Wednesday, April 04, 2007

How holy does he have to habitually hanker for?

Holiness is a strange concept - the idea of being set apart, different, special.

Yet after my post yesterday on Holy week, I spent a large part of the day in activity, whilst holy-seeming, also could be seen as pretty mundane and ordinary.

One of the things that occupies me for not a little amount of time every week is the selection of hymns and Psalm settings. This is because I hope to underscore the message of the sermon helpfully with hymnody. Hymnody often is more memorable than Martin mumbling, even if from the pulpit.

Multiply that by three - for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter services - and then throw into the mix a brass quartet who don't like playing music in sharps (2 sharps in concert pitch becomes 4 sharps transposed for a B flat instrument) not to mention not wanting to have to transpose new pieces, and that puts a very limiting influence on the choices you can make.

Making those choices whilst considering the most helpful hymnody for the particular sermon texts and allowing for the vagaries of musicians' repertoire has resulted in a lengthy day (yesterday) of seemingly mundane work.

But it is also holy work, because it has to do with holy things - the preaching of God's Word and the administration of the Sacrament. Therefore it is worth the effort to do it well, even if it seem mundane.

Holiness. Yes, a strange concept!

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