Thursday, January 27, 2022
The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster
My Neighbor’s Prayer: The Vocabulary of Blessing as Common Bond
Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq, also known as “Uncle,” is an elder and shaman among the Kalaallit arctic Inuit People of Greenland. The spiritual life of the Kalaallit is deeply in tune with the earth. As part of his faith, Uncle is active in environmental leadership, promoting care of the earth. In an interview for the PBS special “Global Spirit,” he stands before a centuries-old tree and reminds us that “when you stand before that creation [the tree] and you touch it you are touching the history of the world.” He says that the ancient tree stands tall, rising from earth to sky in a way that shows gratitude to the Creator. Something about our culture, yours and mine, skips over the simplicity of recognizing the tree’s relationship to the divine, the forest’s relationship to our ancestors. I deeply appreciate Uncle’s perspective.
This chant is better watched than translated. It is called “Melt the ice in your heart,” but the resonant vibrations of his voice might actually have the capacity to melt the ice in your heart. It is soothing, intuitively inviting, and a reminder that the songs we hold in our body are spiritually transformative: body, mind, and soul.
My Neighbor’s Prayer
Melt the ice in your heart
Inuit People of Greenland