspace.inddOf all the music that I recorded, my favorite by far was my Advent/Christmas collection known as Wait with Me: Advent of the Promised Son. Drawing upon the rich scripture tradition of Advent, these songs proclaim the biblical truths from Isaiah and St. Luke. The collection begins with songs of expectation and build to the birth of our Lord on Christmas Day. Unlike my other CDs, this one features earthier arrangements: acoustic guitar, hand percussion instruments, plentiful harmonies. Listen to samples here:

I can send you a copy of the CD, Wait with Me so that you can have it to prepare your heart in waiting for Jesus.

Click here to place your order.

Click to Tweet & Share: Beautiful Advent/Christmas Music for your waiting by Susan Bailey http://wp.me/p2D9hg-xB

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