Buxtehude’s beacon to guide the faithful

Xmas 2016
Light and hope. © Charles Thibo

Benedicam dominum in omni tempore – I will bless the Lord at all times. This old Gregorian chant uses a text from Psalm 34 and expresses the belief of Christians that faith will deliver them from the sin of mankind and reward them for any their suffering on earth. It is meant to give hope, to present God as a shining beacon to guide the faithful through night. At Christmas, Christians celebrate the moment this beacon was lit: the beginning of a new hope. The Baroque composer Dietrich Buxtehude has set this prayer to music in his work BuxWV 113. It has been recorded by the Göteborg Baroque Soloists and the Göteborg Baroque Arts Ensemble under Magnus Kjellson.

A positive force

Hope. Some hope to win in a lottery. Others hope for a pay rise. Some hope for peace on earth. Or the end of a long sickness. And still others hope to get a little love. But hope is nothing without action. Hope – a positive force. A force that can give us strength to change this world. An encouragement to do something that might bring us nearer to what we are hoping for. In this sense, hope means work. That’s the corollary of hope – at least for me.

Peace and kindness

I hope for peace and try to be kind at home, at work, while driving in dense traffic. I hope to live to see my  daughter living a happy life as a grown-up and try to teach her what I know. I hope for a loving and interesting partnership with my wife and yes, it is an ongoing endeavour! Luck has been on my side many times during my life, but I have worked a lot towards that end and while it did not cost any blood, it cost sweat and tears.

“Benedicam dominum” for the many occasions when I had to make decisions and was looking for advice. “Benedicam dominum” for all those desperate moments when I had no one to speak to. “Benedicam dominum” for all the people who were kind to me, who gave me a helping hand, who let me share their experiences or who simply listened to me.

I wish you a Merry Christmas.

© Charles Thibo

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de Chareli

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