Wednesday, December 24, 2014


I always loved the chorus to Angels We Have Heard On High: The syllables flow so perfectly in the music. "Gloria in excelsis Deo"

I remember hearing it, and thinking it magnificent, when I was young enough that I didn't understand why I didn't understand it. (When I heard the explanation I would have sympathized with Jim: "Is a Frenchman a man?" "Yes." "WELL, den! Dad blame it, why doan' he TALK like a man?") Even when I was an atheist I liked to listen to it (shades of Herod?). In church choir we were told to approximate it with "een eggshells ees," which provoked some snickers later when explained to someone who actually knew a little latin.

I ran the sound system tonight from the back of the chapel. It was glorious to hear the congregation gathering into that chorus; even facing away from me they drowned out all but a bit of the brass in joyful salute to God. It felt almost as though there were others singing along with us.

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