How sacred music enchants the secular world

(RNS) — Actors Jamie Lee Curtis and Colin Farrell if you’re wondering what the fuss is about or if it’s worth going out to listen to religious music while on vacation. Find the video that went viral last week listening to a choral tune that shows how emotional and spiritual sacred music can be, no matter what you believe.

Curtis and Farrell were discussing their latest film. Farrell was working on “Banshees of Inisherin” in his native Ireland. ”

Curtis said to Pharrell, “Tell me the song for this movie.”

Pharrell took out his cell phone and placed it on the table between them. The music that played for about 30 seconds was dramatic and haunting. A canopy of Italian voices floating above strings.

But the real magic was the non-verbal exchange between Curtis and Pharrell as they experienced and pondered the beauty of their work. Curtis was visibly moved by the music at first, but he was more deeply moved when he saw Pharrell’s delight in listening to the song.

Curtis choked by the time Pharrell said, “Good.”

“Beautiful. It happens to be an Irish composer. Patrick Cassidy is his name,” Farrell added.

Curtis interrupted, “It’s not an accident.”

watch the interview —And since no description can remotely capture the depth of emotion and connection, we have to see it —Something other than coincidence brought the Irish-American composer’s music to Pharrell’s Irish Heart I was impressed by Curtis’ conviction that he moved to

But the sense of sanctity wasn’t instilled by Curtis’ mere dismissal of chance. God’s glory resided in the music itself.

“Vide Cor Meum (See My Heart)” was the product of an early collaboration between Cassidy and Oscar-winning film composer Hans Zimmer (The Lion King, Dune). Her 2001 Horror, a sequel to 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs, chronicles his scenes in his procedural ‘Hannibal’ opera.

Anyone who has seen this film will be reminded of the dramatic cinematic power of the Florentine opera scene. A local detective recently discovered the identity of fugitive American serial killer Hannibal Lecter. He takes his young, attractive wife to an opera in which Lecter also participates. Lecter then gives his wife a copy of the script.

Music stands out as sublime, as Pharrell told Curtis. Its ethereal beauty is enough to complement and enliven the plot’s climactic moments.

But there is something inherently about choral and orchestral music that pushes the listener towards something sweeter, higher, and more extreme.

After listening, Farrell tells Curtis: part of our lives. ”

This is why sacred choral music has stood for centuries as the aesthetic pinnacle of Christian worship and devotion, as fads and alternatives of all kinds faded and eventually revealed their relative inferiority. This is the reason why I came.

Oratorio works like Handel’s Messiah, often played at Christmas with Easter compositions, are undoubtedly one of the most famous and best-loved musical works in the world. Inside and outside Christendom, millions of people celebrate Advent with choruses such as “O Thou Who Told Good Tidings to Zion” and “For Us a Child Be Born”.

And in post-Christian societies, films depicting sacred choral music have great cultural power. Choir of the indescribable Christmas hymn “Oh Holy Night” arranged by John Williams.

But even when the overt religious content of choral music is not immediately apparent, its spiritual power is often evident. Such was the case with Cassidy’s aria in “Hannibal.” The film’s director, Ridley Scott, said in his comments about the film’s production that “music is the final tweak to the script, and in fact the actors’ performances can also be tweaked.”

Casual moviegoers will understand that this aria is about a man’s yearning for a woman, since Lecter is apparently cheating on him with a police inspector’s wife (although Lecter is a serial I’m more interested in Clarice Starling, the FBI agent who studied and tracked down the killer).

But the composition, based on Dante’s late 13th-century text La Vita Nuova, contains much more. It is an ambitious work of emotional autobiography in which Dante ponders both courtly love and divine love, expressing how the human experience of love demonstrates oneness with God.

Cassidy’s aria contains a dialogue sung between the Italian voice of Dante and the Latin voice of God. It is therefore a highly religious text, giving a sublime and dreamlike reflection on the mind of God and the mind of man.

So that the music that Colin Farrell listened to on repeat for months and moved Jamie Lee Curtis to tears was not only musically exquisite, but also theologically robust. is not surprising at all.

Sacred choral music, whether religious or secular, has the power to move us all almost all the time, as you may notice more at Christmas time or when watching movies. Its staying power is not only its beauty, but also the truth it conveys.

With a little attention and gratitude, no matter how far you are from God, you can hear the sacred choral music “Vide Cor Meum” as an invitation.

look at my heart

(Jacob Lupfer is a writer in Jacksonville, Florida. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of the Religion News Service.)

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