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The Beautiful Song, Sisters of Mercy

The first time I heard the song, Sisters of Mercy, written by Leonard Cohen and performed in this instance by Serena Ryder (studio version), I was riveted. At the song’s conclusion, I took a deep breath and uttered, “Wow”. Needless to say, I really like this song.

The lyrics bring to mind the picture of what I might refer to as compassion visiting someone who is having a hard time and of the person being touched by this visit, able to feel compassion’s visit, compassion’s sensitivity to their distress, compassion’s understanding and care, and of this person also feeling strengthened by compassion, encouraged, more able to experience dignity, and to don courage.

Oh the sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone.

They were waiting for me when I thought that I just can’t go on.

And they brought me their comfort and later they brought me this song.

Oh I hope you run in to them, you who’ve been traveling so long.


…They will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem.


—Leonard Cohen

There are lyrics in this song that over and over and over again, I wish to say to so many people, nearly every day, every week.

The sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone…