I have always thought the above quote to be true. Sacred music is first and foremost prayer: an ascending of our whole selves to God. Unlike words alone, words set to music instantly become bone deep. Music resonates in our bodies. The reverberations of our own song mingle with the melodies and harmonies of others and spark that innate divine connection between and within us.
Music resonates with each of us in dear ways, and without the ability to gather together for concerts and performances right now, that communal experience is profoundly missing. We see famous performers hosting live online performances from their homes, or musicians creatively figuring out how to bring music to you. We have experienced amazing music through worship in this season: each new “fresh” piece of music compiled from home by our musicians is a lavish gift, a resonant connection.
The blessing below has been used for decades at Kenilworth Union as the blessing at the end of Youth Sunday to usher high school seniors into their next phase of life and make sacred that journey forward. It seems doubly poignant right now as we long to meet again: we want and need God’s blessing on our journey forward as well. The ancient words set to song also hold the blessing of a new day: the wind, the sun, the rain, the road all accompanying us as dawn awakens us to what is new and possible this morning.
May this blessing be a gift that unfolds, a prayer that you can sing twice, a song that can resonate within you as the day begins.
Let us pray:
May the road rise up to meet you;
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields.
Until we meet again my friend,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
Ancient Irish Blessing, performed here by our virtual KUC Youth Choir.