<< Me and Lent: a history >>
I was not raised with a Lenten tradition, that was a "Catholic thing" and we were Southern Baptists, and well if you know anything about how divisions worked then I am sure you can see why we didn't mix. That was a different time when the lines were hard in rock, not soft sand. Now, we did enjoy a good Mardi Gras parade, coming from the Gulf Coast region, but that was the extent of it and never really religious.
As a grown woman I have seen many Baptist Churches take on the traditions of the Catholic church and it took me a while to embrace the ideas. Prejudices die hard, even ones you didn't think you had. I have explored the Lenten season, and I have since celebrated it on occasion. In one hand this year's Lent snuck up on on me, but on the other hand I didn't know how to embrace it this year. So now it has started, and I find myself sitting here thinking about traditions, and where we all come from, and where we are going.
<< A Startling Realization >>
Two days ago someone in the christian music industry posted how they were just introduced to a new verse of a hymn. It's probably a good thing I can't remember what hymn it was, I just remember feeling shocked. Yes, it was the fourth stanza which many churches left off long before they left hymns, but I felt they should have known. Shouldn't someone in the music industry know the beauty and tradition of the hymns, especially the fourth verses?
Since then I have seen several people talking about hymns. Actually, not several, but a couple. One in particular was a link on Pinterest, though I laughed to see it went to a post from 2012. Still, it was recently pinned so that counts, yes? I know there are people in this world who still love hymns, with no hatred towards the contemporary music most churches sing now. I don't want to talk about that little conflict. That's not my purpose here today. My purpose, much like those others I have seen as well, is to uplift the hymns, remember the hymns, and celebrate the hymns.
<< Me and the Hymns: a history >>
I know not everyone has hymns deep in their heart, but what I do know is that there is much tradition for me in the hymns. I remember my maw maw singing with her choir every Sunday morning, when robes still covered the outer garments chosen early before the sun rose. I remember her sitting at the piano in her home as her fingers ran across the ivories and she let me sing along with her. I remember tears coming to my eyes as we sang different hymns in church. I remember learning to read music and trying to sing the alto part. I remember reading through the hymns as a child not always fully understanding their meaning nor their depth.
I used to have a hymnal I accidentally carried away from church along with the stack of Bibles, children's paraphernalia, and announcements I had piled in my hands. Through the many declutterings, however, I released it out into the world. I hope to find a new one at Half-Price Books soon. But I do have a book on the hymns. It contains 150 hymns along with their stories. Obviously I am not going to simply share what the book says, but here is my plan through the Lenten season of 2014.
<< My Lenten Plan >>
I will be sharing some hymns which are a tradition for me. Not all of them. And not every day. But I will be sharing my stories around them. I will be sharing the words of the songs. I will be sharing a video if I can locate one. The Lenten season is one full of tradition and amazing stories. So are the hymns. It seems natural for me to combine them. I hope you will join me.