Sermon preached at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, Atlanta, GA
October 30, 2005
When I look back on my spiritual journey, I realize more and more that – above all else – it’s music that has mattered.
The words and melodies of hymns from my childhood are still imprinted on my heart, mind and spirit. They are what formed me. As the child of a long line of Welshman, we’re best known for our singing. I sang in children’s choirs, in the Eisteddfod competitions, and in Gymanfa Ganu hymn festivals where thousands of us would break into deep, four part harmony for hours on end.
So many feelings live in those hymns, most written in minor keys. They’re haunting feelings, simultaneously of tragedy and commitment. For me, there is one hymn that stands out above the rest: Cwm Rhonda, Guide me O Thou Great Jehovah, pilgrim through this barren land.