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Do Not Leave Your Cares At the Door

"A Song of Humanity" created for this publication by Jonathan Machen.
Used by permission of the artist.  www.jonathanmachen.com

A feast of old-time gospel offering welcome and acceptance
Poet/Lyricist: 
Norman V. Naylor

Welcome and acceptance are at the heart of this warm choral offering, served up in a feast of old-time gospel with an embracing “Amen.”  A powerful concert opener, call to worship, or building dedication song.

Mounds Park Academy Chamber Choir sings this song with gusto:

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3'00" ME SEA-071-00 $2.50
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3'00" ME SEA-071-00D $1.50
Licensed PDF

Do Not Leave Your Cares At the Door

Poem by Norman V. Naylor
Adapted by Elizabeth Alexander

Do not leave your cares at the door.
Do not leave them there when you come into this place.
Be open to forgiveness and transformation —
Come on in; you are welcome here;
And do not leave your cares at the door.

Bring your pain and sorrow and joy,
There's a place for them upon the altar of life.
Be open to forgiveness and transformation —
Come on in; you are welcome here;
And do not leave your cares at the door.

This is a place of grace,
Of losing and finding the way upon the winding road,
Meeting and parting,
Stumbling and starting over.
Every journey is sacred here, even yours.

Do not leave your cares at the door.
Do not leave them there when you come into this place.
Be open to forgiveness and transformation —
Come on in; you are welcome here;
And do not leave your cares at the door.

Amen.

Composer's Note: 

Do Not Leave Your Cares at the Door has its roots in old-time gospel and popular American folk song, music which I grew up hearing. By all means, go ahead and sing this song with the vocal nuance and abandon which these genres suggest!

Reviews and Responses: 

"Another Elizabeth Alexander hit. The choir was rocking as it got into singing this."  - Steve Finner, Music Director, Unitarian Universalist Church of St. Johnsbury (St Johnsbury, VT)

"Just wanted you to know that we used "Do Not Leave Your Cares at the Door" this past Sunday and the response was overwhelmingly enthusiastic...Our congregation, most often reserved, burst into spontaneous applause after your anthem so that is a real confirmation.”  - Barb Flocco, Music Director, Bedford Presbyterian Church (Bedford, NH)

"Really fun piece!"  - Ann Watson Born, Music Director, First Unitarian Society in Newton (Newton, MA)

Performers: 

Angela Newhouse, Abbie Betinis, J. David Moore and Stephen Harper ~
          National Conference of Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network (Saint Paul, MN)   * Premiere

Choir of Arlington Street Church - Mark Buckles, conductor (Boston, MA)
Choir of Bedford Presbyterian - Barbara Flocco, conductor (Bedford, NH)
Choir of Camrose United Church - Darryl Dewalt, conductor (Calgary, Alberta, CANADA)
Choir of Community Church of Chapel Hill - Glenn Mehrbach, conductor (Chapel Hill, NC)
Choir of First Parish in Concord - Beth Norton, conductor (Concord, MA)
Choir of First Unitarian Society in Newton - Ann Watson Born, conductor (West Newton, MA)
Choir of Home Moravian Church - Lynda Alexander, conductor (Winston-Salem, NC)
Choir of Kingston Unitarian Fellowship - Phyllis Robbins, conductor (Kingston , ON)
Choir of Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church - David Simmons, conductor (Overland Park, KS)
Choir of Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church - Mary Hazelton, conductor (Hayward, CA)
Choir of Summit Unitarian Universalist Fellowship - Andrea Newall, conductor (San Diego, CA)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Church of Eugene - Tom Sears, conductor (Eugene, OR)
Choir of Universalist Unitarian Church of Farmington - Diana Munch, conductor (Farmington Hills, MI)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marin - Philip Hildreth, conductor (San Rafael, CA)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Grand Valley - Peg Oswald, conductor (Grand Junction, CO)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Saint Johnsbury - Steve Finner, conductor (Saint Johnsbury, VT)
Choir of Unity Church-Unitarian - Ruth Palmer, conductor (Saint Paul, MN)
Choir of White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church - Thaxter Cunio, conductor (Mahtomedi, MN)
Oratorio Society of Minnesota and Mounds Park Academy Chorus - George Hsu, conductor (Columbia Heights, MN)
Mounds Park Academy Chamber Choir - John Haberman, conductor (Saint Paul, MN)
Regional Unitarian Universalist Choir Festival (Southfield, MI)
Waldon Hill Vocal Ensemble - Joe Mish, conductor ~  First Unitairan Universalist Church of Rochester (Rochester, MN)

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