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Good Friday Words

I have just returned from a performance of Brahms' Requiem. It is not the first time I have heard this masterwork--but it is the best time. The choir of a local Presbyterian church brought this piece to life with precision and spirit. They not only sang the music, they also sang the words, their meanings vibrated through the quiet sanctuary.

I arrived at the service early. I thought I might have trouble finding a seat, knowing that this was Good Friday, knowing what a rare blessing it is to hear this Requiem sung beautifully and reverently. The congregation was easily countable. Maybe, maybe, we numbered 40 people in a church that seats hundreds comfortably.

And so, I felt almost as if the scriptural words were being sung directly to me. It is easy to have this feeling in a small audience. To me, they sang:

For mortal flesh is as the grass, and all the comeliness of man is as the grasses' flowers. The grass hath withered, and the flower thereof hath fallen.

You now are sorrowful; grieve not: I will again behold you, and then your heart shall be joyful, and your joy shall no one take from you. I will again behold you.

Lo, I unfold unto you a mystery . . . .


Good words for Good Friday.

Image by Ysabel de la Rosa, copyright 2010, all rights reserved.


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