Malachi 4:1-6 / Luke 1:68-79 / Luke 9:1-6
By Kristen Telling
I first heard Zbigniew Preisner's Lacrimosa in the movie Tree of Life, by Terrence Malick (which I highly recommend - a powerful spiritual experience that is well-suited to Advent), and it is one of those pieces that moves you profoundly and stays with you because it portrays a particular feeling so strongly.
The soprano soloist begins, singing the repeated word, lacrimosa (tears), starting out solitary in an empty space. As the piece continues more instruments are added - strings, organ, and eventually a full choir. The soprano continues her lacrimosa lament - weeping, longing, reaching eventually to the stratosphere where she reaches the highest regions of her voice, as the ocean of sound threatens to overwhelm her cry. It feels like she is persistently and continuously singing her lament, rising in pitch, to be sure it is heard over the turbulent roar around her. Or perhaps she is reaching upward for light.
Prayer for the day taken from the prophecy of Zecharias, the Benedictus:
Our Father, Help us to know your salvation, and the forgiveness of our sins by your tender mercy. May the Sunrise from on high visit us to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death and to guide our feet into the way of peace. Amen.
The shadow of death threatens to pull us under. Our weeping and grief feels like it will drown us. Hope is looking upward for light. The Sunrise from on high. Come, Lord Jesus.