Spirituals, songs of abiding faith passed down by African Americans through the centuries, offer a remarkable view of resilience, courage, and love. Formed in the crucible of fire, these songs express the suffering and horror of slavery as well as the love of God and the promise of a better future.
Author Mark Bozzuti-Jones explores the modern-day lessons of these Spirituals with scripture readings, daily devotions, and questions for reflection. With 31 days of devotions, Face to the Rising Sun offers a path forward, a way to repent and name the evils of racism and to learn and grow together in God's love.
Also available on Kindle and Apple Books.
The Rev. Dr. Mark Francisco Bozzuti-Jones is an Episcopal Jamaican priest at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City. A former Jesuit priest, Mark has missionary experience in Belize, Brazil, and Guyana. He is an avid reader, award-winning author, and speaker, and has taught at elementary and university levels. He has a passion for the cultures in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Fr. Mark’s intellectual interests include the impact of social issues on faith and spirituality, racism, and plight of the poor. He loves flowers, Brazilian and Reggae music. He believes in the inculturation of religion. He is an award-winning author, currently working on a book of poetry; recent books include God Created, Jesus the Word, The Gospel of Barack Hussein Obama According to Mark and The Rastafari Book of Common Prayer. He is married to the Rev. Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones–Mark Anthony is their son.
The cover features the work Jubilation by artist Joseph Holston, an American artist, painter, and printmaker. Jubilation is part of his “Color in Freedom: Journey along the Underground Railroad” series, a collection of 50 works, including 32 paintings, as well as numerous etchings, studies and drawings. The series has been traveling to museums and galleries throughout the United States and abroad since 2009. View more of the series and learn about the author.
“Mark Bozutti-Jones has done something
quite remarkable with this new devotional. Not only does he offer us
poignant reflections grounded in scripture and thoroughly practical. He
also makes the experiences and voices of those African-American slaves
who gave us these spirituals come alive in the here and now, as healing
balm to help us face the hurts and injustices of our own time.”
—The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church,and author of Love is the Way and Songs My Grandma Sang
"A vivid, gripping and challenging new book that invites the reader, through Scripture and the Spirituals alike, to think deeply about the sin of racism, and to explore ways of living God’s justice and mercy in our world. Mark Bozzuti-Jones, a gifted theologian, preacher and writer, is a perfect guide for what might seem like a daunting journey, but which is actually a journey that leads to shalom—peace, fullness, wholeness—for both the individual believer, for the worshiping community and for the world at large."
—James Martin, SJ, author of Learning to Pray
"Mark Bozzuti-Jones has provided not a book to be read but a guide for keeping faith in a world rife with injustice and suffering. The songs and scriptures he mines here sustained our enslaved ancestors, and they could unlock the way to freedom and wholeness in our time. I needed the wise spiritual companionship and fierce call to action Bozzuti-Jones shares in Face to the Rising Sun. Maybe, today, we all do."
—The Reverend Canon Stephanie Spellers, Canon to the Presiding Bishop forEvangelism, Reconciliation and Creation Care
Listen to the Spirituals as you read and meditate on the lyrics. As Fr. Mark says, "...as with songs handed down over the centuries, the words may be different in your memory. Sing them as you learned them, for they are prayers of the heart."
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