So much to talk about

and I’d so much rather this be an audio because I’d rather talk than type. But then, perhaps there are others, like me, who prefer to read rather than listen. I have no patience for ‘talking’ media – podcasts, audio books etc – I like to go at my own pace, skip over what bores me, the fast forward button is my second best friend (the delete button is my first best friend).

First off – common usage deems ‘thankful’ and ‘grateful’ as  interchangeable and synonyms for each other. Not in my world, but then my world is often at odds with the world at large. For me, thankful is feeling and showing appreciation for the good and nice things done for me, towards me and just as they occur in life in general. Grateful, to me, means being put in the position of supplicant. That is a position I do not like.

Church Music.  I love church music and usually have some playing in my head. The Doxology plays at odd moments, it is the first thing that passes through my mind, it is one of the songs I sing myself to sleep with.

The problem I have with listening to church music via Youtube is that it is usually professional choirs, like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir or those English boys choirs or, hell just about ANY professional choir. In my head I hear all my favorite hymns as sung by an ordinary, neighborhood church congregation and choir. I hear my childhood Church congregation and that is my memory, that is what I want to hear, again and again. That is the music I hear in my head.

This is the closest I can get to real people singing the Doxology the way we sang it in Church and the way I sing it. You can find other videos of fancy choirs singing it or even those famous acapella people singing it but those aren’t what I hear in my head, in my memory, or what I myself sing.

My very most favorite hymn in the whole wide world is “Sweet Hour of Prayer”. I sing this to myself almost as often as the Doxology. Once again, searching for a version that that doesn’t sound ‘professional’, over-arranged and orchestrated, I discovered that all these versions have 3 verses! The Pilgrim Hymnal that I grew with (and have an old and much loved, beaten and battered copy of) has a version with only 2 verses –

This is as close as I could find to what the hymn sounds like in my memory, the way I hear it in my head, the way I sing it. They’ve added the third verse to the end, so you can ignore that, other versions have this errant third verse in the middle.

I’ve had many strange and wonderful jobs including ‘church secretary’ for a Methodist church. One day one of the members was helping me with a project (‘help’ from the congregation was encouraged) and we were talking about church-y things and I mentioned that I grew up in the Congregational Church. My helper said “Oh they are just the sing-iest churches!” I had to laugh, because I don’t know about other Congregational Churches but the one I grew up in was indeed a very sing-y church. We sang everything, all the time. And benedictions. No one ever said “good-bye” , whether it was just two people or 20 people,   it was, at minimum “May the Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent, one from the other.”

But the singing part – I can’t say The Lord’s Prayer, I can only sing it! Because most of the time that’s how we did in my church. I’m sure it got recited at times, certainly when Pastor was doing it alone, but when the congregation was supposed to say The Lord’s Prayer? We sang it. And singing it is all I know how to do.

Well, this has run on and it’s not finished but I’ll end here with my favorite benediction –

May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord makes his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you; May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

10 thoughts on “So much to talk about

  1. Thank you! This is great. The doxology here is sung as we sang it in church when I was growing up. I went to college, though, and in chapel it was sung differently. Oh, the words were the same, but not the tune. If I get the nerve to try I may post a sample on My Story? “Sweet hour of prayer” often goes through my head or falls off my lips. It is a great song and the acapella rendition reminded me again of childhood when on occasion I would attend the church of a friend. They sang only acapella, no instrumentation.

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    1. I’ve heard the Doxology with other melodies – and of course they sound off to me – the church I grew up in was small but had an oversized organ, donated by a generous member, that couldn’t be played at full force – the building couldn’t contain the sound. But we had bells and Mrs. Riday was an accomplished musician – we had so much music in Church and that music is as much a part of me as my DNA – The Doxology and Sweet Hour of Prayer play on a constant loop in my head, in between all the other music in my head. But they are the songs I sing myself to sleep with every night.

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  2. Spot on with thankful vs grateful, and I do feel like a supplicant at times, knowing that every day could be a disaster and when it turns out pretty much okay… RELIEF. I agree with noise. I loved the internet at first because it was all words. Then people began posting images. Eh. Then came the videos… ugh to all except music. Maybe some kitties. Then podcasts?! I have never listened to one and I am proud of that, lol. Same goes for audiobooks (though I understand they are wonderful inventions for those with vision issues).

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    1. I have a very strong negative reaction to grateful – with, I suppose good reason. But never again will I kneel or beg or be grateful. But every day of my life I am thankful – because everyday brings something good, however small.

      I just don’t like people talking AT me – I’m a participator, I interact with everything!

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  3. I never thought about it, but I can see how grateful might be offensive. And I can understand why. I find the overall concept of gratitude non offensive but the specific word grateful is like someone abusi very saying “you better be grateful I don’t throw you out on the street” or something like that.
    Thank you for posting this. You got me out of having to blog while eating with this one

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  4. Your favorite benediction is the one I heard every Sunday in my childhood Presbyterian church. I’m not familiar with your favorite hymn. Mine is ‘It Is Well With My Soul’ which floats in and out of my consciousness, unannounced. Once those tunes and lyrics get programmed into your brain, they’re there for life.

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    1. It’s a commonly used benediction (I think) – but it is lovely. I have not heard of your favorite hymn – it’s not in my Pilgrim Hymnal LOL I suspect different denominations used different hymnals – the church I went to changed hymnals some time in the early 1960’s, which is how I obtained my very own copy of the Pilgrim Hymnal – the church was throwing them out and I snagged one. I don’t recall the name of the ‘new’ hymnal but I do recall there were different hymns. Nowadays I doubt I would recognize anything in a modern church service.

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