Thursday, December 20, 2012

The "Best" Christmas Concert Ever (Post-Cana Post)

As anyone who's read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever knows, "best" can mean a lot of different things.  In The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, "best" meant a pageant where the most unlikely girl played the character of Mary and gave us a glimpse of the very human struggles that must have faced Our Blessed Mother.  My son's Christmas concert this year was also, ahem, very human, but it somehow opened a window onto the divine.

To start with, the number of different notes, chords, tempos and harmonies played all at the same time was truly staggering.  The parents responded, as we should have, with enthusiastic applause.  Is this how God the Father feels about our awkward attempts to praise him?  I sometimes imagine that God masterfully arranges all the songs sung to him and about him into one giant, glorious symphony, the same way a truly gifted piano player can make an out-of-tune piano sound like it belongs in a concert hall.

God can teach us how to appreciate our children, not because of what they have accomplished but because of who they are and how hard they have tried.  God can teach us to be the most loving audience.  When I attended music camp in England, the music coaches strongly emphasized the importance of being a good audience.  At the very least, they said, you can always appreciate and praise the music selection.  As my son and his friends belted and bleated out Good King Wenceslas, Silent Night, Do You Hear What I Hear, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas, I couldn't stop smiling.   Honest-to-goodness Christmas concerts are a dying breed, being replaced by "holiday" concerts highlighting secular favorites like Frosty the Snowman.   How privileged I am to hear my son trumpeting away on songs like these.  O Holy Night, indeed.

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