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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Lutheran hymn helps national healing

As people have sought comfort in the prayers and music of churches, one contemporary Lutheran hymn received prominent airplay from coast to coast.

On Sept. 14, National Public Radio' s All Things Considered closed a segment on memorial services with a verse from Marty Haugen's hymn, "Healer of Our Every Ill" (With One Voice, 738). Haugen's hymn speaks to personal and community healing, after another national tragedy — the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986.

"I'm convinced that people need to have something to sing when the world is falling apart," Haugen said. Liturgical songs of sorrow and lament help people to process their emotions and connect with God and one another, he says. NPR recorded the hymn at an ecumenical worship service at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Those with fast Internet connections can access the segment by clicking on "Memorial Services" at http://www.npr.org/news/specials/americatransformed/audio/010914.audio.html.


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