“A person who sings prays twice…”

It was St. Augustine who said, “A person who sings prays twice.”  This is further elaborated  on by Phil Fox Rose, below:

Beautiful music itself, is prayer, and when wedded to words of praise the result is a foretaste of the new Earth to come.  This can be true whether it is plainchant, choral music or a modern composition (though we all have preferences.)

Phil Fox Rose

There is something about creative expression – no matter what form – that speaks of the other – that which is larger and more than ourselves –  connecting us to what I call the divine.

There is a creative wellspring within all of us.  To me it is dance, the poetic, prayer, the culinary arts…  What do you choose it to be for thee?

Saint Cecilia: Mom, Music, Movement, the Blind

Today, the 14th of October, my church diocese celebrates St. Cecilia.  Cecilia, mom, music, movement, the blind – I said, “Of course!  I see another pattern, another gift!”

St. Cecilia is the patroness of music and blindness   Music because legend has it that she sang to God when forced to marry against her will, and also as she lay dying a martyrs death.  Cecilia is also patroness of the blind as her name means blind, dim sighted.  The name itself? It comes from Caecilius, an old Roman name.

The name Cecilia resonates with me. It is my mom’s name, and she is also part of her church choir.  Cecilia and others sing and the music that they are part of opens the ear of my soul in ways that mere words cannot.  Music has a special gift that helps cure the blindness that we all suffer from in one way or another, it is a language for the inexpressible.

Music speaks to me, and moves me, and I respond as I dance, the hidden language of the soul.  It is because of the gift of music that I am able to dance, and teach dance, and play music for others to dance. On this day  that my church diocese celebrates the gift of music ministry, I remember and am grateful for my special Cecilia – my mom – who has given me and many others this gift.  And for all those others who are part of the gift of music – church and non-church: singers, authors, players of instruments…


[Another two facts that may be of interest. The official feast day of St. Cecilia is November 22nd, and Cecilia is one of seven women named in the Canon of Mass, not counting Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.]

 

A couple phrases to ponder

“Music is the silence between notes. Dance is found between the steps. Silence and stillness is just as important as music and motion.”

Anonymous

Many people talk so much about stepping on certain counts of the music, and about moving, and somehow what is between each note and movement is lost in the shuffle. When you can pay as much attention to both, that’s when you dance.