By the time you read this month’s Messenger, LCOS will have had our doors closed for at least a week. I wholeheartedly believe in social distancing as a means to prevent the spread of disease, and I am thankful for the steps LCOS has taken to do so. Yet as a musician, I am still sad to see our Haddonfield Choir Festival being postponed, our adult choir not getting to work on the glorious Easter music I had chosen, our youth to sing their new anthem to you, our kids choirs not getting to sing and ring music they’ve worked on for weeks, our adult bell choir not getting to ring in Holy Week…
So let me share the words with you. All of these are words straight out of our hymns and anthems that you won’t get to sing and hear in worship, but I hope that they will bring you comfort during this tumultuous time:
“Praise the One who breaks the darkness with a liberating light, praise the One who frees the prisoners, turning blindness into sight. Praise the One who preached the gospel, healing every dread disease, calming storms and feeding thousands with the very bread of peace.”(music by J. Wyeth, text by Rusty Edwards)
“May each soul in sorrow’s night see the heavenly light. […] All those whose feet may falter, lead unto the sacred altar. Oh shine from above, Divine Light of love!”(music by Peter J. Wilhousky, text by Alice Mattullath)
“I heard the voice of Jesus say, ‘Come unto me and rest; lay down, o weary one, lay down your head upon my breast. […] I am this dark world’s light; look unto me, your morn shall rise, and all your days be bright.’”(music by John Helgen, text by Horatius Bonar)
“The Kingdom of God is justice and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Come Lord, and open in us the gates of your kingdom.”(text and music from the Taize community)
If you have your own hymnal at home, I encourage you to use it to read the texts and sing along if you wish. There are hymns whose texts you can read or sing that are about healing – ELW 610-617, and right after that section, there is a section with hymns about hope and assurance – ELW618-639.
I am praying to be able to lead you in prayer and song again soon, until then: sing on!
Pauline Worusski, Director of Music