Today's Musical Musings in inspired by yesterday's Gospel reading of Jesus' baptism in the River Jordan by John the Baptist--for liturgical churches, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
First up is an old video of Dolly Parton singing "Shall We Gather at the River?" My parish sang this yesterday as a new baby, its parents, and the clergy processed to the font.
The hymn was written by Robert Lowry (March 12, 1826 - November 25, 1899) was an American professor of literature, a Baptist minister and composer of gospel hymns.
Next up is a very Catholic video of St. Louis Jesuit John Foley's "Come to the Water." It's based on the beautiful text from Isaiah and frequently sung at Catholic baptisms. We sang this reflectively at my eldest daughter's baptism (while she was being dried and dressed in her white garment after being immersed) but here Matt Maher rocks it out. You'll need to click on the link above as embedding wouldn't cooperate.
Mainline Protestant congregations often sing "Borning Cry" at baptisms and other life transition rituals. (Which means some folks in that setting are sick to death of it, but I rather like it).
Finally, it's back to the evangelical world with a very different "Come to the Water," by Marsha Stevens-Pino. We used to sing this at campfires in college. She was part of the 70s Jesus movement and a very popular composer until she came out as a lesbian; now a major focus of her ministry is letting other Christian gays and lesbians know that God loves them just as they are. This video combines modern and vintage footage of the song with a little bit of her story.
What songs do you and your congregation love to sing at baptisms?