Thursday 16 August 2018

O Holy Night - a weary world rejoices

Trying to find the meaning of Christmas

Trying to find the meaning of Christmas
Trying to find the meaning of Christmas
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

He welcomed me and introduced himself as John. We talked for a minute about how beautiful the concert had been. And it had. You could see that even the children were in thrall to the music at times. The choir had added an orchestra this year and it made for sublime moments, moments of transcendence, Christmassy moments.

But then, that's probably not surprising. This is why people used to go to church, isn't it? Church was where you had Christmassy moments. Indeed it was the basis for the whole thing, before Coca-Cola, John Lewis Christmas ads, Starbucks, selection boxes, 24-pack boxes of crisps, the Elf on the Shelf, Baileys, Budweiser, the must-have toy this year and the rest of it, all became the meaning of Christmas.

I was still trying to shake off the hairs from the back of my neck from that moment when the choir kicks in behind the soloist in O Holy Night. That song is a bit of a cliche at this stage, but somehow, the other night, when it all kicked off: "FALLLLLLL, on your KNEEEEEEES", the choir suddenly booming in low beneath soprano Mary O'Sullivan, it elevated you. Mindfulness, transcendence, a connection to something greater, to the collective, the universal mind.

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