HAVING A MUSICAL CONVERSATION

I grew up with the tradition of responsive readings, long before litanies were printed in our Baptist order of worship. It was the only time I could talk during the service without getting in trouble! By listening to the voices around me, I learned how to read in unison, when to pause, where phrases began…

FINDING MEANING IN THE “ORDINARY”

The long stretch of weeks we refer to as “ordinary time,” the period between Pentecost and Advent, makes up half of the liturgical year. It is called “ordinary” not because it is commonplace or routine, nor because it doesn’t contain a major Christian holiday, but because its Sundays are counted by ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd,…

FLOWERS AS ALLELUIA

When I think of flowers and Easter, white lilies are always the first to come to mind. The front of our sanctuary was always decorated with pots of white lilies given by the congregation in remembrance of a loved one. Their glorious fragrance filled the auditorium, the scent of spring and new life and resurrection…

Engaging the Senses –– In Remembrance

For most of us, the journey down memory lane is more than a journey of the mind. Our memories, particularly the most profound ones, are a kaleidoscope of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch. There are happy childhood memories of waking up to the muffled, low conversation of the grown-ups around the table, and the reassuring…

The Wonder of Advent

Waiting is one of the most difficult things we do. Yes, it is something we can actually “do” as opposed to the type of waiting where we simply sit back and do nothing. Advent involves our waiting with our whole being: actively watching and listening with anticipation and expectation. When our children were small, we…

Imaging the Word

I was raised in a typical Southern Baptist church where my father was the minister. I had no exposure to liturgical worship until I was grown. Although I had heard formal worship sometimes described as “dry,” for me it was a deep well of experience. Worship in my childhood had been centered upon responding to…