"Hermeneutic of continuity," a term that was originally coined by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, was presented to me by a scholarly Franciscan Friar several years ago. He presented it in the context that Benedict first used it, but ever since, I haven’t been able to stop considering how poignant and important this idea is for church musicians in contemporary America.
Sufjan’s tour, ironically dubbed “The Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice” was on its last legs with only three or four nights of shows left. This title turned out to quite aptly describe the show's production, with songs ranging from “Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming” sung in four-part a cappella harmony, to “Christmas Unicorn”, during which Sufjan donned a balloon animal costume rigged with lights, jumped on top of the piano, and sang verses such as this one:
Oh I am a pagan heresy
I’m a tragical Catholic shrine
I’m a little bit shy with a lazy eye
And a penchant for sublime