In one of Michele’s previous posts, she asked about the songs that “move” us. It’s a fact, music can move us into a different place mentally. Calm music soothes; boisterous music ramps us up; patriotic or spiritual music inspires and uplifts. Music affects our mood and our spirit, and singing together gives a sense of unity.
On a Via de Cristo weekend, music is used consciously, as a dynamic, to move the retreat weekend along. Thursday evening, people don’t know one another and many are a little nervous. What’s going to happen? Why did I agree to do this? The musicians select light, well known songs such as “This Little Light of Mine” or “Rise and Shine” so that people can easily participate and feel comfortable.
As the weekend progresses, the speakers choose songs that mirror the theme of their talk. The weekend becomes more intensely spiritual and so do the songs. Songs like “As the Deer,” “Abba, Father” and “Just As I Am” become part of the repertoire.
By Saturday night, the group is feeling excited and at ease with one another. A community has been created. It’s time for joyous, upbeat music like “Shake a Friend’s Hand” and “Dancing Heart.” These songs involve participants in a physical way, encouraging moving around, and even touching one another.
“De Colores” is the theme song of the weekend. It’s sung over and over on the way to meals. This Spanish folk song rejoices in God’s creation and reflects the inner joy of the retreatants as they bask in the presence of God’s love. I’m including it here at the end, and hope others who have been on a weekend (some of our authors are even weekend musicians) will share the songs that have become meaningful to them through Via de Cristo.
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