I have a confession to make. I miss things like the Doxology and hymns from church when I was a kid. Pagan don’t really have any good hymns except bastardized hymns like “Heretic Heart” which when I was a kid was “I sing the almighty power of God” and I always have to shift mental gears to sing it.
But I really miss my three favourite hymns, “For the Beauty of the Earth”, This is my Father’s World” and “Be Thou My Vision.” You can sort of sing all three as a pagan with substitution of certain words like Mother for Father but for someone who grew up singing every Sunday in a church choir once we got to a certain age it’s a hard thing to miss. I started in church choir in 3rd grade but I didn’t sing every Sunday until I got to 6th grade and joined Wylie Chapel Choir. Wylie Chapel Choir was the choir that sang in Junior Church. Junior Church was a kids service that happened every Sunday led my Pastor Jim. The kids that went to it were the kids whose parents had to be in second service like Elders, the adult choir, ushers, minister’s kids, parents in adult Sunday School who went to the 1st service in big church.
Junior church was exactly like big church in liturgy but with kid friendly sermons and a choir full of imps that were mostly the children of the afore mentioned adults. I guess it kept us from doing our summer activities year round. Things like climbing the belfry, getting up behind the organ pipes in the attic and peering over into church during the service and playing hide and seek in the basement. It didn’t stop me from taking out a loose nail in the choir pew and nailing Jerry’s cotta to the pew during the service because he was annoying the crap out of me. They just thought he’d caught it on a nail when the big ripping sound went. Not that I had quite carefully removed it and put it back through the material all while he sat there oblivious and unless he reads my blog he will never know. And I’m not sorry because he was being a pill that day.
I loved Junior Church. Pastor Jim had the coolest sermons and if you could answer a question you got cool prizes like a weather balloon or the bullfrog I was exceedingly delighted to win, mom not so much. Pastor Jim was the worst practical joker I ever met as a kid and gave me all sorts of ideas when I became a camp staff. He got me in the commission of many crimes as a kid. He said he could think like us. Although once he caught me and didn’t realize we were in the commission of a crime and we still ended up locked out and having to wake someone to let us in.
But back to hymns, I miss them. There is something about singing hymns that pagans haven’t gotten yet and may never because a lot of pagans have no church background. So I sing “This is my Mother’s World” in the car. I remember being delighted that “Song of the Soul” by Cris Williamson started with one of my childhood hymns and none of the other dykes knew it. “Open my eyes, that I may see.” It felt like Cris and my secret.