The Servant Song Meaning

Wow! There are so many songs to choose from. Multiple songs have some kind of meaning to me.

One important song is “The Servant Song”. I first heard it in elementary school at Kanuga, an Episcopalian Conference Center. Whenever I listen to it, memories of Kanuga come back to me. From third grade all the way to eighth grade, we had the same person lead the music and usually the Servant Song was one of the songs we would sing. It was one of the first Christian songs I ever heard and fell in love with.

But now the song has double meaning. Not only does it remind me of Kanuga, it also reminds me of the Bristol Pilgrimage. One of the things that my family did in Bristol was visit St. Mary Redcliffe, a beautiful church located in Bristol. There was a moment where I thought of some lyrics from the song and it reminded me of the pilgrimage.

The lyrics in the photo below ended up becoming the motto of the trip. The fellowship was the best part of the pilgrimage. All seventy-two of us were pilgrims on a spiritual journey exploring many sacred places like Stonehenge, Tintern Abbey, and Old Sarum. We traveled to many places like Chepstow, Salisbury, and Bath. We ended up helping each throughout the trip and formed a close bond. So those lyrics perfectly fit how transforming the trip was.



One special part to note about the pilgrimage is the number of church services that we attended. We attended two Eucharist services and eight Evensong services. Two of those church services were in London. Our two London services were Eucharist at St. Paul’s Cathedral and Evensong at WestMinster. There was one Evensong service at Salisbury Cathedral. The rest of the services were at Bristol Cathedral. It was at the final Evensong where I truly realized just how transforming the trip was.

The fact that this song has a double meaning makes this song extra special to me. I love how one song can have more then one memory attached to it. I am so glad I love Christian music the way I do. It helps strengthen my relationship with God.


Fellowship in Bristol

As many may know by now, I went on a pilgrimage last summer because our church choir was in residence at the Bristol Cathedral. The pilgrimage started on July 31st and lasted August 10th. Throughout the pilgrimage, we would explore many ancient and scared places.

Some of those places included the “mountain-top” Stonehenge, the medieval Berkeley Castle, Windsor Castle, Tintern Abbey, and more.We also attended ten different church services: most of which would be Evensong. However, seeing those places and feeling sacredness of those places was not the best part of the pilgrimage.

It was in fact the fellowship that the group shared for each other. We would be talking about our experiences seeing all of those places. We would help others find a way to feel the sacredness of a certain place. Those spiritual places would not have been as meaningful if the group did not the close bond that we had. The same also goes for the various church services. In fact, that fellowship still exists and gives me a feeling of how much the trip meant to me.

I did not realize how much the trip transformed me and my spirituality until the final Evensong. I really did not think I would gain anything out of any of the church services. But so glad I made the decision to go to each of them because it played such a huge part of the trip. It got to the anthem of the final Evensong and I cried. Through that reaction, I just knew how memorable, transforming, and spiritual the trip was.

There is no way to describe why I enjoyed the trip as much as I did. It even is difficult to  explain the impact it had on me. It still is hard to describe it in just a few words. But if I had to pick on word to describe the trip, it would have to something like “transforming” or “spiritual”. It will always be one of the biggest memories of my life.




Bristol Pilgrimage Memory Book

For today’s post, I had to find inspiration from another source. I went to Facebook and noticed that I posted more then once about the England memory book I am working on with my dad. The two of us have been collaborating  together on this book all summer. The first thing we had to do was to assemble all the pictures. Finding all the pictures was quite a challenge. That was due to the fact that some memories are dealing with a lot of pictures. Once the pictures were assembled, dad picked out the theme. He even was able to change the way each page looked. There were different layouts for the different pages.

Once all of the layouts were decided, it was time to add the different pictures. We made sure to put the pictures in the order when they happened. Some cases we couldn’t do that, but for the most part we could.

My main responsibility was writing everything down. That was due to my journaling that I did during that trip. Later on my dad would edit what I had written. Some parts would be taken out or some parts would be lengthened. It was only my responsibility when I wrote about parts of that trip that my dad didn’t do. We are now on the final stage of going over everything one more time. It is just to see if we could any more text or if it already looks good to us.

To summarize, the Bristol Pilgrimage was last summer. Our church choir was in residence at the Bristol  Cathedral. The pilgrimage would take us to three castles, Old Sarum, Bath, Stonehenge, ten church services- one: WestMinster, one: Salisbury Cathedral, one: St. Paul’s Cathedral, seven: Bristol Cathedral. On top of the pilgrimage, my family went up a few days early to experience more of London. During those days, I dreamed a dream when I saw Les Mis in the West End. My mom took me and we were nine rows back from the stage and ended up being more then expected. The fact that I actually saw an inspirational, epic, and powerful musical the day before a pilgrimage was perfect. In Les Mis, Jean Valjean, the protagonist, goes on a spiritual journey to become a better man. The show reflects themes of love, hope, forgiveness, humanity, and redemption along with other spiritual themes. A pilgrimage is a spiritual journey of getting closer to God. A pilgrim goes on a trip to look for something deeper and an deeper understanding of the Christian church.


Bristol Pilgrimage


Tourists and Pilgrims

What is the difference between a tourist and a pilgrim?

In England, I felt like both a tourist and a pilgrim. In my opinion, a tourist is someone who is just going somewhere for fun. I was mainly in England for a pilgrimage because our church choir was in residence at the Bristol Cathedral. For most of the trip, I would be exploring places that were quite foreign to me.

The pilgrimage began on July 31st, but my family arrived two days early in order to get used to the time difference. Those two days are the days I felt much more like a tourist then a pilgrim. All we did the first day was walk around London and I was able to see some of London’s most well-known attractions. They included Big Ben, the London Eye, and WestMinster. We even got to see a guard, which is what originally made me interested in going to London in the first place.

It wasn’t until the second day I started to get something more  out of the trip. It felt like my family truly got to do something. We spent the morning at Platform 9 3/4 quarters at King’s Cross Station. After that, my family headed over to Paddington Station for some exploring.

In fact, the best part of that trip happened the night of July 30th. My mom took me to the West End to see Les Mis, which was a dream come true. That night I only had one understudy for Valjean. The moment the show began, I knew it was more then excepted. The way the opening notes affected me was how I knew that I was in for a treat. Throughout the entire show, I felt a ton of positive and negative emotions. Les Mis is just that kind of musical that gets better each time you see it. It speaks deeply in your soul and heart and there are no words to describe the emotional impact. The show is so heartbreaking, but so inspirational at the same time. The acting was brilliant from the ensemble to the leads. I even got to meet the actor who played Valjean at the Stage Door and he signed a my playbill and mom took a picture.

As far as being a pilgrim goes, they search for something deeper then a tourist. Because most of the trip was a pilgrimage, I knew that I would be going on a spiritual journey. It made perfect sense that I saw Les Mis the day before the pilgrimage began because both are spiritual journeys.

Moments that stand out in the pilgrimage are Windsor Castle, Berkeley Castle, Chepstow Castle, Tintern Abbey, 10 church services at Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral,  and ultimately Bristol Cathedral, and Stonehenge. Stonehenge was the Mountain-Top moment of the pilgrimage. The moment I got there, I could feel the sacredness of that place due to the atmosphere, which had dark clouds circling around it with lots of wind. Seeing services at Bristol Cathedral were the best because it was our church choir singing there. It wasn’t until the final Evensong that I realized just how transforming the trip was.

It was none of the things that we did that was the best part of being a pilgrim. It was the fellowship among the 72 pilgrims had for each other because it added meaning to each of the things that we did. Even today, I can still feel the same fellowship when I am church.

In your opinion, what is the difference between a pilgrim and a tourist?

Below are links that reflect this post

Spirituality of Bristol Pilgrimage

Mirror Characters of Les Mis

“I Dreamed a Dream”


Voyage of Life

Dear Readers,

I blog for two different audiences. I like to blog to those who love musicals and those who are spiritual. The two hardly overlap, but they both have awe and wonder in them. I hope my blog inspires everyone who reads it. The things I blog about are meaningful to me. I am a spatially strong person who extremely loves musicals.

The thing about life is you have no idea how it is going to turn out. You don’t know what kind of journeys you will have. You don’t know who will be a part of this voyage. Part of your life is determined by God and the rest by yourself. I had quite a voyage so far, which has surprised me in unexpected, but wonderful ways. You never know which path your voyage will end up. But remember, your voyage is what you make of it.

I was raised to be a Christian and that helps my voyage a lot. Trusting in the Lord makes life so much easier, even though yes it still will be challenging. I even was able to develop a strong love for contemporary Christian music. That love came from just one very special place.That place was Kanuga, an Episcopalian Conference Center, in the mountains. Through Kanuga, I learned that there is a God. But the most transforming part of Kanuga was Winterlight, a high school youth conference, that I did for two years. Through that event, my interest in Christian music turned into a love for that kind of music. Singing and listening to the kind of music just fills my heart with my Holy Spirit and I just feel so connected to Christ.  Just last year, I went on my first pilgrimage to England. Linked below is a summary of my pilgrimage to Bristol.

Spirituality of Bristol Pilgrimage

My life also has consisted of going to musicals. Growing up, I developed this interest for musicals. When I was in elementary school, I saw musicals such as Cats, Lion King,  and Beauty and the Beast live. But I also was exposed to musicals through movies such as Aladdin, Sound of Music, and Annie. But when I saw Wicked on Broadway in 2006, the show sparked my love for musicals. It made musicals head in the right direction to eventually turn into a passion. The real passion for musicals really came from 2012 when I first watched the movie musical of Les Mis. I later would develop an obsession for that inspirational musical, which would led me to seeing the stage show and the 25th anniversary concert. The first time I saw the stage show of Les Mis was in 2013 at my community college. But the first professional performance I saw of it was in London and I truly experienced the true power of the musical. Linked below is a description of what I believe musicals to be capable of.

