“Medieval Rites and Contemporary Dying”: Church Life Journal

is playing my song:

The immediate response to death in many medieval communities was song. Why? In discourses of the time, music reflected realities beyond the human sphere; it joined the individual soul and the motions of the heavens. The words of the chant Subvenite—recorded above and sung at the moment of death in Klosterneuburg—depict a connection between the earthly and heavenly communities. The music itself would also have been understood to bridge the two realms.  Music was considered capable of transforming chaos to harmony. If “music orders time, domesticating without trivialising it,”[10] what more appropriate response could there have been for the unfathomable moment when time ceased to be relevant for a loved one?

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