"Through all the tumult and the strife, I hear its music ringing.
It sounds and echoes in my soul, how can I keep from singing?"

Sounds and echoes. . . .

Nineteen years,
38 semesters,
494 weeks,
One thousand six hundred seventy two worship services.
Two thousand four hundred seventy loaves of bread,
Cases and cases of juice and wine,
Reams of paper,
Sermons and prayers. . .
Millions and millions of words.

Each time the community gathers,
(’The Lord be with you; and also with you.’)
hymns and songs,
anthems, service music, selections,
organ voluntaries, instrumental praise.

Songs upon songs sounded in this place:
Bach and blues and bluegrass;
Victorian tunes and Hillsong praise.
Revival melodies and Renaissance motets,
Chant modes and gospel rhythms.
English, Latin, Shona, Swahili, Russian, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Korean.

Sounding, sounding:
Tones of Lament
Shouts of praise,
Moans and confessions,
Kyrie eleison,
Alleluia, alleluia!
Clapping, dancing, coming to the feast.

Sounding, sounding:
In celebration and desperation,
In challenge and commitment
In invitation and welcome
In the embrace of farewell

Sounding, sounding:
Released from hearts full of joy,
from throats constricted with grief.

Sounding, sounding:
from your own lips,
from our own breath,
gone out to all the lands.

Gone out.
Released into the void?
Evaporating in the air?
Lost in the vaults overhead?

Listen! Echoes. . .
The song does not sound alone from this place,
nor end in silence when the room is emptied.

Listen! Echoes. . .
Repeating,
Reverberating,
Re-sounding.

The Endless Song, begun in the One Endless Source
then sounded in this place
begins the echo heard in every place;
and the echoes from all the sounds in this place
become the songs in other places.

In those voices gathered, those sounds released
the song is enlivened again.
New voices join--
the harmony is rich, the notes are true,
and the words are shaped in every heart language.

In endless song.
Above earth’s lamentation. . . .
Endless song. . .
Through tumult and strife. . . . .
Endless song. . .
In gratitude and thanksgiving.
Endless song. . .
Sounds and echoes,
Echoes and sounds
How can I keep from singing?