Maureen “Mo” Putnam, the director of music and liturgy at Christ Our Light Parish in Princeton and Zimmerman, has been composing musical pieces for each season during the pandemic. They have been mostly responsorial psalms, but for the Easter season she challenged herself to write a hymn.
Titled “Let Us Care for Our Common Home,” the hymn focuses on the beauty of nature but also challenges human behavior toward the planet so people will make more thoughtful choices about the environment.
In the song, listeners are urged to “tend to the kingdom,” before damage that has been done in the name of convenience and greed becomes permanent. It also urges people to “care for our common home,” echoing the title of Pope Francis’s encyclical, “Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home.”
“I’m passionate about this topic and have been inspired by ‘Laudato Si’,” Putnam said. “At Easter, we’re so aware of creation. It’s especially timely for spring — and Earth Day [April 22].”
The hymn was introduced at Mass April 11, underscored by an accompanying slide show featuring the photography of six parishioners.
“I wanted to add images because we’re blessed with wonderful photographers, including Sandy Clemons, Mary Beth Barder, Jay Grammond, Shania Hirdler, Miranda Janssen and Jenny Adams, who all contributed pictures for the slide show,” Putman said.
“Originally this was a sending hymn, but it’s become more a hymn of reflection,” she said. “The refrain is catchy enough and has a melody that people can easily retain.”
She hopes to add parts for voices and instrumentalists in the future, and the parish choir and youth choir may record it as well, she said.
To hear the piece and view the slide show, got to https://youtu.be/-kC-tTeTb20?t=3401
Top photo: A weeping cherry tree is seen in Washington, D.C., April 4, 2021. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)