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Thursday, December 26, 2013

SongStories 20: New Families (2005, World Library, from "Christ the Icon")

Ahead of Sunday's feast, I thought I briefly share a song about family that I've used on Holy Family for a few years. I didn't have room in our seasonal worship aid this year, so, with rehearsal time crunches anyway, I didn't add it into the mix, but I thought it was appropriate to share the text and my thoughts about it during this season.

“New Families” is a song from Christ the Icon. The text is by Rev. Ruth Duck, a professor of theology at Garrett-Evangelical Seminary in Evanston, attached to Northwestern University. What I loved about her text is that is expands our view of what “family” means, way beyond the customary view of mom and pop and 2.5 children, as lovely as that may be, to various units that embody the creative flow of divine love, people who “with courage make your way” through the world, enfolded by God’s great love. She moves
from one group to another, widening the circle, until we begin to understand, at last, that it is not human generation that makes a holy family, but divine creation. Those who live alone, single parents, foster homes, people committed to the work of reconciliation and unity among nations and peoples, all of these are identified beautifully as family in Dr. Duck’s text. We are family not so much because of who our mother and father or spouse is, but because we are brothers and sisters of Jesus, the son of God, and therefore children of one Father/Mother, brothers and sisters to one another. Here is Dr. Duck’s (copyrighted) text, which I set in “New Families.”

To you and your turtle doves, whoever they may be, merry 2nd day of Christmas!

New Families (WLP page link has audio preview, as does iTunes link)
(Text by Ruth Duck, © 1992 GIA Publications)


This is a song for all who live alone, 

Forming webs of friendship, 

A fam'ly of their own: 

May you weave creative patterns, with courage make your way, 

And may God’s strong love enfold you 

As you greet each dawning day.


his is a song for all who carry on, 

Raising sons and daughters, a partner newly gone. 

May you weave creative patterns, with courage make your way, 

And may God’s strong love enfold you 

As you greet each dawning day.


This is a song for homes of many kinds, 

Offering love's shelter with open hearts and minds. 

May you weave creative patterns, with courage make your way, 

And may God’s strong love enfold you 

As you greet each dawning day.


This is a song for all who labor long, 

Building on this planet a home where all belong. 

May you weave creative patterns, with courage make your way, 

And may God’s strong love enfold you 

As you greet each dawning day.

And may God's strong love enfold you 

As you greet each dawning day.