Musical Capability


Power of Evensong

Just last night, I got to attend Evensong at my church. It was so odd seeing Evensong because the last time I been to one was in England. Just being at this Evensong made me want to be back at Bristol Cathedral. Evensong surprised me during the trip because I did not think I would really like that service, but I was proved wrong. In fact I attended all the different church services during the trip. Seven of those would end up being Evensong and two of them were not at Bristol Cathedral. It was such a treat to hear my church’s choir sing in a gorgeous cathedral and as the week progressed, the choir just continued to get better and better. I remember being so moved by the final Evensong and because of that, I was aware of how meaningful Evensong has been and how it has been an important part of my spiritual journey.

That trip was very spiritual, emotional, and transforming. It was an important step for my journey with God. Because of the trip, I feel like I closer to them than ever before. What was interesting about the trip is I ended up liking more of it then I originally thought. I was surprised by how much I loved Evensong, Tintern Abbey, and Bristol. We just happened to be in Bristol when there were Shaun the Sheep statues hidden throughout the city. Finding them was quite fun and was one of the most memorable parts of the trip.

The best part of the pilgrimage was the fellowship among everyone. If it wasn’t for the strong bond that we had, some of the spiritual parts may not have been as meaningful. I still feel that same fellowship when I am around any of the seventy two pilgrims. All of us may have had different experiences, but the thing that we all shared in common was a love for each other.

Bristol Pilgrimage

Last year, I went on a Pilgrimage to England over the summer. This pilgrimage was the best part of the summer. Our church choir was invited to sing at the Bristol Cathedral. The trip allowed us to go to castles, multiple church services, and spiritual places such as Stonehenge and Tintern Abbey.

My family decided to go to England two days early in order to enjoy more of London. During those two days, the best part of the trip happened, which connected to the spiritual world of the pilgrimage. The best part was seeing the West End production of Les Misérables with my mom. I had seen the stage show three times already, but I had never seen it professionally. It was a dream come true and I knew it was becoming a reality once the lights went off and the music began. Just through the first couple of notes, I knew it was more than I originally excepted. The London production was the most epic powerful emotionally felt experience I ever had with the musical. The emotions were spot on that night and the cast was brilliant. Most of the leads had only been in the cast for about one month when I saw them. I also had an understudy for Jean Valjean, the protagonist of the show. During this production, I finally felt something for Javert, which I thought would never happen because I do not like the character. The show’s plot is story of compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice, humanity, hope, and redemption, which is why the show is so inspirational. I also got the chance to meet the actor who played Vajean and I got my picture taken with him and he signed my playbill. Another thing that made this experience special was that I got to fulfill my dream in the middle of the show’s 30th year.

The day after the show was when the group finally met up. The first thing the group did was visiting Windsor Castle. In all, I saw three castles and the most spiritual one was Chepstow Castle. Each castle brought something special to the pilgrimage. At Windsor, I saw the changing of the guards, which made me feel like a kid again. At Berkley Castle, I dressed up with one of the chorister students. At Chepstow Castle, I saw areas which reminded me of stained glass and I saw areas which looked like crosses.

In total, I went to ten church services. Most of them were at Bristol Cathedral and those were the most special, but it was still enjoyable when we went to services at Westminster, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Salisbury Cathedral. The reason why seeing the services at Bristol Cathedral was the most special was because my church choir was singing and their songs were gorgeous. The best one was at the very last evensong and when the solos began, I was speechless.

I also loved visiting Tintern Abbey. At first, I did not think there would be anything interesting about the ruins of an old Abbey. But I learned to love it quickly. Exploring it was spiritual to me because at one point, I saw a dove in a corner and I associate a dove with a story in the bible. Both Tintern and Chepstow are in Wales, England.

The big “mountan-top” moment of the show was Stonehenge. I still cannot believe I actually saw that famous place. I quickly noticed how sacred it was. The place was very windy and the windy I felt made me say that the wind was God’s energy passing through me. The clouds also reflected how transforming it is. As you walk around, each view is very different.

It was also the smaller memories that made the trip matter. One of them was hunting for Shaun the Sheep in Bristol. One of the early memories was getting my picture taken at platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station. Going to Bath was not a huge favorite part of the trip, but it was more than I thought, but added to the meaning.

Overall, I think that the best part of the pilgrimage was the fellowship among everyone. That was a huge reason why everything was spiritual. The bond the group created was special. It made each memory worth it and made England the best part of the summer. Without the bond, the trip would not have been as spiritual and meaningful. This trip had make me more spiritually strong. I am so glad I got to go on this trip. In total, there were 72 people on the trip.

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