I caught the cathedral purring today. Bright sun filtering through the clerestory onto the ceiling vault. Vergers on benches or leaning against pillars, at ease among the tiny handful of visitors. I love it like this; a gift of unmerited grace.
Then, the voicing of the organ began: a long low note from the south transept. Voicing fascinates me, though I know nothing but what one gleans from hearing it done. The note begins fuzzy and rumbly and is allowed to fill the space. Then — slowly, miraculously– it is gathered in. The fuzziness stops. The note rings true, and the building sighs in response.
Pipe after pipe, note after note, it is the same: each drawn into its own centre, then taught to resonate with the others.
It seems like a perfect expression of both church and prayer. One note at a time, prayer turns the volume up on our fuzziness, till the true note sounds and we are gathered in.
It’s a slow process though. Slower for people than organs. In the time I was there, Jophiel and the organ tuners managed three pipes. God and I were content with just one.