Often when you are planing a special party, you will make lists of all the necessary things that need to be done. You will want to clean the house, put out fresh linen, decide if you want to have decorations, party favors, music playing, and of course make the big decision of what food to serve.
This coming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. A day that many christian churches will observe as part of the preparation for Easter. Some congregations will begin with Shrove Tuesday, also called Fat Tuesday, with a Pancake Supper, because Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a time for introspection, repentance, and some people will practice self denial.
On Ash Wednesday adherents will be reminded that we are all sinners, the inner need to repent, and forgiveness that comes from God. We are mortal, but through the sacrifice of Jesus we have eternal life. An ashen cross will be placed on the foreheads of participants while Genesis 3:19 will be quoted, "...for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." For me this time of reflection helps to focus on the suffering Jesus bore for my sins, His victory over death, and prepare for a glorious and joyful Easter, the day that is also called Resurrection Sunday.
In Psalms 51 King David pours out his heart to God in confessing his sins and asking for forgiveness. This is the text for which Italian Gregorio Allegri, in the 1630s, composed the Miserere Mi Deus - Have Mercy On Me, O God . This composition was to be heard only in the Sistine Chapel during matins of Holy Week, and it was forbidden to transcribe the music under the threat of being excommunicated.
There is an account of then 14 year old Mozart hearing this music while visiting in Rome and writing it down entirely from memory. He passed it on to the British historian Dr. Charles Burney who took it to England where it was published in 1771. The Pope summoned Mozart to Rome, but instead of excommunicating him, the Pope showered praises on him for his musical genius.
Perhaps we should be thankful to Mozart that we may enjoy this music.
To read the verses you might need to double click a couple of times on the YouTube screen, then press the arrow to start the video, and when finished press the escape key on your keyboard.
Linking to Charlotte's and Ginger's Spiritual Sundays.
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