Songs in the Desert


Listen to the episodes in this project:

Participate: submit a reflection (written or audio)

Sign up for the 2018 project: sign up here. Please expect to submit your finished reflection at least two weeks before your chosen date.

This is a collaborative project, and it doesn't work without you!

Not sure what this is? Read more below:


You! This is a collaborative project and it needs your participation!

Who am I, you ask? You can read more about me here:


Lent 2018. Lent starts on Wednesday, February 14. This project seeks to collect reflections for every weekday through Friday, March 23, the last Friday before Palm Sunday.


A few days before Ash Wednesday 2017 I became inspired to host a collaborative conversation on hymns. Which hymns speak to us and why?

One of the ways I thought we could respond to the Church's invitation to a "holy Lent" would be to dive a bit deeper into the hymns of our faith.

You can read the invitation here: "A Collaborative Lenten Devotional on Hymns".

Songs in the Desert will take as its theme for 2018: love. You can address this theme any way you want.

I'm an Episcopalian, and many submissions happen to be either in the Hymnal 1982 or known in Episcopal congregations, but I would welcome hymns from any Christian tradition.

You can listen to last year's submissions to this project as a podcast or on my blog under the label Songs in the Desert


  1. First, choose a day even if you aren't quite sure what hymn you'd like to write about yet (space is limited!). Sign up here.
  2. Pick a hymn that speaks to you.
  3. Write and/or record your reflection.
  4. If recording an audio reflection (preferred) use the best microphone you have. This may be by using the voice memo app on your smartphone (see "Recording Tips" below).
  5. You can speak informally, or write out a script first. It doesn't matter to me. You can talk for as long as you like, but I'll probably edit it down to about 3-4 minutes or so.
  6. Finally, don't forget to say who you are, where you live, and what you do or where you go to church so we can add that in.
  7. Send the finished product to at least two weeks before the date you signed up for.

Recording Tips

Make sure that

Before you record your reflection it's a good idea to do a short test recording first just to make sure you like what you hear.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I have to choose a hymn that is appropriate for Lent?

A: No. Just because we are undertaking this project in Lent we are not limiting your selection of hymn in any way. "Alleluias" are fine. And we would be surprised if anyone was truly inspired to talk about a hymn in the Lent section of the hymnal.

Q: Do I have to pick just one hymn?

A: Yes. We know it's hard.

Q: Do I have to be a musician/priest/theologian?

A: No, though submissions are welcome from all of the above! Your honest, personal reflection/reaction to a hymn is what will make this project interesting.

Q: Do I have to record any music too?

A: No. We just want to hear 2-3 minutes of your thoughts recorded via a voice memo app (or a digital recorder if you're really fancy). If you have a recording of the hymn or you want to make one in addition to your spoken remarks that's great, but it's not required. Alternatively you can just write some text and send it to me.

Q: Where do I send my finished voice memo again?

A: Email it to

Q: What if I really don't like the idea of recording my own voice?

A: We want as much participation as possible. If you cannot or don't want to record your voice, a written reflection would be fine too! Email it to

Q: I really like the name "Songs in the Desert". Where did it come from?

A: It was suggested by Jason Sims.

This page last updated 13 Jan 2018