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Santo Daime hymns

The hymns contain basic information, enabling us to understand the doctrine. They embody the essence, the spiritual synthesis of the miraçao, and are messages directed to all brothers and sisters. Regardless of their origin, the hymns are considered the property of the community, eared for by all.

During the Daime’s force and miraçao, our understanding is elevated, and everything that happens in the works is transformed. Like a flaming battering ram knocking down all the walls of illusion, true knowledge penetrates our hearts. It is in this state that the music of the spheres resounds within our beings and the celestial messengers bring to our consciousness their words, praises* arid warnings. Our souls become exposed to each others sight, allowing a clear view of what is happening in the interior of each person.
The hymnals sung in Santo Daime works represent the doctrine of the belief system in its poetic, written form. The hymnals are collections of short verses that are recited, sung, and danced to during Santo Daime processions. The individual hymnals are typically between 3 and 8 stanzas of between three to six lines composing a verse. They are short, poetic in style, and often tend to rhyme. Most hymnals are repeated at least once, and the manner in which they are sung is represented by vertical lines alongside the opening verse. Each hymnal, like a song, has a name, and next to the name typically is one of three words in parentheses, Valsa, Mazurka, or Marcha, which instruct what beat and thus what movement is to accompany the singing. Next to the title of the hymnal is typically the name of its author, albeit in Santo Daime tradition it is believed that the individual is merely a messenger or medium through whom the higher power inspires the writing of the words. These receivers, men and women, are typically elders, former and current, and can have whole volumes of hymnals printed in a collection. The collection of hymnals is referred to as a hinario, the first of which is the Lua Branca followed by O Cruzeiro, by Raimundo Irineu Serra.95 Considering the very first followers of Raimundo Irineu Serra were "extremely humble" majority black land laborers who were illiterate, the repetitious singing of simple hymns developed eventually to be accompanied by music.

Shortly after the introduction of collecting singing some of the founders started receiving hymns which, according to an interview I conducted in Céu do Mapiá, had to first be "approved and revised" by Raimundo Irineu Serra. He would later delegate the duties of hymn revision to his caretaker, Percília Matos da Silva who also took charge of ritualizing the ceremonies and creating the first official uniform.

Although the hymnals are sold in Céu do Mapiá, they are printed and produced elsewhere, and their content is freely available online. The messages in these hymnals are those familiar to anyone with knowledge of the core concepts of any major religion; they are positive in nature, calling for self-improvement through strict adherence to the doctrine, respect of one's body and of one's neighbors, caution from the various cardinal sins that are adopted from Christian theology, love and respect for nature, sacrifice for the good of the collective, etc. etc. Overall the messages recited are overwhelmingly positive and, for a lack of a better word, passively descent, despite the presence of numerous seemingly contradictory messages which allude to the syncretic nature of Santo Daime doctrine itself. In a single hymnal one could find passages praising Jesus, Rainha da Floresta (queen of the forest), Mestre Irineu, Santa Maria, Lua Branca, (white moon), and Juramidam which refers to Irineu Serra in his initial solitary excursion to the rainforest and which translates into "God (jura) and his soldiers (midam)".

The one aspect of the hymns that struck me only after participating in numerous works is their order. In my experience, those hymnals of a simpler, slower nature are located somewhere in the middle, or just far enough from the beginning that their recitation appears at the periods when the strongest effects of ayahuasca are felt which blur vision and make singing and moving difficult. Interestingly enough the messages appearing in precisely these latter hymns are those encouraging the participants to push on and keep working through, urging for força (strength) & Firmeza (resolve). I believe that the fact about order of the hymns is not a simple coincidence.

SONGs HINARIOs (Kindle optimized)