STJ#1047, Nada Te Turbe

We have just entered my favorite section of Singing the Journey: the spot where instead of spreading them out, we get a series of Taizé songs all together. It’s my favorite section, although individually they’re not all on my list of favorites – not that any of them are bad, but some are beloved more …

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STJ#1040, Hush

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” and thus begins my own story, A Tale of Two Memories. The first memory of this song is set in a hotel suite in St. Paul, MN, where the inaugural group of students in the Music Leader Credentialing program gathered to talk about …

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STJ#1039, Be Thou with Us

I’ve been wandering around the house for the better part of an hour, singing this sweet little piece by Tom Benjamin, with two questions on my mind: First, what can I possibly say about this piece I quite like, when it’s short, theologically and ethically sound, and just plain pretty? Second, and perhaps more importantly: is …

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STJ#1034, De Noche

One of the Facebook memes going around right now is about memories – namely, asking for people to post memories of you, with a fair bit of delight at the answers. If my friend and colleague Ashley DeTar Birt were to ask, I would be hard pressed to pick just one memory, as our friendship, which began the first week …

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STJ#1032, Daoona Nayeesh

Let us live in peace… let us die in peace. Wow. The song’s origins are, not surprising, found in the years following the attacks on 9/11: This song is the inspiration of a Muslim residing in the United States, Samir Badri. Samir recruited the composer(Ted Warmbrand), a Jew, to set his words to a tune, …

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STJ#1030, Siyahamba

Y’all took the joy right out of this one for me. You know who “you” are – you who dislike this one, you who find the Zulu difficult, you who argue against the word “God” in the translation, you who think it’s overused or too cheesy, you who won’t use it for other reasons you …

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STJ#1027, Cuando el Pobre

One of my favorite December Sundays is the one a minister designates as “Mitten Tree Sunday.” For those who haven’t experienced this wonderful service, it begins with a Christmas tree on the chancel, empty but for some lights. Often, the Candace Christiansen story that inspired the service is told, other times different stories about giving …

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STJ#1026, If Every Woman in the World

Among the lessons I have learned during this spiritual practice is that the hymnals of a denomination reflect history. Yes, there’s theological history, and certainly musical history, but there’s also a reflection of political and cultural history, if you pay attention. Singing the Living Tradition reflects the world as it was in the early 1990s …

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