Where have all the sad songs gone?

(RNS) — Hurricanes, fires and floods leave dozens dead. Mass shootings devastate schools, churches and public spaces. Leaders reel under accusations of corruption and misconduct.

And congregations sing songs of joy.

Though Ecclesiastes reminds us there is a time to mourn, many Protestant churches today experience few songs of lament, a tradition that stretches from the Psalms of exiled Israelites to the spirituals of African-American slaves.

Elizabeth Bristow