In 2005, I decided to start writing with the lectionary. I wrote a page with each passage each week. In 2008, I decided to see what I noticed when I combined the Hebrew Bible passage with the Gospel and the Epistle with the Gospel. I also wrote prayer/poems with the news and tried to write hymn lyrics. In 2011, I wrote with the Hebrew Bible and Epistle.
As a fluke of when I went to seminary, the three year cycle kept rolling around for Year B so in 2014, I decided not to write anything new while I focused on visuals. Year A begins on November 27, so it’s time to begin writing again. And I’ve got two plans.
First, for the last three years I have been selecting hymns from each of the three United Methodist hymnals. Each week I will look at one hymn from each hymnal that has been selected to go with the Hebrew Bible, Epistle or Gospel reading. To be clear, that’s a total of three hymns each week. I plan on writing one page per hymn.
Second, after a trip to a Trappist Abbey, I became intrigued by the use of a centering word in prayer. Every day when I read the Scripture, I record images, phrases and a centering word from the passage in my visual notebook. I will be doing the same with the hymns. The centering words will then be used in a sestina. A sestina is a poem of six stanzas of six lines with a set pattern of six end words. On Monday, I will read the Hebrew Bible passage, record the centering word and write one line of poetry for the first stanza. Then I’ll record the centering word from the hymn, which will become the fourth word. I’ll write the first line of the fourth stanza. On Tuesday using words two and five, I’ll begin those stanzas and write any second lines I can. Wednesday will be words three and six, which will allow me to get to the third lines. Thursday will be fourth lines, Friday fifth lines and Saturday sixth lines. On Sunday, I’ll write an envoi that uses all six words in three lines.