• Richard Bruxvoort Colligan is a Psalmist from small-town Iow. He was a participant at Music That Makes Community in Minneapolis in 2014. He serves events across denominations and publishes via PsalmImmersion.com. 



    Epiphany is one of my favorite liturgical seasons because its very theme points to participation: manifest this Holy Presence that we have longed for in Advent and have celebrated at Christmas. 

    A paperless song holds the possibility of full engagement by the community, leaving no one out because of reading ability. A few years ago, when I was part of Marcia McFee's Worship Design Studio podcast, I was craving that full-participation feeling on behalf of my community. That's how "Your Light Has Come" arrived as a kind of processional chant. 

    The lyrics hover around Isaiah 60, a text that hits "refresh" on the screens of our imaginations: "Pay attention. Something big is happening and you are part of it!" "Your Light Has Come" intents to help us be in touch with that invitation and call. 

           Lift your head, raise your eyes, look around:
                Your light has come! Your light has come!
           Light the world, heal the earth, bear the Christ:
               Your light has come! Your light has come!

    Lyrically, it's about compassion, ecology, justice, hope-- the eschatological reality of the "kingdom of God" we ache for as the "now and not yet." 

    The act of singing together brings the taste of the delicious Not Yet into the Now.

    This particular song has a simple melody with rotating chords that allow a canon. I love canons and rounds that allow a community to experience words in swirling ways-- the thing you are singing plus the thing you are hearing, flowing together in a vibrant rainbow of diverse voices.

    In the mystery of spiritual community, your vocation as a songleader brings the community's intention into focus. Your energy, your voice, your caring leadership-- they all animate the assembly to do what they came to do-- enact the ever-emerging presence of the Holy.

    May your New Year be refreshed with hope, and your community's Epiphany be full of song.

     


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    • commented 2016-01-12 02:56:40 -0500
      The 9am service folks at St. Mary’s Episcopal, St. Paul, MN sang this at the tailend of communion last Sunday. We gather around the altar for the liturgy of the table and as we were singing it the last time through (no round this week), I was very intentional about looking in the eyes of the faces that braved the frigid winter that morning as I was turning around. In a magical improvised dance that can’t be rehearsed, the band’s support became feather light, we sang as one voice, and I whirled like a dervish in the delight of God who became flesh among us.

      Richard, many thanks for sharing this little Epiphany round so long ago. We have used it many times and it continues to bless us.

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