Vespers, Parts III and IV

Vespers Part III

I am a bad singer.  I feel rhythm and cadence but can’t hear if I am on key or not.  There is no one in the pew in front of me.  I cast a glance to my side- no one behind me either.  Good.  I sing.

Da pacem cordium

(Give peace to every heart)

We sing it many times, varying tune and phrasing.

I close my eyes like a child who thinks if I can’t see, no one can see me.


Vespers Part IV

My favorite verse in the service tonight:

When the world is sick, can’t no one be well,

But I dreamt we was all beautiful and strong.

So many kinds of sickness, and the verse is filling my head with sorrows.  But the song is a slow and a strong one.  We sing it’s two lines and we start to get louder.  Louder and clearer.  Clearer and stronger.  We are snapping the “k” at the end of sick.  We are embracing the phrase “can’t no one be well.” We are giving emphasis to “dreamt” and enunciating the end “t.” We are lingering over the last word “strong.” We sing it so many times we are creating a kind of power in the sanctuary.  As this song winds down I realize I don’t want it to stop.

Alone in my little car driving home I will sing it again.  At first I am afraid I have forgotten the tune.  My voice is weak and uncertain.  I find the tune and I know I am right.  I find my breath.  I increase my volume.  I sing all the way home.  Me, who cannot sing.


7 thoughts on “Vespers, Parts III and IV

  1. Raise you voice to the Lord. Who cares if you can carry the tune, your voice is still an instrument to peace and love. Chanting is something I’ve taken on just recently and I find that I usually invent the tune. That’s where the spirit moves me.


  2. You share so honestly, first looking around and then joining in the song. Then singing alone in the car on the way home! And as you drive back home, I’m reminded of your drive to church.
    And now as the reader, I feel hope.
    So glad I could read and enjoy all four parts of this story.
    It works well as a series!

    I wonder if we will ever return to series writing? I recall a story shared in installments in the Washington Post back in the 90s that I’d read weekly with my students. Now we seem to be more of a binge-stream society, wanting to take in all episodes in one long day. Thanks for letting me enjoy your story, bit by bit. (Even though I’ll admit, I did “binge” them on a Sat!)


  3. “(Give peace to every heart)” A peaceful heart – something we all need. Glad you found your voice. Somehow I don’t think God minds if we sing off key. I would be in big trouble if He did.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel so blessed when the music from church stays in my heart on the drive home, throughout the day, while I’m making dinner and when I finally lay down. Music stays with us and forces us to praise God all day. (I’m not a singer either.)


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