Today’s services at St Nicholas with the Holy Innocents were different and yet the same; the music chosen for each service expressed the longing to come together to do God’s work in the world. People of many faiths can come together to work for peace and justice, and to heal one another even if there is struggle, strife, or sacrifice.
Above: “10 Modern Martyrs” from the West Door of Westminster Abbey. Dr Martin Luther King is near the center, and also with him are Bishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. All were killed before their time, cutting short the work they had done for equality, peace, justice, and freedom of thought and belief. There are several African and Asian martyrs who died for their faith as well.
In the early service, we ended with “In Christ there is no East or West.” The metaphors attached to both “east/west” and “north/south” pairs are still relevant today, and in the opening song in the late service, we carried on with the theme of the four cardinal directions, and the wholeness and sacredness of the Earth based on North American Indian belief.
Song From The Center
- From the corners of creation to the center where we stand,
- Let all things be blessed and holy, all is fashioned by your hand;
- Brother wind and sister water, mother earth and father sky,
- Sacred plants and sacred creatures, sacred people of the land.
Another song we sang at the second service, “We Are Many Parts,” enlarged on this theme, and included some spirited tambourine accompaniment. The chorus went:
- We are many parts, we are all one body;
- and the gifts we have we are given to share.
- May the Spirit of love make us one indeed;
- one, the love that we share, one, our hope in despair
- one, the cross that we bear