March 6, 2014

My Lenten plan

<< 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.


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.

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2 comments:

  1. I was raised Catholic and Lent was very much highlighted in my childhood. I'm lazier with it now...I try to just become more Christ-like, instead of giving up something, like chocolate - which was a big deal as a kid!
    I love that different faiths are starting to come together on some things. I have an ecumenical heart...we really are one body. You might like my Lenten post. check it out by clicking on my name. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You made me giggle with your post. I especially liked and understood the end where you wouldn't tell us what you were giving up! If you don't see my posts here you have free reign to call me on it!

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