Sacred Music: Sweet Honey in the Rock

SweetGroupcouchI first heard the music of Sweet Honey in the Rock as the introduction to a Sunday School class on loving my neighbor. The instructor asked us to listen to the lyrics of the song Would You Harbor Me? and to consider the limits of our own Christian love. Who are you personally willing to harbor? Who are you unwilling to harbor?

Would you harbor me? Would I harbor you?
Would you harbor me? Would I harbor you?

Would you harbor a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew,
A heretic, convict, or spy?
Would you harbor a runaway woman or child,
A poet, a prophet, a king?
Would you harbor an exile or a refugee,
A person living with AIDS?
Would you harbor a Tubman, a Garret, a Truth,
A fugitive or a slave?
Would you harbor a Haitian, Korean, or Czech,
A lesbian or a gay?

Would you harbor me? Would I harbor you

Personal reflection during that Sunday School class some twenty years ago brought me to the realization that I wanted to be a better Christian. The question, Would I harbor you? has served as a touchstone to bring me out of ire and pride when faced with someone I’d prefer to reject as an enemy. Would I harbor you? has helped me to see a brother or sister where initially I saw an enemy.

There are few female voices in the LDS worship experience. Most scriptural words are male. The Christian voice of Sweet Honey in the Rock infuses my LDS worship experience with powerful female voices. I listen to them on the way to church and carry their voices with me through the challenging moments.

Sweet Honey in the Rock are my favorite musical pathway to spirituality, meditation, and reflection. I listen to the album Sacred Ground most frequently, but have too many favorite songs to limit this post to just one.

Wade in the Water invites you to be an active participant in your healing. Get up. Wade into the water. Believe that God will trouble the water.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRpzEnq14Hs

We Are…  echoes in my mind for days every time I listen to these evocative lyrics

For each child that’s born

a morning star rises

and sings to the universe

who we are.

We are our grandmothers’ prayers.

We are our grandfathers’ dreamings.

We are the breath of our ancestors.

We are the spirit of God.

We are

Mothers of courage

Fathers of time

Daughters of dust

Sons of great vision.

We are

Sisters of mercy

Brothers of love

Lovers of life and

the builders of nations.

We are

Seekers of truth

Keepers of faith

Makers of peace and

the wisdom of ages.

We are our grandmothers’ prayers.

We are our grandfathers’ dreamings.

We are the breath of our ancestors.

We are the spirit of God.

For each child that’s born

a morning star rises

and sings to the universe

who we are.

WE ARE ONE.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsEic8ORhqc

The Sweet Honey version of Motherless Child wrecks me. Ugly snot sobbing for my Heavenly Mother when I hear the lyrics, “I can hear her calling me.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1uTIVTwpVI

The song,  There Were No Mirrors in my Nana’s House is a fun introduction to children of the wonder that is Sweet Honey in the Rock. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD57KULeIgg

What are your favorite Sweet Honey in the Rock songs?

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3 Responses

  1. Cherie Pedersen says:

    Thank you for posting this. I heard Sweet Honey in the Rock many years ago and loved the magneticism of their music and personalities. Now I want to listen to more of their powerful messsages through the medium I love best and share with others.

  2. Patty says:

    I followed all the links and thoroughly enjoyed this.

  3. EmilyCC says:

    I haven’t listened to Sweet Honey in the Rock in years, and I had never heard any of these songs but “Wade in the Water” before. Thank you so much for this gift!

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