Saturday, April 15, 2006

holy itunes?

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, the end of Holy Week. For those of us who work in the church, this is the most important (and often busiest) week of the liturgical year. It is a time when - hopefully - our hearts and minds are open to holy and the divine.

Now, with that in mind...the following statement may sound a little strange: I'd like to share with you three coincidences involving Holy Week and my iTunes. Seriously. I make no claim as to the meaning of these incidents - I know only that they happened and that the odds of all three happening are slim, to say the very least.

Incident #1: Good Friday, 2005 (last year)
Having finished singing the noon Good Friday service, I went into my office to get some work done before heading out for the afternoon. I opened iTunes on my computer and put it on shuffle. (I should note that I have over 3,400 songs in my iTunes - that's over 10 days of continuous play. I have almost my entire music collection on there.) The second or third song of the shuffle was a track from "Jesus Christ Superstar" - specifically, it was the track entitled "Trial Before Pilate (Including the 39 Lashes)." The timing was significant enough to me that I mentioned it to a couple of people in the office.

Incident #2: Palm Sunday, 2006 (last Sunday)
Each year on Palm Sunday, we end the service with a very moving rendition of the hymn "O Sacred Head Sore Wounded." It begins with a boy soprano singing the first verse solo, followed by the choir singing verse two a capella in four parts. For those not familiar with the hymn, the melody is from Bach's "Passion Chorale" - it is a traditional Holy Week hymn. Following the service, I went home to make lunch, still humming the song. As I sat down to eat, I put my iTunes on shuffle. The second track that played was Paul Simon's "American Tune." For those that don't know the song, the the melody is also from Bach's "Passion Chorale." It is the same melody as "O Sacred Head Sore Wounded." (Side note: We actually sang these two pieces - "O Sacred Head" and "American Tune" - together in alternating verses at a Maundy Thursday service two years ago.)

Incident #3: Holy Saturday, 2006 (today)
Having been busy for most of the week and finally having a day of relative rest, I decided to clean out my closet this afternoon. As I began to work, I put my iTunes on shuffle. On this day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the second song that played was from "Jesus Christ Superstar." The specific track? "Trial Before Pilate (Including the 39 Lashes)."

Happy Easter, all...

1 comment:

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