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A Season of Minor Keys

In my continued quest for a pure Advent season, I read somewhere that Advent music is often in a minor key expressing the sense of anticipation and yearning of this season of waiting and wondering what is to come. O Come, O Come Emmanuel is a perfect example of that minor key music, with its penitential and somewhat mournful tune.

I recently found an album called Advent produced by, and on it is a song called Messiah. As I listened to it yesterday, I recognized the beautiful melody as one that goes along with the quintessential pastoral scene of skaters or ballerinas. However, the composer of this version interjects the minor key consistently catching the listener up short and reminding this listener of the tension of this season, the unknown, the yearning, the pause.

Listen and see if you agree with me. As I take that piece with me today, I will look around for places where the Light is longing to break through, where beloveds are yearning or mourning, where deep in my heart I know that God will be born in a new and different way. But we must live in the minor key as we prepare. Otherwise we will not notice those off key moments.


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