Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Angels and Music

In the her book Rediscovering the Angels, Christian mystic and author, Flower Newhouse writes that wheneverHandel's Hallelujah Chorus is sung, the angels of the astral and mental worlds join the chorus and their accomplishment is a thousand times more joyous and victorious than the human parts. Handel experienced a rare religious exaltation during the composition of the Messiah. For 24 days he was completely withdrawn from the things of this world so that he "dwelt in the pastures of God." When the Hallelujah Chorus was completed, a servant found him at the table with tears streaming down his cheeks. Afterward, Handel explained, "I did think I did see all heaven before me."

The Hallelujah Chorus has always been a favorite. I recall a fond memory of one special Christmas morning at church. My father-in-law was playing that piece at the beautiful pipe organ. The congregation was invited to come upfront and join in the singing. A blind woman joined the group. I decided to come along, too, in spite of my voice. A cloudy Sunday, as we sang and the tempo heightened, suddenly the sun burst through the clouds and poured through the window, flooding the area where we gathered.

Ever since then I was convinced of the power of that beautiful music. Years ago,I listened to it on my walks, inspired to keep moving to the rich melody that did indeed seem to make the heavens open up. Several years ago, a hurricane hit Virginia Beach. Elliot and I stayed at home to weather the storm. As the winds blew, we turned up the volume full blast on the boom box. The Hallelujah Chorus filled the room, no competition for the storm. Jayne Howard-Feldman, author of Driving Under the Influence of Angels, recommends playing that music while standing with your arms in the air, making a "V" chalice for the heavenly host to pour down their blessings upon you.

Married to a wonderful composer and musician, I know that when music is being played, the room is transformed as these heavenly beings come close to join in the celebration of song. Music is the bridge.

Many blessings,