At the UVAGO Super Saturday Organ Training Workshop, our keynote speaker, Carol Dean, said, "I know there are pipe organs in heaven, because I wouldn't be happy there if there weren't." Later, the dean of our chapter reiterated that statement, by saying her late husband is building her pipe organ, and she told him she won't join him there until it is ready for her. My eighty-year-old grandmother, who has been a ward organist for almost sixty years, missed those statements, but attended the final two classes. Afterwards, she asked me for organ lessons, because she wants to "be ready." Although she wasn't there for the earlier statements, she echoed their sentiments!
The concept of music in heaven is something that I've had on my mind a lot throughout my life. It is common acceptance in the Christian world that angels sang at Jesus Christ's birth, for how could such a miraculous event be celebrated any other way?
Handel is said to have exclaimed after finishing the Hallelujah chorus, “I did think I did see all Heaven open before me and the great God Himself.”
John Taylor, an early Mormon prophet said:
“We have no idea of the excellence of the music we shall have in heaven. It may be said of that, as one of the Apostles has said in relation to something else—‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive of those things which are prepared for those who love and fear God.’ We have no idea of the excellency, beauty, harmony and symphony of the music in the heavens.”Can you imagine? I know many of us, as church musicians, have probably had divine experiences with music. I know there has been more than one time in my life where I have felt the heavens open and experienced divine music from above. In fact, in my recent article, I mentioned that "as organists, we have the opportunity to invite people to worship, to help them call upon the choirs of heaven, and help them join their voices in an experience of spiritual outpouring."
This is my goal for every congregation of every denomination. This is why I created my blog, so that in some small way I can help church organists facilitate this outpouring.
Have you ever experienced a musical communion with heaven?