4-10-24 Notes from the Kliros

4-10-24 Notes from the Kliros

Notes from the Kliros Third Saturday of Great Lent, 2024
Why did you change that???

Blessed Fast!

During the first week of Great Lent I started using a different musical setting for the Creed and a couple other places in the Liturgy. Why on earth would I do such a thing?

I know change can upset people. We miss the familiar and feel awkward, maybe even displaced, with the new. As the choir is to facilitate worship, we do not want to do anything to cause someone else to struggle with worship. Even so, please hear me out.

Lent presents an opportunity to change what we do (the unfamiliar) in order to draw us further into repentance and worship. Everyone undergoes special trials during this time tailored to their spiritual needs by God Himself. Some of the newer musical settings utilize more somber melodies and harmonies, introducing an opportunity for perhaps a deeper contemplation. Don’t worry, mid-Lent is upon us, and I will soon return to the old standards during the upcoming Paschal season. However I hope to introduce a couple settings appropriate to the fullness and joy of that season too….

There’s another reason under girding my actions: boredom. I notice that repetition accomplishes good things inside of us. Repetition brings the texts of the services deep inside of us, writing them on our hearts. The repetitive melodies come to the fore of our consciousness at seemingly random times during the week, especially if we sang them along with the choir during the previous services. They bring God to our attention.

Repetition can also have the opposite affect of dulling our perceptions of the texts and the sacramental world around us! The hymns become rote. They can even annoy us like a commercial jingle or sitcom theme song. Changing the melody can wake us up, reminding us that it is the truths of the texts that stand firm and unchanging, not the music itself.

I also notice that as repetition can dull us to the texts, it can also dull us to the music. Repetition challenges the choir uniquely. We can struggle to sing the simplest song simply because it has become boring. The drudgery ruins the music, we go flat, our countenances fall. Changing what we sing helps keep the pieces fresh and alive for the singers.

My apologies to you for whom these changes are a challenge. My apologies to all of you as it takes time for the choir to sing our best with the new music.

May God bless the remainder of Great Lent for you as we anticipate the glorious Pascha that is soon to come!

In Christ
Kristin Maria ♪