Last night was one of the more extraordinary moments of my life. I went to church at my new parish St Johns Anglican in Camberwell, for a Stations of the Cross with music by Franz Lisst, played by a (more than) talented parishioner.
Lisst wrote this music in 1871 from a place of deep contemplation and personal prayer. It can only be described as ‘avant-garde,’ even by today’s standards. Strange then, that it sounded familiar and so very ‘accurate’ as a soundtrack to the last hours of Jesus’ life. I have wondered today about the ‘sound’ of the mystery which Christians across the ages have found in contemplation. The music took me directly back to Jerusalem 200o years ago and walk the ‘stations of the cross’ with Jesus.
Here is a youtube clip with some excerpts from the piano solo version, if you’d like to get hint of the experience.
By the close of the service I was shell-shocked, as indeed I would have been if I had followed Jesus on that dark day.
Lisst’s music is beyond words; as is the darkness of the cross, and the mystery of God’s love hidden in the deepest of shadows there.