Monday, December 15, 2008

Breath of Heaven

When I was growing up, my dad and I used to sign together in church. I don't remember how we got started, although I think we discovered sign language when my mom took a class at the local deaf school. I wish I could remember the first song we ever signed to, but I remember many of the others over the years. It's such a beautiful form of expression, and it became a unique ministry for my dad and me.


I have liked the song "Breath of Heaven" since the first time I heard it. But two years ago, when I was pregnant with Nathan and due the same week as Christmas, that song took on new meaning for me. I felt more connected to Mary and the nativity story than I ever had before. I decided to learn the signs to that song, and thought about sharing it in church. I was too nervous, especially being due so close to the time, and felt it was best kept a private act of worship.


Earlier this fall, it occurred to me that I would once again be pregnant during the Christmas season. I decided to talk to my pastor and the music leader about signing this song in church, and they agreed to let me do so. Yesterday morning, I was able to accompany these beautiful words in both services. While I was signing, a screen displayed various passages about Christ and his birth. I'm so glad I decided to participate in the Advent season in this way, and hope signing this song was as meaningful for others as it was for me.


(If you're unfamiliar with the lyrics to "Breath of Heaven," you can click here to listen.)

15 comments:

mom said...

I wish we could have been there to see/hear this powerful song! Love you, Mom

gail said...

oh carrie! i bet that was beautiful and so meaningful for your congregation. way to go on volunteering to do that.

Cora said...

I love that song as well. Thanks for sharing your gifts:)
Cora

Carrie said...

Ahhh that is one of my favorite Christmas songs and yes, I identified more with it after having been pregnant. It's a very moving piece of music.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Carrie:
I wish I could have been there too to hear & see this. I have always enjoyed watching you & your dad sign.

Love you, Grandma

Frances said...

I once asked my mom what her favorite song is and she said she really likes "Breath of Heaven." So now, whenever I hear it, I think "Mom likes this song." Not that I don't, too - it's just extra special because it always makes me think of her.

I got a little hopeful reading this post that you were going to include a video of you signing it - I would have loved to see that! :)

Ewokgirl said...

It is a beautiful song. I've sung that one in church the past several Christmases. This year, though, it was sung by a trio of our youth girls, and it was just beautiful with all the harmony.

I love watching people sign with songs. It's such a beautiful form of expression.

jody said...

you did super good, carrie! it brought the sanctuary to a hush as we transitioned from the cold outside to the warmth of worship.
thanks!

Nicol said...

I love that song and I'm sure that you did a wonderful job with it. I can imagin how peaceful it must have been!

Amy said...

Oh, I am sure you sang beautifully. That is and always will be one of my favorite songs!

Amy said...

I don't think I had ever paid attention to the words to this song until last year. I even wrote about it on my blog last year, too. Here's the post if you're interested:
http://hopeistheword.wordpress.com/2007/12/22/christmas-musings/

It is a beautiful song! Thanks for sharing with us. I would've loved to see you sign this and participate in such a beautiful worship service.

Emily said...

I'm sure that was beautiful! I am going to sing that song on Sunday at our church.

Amanda said...

I'm so glad you did it Carrie, and that you enjoyed doing this. I loved the clean sweep post too. How fun. I can imagine it was right up your alley. :)
Have a great time with your family. Merry Christmas.

Jamie said...

My mother-in-law is an interpreter and volunteers at our church. I know a little myself but not enough to be fluent. I love watching her during songs at church. My sister-in-law knows a lot of the signs to hymns as well, and it is also beautiful to watch her sign during worship.

Linds said...

How great Carrie! I do sign language with the kids and am continuing to learn. I've taken a class and am learning on my own as well.