Newsletter Archives

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.

April 2024 Newsletter (Year B)


This year, the whole month of April is contained within the fifty-day season of Eastertide. One of the great joys of the liturgical calendar is that this season of feasting is longer than the preceding season of fasting. The feast is longer than the fast! This means that throughout April and into May on Sing For Joy, we’ll hear joyful Easter anthems, replete with Alleluias. Our Easter music will take us to South Africa and England, France and the United States, Tanzania and Germany. 

On April 7, we will explore music related to that week’s gospel text, the story from John 20 of Jesus and the disciples after his resurrection. On Easter evening, Jesus comes to visit the disciples, who are huddled together in a locked room. He greets them with words of peace and shows them his hands and his side, proof that it is really him. The disciples rejoice and Jesus departs. For one reason or another, Thomas misses this encounter and has a hard time believing his friends when they tell him they’ve actually seen the risen Jesus with their own eyes. He won’t believe it until Jesus is standing among them again. He needs to see those wounds, the proof of crucifixion, for himself. You probably know the rest of the story: Jesus comes back a week later and Thomas’s wish is granted. Jesus invites Thomas to put his hand in his wounded side. Then, finally, Thomas believes.

I love this story because of how much it deals with bodies. It is one among many reminders throughout the gospels that the way of Jesus is not a way that forsakes the experiences we have in our bodies. We do not live a disembodied life of faith; rather, Jesus invites us to come and see that even he himself has a body that bears the wounds of its trauma and struggle. Jesus meets us in embodied experiences like eating bread and drinking wine; receiving water poured on our heads; singing our praises with lungs full of air and hearts full of joy. 

I recently picked up the newest book by author Cole Arthur Riley, a brilliant book of poetry, liturgies, and reflections, entitled, Black Liturgies: Prayers, Poems, and Meditations for Staying Human. Riley ends her Easter meditation with a breath prayer, which I invite you to try out as part of your own spiritual practice of Easter. We remember during this season that God is present to us in our bodies, minds, and spirits. 

INHALE: God is alive.

EXHALE: And God’s breath is freedom.

INHALE: Liberation comes in a body.

EXHALE: I will honor mine.


Cole Arthur Riley, Black Liturgies: Prayers, Poems, and Meditations for Staying Human. New York: Convergent, 2024. Page 263.

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.

April Playlists and Programs

Interested in reading hymn lyrics as you listen? We recommend, 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.


Col. William Bagwell

Albert and Norma Eickmann

Charles and Sybil Eurey

Arthur and Erna Raap

Patricia Sanderson

Pastor Reg Torrison


Mark E. Hall

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)