STLT#368, Now Let Us Sing

It’s 24 hours since nearly five dozen people died and nearly 600 were wounded by a single gunman wreaking terror in Las Vegas. And I still don’t have words, only the heaviness in my heart that is both sad and outraged. That is, I suppose, why the Universe keeps doing this: putting cheerful, aspirational, hopeful songs …

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STLT#367, Allelu, Allelu

I need to begin with a prayer for those harmed by the mass shooting in Las Vegas – I don’t have words yet for my sadness and rage. I only have this Kyrie. Please take a moment to listen with me: Amen. — Okay. Now on to today’s hymn, which is a shocking juxtaposition: it …

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STLT#366, Heleluyan

This is an amazing alleluia that comes out of the Muscogee Creek hymn tradition – which appears to emerge from the congregational line singing tradition. In a 2014 story on All Things Considered, Dr. Hugh Foley, a fine arts instructor and Native American history professor at Rogers State University in Claremore, OK, explains more about …

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STLT#365, Praise God

Hey, now this one is interesting. Back in the 1920s, the humanist-theist battle was already taking shape, and much the same as now, worship becomes the battleground for such controversies. Charles Lyttle, minister and professor of church history at Meadville, wrote these lyrics for a doxology “as a bridge” between the two theological factions. Praise …

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STLT#364, Alleluia, Alleluia

WHY DON’T I KNOW MORE OF THESE PIECES? This Alleluia, by Jacques Berthier, is just gorgeous. It is spirited. It encourages harmony – something we shouldn’t be surprised by, since Jacques wrote music for the Taize community. We have more of his work in Singing the Journey, which makes me very happy. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia. …

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STLT#362, Rise Up, O Flame

We have now entered (and rejoiced, and came in) a new phase in this practice – the short songs. The rounds, the doxologies, the introits, the chalice lightings, and the benedictions. I have no idea how this section will feel. I admit that this morning it feels a little disappointing, as there’s not much to …

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STLT#360, Here We Have Gathered

Now this is an entrance song. Welcoming in all kinds of ways, with nothing for us to …wait…nothing for us to be upset… oh … Dammit. It’s not as good as I’d hoped. “We of all ages, women, children, men, infants and sages, sharing what we can” reads the second verse. It uses binary language for gender. …

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STLT#359, When We Are Gathered

When it comes to film, there are genres and directors I am a fan of, those I dislike, and those I appreciate. For purposes of today’s post, I will say that I dislike horror and appreciate the director Robert Rodriguez – especially his masterful work on Sin City. Now, if you ever saw his film From Dusk …

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STLT#358, Rank by Rank Again We Stand

I don’t even know where to begin, so I guess I’ll begin with this morning’s experience of singing. As frequent readers know, I’m an Anglophile – a lover of British television, British film, the British Isles, and at least once, a British person. Knowing this was today’s hymn before I cracked open the hymnal, I started …

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STLT#357, Bright Morning Stars

I started singing this morning before I opened the hymnal, because I knew what today’s song would be. “Bright morning star’s a-risin’…” I sang. And then I looked at our lyrics – “Bright morning stars are rising” – and thought, huh? Isn’t there just one morning star – the sun, or if we go Christian …

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STLT#355, We Lift Our Hearts in Thanks

Our English ethical culturist is back – this time with a more or less decent song of thanksgiving (puzzling placed in the Here and Now section). Good old Perceval Chubb… who once wrote an article stating that Americans ‘have an incapacity for leisure’ and whose O We Believe in Christmas felt pretty empty and apologetic. …

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