Music and Spiritual Care

For the human heart and mind, music is a gift that brings hope and comfort through even the darkest times. In the midnight hour of the soul, when we feel most besieged by grief and alone in sorrow, music offers solace in the recognition that, although the rhythms of our lives fluctuate between joy and despair, the song remains.

Albert Lee Strickland

Music has a capacity to uncover our personal depths and pour completely into the crevices of our unknowns. It reinforces our values and beliefs.

Music can deepen us spiritually because it explores and may even uncover our personal depths. We may perceive ourselves and situations in ways that we don’t normally see them. Music satisfies the senses and emotional need. It may open the door to feelings of safety and greater spiritual experience. Music suggests meditative or quiet states. Music may provide a venue for adoration and worship, an important aspect of spiritual life. The structure of music itself lends itself to forgiveness and conflict resolution. Well designed music has a theme which develops suggestive of conflict and then resolves with a new perspective.

Music has a transcendent capacity. When we listen to soulful music or when we play soulful music, our inner existence immediately climbs up high and enters into something beyond. Music has been called the language of heaven.

In the context of mourning, songs take on the nature of lament, mourning the dead. Certain songs bring to mind memories that refresh our grief. The associative strength of melody may connect us to moments spent with our loved one, including the sounds, smells and feelings surrounding them. Musical lamentation may provide an emotional release for the bereaved. Music can help thaw and awaken paralyzed places and inspire us to begin living. Their may be heightened awareness to the lyrical themes which start us thinking about our own mortality. The strong connective, spiritual nature of music may keep us feeling close to our loved one over time.

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