If there is no pre-existing, intelligible order to go out to and apprehend, and to search through for what lies beyond it – which is the Creator – what then is music supposed to express? If external order does not exist, then music collapses in on itself and degenerates into an obsession with techniques. Any ordering of things, musical or otherwise, becomes purely … [Read more...] about Is Music Sacred?
It was not so dark the last I looked; the stars there were could still be counted, and the moon was a frail lost ship, not the queen she is now of this indigo ocean. Off there, so far away I can only believe, maidservants are lighting the porches as brother with his staff drives home the herds where Father wept when I begged to go free. He would not know me now, a … [Read more...] about Voyage of the Prodigal: A Poem by Mary Lowell
The Ottoman Empire, Roger Scruton writes, was not composed of nation-states but of creed communities. Peace between the sects could not be ensured by borders, as in Europe, but only by custom. Peace is precarious and requires constant work and architecture is part of that work. When France was given the madate to govern Syria in 1923, the character of the ancient cities of the … [Read more...] about How Western Urban Planning Fueled War in the Middle East
Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), Bishop of Volokolamsk and chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, is a prolific writer and also a composer. One might ask where he finds that time to compose music given his busy schedule. Met. Hilarion responds that much of his writing occurs during layovers in airports … [Read more...] about The Christmas Oratorio Finale by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev
It is no accident that most of the language used in the Orthodox services is poetic. Good poetry has the ability to take us into the depths of things much more powerfully than prose. These two Nativity poems by Mary Lowell reveal a mother's reverent wonder at the birth of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. … [Read more...] about Reverent Wonder: Two Poems on the Nativity of Christ