O Beautiful for Spacious Skies

We sang one of my favorite patriotic songs in church this morning – the hymn commonly known as America, the Beautiful.  In our ELCA Lutheran hymnal, the title is different, as you can see in the picture. Lutherans are careful about avoiding too much patriotism in the church service.

The lyrics to this song were published by Katherine Bates as a poem in 1895. She was inspired by her trip up Pike’s Peak. I went up Pike’s Peak with my husband recently and we saw the same purple mountain majesties and amber waves of grain that Ms. Bates saw. I took picture from the Pike’s Peak Cog Railroad in March of this year. 

But, in church this morning, I had to stop singing halfway through the last verse, because I couldn’t sing through my tears. Today’s America is nothing Katherine Bates could have imagined.

I asked my daughters to help me find a version of this song on YouTube to share with this post.  I love the version they found for me, performed by the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus. Their flashlight work is top notch and the twist ending gave me goosebumps. 

Happy Sunday to you all, and God Bless! 

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