This Month's Newsletter

The monthly Sing For Joy newsletter contains a letter from the program's host, Rev. Alexandra M. Jacob, along with a listing of music selections for each program and the corresponding scripture readings. If you'd like to receive a complimentary subscription, fill out our online request form to subscribe.

August 2022 Newsletter (Year C)

MARY'S MAGNIFICAT

"Mary's words are both a balm of comfort and a call to action."

During the week of August 14, many Christian traditions will celebrate the Feast Day of Mary, Mother of Our Lord. Although feast days are less prominent in mainline Protestant circles than they are in the Catholic Church, these days are worth celebrating! Feast days offer us the chance to give thanks for a particular spiritual ancestor, remembering all that they did to encourage generations of believers through their lives of faith.

That the feast day of Mary falls during the summertime is a special joy. We hear an awful lot about Mary during Advent as we prepare for the birth of Jesus. In the other seasons of the Church year? Not so much! This mid-August celebration of Mary invites us into her remarkable role in God's story of salvation history.

One of the most remarkable moments in Mary's story comes in Luke chapter 1. Mary, newly pregnant and just visited by a mysterious angel, visits her cousin Elizabeth, who is also pregnant. The two marvel over the reality of their pregnancies, and Elizabeth's child leaps for joy in her womb! She proclaims, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb" (Luke 1:42b). Mary's response to this proclamation of joy is her song, often called the Magnificat, recorded in Luke 1:46-55.

Mary's song speaks to a world turned upside down: hungry ones receive food, while rich ones are sent away empty; lowly ones are brought high, while powerful ones are brought down from their thrones. The child in Mary's womb is the one who will fulfill these powerful visions of God's justice, and the Magnificat foreshadows this reality. 

These days, I find a great deal of comfort in Mary's song. When I scroll through my news app and read of the latest tragedy of gun violence locally or across the country, I long for Mary's vision of a world turned upside down. When I hear about how global economic struggles disproportionately impact poorer communities and communities of color, I long for Mary's vision of a world where justice — God's justice — comes to fruition. Mary's words are both a balm of comfort and a call to action. They invite us to partner with that child in Mary's womb who will come to share a vision of God's love in action.

In many traditions, the Magnificat is sung on a weekly basis in Christian worship. In the August 14 program of Sing For Joy, we will hear one among countless musical settings of the Magnificat, this one by English composer Herbert Brewer. I hope you will join us for that program and for all of the programs throughout this month as we hear music that brings the words of scripture to life, again and again.

Peace be with you,

Rev. Alexandra M. Jacob

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Sing For Joy is supported by listeners like you. All gifts go directly towards our operating budget that makes Sing For Joy possible. To become a sustaining supporter, check the "recurring gift" option on our online giving form.

August Playlists and Programs

Interested in reading hymn lyrics as you listen? We recommend hymnary.org, where you can search by hymn name, composer, and more.

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Lanterns in Boe Chapel

Memorials and Honorariums

Thank you for your gifts in memory and honor of those close to your heart.

IN MEMORY OF:

Rebecca Bingham Carnes
Paul R. De Maagd
Lauren "Bud" Egdahl '50
Albert and Norma Eickmann
Kyria Madany-Klein
Mrs. Thelma S. Price
Arthur and Erna Raap
Howard Thorsheim
The victims of Uvalde, TX

IN HONOR OF:

Pastor Bruce Benson (5 gifts)
Dr. John Ferguson
Martha Mayo

To include an honorarium or memorial when you give to Sing For Joy, simply include the name(s) and occasion(s) in the comment box, as well as who should receive an acknowledgement letter and their street or email address.

Sing For Joy is sponsored by:

Sukup Manufacturing Co., St. Olaf College, and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA)