“Up Above My Head There’s Music in the Air”
August 4, 2022
This summer, we have been blessed with beautiful, soul-lifting music in worship, at Cleveland Park Congregational UCC! Our deepest gratitude is owed to Sarah Spaeh and LaTia Barrett for coordinating this part of our worship services. These eclectic offerings have included such exceptional accompanists as Sonya Sutton, John Hurd, Daniel Stokes, and Catherine Pruett.
Our hearts were filled with grief, and our souls were soothed by La Tia Barrett’s rendition of Pie Jesu in the Sundays, immediately following the tragedies of two mass shootings. From the harmonies of bluegrass vocals rendered by Sarah Spaeh and Caly McCarthy through a song by the Wailin’ Jennys to Beatrix Carter’s magnificent offering on bagpipes and Dorothy Mora’s flute, the music has been “spacious” and embracing. We even shared the joy of hosting our special pick-up choir of members and visitors from other churches, gathered by Sonya Sutton, featured in late June.
We have been wrapped in superb and versatile music at every worship service!
Renowned Gospel recording artist of yesteryear, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, boldly demonstrated that “the earth is God’s and the fulness, thereof” (Psalm 24:1), as she combined the sacred sounds of Gospel music and the more secular sounds of her electric guitar into a unique expression of celebratory praise that refused to ignore the blues of a people. Her musical expression would, instead, affirm every experience of being human.
“Up Above My Head, There’s Music in the Air” by Sister Rosetta Tharpe
From the joy of high praise to the moaning out of the blues, music has the ability to heal the brokenhearted and bind up all our wounds.
The CPC congregation has been very faithful in joining in with congregational, a capella singing as I beseeched those in worship to “close” out the sermon, with me. I need a praise song or sweet serenade to seal the post-sermonic time and our worshippers have been so willing and diligent to deliver. What a joy!
It is a widely accepted notion that “music is the universal language” of humanity; or something along those lines. Several sources attribute this quote to American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. While music offers great possibility for inspiring sentiments which can facilitate deep cultural connections, our individual responses and interpretation of music may vary widely depending upon our accumulated life experiences.
I hope that you will continue to show up in person if that’s okay for your health. Or certainly join us online for worship. And let’s get lost in the music, some more, in our reverence and worship together!
My heart, O, God is steadfast: I will sing and make music. (Psalm 57:7).
Rev. Aubra Love