A Music Poem and Prayer

Enjoy these beautiful expressions of faith, which affirm the musical gifts of the Spirit.

A Music Poem

Betty Lynn Schwab
(A poetic rendering of
“A Theological Statement on Music in The United Church of Canada,”
prepared at Are We Off-Key? in March 2008.)
The music of the spheres…
Music permeates all God’s creation and embraces all humanity.  
Music is rooted in and evolves from God’s relationship with us 
and our relationship to God.  
Music shapes who we are and who we are becoming 
as people baptized in the name of Jesus Christ 
and nourished at his table of thanksgiving.
The music of worship…
Music is not inserted into worship; 
rather, worship is inherently musical.  
We are a singing people.  
How we sing together and what we sing together, 
reflects our faith, our church, our union with fragile creation, 
our thoughts and feelings about one another and all humanity.
“We long for a deeper relationship with God.” *
Music empowers us to listen for God’s voice.  
It enables us to praise God, 
who has created and is creating.  
Music reminds us that we are loved by God 
and made for God.  
The fullest expression of these truths emerges 
when a congregation sings.
“We long for deeper connections with one another.” *
When we sing together, 
barriers and categories are transcended.  
Gaps are bridged.  
Differences are softened.  
Music unites us as the body of Christ, 
opening us to others in body, and in the Body. 
When we sing our common heart song, 
we gain new compassion and mutual understanding.
“We acknowledge the brokenness, pain, and fear we carry.” *
Song enables us to confess our brokenness, 
and our falling away from God. 
 In our singing together, we call each other to account.  

We lament falling short of unity and harmony 
in our lives as music makers.  
We have sometimes broken the melody, 
failed to be in tune 
as individuals, as congregations.  
Knowing this, we strive to join the chorus as reconciled people.
We believe that our spirituality and our prophetic voice 
spring from one source and are lived in one Body.
Song connects us to the music of the universe 
and leads us into new creation.  
When we sing together with one heart and voice, 
we ground ourselves 
in the spirit of, for, and with the world.  
The stewardship of our church’s song 
needs the discipleships,
 prayers, and voices of us all. 
New voices are thus awakened and nurtured.  
And old voices are renewed.
Thanks be to God!

A Music Prayer 

God of harmony, 
you give us music rich in variety, 
to connect us with you and all creation.  
We thank you for inspiring poets and musicians 
who bring praise to our lips.  
Help us embrace the harmonies of your creative genius; 
Let your hope, faith, love, and joy 
resound in us and ring throughout the earth.
Fill us with the rhythm of your heartbeat
in your symphony of being 
as it guides and nurtures us  
in mission with you.
 We pray in the name of Christ, the singer and the song.  
* From “Call to Purpose: A message from the church to the church.”

© 2010 The United Church of Canada/L’Église Unie du Canada.

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution
Non-commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd) Licence.
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visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/ca.
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