Responsive reading

I’m slowly working on an update to my static website, including a complete overhaul of readings for use in worship that have no copyright restrictions. (I hope that update will be done by 2022.) I’ve been having fun with this project. For example, I found a transcription of a sermon that Rev. Eliza Tupper Wilkes gave at Stanford University’s Memorial Church back in 1895, and arranged some of her words in the form of a responsive reading.

Below you’ll find that responsive reading. I’m releasing my arrangement of Wilkes’s public domain words under a CC0 license so you can freely use them in online worship, in recordings, etc., and you can also revise them and rework them in any way you want.

The Re-creating Force of Love

Life has in it a re-creating force. This force brings to us the sweetest results; it can remove the scar and destroy every sign of injury.

Each great thought emerging in our brains gives to us a new re-creative force, and puts new life in what appeared to be mud and dust.

Through intellect and affection, new life comes to fainting souls. Every new burst of emotion arouses the will, and it is through action that character arises.

So it is that we can change our lives. Our destinies are in our hands: what we love is what we become.

The greatest power is a loving power. But how can we know that great power?

We know it only through the touch of human love.

Adapted from a sermon by Eliza Tupper Wilkes (Universalist), preached May 6, 1895, in Palo Alto, California CC0

Eliza Tupper Wilkes, public domain image from an 1893 book