Pilgrimage Songs—Echoes of the Journey

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERALast week I began blogging about pilgrimage and Christian identity. An unexpected benefit from my first post was friends and readers responding with songs on the pilgrimage theme. I loved this, because music is visceral; the fact that these songs came so readily to people’s minds means that pilgrimage really resonates with us today. It’s an image of longing and also of hope; we wander a sometimes barren land yet we know we’re on our way home.

I collected the pilgrimage songs here. Listen to them, read them, and rejoice that you are on the road.

My Twitter friend Marguerite points us to a favorite hymn, He Who Would Valiant Be. It contains the words,

There’s no discouragement shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent to be a pilgrim.

Tim Fall was reminded of I Am A Pilgrim And A Stranger. Tim also tweeted what he called “music for the pilgrimage of Christ” by Soul Stirrers—I’m A Pilgrim.

From Sophie comes a song she learned on the Camino de Santiago—Ultreia, a French chant sung by pilgrims following the Way of Saint James. I really like this one. I’ve had it on repeat for much of the week!

Debra Elramey let me know about a song she wrote. Her beautiful words echo the pilgrimage of life theme:

Looking unto Jesus
to his saving grace
Looking for a city
where he’s prepared a place

Looking unto Jesus
we can run the race
Knowing he’s the author
And perfecter of our faith.

Now we just need to get Debra to sing this for us!

Finally, check out this post by Mark Whiting (Psalter Mark) on The Journey Motif in Life, Art and Scripture. Mark discusses the language of journeying in popular culture and the Bible. This includes several psalms that he calls psalms of pilgrimage, which were “likely to have been used during pilgrimage to Jerusalem during the various Jewish festivals.” Psalm 84 is an example:

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
    whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
    they make it a place of springs;
    the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
    till each appears before God in Zion.

I’ve really enjoyed these songs, and I hope you do, too. Have you seen (or heard) other pilgrimage echoes this week?

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