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Canticle of the Turning, by Cathy Baskin

By the time you are reading this, we will be two days into 2019. Advent is past, Christmas has come, and Epiphany is upon us; or at least the day of Epiphany is upon us. Even better: maybe you experienced an epiphany of your own in recent weeks?

I received one at a most needed moment. The Friday before Christmas, I was in our Peet’s Coffee shop, sharing table fellowship with my son, Will. We lamented the events of yet another week when it seemed that Decency and Order were losing to Chaos and Carelessness. Our spirits were agitated and getting lower.

In an effort to reorient and cheer ourselves, we made plans for our holiday time together. We decided to listen to Canticle of the Turning, the song that Leah had selected for Will to sing in worship on December 23. It is a contemporary version of Mary’s Magnificat, set to an Irish folk tune. We hadn’t heard it before, though Will recognized the melody. The steady rhythms and lilting music created a growing energy that was embodied in the lyrics:

        Though I am small, my God, my all, you work great things in me,

And your mercy will last from the depths of the past to the end of the age to be.

Your very name puts the proud to shame, and to those who would for you yearn,

You will show your might, put the strong to flight, for the world is about to turn.

As the song worked on me, I felt a surge of hope. I remembered that things are happening that we cannot see. I was reminded that the movement of the Spirit may begin as a trickle here and there; but the unhindered Love and Justice of God can grow into a mighty force that will sweep away Hate and Injustice. I believed in my soul that it was indeed possible that “the world is about to turn.”  

Happy New Year!


Listen here to a recording of Canticle of the Turning, by Gary Daigle, Rory Cooney & Theresa Donohoo. 

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