Rector’s Letter August 2016

‘If music be the food of love, play on.’

This familiar quotation from the beginning of William Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night reminds us how deeply music can affect our lives – certainly our love life (‘they’re playing our tune darling’). If we look at the rest of Duke Orsino’s speech at the beginning of the play we can see just how profoundly Shakespeare thinks music can affect us. Orsino goes on to say ‘Give me excess of it, that surfeiting, the appetite may sicken and so die.’ The only way Orsino can be cured of the ‘sickness’ of love is to hear this music so often that it will cease to hold its power over him.

Of course, the power music has over us is not restricted to our romance but influences many other aspects of our lives. I find it hard to overstate the influence of music on my own life. One of my regrets is that I have never learnt to play a musical instrument – though as singing has been such an important part of my life perhaps I can regard my voice as an instrument! With Agnetha Fältskog of ABBA I can certainly sing ‘Thank you for the music’. Music has given me immense pleasure, solace, and inspiration. Above all, it has deeply enriched my spiritual life and lifted my heart and mind to God.

I’m sure that most of you would agree that it’s hard to imagine our worship, and devotional lives without music – hymns, psalms, anthems, worship songs etc. The sheer variety of musical styles used in Christian worship from the plainsong of medieval monasticism all the way to modern 21st century worship songs is breathtaking. Each of us may prefer one style of music or another, traditional or modern; but it would undoubtedly enrich our spiritual experience if we were to open our hearts and minds to forms of Christian music not familiar to us. I have no doubt that music is one of God’s greatest gifts to us; one of the ways He has given us to grow closer to Him.

This month Holy Trinity Choir take their usual August break, and their absence (as a group if not as individuals) will remind us how blessed we are to have such a talented and dedicated group of musicians. We are blessed too in having Norman as our Director of Music and all the organists who play for our services both at Holy Trinity and St. Tudno’s.

Despite the absence of the Choir, August will be a month of music at Holy Trinity. Our organists will continue to play at our services and we will also have another series of lunchtime organ concerts on Tuesdays throughout the month. Please support these concerts if you possibly can, five distinguished organists will be giving these concerts on our magnificent instrument, and in supporting them you will be helping us to raise funds towards some very expensive work which will need to be done on the organ very soon. Repairs have recently been completed to the console – now the organ itself must be tackled. Finally, on the evening of Monday 22nd there will be something very different – a very special cello concert. Come and share in a month of music at Holy Trinity.

Fr. John

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