Singing the “O Antiphons”

Last Sunday, I posted about how moved I was with the communion song at church.  This week, I am sharing again. I managed, barely, not to cry this week, though.

We sang all the verses of Dan Schutte’s “Christ, Circle Round Us”. Sadly, the recording below does not have all the verses.

Schutte based the tune on the chant melody for Salve Regina, giving it a sound that is both traditional and contemporary. The text is based on the “O Antiphons” which are traditionally sung in the last days of Advent. They use the language of the Hebrew Scriptures to evoke the coming of the Messiah. They also incorporate more universal themes of winter solstice, longing for light and new growth.

What strikes me especially this year is the emphasis on hope. Hope is not one of my stronger virtues, but it is one that I need to find in large measure now, with so many challenges facing us.

Sometimes, the right song helps.

the start of Sappho’s Circle

Today was the first meeting of Sappho’s Circle, a women’s poetry workshop group convened by Heather Dorn, whom I first met through the Binghamton Poetry Project of which she is currently director.

We will study women poets, write from prompts, have sessions where we workshop poems by group members to help them revise, and have publication parties where we choose publications to which to submit our poems and send them off – before we get distracted, chicken out, etc.

I am so excited to have another group, along with my regular workshop group and the Binghamton Poetry Project,  to help me become a stronger poet.  I’m also looking forward to being in another circle of women. I have been privileged to belong to other women’s circles over the decades and always find great support, generosity, and understanding within them.

My heartfelt thanks to Heather who has been such a great help to me as a poet. I’m so looking forward to being a part of Sappho’s Circle through the coming year!