STJ#1003, Where Do We Come From?

Throughout this practice, I’ve happened upon many hymns that were inspired by (or were outright settings of) poetry; that makes sense, as lyric forms seek out one another naturally. But this is the first time I’ve encountered one inspired by paintings. As noted on the UUA’s Song Information page, The lyrics of this song come …

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STJ#1002, Comfort Me

Sometimes you have stories you just tell. Othertimes, you have stories that definitely have titles. I call this one “Snoring for God.” Our scene unfolds as my then boyfriend, Carl, and I are driving in New England. We’d started in White Plains (where Carl’s flight landed), drove over to Connecticut and hopped on Route 7, …

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STJ#1001, Breaths

You could call this one “How Is This My Life?” or maybe “God Bless the Revolution.”… and you’d certainly use the hashtag #MyUnion. But I think we’ll call this one “Our Rock Stars Are Not Your Rock Stars.” Now the rock star in question is not composer Ysaye Barnwell, although she is a rock star, …

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STJ#1000, Morning Has Come

I AM SO EXCITED I could plotz! Not only am I cracking the cover of the next hymnal this morning, I am singing one of my top ten favorite hymns, composed by the delightful Jason Shelton. This venture into Singing the Journey will look a little bit different than our time with Singing the Living …

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STLT#413, Go Now in Peace

If you are a fan of a film or tv show with highly quotable lines, you may find yourself giving the next line almost out of habit: “Inconceivable!” “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.” “To make a long story short…”    “TOO LATE!” “My father hung …

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STLT#411, Part in Peace

Hmmm. I really don’t have much to say, because I don’t know how I feel about this one. (Also, I’m squeezing this reflection into a day full of fall house cleaning.) What I can tell you is the lyrics, by Sarah Flower Adams (of Abide with Me fame), set to the Charleston tune (which you …

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STLT#410, Surprised by Joy

A dozen years ago, I sat in a workshop at a UU Musicians Network conference talking about music as pastoral care. The leader (whose name escapes me now) talked about her prison ministry. She told us that she goes to a women’s prison, and one of the first thing she has them do is sing …

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STLT#409, Sleep, My Child

When I was a little girl, my mom would come to tuck me in every night and sing lullabies to me. Now I’m pretty certain some of the songs weren’t actually lullabies, but many of them were. She had a rich alto voice, and she loved to sing. At one point, she put the songs …

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STLT#408, Wonder of Wonders

Last night, friend and colleague Peggy Clarke told me this practice is “a source of insight.” Which is funny to me this morning, as I have absolutely nothing interesting to say about today’s hymn. No insight. No brilliant analysis. Not even a good joke… dang. Anyway, this hymn. It’s a decent Brian Wren lyric, set …

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