Dirges. I recently heard the precious music of our Church referred to this way, and not with any maliciousness, mind you. But it always leaves me speechless.
I will never forget the first time I heard the music of the Lutheran Church - as a teenager sitting through the wondrous services of those days at the Lutheran Church of St. Andrew in Silver Spring, MD. The organist then is now the bishop of the English District: Dave Stechholz.
The music was a huge part of what drew me. I'd never HEARD music like that before. I speak not only of the stunning preludes and postludes - BACH! - but of that unique shading of light and darkness that fills the classic Lutheran chorales. You knew you were singing of nothing frivolous but of the ultimate matters of life and death - and underneath it all ran a current of unmistakable joy.
Dirges? I just don't get it. Nor was it a kind of music that I had to "grow" to love; it was not an acquired taste for me. I heard it and fell in love.
What say you all? I ask in utter bewilderment. I do not understand how anyone experiences our music as dirges!