This week I’m going to do yet another short and hopefully sweet post. Who has time this week? I have always thought the Christmas season and the last few weeks of the school year are the busiest times for us Moms. Does anyone else reading this agree? Since I am now down to about Five shopping days left until Christmas (and still not done) I have not had as much spare time to contemplate or write.
In concert (pun intended) with last week’s Fifteen Favorite stores, I decided to simply list my FIFTEEN Favorite Holiday Musical Selections. Easy Peazy!
But first, I’d like to share some quotes I Found pertaining to music. I have some thoughts about how music is an integral part of the season for me and how I sometimes think music moves me to a different “plane”.
Here are some of the quotes I found about music that resonated with me:
“Music is the universal language of mankind.”
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Music expresses that which cannot be said and what is impossible to keep silent.”
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”
“Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.”
“Music helps me escape from the reality I live in.”
“You know what music is? God’s little reminder that there’s something else besides us in the universe; harmonic connection between all living beings, everywhere, even the stars.”
“Music is well said to be the speech of angels.”
My Top Five FUN Holiday Songs:
1. Santa Baby
2. All I Want for Christmas is You
3. Winter Wonderland
4. Silver Bells
5. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
My middle Five Faves:
6. Angels we Have Heard on High
7. In the Bleak Midwinter
8. Oh Come all Ye Faithful
9. Oh Holy Night
10.Joy to the World
Coinciding with some of the quotes about music, there’s a concept of “thin places”. “Thin places” have been described as “a place where the boundary between heaven and earth is especially thin. It’s a place where we can sense the divine more readily.”
I first heard about the concept from the senior pastor at the Lutheran church I attend. He recommended I read a book entitled “The Heart of Christianity” written by Marcus Borg several years ago. Borg spends an entire chapter (chapter 8 to be specific) discussing this very concept.
Here are a couple of other reads: (3 blogs and an article from the NY Times about the subject) for any of you interested in reading more about this concept:
One is not required to be in church to experience this. In fact, Eric Weiner, the author of the referenced NY Times article wrote about finding these places via his travels. He wrote: “They are locales where the distance between heaven and earth collapses and we’re able to catch glimpses of the divine, or the transcendent or, as I like to think of it, the Infinite Whatever.”
I happen to believe I have experienced those “thin places” at times throughout my life. A consistent time is nearly every Christmas Eve in church as the lights are dimmed at the end of the service, when only the candles are lit and our congregational voices are singing “Silent Night”. During the hymn sung in unison (once a year) I’ve felt a veil between the two worlds become transparent, as if (even if it’s only but for seconds or a minute or so) I’m just on the other side of heaven. It seems everyone in the world is in harmony, quiet contemplation, in a blissfully peaceful place, full of wonder and radiant love. Has anyone else felt the same way? I’d love to hear if anyone else feels this too or what other experiences allow you to feel this same way???
My Final Five Faves:
Listening to some of this music occasionally transports me to that very peaceful, blissful, divine place! Are there more songs you know of which do the same for you? If so, I’d love to know about them. Please share!!!
11. Ave Maria
12. All of/Anything from Handel’s Messiah
Of course I have certain Favorites within the absolutely remarkable piece too, but that’s an entire other blog post! (I recently learned that Handel composed this entire piece in 24 short days-INCREDIBLE!!!)
13. There Shall a Star
I sang this song in high school choir and Found this version via u-tube which is EXACTLY the tempo and version I sang in choir. I still LOVE this one. I think my choir director would be happy to hear, this one left a life long impression on me. (I wish I knew what happened to him-If anyone from my high school is reading this and knows where he is, please let me know!)
14. Peace/Peace-Silent Night
My daughter sang this in church last week with her choir along with the church sanctuary choir. I regretfully didn’t record that version but found this version on line. If you’ve never listened, I highly recommend it. I think it’s profoundly beautiful!
15. Silent Night
Sending well wishes to anyone reading this for a Christmas/Holiday week filled with Joy, Peace, Good Health, Hope and Love! I’m hoping those who find music calming and uplifting to their souls will get the time to appreciate the songs of the season amidst the holiday chaos!!!
Love your Xmas Blog. Lots of insight and feeling.
Keep up the great work. Best holiday wishes from
us to you and your family. xox g
Beautiful reflection on how music has been instrumental (pun intended!) in your life! I would have to completely agree whole heartedly. I find that all the tranditional Christmas songs found in hymnals have been engraved upon my heart. It’ all I had as a child and teenager.
I find it facinating that someone else has expereinced that ‘beyond the veil’ feeling/view of the spiritul realm. (I get weird looks if I mention it). I love music and use it as ‘therapy’ especially when I get anxious/have a panic attack. I can find comfort in music no matter the situation! It truly is healing!
Blessings in 2015!