Christmas Eve

December 26, 2017

I enter the quiet sanctuary.  The flames of the candles dance in the breeze as I walk through the doors. The morning sun through the stained glass windows makes patches of colored light on the floor.  A group of parishioners gather for prayers as I set up my harp and equipment. 


Due to a quirk of the calendar, I play both Advent and Christmas music today.  I load, unload, and reload my harp-mobile several times throughout the day.  I drive carefully over the snow-covered roads, thankful that the weather is better than in some previous years. 


Tuning becomes a meditative practice.  Despite the frantic pace of the season, I am calmed by the familiar ritual and the need for concentration.  I hear the choir rehearse one last time in the basement.  The chapel is transformed by Christmas lights and candles.  Several of the pieces I play are a yearly tradition yet still bring joy to both me and the people I play for.  I smile as the choir, piano and harp intertwine.


And then the last prayer is spoken, the last piece of music is played.  I pack up my harp one last time and head home, grateful to be done but also grateful for the chance to join in worship.  I am tired but also at peace.


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Lincoln, NE, USA


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