Home > Homilies > Good Guys > Responsive Reading

Responsive Reading

November 29, 2009


Homilies Main

Life Lessons from Sherlock Holmes

That Teal Hymnal

Sex, Money and Commitment

Simple Gifts

Things You'll Never See

Men, Women and Communication

Good Guys

Reflections on Three Score

What is a Devout Unitarian Universalist?

My Spiritual Journey


Adventures of a UU Web Master


(Leader reads the plain type, congregation the bold.)

I am sick at heart
I will comfort you.

I am cold and hungry.
I will comfort you.

I have a joy to share.
I will sing with you.

I rejoice.
I will dance with you.

I am the earth, the air and the waters. We have no voice.
I will speak for you.

I am the redwood, the polar bear and the great whale. We have no voice.
I will speak for you.

I am the poor, the homeless and the orphan. We have no voice.
I will speak for you.

I am a minority because of my size, shape or color; the language I speak, my sexual orientation or physical ability.
I will speak for you.

I am alone.
You are not; take my hand.

All: Namaste. (Nah-mas-tay) I acknowledge the divine spark within you.

This was the responsive reading, inspired by the hymn "Comfort Me" *, for the service with the sermon Good Guys. We have four auxiliary pages for that service, in this order:
Opening Words, from Sam Spade, in "The Maltese Falcon";
Responsive Reading (above), inspired by the hymn "Comfort Me";
Children's Story, an abridged version of Leviticus 11, verses 9-22 and Mark 7, verses 18-23;
Meditation, a reading about good, evil and easy.]

* "Comfort Me", lyrics and music copyright by Mimi Bornstein, Hymn #1002 in the UU hymnal "Singing the Journey". Lyrics reprinted with permission:

Comfort me, oh my soul
Sing with me, oh my soul
Speak for me, oh my soul
Dance with me, oh my soul

Reading written by Ted Pack, who notes:

The hymn is bald without the music and the repetition; each verse repeats the first phrase ("Comfort me", "Sing with me", etc.) three times, then "oh my soul". The phrase "Speak for me" is the strongest, simplest and most eloquent call to act for social justice that I've ever heard.

This is one of a series of homilies I wrote for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Stanislaus County, in Modesto, California, from 2003 - 2014.

Problems, comments or complaints? Need an opinion? Send E-mail to:
This page updated: April 01, 2016