Sorry I’ve been such a slacker this year. Here’s a nice long piece to make up for a few days, at least. I love Hugo Distler‘s choral music. I wish he had lived long enough to write more, but I also love listening to his Christmas music with its long shadows, too–the light shines in darkness.
We are pleased to have the bloggers from experttextperts as our guests over the next few weeks.
Brooke is a blogger at Expert Textperts who tricked a pretty smart guy into marrying her a couple of years ago. She is a Spanish Education major at BYU – Idaho and currently holds more jobs than is considered normal or socially acceptable.
This semester at BYU – Idaho, I took a class on Catholicism in the Hispanic world. We spent a large portion of the semester studying the religion and rites, and the remainder watching movies about Catholic figures (The Mission and Romero—both of which I would highly recommend) as well as hearing and/or giving presentations on aspects of the religion that I just didn’t know or hadn’t thought of before. While I still think some of the things that Catholics do can be a little weird, like keeping fingers once belonging to saints, I have found my own faith strengthened by a few Catholic practices, like Holy Week and the stories of various saints. [Read more...]
I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. (Solomon 2:4)
First of all, if you haven’t read Jim Faulconer’s lovely Advent meditation, DO!
Belatedly, here are some settings of the O Antiphons for Advent, traditionally sung during evening services from 17-23 December. The texts are based mostly on passages from Isaiah, and are titled O Sapientia (Wisdom), O Adonai (Lord), O Radix Jesse (Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (Key of David), O Oriens (Dayspring), O Rex Gentium (King of the Nations), and O Emmanuel.
(I’ve stopped counting :))
For this week, a single text:
- O magnum mysterium, [Read more...]
You already know I love Mendelssohn’s motets. His Sechs Sprüche for various occasions in the liturgical calendar are short pieces for 8-part choir. I love them for lots of reasons, not least the recurrent use of my second-favorite German word “frohlocken.” (My very favorite is “Wonne”. I know you were wondering.) This video has good notes, with translations and links to the other five (of which my very favorite is Am Neujahrstage, in case you were wondering).
Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
This is a do-it-yourself entry. The tune is “Hyfrydol,” which we have as “In Humility, Our Savior” in our hymnal. (A very nice organ prelude on the tune starts at 7:56 here. Bonus points if you listen to the preceding prelude, on Rhosymedre, and know which hymn in our book uses that tune). The text is by Charles Wesley. Sing out!
Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free; [Read more...]
In the past, I’ve done the 12 days of Christmas, starting them, in snotty pedantic fashion, on December 25th, which is where they begin in the Catholic and Anglican liturgical calendar. But since Mormons tend to frontload our musical celebration, I thought I’d try some Advent music earlier in the season. Today is the first Sunday of Advent–for some possibilities for celebrating, see Eric Huntsman’s excellent post at T&S.
I thought I’d start with some Marian devotion, since we don’t get to do that much at church ;) And also because I know of no fuller instantiation of longing and active waiting than the last month of pregnancy. [Read more...]
Genesis 12 is the first Old Testament chapter that focuses entirely on the life of Abram. It describes his and Sarai’s departure from Haran and journey to the land of Egypt. The LDS Church’s Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual does not assign this chapter in Sunday School, except as an “additional reading” to Lesson 8. Its exclusion from the formally-assigned chapters saves the curriculum writers from having to come up with “How-can-you-apply-this-to-your-daily-life?”-type questions for passages like this one:
I recently left a note here about the “liturgy” that our ward routinely does in honor of Remembrance Sunday and which I look forward to every year. We also enjoy a uniquely Mormon liturgy on Fourth Advent to celebrate Christmas properly as one — as a “ward family”. Hopefully the word “liturgy” isn’t misleading here: make no mistake, the meetings still had the rough and tumble of low church Mormon practices (i.e. this wasn’t a ritualized sung Eucharist or anything, just a slightly different readings-based format to Sacrament Meeting channeling the inspiration received by the Bishop in contemplating the Christmas message for the ward). [Read more...]
The idea for this grew out of a series of conversations I’ve been having with a Mormon kid in my high school English class about the books we read.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has faced considerable criticism over the years: most recently for its use of racist language and a questionable depiction of an African American, more generally for its cynicism regarding human nature and criticism of social authority. Regardless, I would argue that Twain’s Realist premise — that idealism and social mandates ought to be rejected in the face of pragmatism and experience — raises some useful questions for the Mormon reader. [Read more...]
Guest post from Hannah J. Welcome, Hannah!
In my first year of university I took a color film photography class where we were required to create a photo series. Every time I look at this series I made, I think about that element of childlike suburban peculiarity that exists within much of North American Mormon culture; carpeted walls and fake paintings, weddings taking place in basketball courts, and virginal 20-30 year olds playing games on a Friday night. [Read more...]
There has been some discussion lately about closely reading the Book of Mormon in relation to the YW PP manual controversy. I am always one to encourage a close reading. What I am doing below is not a close reading, but rather a quick note about the perils of casual reading and eisegesis. But please, read closely. It’s a rewarding book.
Frequently, we misread the purpose of Nephi’s slaying of Laban. [Read more...]