This session, led by the lovely Marion, began with a beautiful piece of music. We sat quietly listening, relaxing and letting our thoughts subside. We then started to think about praising the Lord and how that is expressed through songs and hymns.
We heard about Marion’s journey and how she became to involved with music through her family, and how, when faced with tragic things in our lives we often find solace in music.
We then started to sing some old and familiar hymns, including Just as I am Without One Plea, What a Friend we have in Jesus, Guide me O Thou Great Redeemer, before moving on to some unfamiliar hymns. These included I Need Thee Every Hour and Prayer is the Soul’s Sincere Desire.With Marion’s expert help we managed at least one verse of each.
We thought about what the music made us feel and whether they gave us any pictures in our minds. Often the same scene came to many people.
All in all, a very uplifting session.
If you missed the session and are interested in exploring music to stimulate prayer, here are some more suggestions that may be helpful. Ideas for contemplative music include:
Spiegel im Spiegel (Avro Part)
The Lark Ascending (Elgar)
Song of the Tree of Life (Vaughan Williams)
Violin sonata in A major (final movement) (Franck)
Ballade in D Minor (Dvorak)
For tuneful repetition designed to take prayerful words from head to heart, try some Taize chants:
Laudate Dominum (Alleluia! Sing Praises!)
And here is a full album of Taize Chants, beginning with O Lord Hear My Prayer.