". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Thursday, September 22, 2011


This is Horla. She lives in Brazzaville-Congo, where my husband has recently spent over a week teaching liturgy and hymnody to French-speaking African Lutherans using the (relatively) new hymnal from the Lutheran Church in Canada: Liturgies et cantiques luthériens.

Horla was an attendee at the conference my husband led. She lives in the church/parsonage where the conference was held, having been taken in by the pastor when she was forced to leave her home (for reasons unknown). She earns her keep by helping out around the church and house, so at times she missed part of the conference. On the other hand, since she lives at the parsonage, she benefited from having greater access to the hymnals, which were kept at church when people went home for the night.

Towards the end of his time in Brazzaville, my husband was singing with a group of women and asked for requests. Horla selected "Humble et doux Jésus" which we know as "O Jesus So Sweet, O Jesus So Mild." This hymn was not taught during the conference; Horla had discovered it on her own. Phillip taught it to her in short order and then videotaped this conversation with her. At the end of the interview he prevails upon her to sing the hymn, even though, as you will observe, she is shy about doing so at first. I invite you to watch. I think you will agree that she does a beautiful job, as do the ladies who join in for later stanzas.


Ewe said...

Guess what hymn my boys are singing this morning as they play after I read blogs?

Anonymous said...