Monday, October 4, 2010

hymn-singing with garrison keillor

OK, I wasn't quite "singing". I don't do that. But I do listen.

And it was billed as "an old-fashioned hymn-sing", held at our church yesterday afternoon, led by Garrison Keillor, author and host of the radio program A Prairie Home Companion. I guess it was sort of a tip of the hat to "the evangelicals" in this decidely non-evangelical church.

Garrison grew up in a fundamentalist evangelical church, as did I and as did the music director of our church, and we're apparently still all "in recovery" from those days. Yet it felt sort of good to hear some familiar songs (I knew them all by heart), even though they are full of "blood" and "sin" and all the buzz words related to guilt. "If any of you grew up hearing rough preaching," Garrison told the audience, "this may be emotional for you." And maybe it was, a little, even though there is for me a total dis-connect theologically between me and these hymns. I think for most of the people there, though, these 150ish-year-old gospel songs were brand new.

Garrison Keillor seemed a lot older and more feeble than the last time I saw him, four years ago, by the way. I wonder if he would think the same about me!

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