STLT#293, O Star of Truth

So… I’m not sure about this one. On the one hand, it’s a wonderful piece about our first source – our personal experience of awe and wonder, singing praise to the “star of truth”  – which is a wonderful name for that which some call God. On the other hand, there seems to be a bit of …

More

STLT#218, Who Can Say

As with any art form, the more you engage it, the more familiar you become with those who practice it – sometimes it’s easy, like discerning Picassos in the Modern Museum of Art. Sometimes it’s less so, requiring some familiarity – signature dance moves mark the difference between Jerome Robbins and Bob Fosse, signature word …

More

STLT#215, Praise to the Living God

Confession time: I did not actually sing this today. It’s not that I don’t like this hymn – I do. It’s that I have laryngitis and I physically can’t. That laryngitis – and the accompanying cold – is also why this is so late: I turned off the alarm so I could sleep. The good news …

More

STLT#202, Come Sunday

I wonder how many denominations have Duke Ellington in their hymnals? A hat tip to our hymnal commission for finding a place for this piece. And, as I’ve talked about before, this fits in the ‘not every song in the hymnal is meant for the congregation to sing’ category – although I would love to …

More

STLT#182, O, the Beauty in a Life

I was expecting this to be a difficult song to learn – enough times, that “Irregular” at the bottom of the page signals complex rhythms and intervals. Yet once I got into it, and I felt the 9/8 rhythm (which is really a glorious 3/4), the song suddenly felt familiar, in a way that makes …

More

STLT#137, We Utter Our Cry

I’m not sure I have much to say on this one today, short of what I muttered as I finished singing, and as poured my coffee, and I walked up the stairs to the office, and as I opened up this page: “Hmmm. Well.. okay.” I hoped for more insight from Jacqui James – but all …

More

STLT#130, O Liberating Rose

Sometimes I know what I think about a hymn before I start singing, and let the experience of singing affirm or shift those thoughts. Sometimes I don’t know, and I let the experience of singing take me somewhere, and as a result some of my posts have been more theological, or musical, or silly, or …

More

STLT#117, O Light of Life

This is a beautiful prayer. A needed prayer. An elegant prayer. And I am sure, in the right hands, a beautiful and elegant tune. I am not sure if it’s unfamiliarity that keeps me from accessing the melody, or just sustained high notes before coffee, but the tune doesn’t work for me in this moment. …

More

STLT#103, For All the Saints

File this under Hymns that Make You Go ‘Huh.’ Sometimes these things begin with the ‘huh’, sometimes they begin on a joyful note and then somehow turn. I opened the hymnal and smiled because I love this one. As regular readers know, I love hymn tunes by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and this one is particularly …

More