The Drama of Life

“Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.” St Paul wants happiness and festivity. The Church is built for it. For something to happen. A drama. But for real.

“Liturgy” is the name of what goes on in church. It is meant to be very real, addressing our sorrows, our joys, our queries. But like a drama – full of colour and music and evocative symbols. The words are also present, the words read from the Bible – sometimes very ancient ones, sometimes more recently created ones. The music is there: things we sing together – old hymns, new tunes – the pealing tones of the organ – choirs and orchestras – and silence too. The things are there: chandeliers, candelabras and altar cloths and ewers and baptismal fonts and everything needed in a church. And the vestments, which have a history stretching back all the way to Jesus and the Romans and which, through their different colouring, proclaim the season of the Church’s year – Christmas or Lent? Whitsun or Good Friday? This is shown by the colours of ecclesiastical textiles. Liturgical vestments are extant which date from medieval times, and new ones are still being made, with the ideals and idiom of our time. All of this can be termed language – the many languages of the Church. Not just words, but colours and shapes and experiences. If things work out as intended, we hear something that God wants to say to us.

You find it in the Oxenstierna Chapel.