I know that I haven't written in a while, but as my MO has been for the last several months, just because I am quiet, doesn't mean that I have not been busy. In fact, I have recently finished a rough draft of what will be the next official musical release this year: the Holy Rosary. For many years, I wanted to record music to help accompany the recitation of the rosary. The rosary is a very powerful devotion in which I have felt the effects of grace first hand in my own life. The purpose of writing music to accompany the recitation of the rosary is to facilitate an ease in 1) the actual recitation of the rosary, 2) the focused meditation on each mystery of the rosary, and 3) the removal of distractions.
It is rather easy to see why it is easier to recite if you have a voice to recite with it, so I am not going to expound on the first reason. The second reason, the focused meditation on each mystery, speaks to the musical structure and how that relates to the rosary. Just as an overview, the twenty mysteries of the rosary are twenty events in the lives of Jesus and Mary in which we meditate on their meaning in salvation history and how that relates to our lives. For each mystery, a decade of "Hail Mary"s are prayed along with an "Our Father" bead. There are many recurring spiritual themes over the course of the twenty mysteries which I have tried my best to reflect what I could in music. I have written music specific to each mystery using the technique of leitmotif to translate spiritual themes into musical themes.
The third reason is somewhat odd. My original intention in doing this recording was so that my family and I could recite the entire rosary on long car rides. When I play the CD, everyone in the van (there are eight of us currently) all settle down and know that we are focusing on the rosary. In contrast, when reciting the rosary au natural, interruptions abound both from the littlest of children to me (if you can believe it!). With the recording, you feel compelled to continue praying and leave the distractions behind.
And as a secondary characteristic of listening to music is that the music gets into your head. And, what easier way is there to pray without ceasing than to pray with the tune that can't get out of your head!
I do want to stress, that I am not advocating a better way to recite the rosary, but rather a useful prayer aid. To be honest, the most efficacious recitation of the rosary would be in silence, preferably before the Blessed Sacrament. But we don't always have that option everyday at every hour. I believe that the use of music can help defend against the noise of the world and pull ourselves closer to God.
With this release, I believe that God is calling me to work towards promoting prayer. Although much of the apologetics and the new evangelization is centered on reasoning one's way to Christianity or Catholicism, I believe that a surer way to conversion is through prayer, both by the faithful and the unconverted. I am prayerfully discerning the beginning of a ministry either later this year or early next year that will do just that. I humbly request your prayers as I discern God's Will for my life and Phrygian Phish.
Stay tuned for more information on the Holy Rosary soon!
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This is the news blog of Phrygian Phish. Check out here for news on Phrygian Phish projects like Last Rites, Beyond the Dice, and other Sean Bailey projects.