Monday, April 17, 2017
What I hope your Easter was not. . .
Published March 29, 2017, this video is of a 2013 Easter celebration, at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, VB, VA. Why not a Rap Mass? Why not a Heavy Metal liturgy? We already have the U2charist, why stop at Bono or Peter, Paul and Mary or Jazz? Can we baptize such genres of music into the service of the Lord without also incorporating all the identities and associations that end up competing with Christ?
Music is not a neutral form in which expressions are all equally able to convey equal content. If this were true, there would not be so many forms of music. But the key to this all is that when the form is so fully associated with one thing, it is impossible to create a different identity. What could we sing to "Silent Night" that would not compete with its association with that carol? What could we sing to "Jingle Bells" that would not compete with its identity? Not only specific melodies have identities so married to their words and occasion that it is near impossible to dislodge them from that association. It is also true of musical genres. Watch the video and tell me that the music is not more central than the occasion -- mass in the Lord's House in celebration of His Resurrection???