STLT#352, Find a Stillness

I love this prayer. Seriously, this meditative, prayerful hymn – lyrics by Carl Seaburg, set to a Transylvanian folk tune – is absolutely in my top ten list. I love the haunting, minor key of the tune as well as the phrasing. Some might say the third phrase is too high, but that’s what transposition …

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STLT#317, We Are Not Our Own

Before I dive into the hymn, a few words about Charlottesville, since my only pulpit today is this one: I am certain I don’t have anything to say that hasn’t been said more publicly and eloquently by colleagues, friends, and admired public figures. But I too must proclaim this as loudly as possible, because we …

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STLT#242, In the Lonely Midnight

It’s been all about the tune for me this morning. I know this lyric as a choral piece by composer and music director Michael Harrison – a beautiful setting of these lyrics that evoke the hope of the lyrics (the cascading voice thing that happens on “peace, good will” is gorgeous and the intricacies of …

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STLT#55, Dark of Winter

This is such a gorgeous hymn, and a comforting one too. First, let’s talk melody – Shelley Denham knew what she was doing, writing a sort of lullaby to winter in a gentle 3/2. It is both simple to sing and delicious to sing. I imagine my college choir director reminding us to sing through …

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STLT#54, Now Light Is Less

Two new rules today, because the thing that makes UUs go “huh” should be the theology: Hymns should avoid using lyrics that have an ABBA rhyme scheme. Hymns should never end in words most people have to look up. Just look at these lyrics as a poem, which is how they started. Not bad, really. …

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STLT#46, Now the Day Is Over

“I have no response to that.” — Angelica, Joe Versus the Volcano Now the day is over, night is drawing nigh, shadows of the evening steal across the sky. Now the leafless landscape settles in repose, waiting for the quiet of the winter snows. Now as twilight gathers let us pause and hear all the slowing pulsebeats …

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STLT#23, Bring Many Names

Bring many names, beautiful and good; celebrate in parable and story, holiness in glory, living, loving God: hail and hosanna, bring many names. Strong mother God, working night and day, planning all the wonders of creation, setting each equation, genius at play: hail and hosanna, strong mother God! Warm father God, hugging ev’ry child, feeling …

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