Monday, April 11, 2011

Jerusalem! Far, far Away: prelude

So, it's Lent! It is my absolute favorite Liturgical season of all time. It is the Wednesday Addams of Liturgical Seasons. As a child, I was a cute, bespectacled blond with the heart and dreams of a scary brunette. Repentance? Fasting? Reflecting on the Passion and Death of Our Savior? BRING IT ON!

Thing is, as a Lent-loving child/teen, I was not going to Mass :( Long story. When I came back into full communion with the Church in college, Lent was still even more glorious than I remembered. Of course, I also liked learning about Advent and Easter season, etc, but I loved Lent most of all.

I actually like a lot of modern Lenten trimmings like cactus on the altar because they remind me of my home in the desert. Yay for desert! Other things, not so much, particularly hymns.

Lenten songs should be in a minor key.
Lenten songs should be about repentance or something grim and serious.
For crying out loud, the happy songs can happen any old other time of the year. Can the Wednesdays Addams in the room not get a break during the 40 days of Lent? Please, oh, please?

One of the many upbeat, uptempo songs we sing in Lent here is "Jerusalem!" At least I think that's its title.

Some Englishy types might think we mean the bit about transporting Jerusalem into England so it's prettier, greener, and more full of sheep, and all the Satanic mills can just go away forever, only not in the "moving to Bangladesh" kind of way. That is a weird song too, but not the one I mean. The one I mean sounds like the finale song of any given Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. It is a rollicking good tune that kind of, partially makes sense if you think about Scripture and are still in the liminal state because you almost overslept Mass and are using the homily to catch up on some REM.

Here is the Scriptural passage in question (butchered paraphrased by sciencegirl!):

Jesus is all "Hey, I have to go to Jerusalem to be sacrificed and die for your sins & everyone else's sins too, because I am the 2nd Person of the Trinity and this has been the Father's plan all along! Even from before you all totally screwed up."

The disciples are all like "No, we shouldn't go to Jerusalem because people just tried to kill you the last time you were there. Let's keep going around watching you do miracles and hearing you preach."

So Jesus goes "Um, did you not hear what I just said? Have you not even been paying attention at all to my prophetic statements about my mission? You are so missing the point, disciples (especially Peter, who really should be more with it)! O ye of little faith! I am so fed up, but I still love you so much I will die for you anyway! Shall I not do my Father's will?!?!?!"

Then the disciples are like "Yeah, but..."

And Jesus is like "I have set my face like flint!"

And finally some of the disciples (James? Andrew?) are like "Right on! Let us also go and die with Him!"

It is a pivotal moment in the Gospel. I love it! There is a song based on it! Hooray! Except the song is the following:

Chorus: I have set my eyes on your hills.
Jerusalem! My destiny!
Though I may not see the end for me
I cannot turn away!
I have set my heart on the way
The journey is our destiny!
Let no one walk alone!
The journey makes us one!

If my Revised Sciencegirl Version of the Scripture is butcheryTotally Awesome in Every Way, this song puts it in a blender with some yogurt, pollen and dubious vitamins to make a Scripture smoothie.

It is way fun to sing, though, because the tune is so much fun. The words do not make much sense to me, however.

The tune reminded me of the Imperial March from "Star Wars," and the overuse of "DESTINY!" made me think a lot of Darth Vader, so I rewrote the words and am putting them in a post all by themselves. The words will make sense if you have seen Star Wars IV-VI. Not so much if you haven't.

1 comment:

  1. Pedantic ClassicistApril 12, 2011 at 7:24 AM

    I'm SO HAPPY you are posting this. Jerusalem, My DES-tiny(!) has long been a guilty pleasure. Like Les Miserables, you feel ready by the end to band
    together to storm the barricades, except that you don't really know what for or which barricades to storm or what barricades are.

    This post has some great features that I think would work in almost any blogpost
    anywhere anytime.
    Let's rundown the checklist:

    We've got

    1) The Lamentations of the Prophet of the Disappearing Minor Key Jeremiad (also
    a favorite in Advent! now new and improved in G Major!!)

    2) All the British guys randomly running down a beach with William Blake and
    Elijah that you can stomach

    3) A classic mishmash of some of the Gospels, worthy of the best Q scholarship,
    with the improvement that this is obviously the heretofore unknown "SG" source.

    Put this all together, and I think all systems are go for an awesome parody!
    Rock on, Sg!

    OH, and the apostle who got psyched (seemingly apropos of nothing) was in fact
    Thomas, as we learn from Ben Linus, everyone's favorite scheming villain genius
    and Biblical exegete:

    (much love for the long-lost Caravaggio in the scene!)