The Advent post-a-day gig here @ Roses in the Rubble covered quite a few carols and music compilations because Virginia, your humble blogger, loves music, especially Christmas music. For Lent we don’t seem to focus so much on music, except preparing glorious Easter anthems, hymns & songs of rejoicing. But this Lent, there’s a compilation that totally enters into the spirit of things..
“Above Earth’s Lamentation” by Sarah Hart. To be honest, my sister gave it as a Christmas present, but i didn’t really start listening until a few weeks ago. Since then, it’s been on permanent replay (accompanying the production of many of these Lenten blog posts.)
I delayed listening because the title includes “Lamentation” — i tend to look for not-so-melancholy tunes & have played another giftie upbeat Sarah Hart CD “The Give & Keep” now & then since Christmas. But, this Lamentation compilation is not “Psycho Sarah” (as my brother dubbed Sarah McLachlan for the many melancholy CDs he endured while staying 4 months with me in the Middle East : ) No, this Lamentation compilation is something entirely different all-together.
It just flows. Each song is part of the whole… a contemplative exercise in music that takes our hearts into sorrow, into the valleys, along the cliffs of faith, through the forges of forgiveness and up the mountain –all the while encountering the Light of Christ.
Have to confess i don’t usually let things flip over & over into a replay loop — (Norah Jones “Come Away with Me” an exception when stressed) — but this seems anointed, powerfully so.
…and I believe Sarah Hart is totally anointed by God. Not just her (considerable) gift of music, but as a person of faith. Last November my sister & i heard her sing & lead worship at a women’s conference in Richmond. Beautiful singing, to be sure… but as we got started she randomly asked us to sing, “You are My Sunshine.” Remember that old song? “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray, you’ll never know dear, how much i love you, so don’t take my sunshine away..” Or something like that. Anyhoooo, kinda random!?! Then at lunch, Cindy & i sat with some ladies from Va. Beach — turns out, the mother absolutely bawled during that song because it had very special meaning for her brother whom she had taken care of, but who had just passed (they sang that song at his funeral.) She was so glad she came that day (when her daughter had to practically drag her, so they said.)
Holy Spirit leading …. How did Sarah Hart know that song would touch someone’s heart? Methinks she not only sings, she prays… & if you read her lyrics, she must pray LOTS!
Too many amazing songs to pick just one, but here are lyrics from a meaningful fav, “Come, Ye Disconsolate,” based on a poem by Sir Thomas Moore:
Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish,
Come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel.
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.
Joy of the desolate, light of the straying,
Hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure!
Here speaks the Comforter, tenderly saying,
“Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot cure.”
Here see the Bread of Life, see waters flowing
Forth from the throne of God, pure from above.
Come to the feast of love; come, ever knowing
Earth has no sorrow but heaven can remove.
If you have a chance to check out this compilation, methinks you might be blessed especially if you are walking, or have walked, through a few valleys… of if you would like something contemplative for Lent.
grace, peace & inspirational (Lenten-ish) music
Virginia : )
p.s. You can check out Sarah Hart’s website by clicking here. If you want to see her perform in St. Peter’s Square for Pope Francis (& bunches of other folks0 you can watch a YouTube video by clicking here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHyAhJD_Vvo