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It has struck me that many of the blogs I follow in this advent season have featured clips of musical favourites of the posters.  I have found these enriching and spiritually uplifting.

So, as a deviation from my usual posting style, I will share some of the music of my own spiritual journey and heritage.

A cappella is Italian for “in the manner of the chapel.”  It is a music style in which the singing is without instrumental accompaniment. It has a long history from plain chant, to the sacred harp music of colonial America, and in the non-instrumental worship of many of the churches of the Anabaptist and Restoration Movements.

I have written before of my spiritual heritage being from both Catholic and Restoration traditions.  With this in mind the first piece I would like to share is entitled “The True God,” and is from the plain song chant tradition of the Middle Ages.

I am not a musicologist, nor am I even more than a casual enjoy-er of music, but I find the Gregorian chants rich and spiritually moving.

I have spent much of my adult journey in churches which use shaped-note four and six part harmonies.  These acapello pieces have at times been “sacred harp” style, or non-instrumental settings of more common Protestant hymns.

The following “Sacred Harp” piece is interesting in its complexity.  For those not familiar with the style, the melody and harmony is first song through in just note form, and then repeated with the devotional lyrics.

This worship style has been used by others, notably including the Primitive Baptist churches and the churches of Christ. Acapella worship also found in the Amish and more traditional Mennonite communities of the Anabaptist tradition.

The next piece is really a favourite of mine, and comes from a Primitive Baptist church.

The final piece I came across from a link from fellow Christian blogger Steven Colborne. It is by Christian artists Sounds Like Reign, a couple whose work is well worth getting to know better.

For those of you unfamiliar with the acapello tradition, I hope you found it enjoyable.


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