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Chariots to Heaven

2015 March 5
by Gordon Reid

I am re-reading some of George MacDonald’s novels, and this sentence (from “Robert Falconer”) caught my attention: “When Miss St John would worship God, it was in music that she found the chariot of fire in which to ascend heavenward. Hence music was the divine thing in the world for her; and to find anyone loving music humbly and faithfully was to find a brother or sister believer”.

This is true of many of those who worship at St Clement’s. Since my retirement I have had the privilege of sitting in Choir and thus being able to listen, without the distraction of having to think about playing my part in the liturgy, to the glorious music produced week after week by our organists and choir. And truly, the mind set free and  elevated by such music is a “chariot” which carries one closer to the perfect beauty  and harmony of the “Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus” of the angels in heaven. Before the final chariot swings low to carry me home, the music of St Clement’s has often swung me high (well, it is St Clement’s!) into the ante-chambers of heaven. Whether it be a Mozart  setting of the Mass, or the haunting tones of the Latin propers, or the rousing hymns of Charles Wesley, the music is indeed a divine thing.


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