[papercraft art by Jodi Harvey-Brown]
As I've mentioned before on this blog, certain Christian hymns and devotional music still resonate strongly with me, despite the fact that I have not been a believing or practising Christian for over 35 years. Part of this is due to fond childhood and cultural memories, but more of it is simply due to loving the beauty and profundity of genuine spiritual expression in music, no matter its source.
My taste in devotional music definitely leans towards the joyous expression of love, hope, gratitude and praise, rather than militant expressions of religious supremacy or grim dirges of punishment for sin. Monty Python's God best summed up the value of those particular songs --
God: What are you doing now?
King Arthur: I’m averting my eyes, oh Lord.
God: Well, don’t. It’s just like those miserable psalms, they’re so depressing. Now knock it off!
So I'm starting a new series of periodic posts highlighting some of my favourite hymns, both old and new. And by "new" hymns, I mean modern songs from contemporary singer/songwriters who express deep spiritual longing and truth in popular music without using explicit Christian imagery. I'm sure I'll throw in a few of my favourite pagan and Goddess songs and chants too.
I've been meaning to do this series for a long time. And now that time is here! But don't worry, I'll still be posting lots of other things too.