Posts Tagged ‘prayer to turn sorrow to joy’

 

Hallel in Peril

Posted on: August 14th, 2023 by Alden No Comments

As we approach Rosh Chodesh Kislev, Monday evening and Tuesday, how can we recite Hallel — joyous psalms of praise — in fear for the State of Israel and in anguish for the hostages? How can we recite the traditional psalms of praise in these difficult times? The answer: “Hallel in a Minor Key” with music by Sue Radner Horowitz. This full alternative Hallel with sheet music is available free as a PDF download here as our gift. Click on the triangle in the bar below to hear Sue sing the music. The text follows, beneath the download link. For a deeper discussion of how we created the liturgy, click here for article on the CCAR’s RavBlog. (Updated 12 November 2023.)

Hallel in a Minor Key
Praise God from the heights of rejoicing.
Praise God from the depths of despair.
Praise God from the places between.

Praise God when plague stalks our days.
Praise God when fear stalks our nights.
Praise God when the darkness descends.

We sing praises in a minor key,
The key of heartbreak,
With tropes of lamentation,
But still praises,
For beauty has not been lost
And hope has not been defeated,
And love still shines,
A beacon of tomorrow.

הַ֥לְלוּיָהּ הַ֭לְלוּ עַבְדֵ֣י יהוה הַֽ֝לְל֗וּ אֶת־שֵׁ֥ם יהוה׃
Hal’luyah hal’lu avdei Adonai, hal’lu et shem Adonai.
Hallelujah. O servants of Adonai give praise; praise the name of Adonai. (Psalm 113:1)

Praise God from joy and blessing.
Praise God from sorrow and pain.
Praise God from the places between.

Praise God when God feels distant.
Praise God when God feels absent.
Praise God when darkness descends.

We sing praises in a minor key,
The key of heartbreak,
With tropes of lamentation,
But still praises,
For beauty has not been lost
And hope has not been defeated,
And love still shines,
A beacon of tomorrow.

הַ֥לְלוּיָהּ הַ֭לְלוּ עַבְדֵ֣י יהוה הַֽ֝לְל֗וּ אֶת־שֵׁ֥ם יהוה׃
Hal’luyah hal’lu avdei Adonai, hal’lu et shem Adonai.
Hallelujah. O servants of Adonai give praise; praise the name of Adonai. (Psalm 113:1)

____________________

Hallel in a Minor Key” lyrics, © 2021 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com, music © 2021 Sue Radner Horowitz.

Postscript: It was a thrill to work with Sue on this project. Check out her music here. Thanks to my publisher, CCAR Press, for creating the PDF and debuting it on RavBlog, as well as the many individuals who were part of this project. Portions of “Hallel in a Minor Key” were first presented during a Ritualwell online event, “Refuah Shleimah: A Healing Ritual Marking a Year of Pandemic,” and portions were shared in a breakout session at the 2021 Annual CCAR Convention held online. Thanks to both CCAR Press and Ritualwell for sharing the full liturgy. Individual thank yous are shown on the PDF.

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Please check out my CCAR Press Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. The individual books are: This Joyous Soul, This Grateful Heart, and This Precious Life. Here’s a link to my ELItalk, “Falling in Love with Prayer..” For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Hallel in a Minor Key

Posted on: March 25th, 2021 by Alden No Comments

This Hallel is for singing praises in times of struggle or sorrow. “Hallel in a Minor Key” is the name of both the liturgy and the opening song, music by Sue Radner Horowitz. The liturgy — a full alternative Hallel, including Hebrew from each of the Hallel Psalms — is available as a PDF download here, including the sheet music. Listen to the song by clicking on the triangle in the bar below. Follow along with the words, beneath the download link. For a deeper discussion of the development of this liturgy, click here to read an article on the CCAR’s RavBlog.

Hallel in a Minor Key
Praise God from the heights of rejoicing.
Praise God from the depths of despair.
Praise God from the places between.

Praise God when plague stalks our days.
Praise God when fear stalks our nights.
Praise God when the darkness descends.

We sing praises in a minor key,
The key of heartbreak,
With tropes of lamentation,
But still praises,
For beauty has not been lost
And hope has not been defeated,
And love still shines,
A beacon of tomorrow.

הַ֥לְלוּיָהּ הַ֭לְלוּ עַבְדֵ֣י יהוה הַֽ֝לְל֗וּ אֶת־שֵׁ֥ם יהוה׃
Hal’luyah hal’lu avdei Adonai, hal’lu et shem Adonai.
Hallelujah. O servants of Adonai give praise; praise the name of Adonai. (Psalm 113:1)

Praise God from joy and blessing.
Praise God from sorrow and pain.
Praise God from the places between.

Praise God when God feels distant.
Praise God when God feels absent.
Praise God when darkness descends.

We sing praises in a minor key,
The key of heartbreak,
With tropes of lamentation,
But still praises,
For beauty has not been lost
And hope has not been defeated,
And love still shines,
A beacon of tomorrow.

הַ֥לְלוּיָהּ הַ֭לְלוּ עַבְדֵ֣י יהוה הַֽ֝לְל֗וּ אֶת־שֵׁ֥ם יהוה׃
Hal’luyah hal’lu avdei Adonai, hal’lu et shem Adonai.
Hallelujah. O servants of Adonai give praise; praise the name of Adonai. (Psalm 113:1)

____________________

Hallel in a Minor Key” lyrics, © 2021 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com, music © 2021 Sue Radner Horowitz.

