Chant for the Seasons

Chant for the Seasons is  #73 in the Unitarian song book Singing the Living Tradition.

Lyrics are by UU minister Rev. Mark Belletini. Lyrics are here. Lovely, aren’t they?

Grace Lewis-McLaren has adapted a Czech tune Praha for the song.

The video below is all I could find on youtube, but it will give you the idea of the rhythm if you’re not familiar with the tune.

Now we just need someone to choreograph this. Preferably before Beltane.

Here’s a self-confessed fangirl who wrote an ode to Mark Belletini.

What I know is that Belletini’s birthday is the same day as Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed and Rev. Linda Thomson both of whom I worked with at the Canadian Unitarian Council.


Joyce Poley would be very happy to have her songs choreographed for circle dancing

I wasn’t sure of the protocol of using people’s original songs for a dance, so when I started thinking I’d like to dance One More Step and When My Heart Is In a Holy Place, I thought I’d just contact composer Joyce Poley and ask her what she thought.  She’s delighted with the idea and supportive and while curious doesn’t feel she needs input on the steps.

SingingtheLivingTradition SingingtheJourneyThese two songs are in Singing the Living Tradition and Singing the Journey, Unitarian song books.


Congratulations to Joyce Poley, winner of 2014 Silliman Hymn People’s Choice Award.

For Keepers of the Earth

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Carry the Flame of Peace and Love Until we meet again! – Thanks for the mp3 so we can dance to it!

Every Sunday, well, most Sundays, for nearly 25 years now, I’ve held hands with the people beside me at the Unitarian Church and sang, “Carry the flame of peace and love until we meet again.”

Often in recent years I look around and smile and nod at some of the people I know and also notice those who I’ve never met. In a large congregation it’s easy not to notice that there are always people I’ve never met.

So when I prepared for a Unitarian circle dance for the Canadian Unitarian Council conference back in 2010, I was glad that our pianist and music assistant, Elliott, was willing to record the music for me.

I think we did a grapevine at the time, but Tracy had a better idea. Wish I could remember what it was.


Enter, Rejoice and Come In

This song can be danced with the instructions for Brighid’s Jig found at:

Here are youtube renditions of Enter, Rejoice and Come In

Just google “Enter, rejoice and come in” and click “videos” and you’ll find a lot more offerings.

As the “leading edge of the unchurched”, I’m always surprised to find a “Unitarian” (quote-unquote) song is originally a gospel song. We seem to have replaced, “Open your hearts to the Lord” with “Open your hearts everyone.” And then made less subtle shifts.

Although this posts claims it as Unitarian but the author notes they sang different words at Catholic Sunday School.



Spirit of Life

This is a very popular song in Unitarian congregations (as easy as 1, 2, 3 as in it’s #123 in Singing the Living Tradition).

Denise has choreographed it and will be leading it on the 1st Tuesday at UCV.

Here are some links you might find interesting.

Wikipedia entry

List of songs in the Unitarian hymnal Singing the Living Tradition

Sung by All Soul’s Choir youtube video


An article about the song and its composer, Carolyn McDade, in UU World, the magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

If you’ve heard additional verses, know that Carolyn does not approve.

A few years back, some friction heated up between McDade and “Spirit of Life” enthusiasts. UU members had written several additional verses to sing in their churches. McDade asked them to stop. “My feeling was, you need to find your own melody. Don’t lose what you want to sing, but find a way to make it yours.”

Come, Come, Whoever You Are

Mevlana_Celaleddini_Rumi_by_EmtilaKaren has choreographed this song and we plan to use it as the first dance at the Winter Women’s Gathering on January 3 – and possibly as an opening “theme song” for Darlene and Mary collaborations in the future.

Thank you to Elliot and choir for recording a rendition for us.

This song is #188 in the Unitarian hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition. The only recording we found online were difficult to dance to and a different rendition from what we sing at UCV.


Dancing to Unitarian Songs

Last night, I rehearsed the dances that we’ll do at the CUC Conference workshop. We have choreographed or adapted dances for the following:

Come Sing a Song With Me (pilgrim’s step)
Enter, Rejoice and Come In (slight adaptation of Brigitte’s Jig)
Let It Be a Dance (choreographed by Corinne Chepil)
Wake Now My Senses (slight adaptation of Winds on the Tor)
Spirit of Life (choreographed by Denise Nereida)
Carry the Flame (grapevine)

35 people have registered for the workshop, but we have a large room, so we’ll make it work.