The Reverb Collective

Singable, Moving, Congregational Songs

An Alternative Hymnal For The Church

Featured Music

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Anna Elisabeth Daley

Anna Elisabeth Daley is a violinist, singer and songwriter from Seattle, Washington. She writes for congregational singing with Church of the Apostles and is a part of the group, Poor Clare.

December 11, 2023

A Song for Walking with the Magi toward Christ

Hey, folks! I’d like to introduce you to a wonderful hymn by Lacey Brown, “Follow the Star.” It works well for Advent, Christmas, or Epiphany, as it sings from the point of view of the magi, making their way to the Christ child. It’s especially nice as a Gospel Verse or Sequence Hymn, sung before the reading of the Gospel, as we travel imaginatively to witness God’s word ourselves. On the first line, “the star shines bright: we must pack light,” the word “bright” is sung on a long, easily held note with a lilt at the end to make it special, and “we must pack light” is a simple, descending pentatonic that gives a sense of putting things down. Truthfully, on any spiritual journey — and certainly the one we make to hear the Gospel — the less excess baggage we bring, the better. The next line, “become a fool to become wise,” picks up this theme, with “fool” as the held note with a lilt and “to become wise” as the descending pentatonic. It’s an invitation to bring beginner’s mind to hearing God’s word, or to entering silence, or to beginning our work in the world. The next pair is one line repeated and allows us to envision the nighttime scene, as well as to hear and sing the central witness to Christ, “In the dark, there lives a spark.” Then the pace picks up as the refrain begins, “Follow the star, bright in the sky to light our path with hope and joy.” I could go on, but it’s probably better for you to hear it, which you can do here. It’s easily learned and led, easily sung the first time by the assembly without rehearsal, and an excellent help in opening to God’s word. Grace and peace, John Tirro