church choir

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord.”

Luke 1:46

Of all Advent traditions, my favorite is music.  Carols, hymns, radio classics, movie themes – all lead me on an annual stroll down memory lane with warm memories of holidays past.  Music could also arguably be the oldest Advent tradition, dating back to the very first Advent and the Canticle of Mary, the Magnificat: “My soul magnifies the Lord…” (Luke 1:46 – 55). 

It is the enduring universality of music which particularly inspires me.  It is art created over and over again, each time a work is sung and/or played.  Music allows us to experience the exact same beauty that was once in the minds of Handel, Bach and Mozart.

Music also blesses us with a connection to countless others, past and present.  When we sing or listen to “The Messiah,” “Lo How A Rose,” or “Bring A Torch Jeanette Isabella,” we are immersed in the same sublime beauty as our grandparents, and their grandparents, and generations before them; and with strangers who may currently live hundreds or thousands of miles away.  We are even sharing, across the millennia, a connection with Mary.

And so it continues.  Our family is blessed to have three daughters who carry musical passion and talent into the next generation, and they too will know this connection: with us, with generations before us, and with countless souls the world over.

As you journey through this Advent season, I hope you can join me in appreciating the awe, wonder and comfort of the deep connection which music can bring.

Erica Axtell

©2018 Trinity United Methodist Church