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
From so much to say to little to say. (Which is, of course, the nature of spiritual practice.) This is a lovely tune, by Pablo Fernández Badillo, a Puerto Rican lay minister and federal judge who held various positions in the Puerto Rican government. Yet it is his time as a missionary that led to… Continue reading
STJ#1063, Winter Solstice Chant
I’m sure there is someone who loves this piece. I’m sure there is someone who isn’t bothered by gendered language. I’m sure there is someone who thinks four verses makes a chant. I am not that someone. Children of the Earth, we have come to sing to each other, Sister to Brother, songs of our… Continue reading
STJ#1062, All Around the Child
So… I have thoughts. In no particular order: Jim Scott does like a long verse, doesn’t he? (No judgment, really, just noticing that his song make for long hymns.) It took three phrases to become a Jim Scott song, because he has a signature style – and then it’s very much a Jim Scott composition.… Continue reading
STJ#1059, May Your Life Be As Song
For a long time I loved this one. I thought it was a great creative, artsy way to think about our lives. But when you sit down and really think about it – the initial metaphor, the remaining lyrics – yeah, not so much. Here are Jim Scott’s lyrics – the chorus of a longer song… Continue reading
STJ#1058 Be Ours a Religion
I want to start with a word of gratitude for the STJ hymnal commission, who thought to include some short responses in this slim volume. It would have been easy to only include bigger songs and hymns, but they knew (probably because most of them were music directors themselves) that we needed fresh music to… Continue reading
STJ#1055, How Sweet the Darkness
What is old is new again… Back in March, we sang these words, written by English poet Rachel Bates. We know the hymn from STLT as When Windows That Are Black and Cold – a misleading title, which I note in the post about it. We sang it to Danby, a lovely Ralph Vaughan Williams… Continue reading
STJ#1052, The Oneness of Everything
I don’t know if it’s still true, but I remember in high school learning a bit about quantum physics – enough at least to know that physicists at the time weren’t sure if the universe is made of particles or waves. (Google suggests that there’s now an uncomfortable acceptance of a duality, but that’s a… Continue reading
STJ#1050, Jazz Alleluia
As I have mentioned before, I love an Alleluia. And as I have mentioned before, I love music in 5, whether it’s 5/4 or 5/8, as we find here. And as I have mentioned before, I am a huge fan of composer Tom Benjamin. So there’s not much left to say, except this is a perfect storm… Continue reading
I suspect this piece doesn’t get used much in our congregations. The reason is probably that it’s in Spanish and is unfamiliar. And that’s too bad. I’d rather the reason be that we don’t often preach on Oscar Romero and liberation theology, or that we don’t often use any part of a Catholic mass in… Continue reading
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