Research has shown that we recall text better with music. It was the words of the Nunc Dimittis (“create in me a clean heart O God …”) that I would turn to when I wanted to or needed to pray, and other words were alluding me. We sang that Nunc Dimittis every Sunday, of course, and it became part of who I was.
Many of my musical memories come from worship, and many of those memories also carry with them strong emotions. I can’t hear or sing Just As I Am without thinking how an elevator-style-version of the hymn played in the background in the funeral home when one of my grandmothers died. Lift High the Cross always makes me think of three weddings where we sang that hymn.
Consider this your invitation to pause today to reflect on a hymn that has special meaning in your life. Some say that to sing is to pray twice. May you have many prayers this day!
This message is excerpted from “To sing is to pray twice” by Linda Post Bushkofsky from the February 18, 2019, blog of the Women of the ELCA. Today we commemorate Johann Sebastian Bach, 1750; Heinrich Schütz, 1672; George Frederick Handel, 1759; musicians.
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