Page 39 - Church Music Quarterly June 2019
P. 39

 Ihave been privileged over the years to have contact with many parts of the world church, and have come to
realize that, in their songs, Christians everywhere are able to express in a powerful way their joys and sorrows, their hope and despair – and underlying all is a powerful sense of community that enables them to face life’s challenges. I have worshipped with Kenyan Christians, many of them desperately poor, on many occasions:
to be caught up in the power of their song and dance is exhilarating, and it seems to me a good counterweight to the beauty and stillness of our choral evensong tradition.
It is more than ten years since the RSCM published In Every Corner Sing, a ground-breaking collection of songs from Christian communities around the world. In the preface to that collection I wrote: ‘Singing global
songs can be a transforming experience – it takes us out of our comfort zones, widens our horizons, and gives us a new sensitivity to and understanding of the lives of others.’ In the preface to In Every Corner Sing Book Two Professor Michael Hawn, a distinguished authority on global song, writes: ‘These songs are not just ethnic curiosities or examples of liturgical exoticism, but musical witnesses from Christian brothers and sisters who are living their faith, often in places of conflict, suffering and oppression.’
As you pray each week for different Christian communities around the world, you may find it helpful to sing
a song from that part of the world. On
a recent Pilgrimage of Song to the Holy Land, we found it a powerful experience to sing Ya hamalaLah, a Palestinian Agnus Dei, and as we journeyed through distressing situations we found energy and encouragement from the South African Hamba nathi, or in English ‘Walk with me for the journey is long’.
This collection of songs cries out for imaginative liturgical use, perhaps
centred around One World Week, Christian Aid Week or the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, but equally a resource for other times in the church’s year. I hope that you will find these songs a rich resource enabling you to express your unity with Christians throughout God’s world.
    These testimonies of global and vital faith can find solidarity in our voices and a place in our hearts

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