STLT#47, Now on Land and Sea Descending

More signs of life returning?

Now on land and sea descending, brings the night its peace profound;
let our vesper hymn be blending with the holy calm around.

Jubilate! Jubilate! Jubilate! Amen.
Jubilate! Jubilate! Jubilate! Amen.

Soon as dies the sunset glory, stars of heav’n shine out above,
telling still the ancient story — their Creator’s changeless love. (Chorus)

Now, our wants and burdens leaving, to the Care that cares for all,
cease we fearing, cease we grieving; quietly our burdens fall. (Chorus)

As the darkness deepens o’er us, lo, eternal stars arise;
hope and faith and love rise glorious, shining in the spirit’s skies. (Chorus)

My first thought was “huh, this is an awfully cheerful song for an evening song.” But that thought soon passed as thought about a vespers service… I heard in my head the hymn sung by a choir, in a round, perhaps accompanied by a hand bell choir, echoing in a grand cathedral as day gives way to night. I longed for a space to hold such services with such performances. I added it to a mental checklist of worship experiences I wish to create for others – one of joy at a day’s work well done, with the ringing of bells and voices weaving together in joy.

My next thought was “wow, there’s a little bit of your creative spark returning.”

A few days ago, I attended a webinar led by my friend the Reverend Julie Taylor, the president of the UU Trauma Response Ministry (a group I hold dear to my heart, having availed myself of their services after a tragic accident a decade ago). In it, Julie talked about how our physiological response to traumatic events swings us into feeling over thinking, and in fact, that is part of why it feels abnormal; even when we feel strong emotion normally, our cognitive functioning far outweighs our emotional functioning. Julie suggested to us to find ways to get the thinking back. I didn’t really know what tasks to put on that side of the ledger… but I realize now that creating is one of those ways. And imagining a vespers service in a big space with a big musical presence and a spirit of jubilance – that’s a creative thing that is more thinking than feeling, even if the feelings are what propelled me.

I’m seeing glimmers now of my Self returning.

That feels like a bit of a relief.

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Read my thoughts about congregational life at Hold My Chalice


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