Friday, April 23, 2010

Sing Me To Heaven

Friend Wil Weedon said song is the language of heaven and I cannot endorse his words more heartily.  I have been at services where nothing is sung and it leaves me wanting song even more.  I have been at services where only hymns are sung and it is like the taste of something wonderful which you must eat in small bites, leaving you wanting more.  The high mass is high not because of the ceremonial but because it is sung -- the full sung liturgy -- with the full complement of assisting clergy (deacon and sub-deacon) and liturgical choir.  For Lutherans we are content mostly with a missa contata or sung mass, with limited array of assisting ministers and minor clergy (except at Grace where we have two vested assisting ministers, 2-3 acolytes, and others on most Sunday mornings.

The text that comes to mind with Weedon's post is, of course, Sing Me to Heaven.  Following the text is the wonderful setting by Daniel E. Gawthrop. 

Text by Jane Griner 

In my heart's sequestered chambers lie truths stripped of poets' gloss
Words alone are vain and vacant, and my heart is mute
In response to aching silence, memory summons half-heard voices
And my soul finds primal eloquence, and wraps me in song

If you would comfort me, sing me a lullaby
If you would win my heart, sing me a love song
If you would mourn me and bring me to God,
sing me a requiem, sing me to Heaven

Touch in me all love and passion, pain and pleasure
Touch in me grief and comfort, love and passion, pain and pleasure
Sing me a lullaby, a love song, a requiem
Love me, comfort me, bring me to God

Sing me a love song, sing me to Heaven.


Anonymous said...

The Russian Orthodox Church is not known for spreading the joy of the Gospel among its adherents (My comment relates to the church headed by the Moscow Patriarch, so please, all you other “Orthodox”, including Lutherans, do not take up stones). But there are few things more joyous and beautiful than the Russian requiem. It contains many Hallelujahs and very few notes in the minor key. In Russian the service for the dead is called “otpevanie,” literally “singing off.” The soul is “sung off” to Paradise in beautiful four part, a capella harmony.

Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart

Pastor Peters said...

Amen. May be it so to all those who leave from the doors of the Church to the gates of heaven...