Time and Liturgy

Music has the ability to the connect people more firmly to the liturgy and Christ. It has the ability to draw people more fully into the life of the Church in many ways. Music opens up to the exploration of Church doctrine.

One way is through tension. The tension in music can open up what Jeremy Begbie as a theological vision of a ‘meantime’, which calls us to a more grace-filled path through the tension of a piece of music (p.104). Begbie is referring to a kind of dynamic tension between patience and delay. It is patiently anticipating the Resurrection on the last day knowing that we have to wait for it; however, through the Holy Spirit, we are given a foretaste of what is to come.

Another way is in the “fulfillment” of the tension. This creates a promise – fulfillment dynamic. The metrical waves of the music intensifies building the tension. The resolution in one of the waves can ease some of the tension while at the same time intensifying it. This type of promise-fulfillment can be seen in salvation history. The Old Testment foreshadows the birth of Christ and the fulfillment of God’s promises.

A third way is the resolution and overflow. The metrical waves come to a final cadence before closing. This can create a tension that it not quite resolved except through the silence that comes after, leaving an openness that expands time. It suggests the endlessness of God.

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