“Thank you for the music. The songs I’m singing. Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing. Who can live without it? I ask in all honesty. What would life be? Without a song or a dance, what are we? So, I say thank you for the music, for giving it to me.” —ABBA
For our Fall All Music Sunday, we brought forth our songs of gratitude for the abundance of our lives. We expressed our gratitude for “this precious day,” as goes our November hymn of the month, and “for all gathered here and those far away.” Our UUCCH musicians felt called to share that for which they are most thankful:
- for their children and grandchildren,
- for their friends and musical community,
- for their families and loving partners,
- and for the kindness and generosity of this faith community.
It is easy to be thankful for the love of our kindred family and friends, but gratitude is not always easy. In difficult and challenging times, we may lose our way, we may lose our “Thank You.”
This year we have mourned the loss of being able to sing together, of being able to gather in community as we once had. We have lost opportunities, experiences, jobs, and loved ones.
During this time of uncertainty and ever-changing news, we have had to learn to see hardships as opportunities for growth and gratitude. We have been given the opportunity for a new understanding of gratitude. How do we make a conscious decision to turn toward gratitude and embrace all that is our lives?
We find new ways.
At this time I am reminded that music is much more than singing together. I believe in music as both modern medicine and ancient art. I believe in the power of music to help and to heal, to soothe and to civilize, to inspire and to invigorate. In our tired togetherness, in our communal celebrations, and in our time intentionally apart in our respective places (over Zoom), music sings to who we are as Unitarian Universalists and what we need for our future together. Music has the ability to empower us and fulfill those needs: to continue the work that calls us on, to process what is happening in our world, and to experience the profound power of connection that comes from making music together, though we may be physically apart. The connection and the community look different now. But we do what we need to do to make it work. We continue this work together. We learn and we grow. Through our shared music we make connections to the stories of our past, to our living breath in the present moment, and to our hope for the future.
During this challenging time, may we find the courage, gratitude, and the peace to sing a new song into a new year.