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.

February 2024 Newsletter (Year B)

LOVE AND LENT

This year, the liturgical and secular calendars intersect in quite an interesting way: Ash Wednesday is on February 14, Valentine’s Day! This happens every now and then — Ash Wednesday is what we call a “moveable feast,” dependent upon the placement of Easter rather than falling on the same calendar date each year. I have seen a flurry of social media activity in the past weeks, with churchy folks both poking fun at the strange convergence of holidays and pontificating about the possible connections between the two. One pastor photoshopped Lenten messages onto a photo of Valentine’s “conversation hearts,” those chalky heart-shaped candies that usually say things like, “B Mine” or “XOXO.” This photoshopped version showed hearts that read, “2 Dust” and “Repent!”

All jokes aside, I do love it when the liturgical calendar intersects with the secular calendar in interesting ways. When these diverse ways of marking time intertwine with one another, we may notice new things about God, ourselves, and the world. This year, I will hold particularly close the ways that our Ash Wednesday observances remind us of God’s love. While we celebrate love on Valentine’s Day, the love of Hallmark cards and conversation hearts is a mere shadow of the love of God in Jesus Christ. That doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate Valentine’s Day — I love chocolate as much as the next girl! — but it does mean that this year, our celebration converges with Ash Wednesday in a way that might open us up to a new experience of the day.

Different denominations and congregations celebrate Ash Wednesday in different ways, but for many Christians across the world, we mark the day with a reminder of our mortality. We receive an ashen cross on our foreheads, and hear the words, “from dust you have come; to dust you shall return.” There is no beating around the bush on Ash Wednesday; we live in a broken and hurting world, and we will not make it out of this world alive. The good news is that God’s love goes with us, no matter what. God’s love is deep, wide, and abiding, embracing us in this life and into the next.

I hope you will tune in to Sing For Joy throughout this Lenten season for music that reminds us of God’s abiding love. Blessings to you as you move through Lent, however you and your community observe the season!

Peace be with you,

Rev. Alexandra M. Jacob

Program Host, Sing For Joy

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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.

February 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.

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:

Jim Braulick, my husband

Albert and Norma Eickmann

my husband Rev. John S. Erbelding

Husband

Patricia Idler

Kenneth Jennings

Audrey Johnson

BJ and Sigrid Johnson

Kyria Madany-Klein

Alice Larsen

Annette Meyer

Ruth Borge Senjem Mohn

Richard Pearson

Arthur and Erna Raap

Dr. Alvin Rueter and Dr. Ted Rueter

Robert Scholz

Rev. A. D. Tice

Jean Ellen White


IN HONOR OF:

David Arcus

Bruce Benson

Dr. Charles Echols

Nathan and Marlene Eickmann

John Ferguson

Peggy Fortner

my sister Martha Mayo

Ralph and Sonia Mills

Lyle Rich

Rev. Dr. Gary Scheidt

Mary E. Sukup

Linda Tokoi

Barbara Zippel

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. Due to editorial lead times, Honorariums and Memorials will appear in the Sing For Joy newsletter two months following our receipt of the gift. 

Sing For Joy is sponsored by:

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