STLT#398, To See the World

Programming Note: I’ve added a lovely piece from Mary Grigolia about her song I Know This Rose Will Open, from an email exchange we had, about the origins and meaning of that song. After you read this, go to that entry and check it out! — There are days in this practice when the little …

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STLT#394, Hava Nashirah

This song calls to us: “Come! Let’s be singing!” And what shall we sing? “Sing alleluia!” That’s it. That’s the song. In English and in Hebrew. Hava nashirah. Shirah alleluia! Hava nashirah. Shirah alleluia! Hava nashirah. Shirah alleluia! Come, let’s be singing. Sing alleluia! Come, let’s be singing. Sing alleluia! Come, let’s be singing. Sing …

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STLT#392, Hineh Mah Tov

As frequent readers know. there are many days … sometimes weeks… in this practice when the hymn is so opposed to the events/mood/weather of the day that it seems almost ridiculous. Christmas in May… morning songs after the election… happy spring in a snowstorm… Today is most assuredly NOT one of those days. Our round, …

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STLT#391, Voice Still and Small

I’m sitting with colleagues at White Eagle Conference Center near Hamilton, NY, with 22 colleagues retreating together. What strikes me about moments like this is how apart from time yet completely in the stream of time we are at these things – in the midst of programming last night, I learned a young neighbor died. …

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STLT#390, Gaudeamus Hodie

As the Gish gallop of terrible politics, violence, natural disasters, and a shocking lack of compassion continues to fill our news feeds, we turn now to this canon by Methodist composer Natalie Sleeth. Whose lyrics, when translated from the Latin, mean “let us be joyful today.” Joy is hard to find some days – harder …

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STLT#388, Dona Nobis Pacem

I have sung this a thousand times since childhood, around the campfire, at vigils, even once at an evening memorial service. It’s as familiar as my own skin. Yet when I think of it, I don’t think of the vigil or the campfire or the memorial service. I think of M*A*S*H. In particular, the episode …

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STLT#386, Alleluia Chaconne

Next on the Countdown, it’s the original one hit wonder. (I’m apparently channeling the late Casey Kasem right now… a throwback to my misspent youth.) While a working organist, composer, and teacher most of his life, German musician Johann Pachelbel produced more than 200 pieces throughout his lifetime, earning himself a place as one of the …

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STLT#385, Gloria

I feel like I should be writing something elegant and insightful and perhaps a bit humorous about Taizé , about glorias, about chants and canons. Just yesterday I spoke of how this practice has never (except around the election) felt like a chore. And truly, the practice itself – singing – has never felt that way. …

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STLT#384, Alleluia

Yay! Another alleluia! Today’s is made better for two reasons: First, my colleague and friend Amy Zucker Morgenstern wrote this in the comments for yesterday’s Alleluia: The word doesn’t really mean “praise the lord.” It means “praise Yah,” one of the many Hebrew euphemisms for God, since God’s name is unpronounceable. Some of them do translate …

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STLT#383, Alleluia Amen

I love alleluias. Sure, the word means “praise the Lord” and I’m not big on the word “Lord”, but as a word of praise, it’s gorgeous and lyrical and pretty much no matter how its sung, I am in. This one’s in a pretty round from an unknown source, one that I wish all choirs …

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