Sing My Soul, His Wondrous Love
Musical Musings for Eastertide
by Sharon Downey
I will depart from my usual practice of sharing some music that fits with the scriptures for the week as I find myself reflecting on last week’s Psalm, Psalm 23. You heard Dean Melinda talk about the portion of the Psalm, "...he leads me beside the still waters; he restores my soul." It is difficult to articulate the depth of what we are feeling. Weariness and emptiness are what come to my mind. So today, I suggest you listen to some “soul” music. For you that may mean some Rhythm and Blues, which could definitely soothe your soul. But I suggest this beautiful piece by American composer, Ned Rorem, "Sing, My Soul, His Wondrous Love." This is one of the first texts that I thought of when our stay-at-home time began. “Ever watchful o’er our race, still to us extends his grace.” Comforting words in terrible times. It is sung here by the Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge. 

"Sing My Soul, His Wondrous Love"
Ned Rorem
Sing, my soul, his wondrous love, who, from yon bright throne above,
ever watchful o'er our race, still to us extends his grace.
Heaven and earth by him were made; all is by his scepter swayed;
what are we that he should show so much love to us below?
God, the merciful and good, bought us with the Savior's blood,
and, to make salvation sure, guides us by his Spirit pure.
Sing, my soul, adore his Name!
Let his glory be thy theme: praise him till he calls thee home;
trust his love for all to come.

Another “soul” song is "It Is Well with My Soul." The first selection is an arrangement by René Clausen and sung by the Wartburg College Choir. The second is played on the cello by Kelsey, a former chorister and acolyte at the Cathedral.  

The Cathedral Sings and Plays

This week I am sharing something from last night’s Compline service that was recorded by our sopranos. When I listened to the final product, a flood of memories came to mind. I was finally acknowledging the depth of loss that I and many others are feeling. I needed something to soothe my soul. Being displaced from worship in our Cathedral, not meeting weekly with singers in the Cathedral Choirs and realizing that no one will be able to sing in groups for a very long time, I had not acknowledged how painful this is and will continue to be. Many of the voices singing “O Gracious Light” were choristers or have been teachers and role models for our choristers. Hearing their voices and thinking about the rehearsals, services, choir trips and profound experiences we have shared together inspired me to look through photos and give thanks for their gifts to the Cathedral and me. The images of so many faces who have sung praises and brought beautiful music to our lives was just the balm I needed. If you are missing seeing and hearing music from our Cathedral, subscribe to our YouTube channel and listen to familiar voices when you need a bit of soothing balm for your soul.