Postscript: It was a thrill to work with Sue on this project. Check out her music here. Thanks to my publisher, CCAR Press, for creating the PDF and debuting it on RavBlog, as well as the many individuals who were part of this project. Portions of “Hallel in a Minor Key” were first presented during a Ritualwell online event, “Refuah Shleimah: A Healing Ritual Marking a Year of Pandemic,” and portions were shared in a breakout session at the 2021 Annual CCAR Convention held online. Thanks to both CCAR Press and Ritualwell for sharing the full liturgy. Individual thank yous are shown on the PDF.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

Please check out my CCAR Press Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. The individual books are: This Joyous Soul , This Grateful Heart, and This Precious Life. Here’s a link to my ELItalk, “Falling in Love with Prayer..” For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Spiritual Vandals

Posted on: November 14th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

A song of the Spiritual Traveler, the one who has a profoundly unexpected experience with angels at the gates of mercy. As a result of that one moment, the Spiritual Traveler will never be the same again. This piece appears in This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer from CCAR Press.

Spiritual Vandals
At the gates of an ancient city
A spiritual vandal cracked into my heart.
Stunned,
Expecting the blood of my grief and shame
To sizzle on the hot stone,
Ready to shout,
‘How dare you touch that sacred place,’
I saw a river of light flowing through me.
Starlight. Moonlight. Sunlight. Your light. My light.
Light from the moment of creation.
So much radiance and glory.
Suddenly on my knees,
My forehead on the pilgrim’s path,
I wept.

Now I wait at the gates
For you.
To invite you close,
To let me see the fissure in your heart
Ready to burst,
To touch it with love,
To crack you open
So that you can see the majesty and the beauty
That flows through us all.

Listen,
Dear sisters, dear brothers:
Do not fear the vandals who guard
The gates of mercy.
For mercy is love,
And love is light,
And light seeks light,
And these angels only want to show
That it’s been inside you
All along.

© 2021 CCAR Press from This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer

Postscript: See also “Come Walk.”

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Photo by Alden Solovy

In Sorrow

Posted on: January 31st, 2016 by Alden No Comments

Clouds with Bird SilhoueteThis is new a prayer for moments of sorrow, regardless of whether they’re tied to a particular event – such as a loss or trauma – or are more general feelings of depression or despair. Here’s a related prayer called “Seasons of Sorrow.” Both appear in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day.

In Sorrow
Ancient One,
Send light into this darkness
And hope into this despair.
Send music into this emptiness
And healing into this aching heart.

Air.
All I need is air.
A breath to give oxygen
To the anguish within.
A breath to give voice
To the howl in my heart.
A breath to set me free.

I am undone.
Crushed silent by sorrow.
Bereft by loneliness and loss.
Still yearning for healing.
Still yearning for love.
Still yearning for You.

Ancient One,
Send light into this darkness
And hope into this despair.
Send music into this emptiness
And healing into this aching heart.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day

Postscript: This is one of the few prayers in which I use the same language for the opening and closing stanzas.

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Photo Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Digital Library

Hard Mournings

Posted on: August 9th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

YahrzeitThis is a prayer about the rhythm of mourning. Those first days – perhaps months or more – are often reminders of sorrow, emptiness and loneliness, especially in the quiet times. The closing line is a reference to Psalm 30:12: “You turned my mourning into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.” This piece appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Hard Mournings
Mornings are the toughest,
That between time
When I’m not quite awake,
When my mind settles
Back to the familiarity and
The certainty of you.
Until I remember your passing.
Hard mornings,
Hard mournings,
Blend into evenings
Of solitude and sorrow.

Perhaps I’m wrong.
Evenings are the problem,
When the quiet crushes my breath
And the growing darkness
Shadows my heart
Until blessed sleep
Descends from heaven.

Mornings are the toughest
New beginnings,
Each day an echo of loss.
Evenings are the roughest reminders
Of your absence.
Each night a hollow silence,
Emptiness in the space you once held.

One day
I will breathe again.
The Soul of the Universe
Will turn my sorrow into dancing.
I will remove this sackcloth
And live again.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day

Postscript: Here’s an annotated list of my yizkor, memorial and mourning prayers.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Nahalot

Season of Sorrow

Posted on: May 16th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

Sad_WomanThis is a prayer to turn seasons of sorrow into seasons of hope. Many of my friends appear to have a season that they associate with sorrow, a time when endings and bad moments appear to cluster. I wrote this in late March, thinking about the third anniversary of Ami’s z”l death. I’ve come to think of April as my season of loss. But I also met her in late April, just after my birthday. Two huge gains. Why did I let my sorrows define the season? This appears in my book, This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day.

Season of Sorrow
This is my season of sorrow.
A time when struggles recur and challenges arrive,
A time of endings and distress.
In this season I’ve known
Moments of pain,
Moments of sadness,
Moments of confusion.
Times of loss and
Times of grief,
Moments that stripped me of wisdom
And left me crushed and breathless,
Cold and in deepening shadow.

Holy One,
Help me recall my seasons of joy,
To recall with hope and praise
Your gifts and blessings.
Moments of laughter.
Moments of kindness.
Moments of peace.
Times of health. Times of clarity.
Moments that lifted my spirit
And comforted my heart.

In truth,
These joys and sorrows
Are gifts of holiness,
Gifts of mystery,
Gifts beyond my wisdom,
My knowledge,
My understanding.

Rock and Redeemer,
You are my comfort and my strength,
My light and my truth.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers For a New Day

Postscript: Here are other prayers about transitions and transformations: “Leaving,” “River” “Rhythms” and “Transitions.”

Please check out my Meet the Author video and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

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