Monday, May 7, 2012


They say, when you chant or sing hymns, you pray twice.
Could that be why is it so much fun? 

Last week, while leading the seminary's chanted Evening Prayer, "Evensong,"  I found myself belting out the "O Gracious Light" and getting in the groove. 

I felt invigorated by the rhythmic breathing required to chant according to these so-called "simplified" tones.  They aren't really simple - in fact, they require quite a bit of attention.  So, while chanting, I squint to read the tiny notes in sharp and flat, I sense encouragement from master-chanter-David L., and I am buoyed by corrective adjustments from soprano-guide-Cameron S.

I notice my breath, I notice the tones, I smell the scent of incense, I notice the cloud floating up to the ceiling, I see the icon on the altar, I feel the presence of fellow pray-ers.

This is not about me - it's about us all, gathered, attempting to sing together and carry the tunes.  It's about worshiping God whose tones know all the harmonies and hold them together.

What songs are you breathing today?

Psalm 141.2:  Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.

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