New Series: Poems, Prayers, and Promises
On Ash Wednesday, I will begin a new practice, of writing poems, prayers, meditations, and other short pieces for spiritual and liturgical use, inspired in part by Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Traveled, Erik Walker Wikstrom’s Simply Pray, and the liturgical calendar. I make absolutely no promises that any of it will be good – I… Continue reading
Hymn by Hymn: Al Fine
Well, here we are. A total of 490 hymns over 484 days. Yowza. When I started this spiritual practice, I knew I could finish if I found a way to hold myself accountable. Blogging, and sharing the blog on social media, was my accountability. And wow, what an experience. First of all, I can now… Continue reading
STJ#1074, Turn the World Around
PLEASE READ THIS POST FIRST: it contains information that change our usage. I advise no longer using the song. Original Post: I may be wildly speculating here, but I am pretty sure there isn’t a person my age brought up in the United States that wasn’t in some way inspired by/shaped by/comforted by/taught by/entertained by… Continue reading
STJ#1073, The Earth Is Our Mother
Use with care, use with care, use with care. This song is listed as being generally Native American – which is likely all that the STJ commission could find at the time. A link to the source material, Songs for Earthlings, is now dead. However, I did a search for the lyrics and discovered that… Continue reading
STJ#1072, Evening Breeze
This is the last in our earth chant quodlibet (yes, since relearning the word last week, I’ve rather enjoyed saying it and typing it, especially since it’s appropriate), and it’s been an … interesting side trip. The melodies of the chants are, intentionally, rather simple, and I imagine the complexity builds as you add other chants… Continue reading
STJ#1071, On the Dusty Earth Drum
Way way back on December 16, 2016 – back when this practice was still new – I wrote these words: I wish I could make sense of this one. No, seriously. I mean, I get that the lyrics are a rain song, and thus appropriate for a section called The World of Nature. I also get… Continue reading
STJ#1070, Mother I Feel You
They say brevity is the source of wit; I can affirm that a stomach flu is the source of brevity. So I’ll be brief: The second part of our quodlibet is this chant by Windsong Dianne Martin. As noted on the UUA Song Information page, This song was written on Spencer’s Butte, Eugene, Oregon in… Continue reading
STJ#1069, Ancient Mother
Sometimes the universe likes to prepare you in advance for something you will need. In some cases, it’s the impulse buy that comes in handy later that month, or a song you hear that the choir director asks you to sing a week later, or in my case, it’s a conversation on Wednesday that leads to… Continue reading
STJ#1068, Rising Green
This may be one of the most elegantly crafted songs in our hymnals. I mean no offense to other composers who read this, or to those songs that are also beloved. But there is something absolutely wondrous in this composition by Carolyn McDade. On its surface, the song is another earth based song of praise… Continue reading
STJ#1067, Mother Earth, Beloved Garden
One of the things I love best about pagan ritual is the embodiment of creating sacred space. It’s not just about entering a room and calling it sacred, it’s about being present to the physicality of the room, recognizing our connection to and grounding as part of creation, and visualizing the protective and enlivening presence of… Continue reading
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