A Season of Blooms

In this season of blooms,
The hard work
Of birthing, growing, transformation,
Forgotten in the moment of metamorphosis.

God’s miracle of creation
Illustrated in color,
In delicate arrangement
Of petal, pistil, stamen,
Proclaiming life.

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One who created me,
Who shaped me before I was born,
Be in my heart, my mind,
Be in my voice, my hands,
As I step into this new job.
I am yours.

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This week I began a new position at The Upper Room: Director of Prayer and Upper Room Worship Life. I continue to mourn the loss of Weavings and Alive Now, but I remain grateful for the ways these publications shaped me and live on in the person I have become.

Bless to Me Worship Series

I’m so excited! My book was the inspiration for a 7-week worship series available from my friend, Marcia McFee and the Worship Design Studio.

If you are a pastor or worship leader, I hope you’ll consider the “Bless to Me” series for your church or faith community. The series is offered as a part of a “worship design starter kit” from Worship Design Studio. Or if you are already a subscriber to Worship Design Studio, the series is included as a part of your subscription.

“Take a virtual pilgrimage to Ireland this summer with new Worship Design Studio series ‘Bless to Me,’ a joyful exploration of what it means to see blessings in the world around us every day inspired by Beth A. Richardson’s Celtic Blessing poems.” From the “Bless to Me” landing page.

Thanks, Marcia. I’m grateful!


Photo © Beth A. Richardson. Pastoral scene near Taychreggan Inn, Argyll, Scotland. More photos from the Scotland trip.

Easter

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Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
– John 20:18 (NRSV)


Scripture Readings for Easter Sunday (April 15)

Photo Credit: © Beth A. Richardson. Dogwood bloom outside The Upper Room.

Holy Saturday

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They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. … And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
– John 19:40, 42 (NRSV)


Scripture Readings for Holy Saturday (April 14)

Photo Credit: Photo © Beth A. Richardson. The Pietà by Michelangelo housed in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City.

Premier of “Requiem of Remembrance”

Some of you remember the prayer I wrote called “Some Days Are Very Hard.” I wrote it after a Facebook friend posted a response to one of Jack’s funny posts. She said that she appreciated Jack’s humor because “some days are very hard.” That phrase worked on me until it became the prayer that I wrote and which was included in my book.

I shared that prayer with a choir from Los Altos United Methodist Church in Los Altos, California. At the end of the retreat, T. Paul Rosas, the senior organist for the church, asked if he could use the words in a requiem that he was writing to commemorate the lives of family and friends.

He has completed the first segment of the requiem and it will premier tonight at the church’s Maundy Thursday service at 7:30 PDT.

[Update: 9:20 a.m.] [Update #2 — corrected times: 1:45 p.m.] The service will be live streamed from the church’s website. Tune in at 10:30 pm ET, 9:30 CT, and 8:30 MT 7:30 pm Pacific time. But even if you cannot watch, think and pray about the events of this day and of the premier of this beautiful musical piece “”#4 Dies Irae (Some Days Are Very Hard) by T. Paul Rosas. Thank you, Paul and Los Altos United Methodist Church. I’m deeply honored.

Here’s a video of the prayer that I recorded at Iona last year.

Good Friday

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Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.
– Isaiah 53:4-5 (NRSV)


Scripture Readings for Good Friday (April 13)

Photo Credit: © Beth A. Richardson. On the wall near the cemetery in Vernazza, Italy.