The St. Matthew's Womens Singing Circle began in 2009 when Megan Whitted, the music director of St. Matthew's, and I began to prepare for a the annual homecoming service of St. Mary's Chapel. We realized very quickly that the group that formed was a keeper! We meet monthly for a compline serivce (a service of evening prayer) and unaccompanied singing. We sing with no music in front of us - only words. We create our own harmonies based on the voices present. We add readings of literature which seem to provide context for many of the hymns and spirituals since we are drawn to music from the 19th century south. Lee Smith and Charles Fraizer are favorite authors since much of their writing seemed to be inspired by song. We sing in sacred space and find ourselves strengthened and enriched by lifting our voices, as community in song. Although the Circle is more about the process than performance - we have had the opportunity to share audiences both in programs and within services, such as memorial services.