Living Psalm 96–Christmas Day C

Living Psalms Book

Psalms in the form of words and art, reborn in the specific contexts of our world, privileging the voices of historically marginalized communities and those acting in solidarity with them.

Living Psalm 96—Christmas C

After so many months of singing alone,
I cannot be the only one to listen to a hymn
with tears in my eyes. The pews around me
are not full, of course. We are still masked,
and some weeks, we worship from afar,
in solitude, awaiting a star.

But there is a glimmer, a shining
resilient strand of joy that loops
us together after all these months –
the voices raised, the strains of an organ
or piano, a guitar. It is a flute solo,
or a violin, hesitantly played by fingers
that can barely reach the notes.

It is the choir, projected on a screen above us,
and the sound of my son whispering after each song
I love that one.
I love that one too. I love them all, even the ones
I used to hate. I lose myself in the familiar melodies,
in the words whispered behind cloth, a secret prayer
for Emmanuel, God with us, God within.

Living Psalm 96—Christmas C was created by Maria Mankin.
Living Psalms Book is created by UCC Witness & Worship Artists’ Group, a Network of UCC connected artists, activists and ministers bridging the worship and liturgy of the local church with witness and action in the community. Editor, Maren Tirabassi.

Logo is detail from Living Psalm 80 by Sophia Beardemphl, Redwoods, CA. Recovering from significant bullying, Sophia, age nine, read Psalm 80 and thought of brokenness that needs mending. She drew this broken and mended bowl.

© Copyright 2021 Maria Mankin. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.

Living Psalm 96–Christmas Day C