A Sacred Feast: Reflections on Sacred Harp Singing and by Kathryn Eastburn

By Kathryn Eastburn

Some have referred to as Sacred Harp making a song America’s earliest track. This robust nondenominational non secular making a song, a part of a deeply held Southern tradition, has unfold during the kingdom over the last centuries. In A Sacred Feast, Kathryn Eastburn trips into the group of Sacred Harp singers around the kingdom and introduces readers to the curious glories of a practice that's practiced at the present time simply because it was once 2 hundred years in the past.
Each of the book’s chapters visits a special zone and contours recipes from the accompanying culinary tradition—dinner at the floor, a hearty noontime ceremonial dinner. From oven-cooked pulled red meat fish fry to buck shop cornbread dressing to purple velvet cake, those recipes inform a narrative of nourishing the physique, the soul, and the voice. The Sacred Harp’s deeply relocating sound and spirit resonate via those pages, captured at conventions in Alabama, Kentucky, Texas, Colorado, and Washington, conveyed in photographs of singers, and celebrated within the points of interest, sounds, smells, and tastes of all-day making a song and dinner at the flooring echoing via generations and centuries.

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Extra info for A Sacred Feast: Reflections on Sacred Harp Singing and Dinner on the Ground (At Table)

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We filed into the church kitchen at Bethel past a long table piled with more delights than the eye could take in. At the center of the table was a huge platter of smoked sausages, a regional specialty from nearby Lockhart. These were densely packed, all-beef sausages smoked with the abundant post oak that covered the surrounding countryside, usually served with no sauce — though there was a bowl of red stuff sitting next to the platter for those who like their sausages wet. Singers and spectators crowded around long tables inside and outside, their plates filled to spilling over with homecooked food: macaroni and fruit salads; vegetables of every shape, size and color; biscuits and cornbread; pies, cakes, and cobblers.

P “Doris Hanks, of Luling, is my dad, Curtis Owen’s, first cousin. She is known far and wide for her buttermilk pies. ” Beverly Owen Coates, seconded by her brother Tom Owen 18 so ut hw e st t exas v v v Beverly’s Egg Custard Pie 6 eggs, beaten 2 cups sugar 2 tbsp. flour 1 pint half-and-half or milk (I use 1% milk) 1 tsp. vanilla extract Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients and divide mixture evenly and pour into 2 9-inch pie shells. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Reduce heat to 325 when putting pies in oven.

M. Owen as a member of the 1900 Round Top Singing Convention, with many Owens named thereafter in listings of attendants and officers that spanned fifty years of singings. A note from the 1901 minutes announced the noble intentions of the early organizers in the Preamble to the convention’s Constitution and by-laws: [T]o bring about a more perfect union between the lovers and users of sacred music, to revive and establish the old  so ut hw e st t exas and time honored songs of Zion, cause a return to the first principles of Sacred music, kill out denominational prejudice, destroy vocal sectarianism, create a greater vocal interest among all classes and honor God with the gifts He has bestowed upon us through the theme of Sacred songs.

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