Hang on, what happened to this coming Sunday 19 Jan? A slightly different but interesting worship will be led by Gwenda with some of her typically thoughtful ideas yet to be revealed – that do not include singing a psalm.
I take the opportunity to sketch out the next few weeks, Plan B or C or whatever we are up to – the joys of going with the flow and seeing what inspiration evolves. The evidence is that good things happen at South Woden!
Psalm 27 next week
Many will be familiar with the opening verse:
God is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear?
God is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid.
As usual, there are many ways to approach this poem from the musical perspective. Lectionary Singer in her blog suggests over 20 songs relevant for this week’s psalm on the third Sunday after Epiphany. Verse 1 is clearly suitable as the antiphonal response, and many of our sources use some variation of this idea.
The Taizé round The Lord is my light would work well.
A different approach, using as response a verse from Isaiah, may be found in Together in Song no 16. In a beautiful paraphrase by Christopher Willcock, enchantment arises in part from his imaginative and unusual harmony changes supporting a lilting tune. Let’s do it.
Since we are in crystal ball mode, let’s look at February. Plan A had the male voice group in the lead on 26 January, the last Sunday of the month. Plan B has them picking up the first, a communion Sunday, on 2 February (I spare you the detailed reasoning.)
I hasten to add that the occasion won’t look anything like the photograph at right, in this case a group of monks at evensong in the 12 century Romanesque basilica of Vézelay in Burgundy that was a significant node in the sprawling mediaeval pilgrimage routes to Compostela in Spain.
Frequently, it must be said, we share an appreciation of the classic sounds and atmospherics of such groups that you find all over the world, particularly in Europe of course.
That’s not the deal for 2 Feb, when we encourage a spark of life through an African-American response to Psalm 15 from Psalms for all Seasons.
This service gains added importance as we seek a blessing on our young people at the beginning of the school and academic year.
The male voice group reverts to the fourth Sunday on 23 February for Psalm 119. More anon.