STLT#389, Gathered Here

Yesterday, as we closed the New York State Convention of Universalists/Hudson Mohawk Cluster gathering, my colleague Sam Trumbore called for us to sing something together. “What shall we sing?” he asked, looking at me because he knows I do this.

And embarrassingly, my mind went blank. Fortunately, someone else piped up with a song (Come Sing a Song with Me) which went fine, especially when someone jumped up to play it on piano. But I realized I was standing there with a bunch of doxologies and entrance songs in my head, but I couldn’t come up with a closing.

Truth is, today’s song is what popped into my head, truly the opposite of what we needed in that moment. What we needed was a joyful exit… (we got a rather sentimental one, but that’s okay). What this is could be best described as an invitation to deepening.  This is one of my favorite rounds; its deep, rich, minor tones evoke the mystery as much as the words do.

Gathered here in the mystery of the hour.
Gathered here in one strong body.
Gathered here in the struggle and the power.
Spirit, draw near.

We’ve encountered lyrics by liturgist and dancer Phillip A. Porter before, namely in When Darkness Nears; his words there and here evoke a depth that for me feels important, rooted, very first chakra.

And yes, even though I’ve sung it a thousand times, I love it.