Saturday, April 22, 2017

Music for the OSHC Service of April 23 2017, 2nd Sunday of Easter

From: Richard Thomas


                We now enter the period between Easter and Pentecost. This Sunday will be the second Sunday of Easter.  The Sunday following the seventh Sunday of Easter will be Pentecost.

                The introit will be "We Are Here, Lord," with words by Herb Frombach sung to Robert Lau's arrangement of a tune originally composed by Herb Frombach.  Herb Frombach attended Indiana University in Indiana County, Pennsylvania.

                The opening hymn is "Christ Is Alive," no. 108.  It is a hymn we regularly sing on the Second Sunday of Easter.   The words are by Brian Wren.

                Brian Wren has more hymns in our current Presbyterian Hymnal than any other author except Charles Wesley (b. 1707) and Fred R. Anderson (b. 1941).  (Rev. Fred Anderson wrote "versifications" of the psalms.)

    BRIAN WREN (b. 1936) is an internationally published hymn-poet whose work appears in hymnals from all denominations and traditions. Ordained in Britain's United Reformed Church, he lives in Decatur, Georgia, where he served as the first holder of the John and Miriam Conant Professorship in Worship at Columbia Theological Seminary until his retirement in 2007.
    A Fellow of the Hymn Society in the U.S. and Canada, Brian holds B.A. and D.Phil (= Ph.D.) degrees from Oxford University and an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis. 
    Brian lives with his partner in marriage and ministry, Rev. Susan Heafield ("Hayfield"), a United Methodist Pastor and composer. Together they have published two worship song collections.

    Brian Wren's hymn collections are published by Hope Publishing Company, which represents all his hymns in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

                There are eleven Brian Wren hymns in our hymnal

                The hymn is sung to the tune TRURO, an anonymous tune first published by Thomas Williams in 1789.

                Truro is a small city in Cornwall, England, north of Falmouth, and west of Plymouth.  I've driven through Truro, but not the one in England, the one on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.  It is the last little village before Provincetown.

                TRURO is the tune for "Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates" and "High in the Heav'ns, Eternal God."

                       Organ improvisation on the tune TRURO, recorded by John Hosking

                Here is an anthem arrangement by Hal Hopson: "Christ Is Alive!" by Brian Wren, arr. Hal H. Hopson, "for brass quartet or quintet, organ, handbells, and congregation"

Here is the Brian Wren hymn:

                      "Christ Is Alive!" with organ accompaniment

If the basses want to practice the bass part, here it is:

                        "Christ Is Alive!," bass part

We sing another hymn to this tune also, Jane Parker Huber's "Live into Hope," hymn no. 332.

                During Eastertide, a reading from Acts is substituted for a reading from the Old Testament in the Revised Common Lectionary.

                For the Second Sunday of Easter, the lesson is Acts 2:14a, 22-32.  It is a story of Peter preaching to the Jews.  Peter quotes Psalm 16:8-11:

                I keep Yahweh before me always,

                                for with him at my right hand,

                                nothing can shake me.

                So my heart rejoices, my soul delights,

                                my body too will rest secure,

                for you will not abandon me to Sheol,

                                or let your faithful servant see the Pit.

                You will teach me the path of life.

                                In your presence there is unbounded joy;

                                at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

                Then Peter makes the astounding claim that in that psalm, David was being a prophet and was speaking of Jesus:

"Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne.

Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying, 'He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh experience corruption.'

This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.

                The English translation of Psalm 16:8-11 above is an English translation of the Hebrew.  But, according to Acts, Peter did not quote the Hebrew scriptures when he was speaking to the Israelites!

                According to the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, Peter actually quoted directly from a Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint (or LXX).  An English translation of Psalm 16:8-11 from the Greek in the Septuagint is:

'I saw the Lord always before me.

    Because he is at my right hand,

    I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;

    my body also will rest in hope,

because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,

    you will not let your holy one see decay.

You have made known to me the paths of life;

    you will fill me with joy in your presence.'

                Psalm 16 is a "Psalm of Confidence," as are Psalms 4, 11, 23, 27:1-6; 62; and 131.

                Peter appears to be telling the Israelites that Psalm 16:8-11 is about resurrection.

                Psalm 16 is not about resurrection.  The writer of Psalm 16 faces unspecified immediate dangers.  The psalm is an expression of the psalmist's confidence in Yahweh to keep him safe and protect him from an early death so that he may live a rich, full life with his Lord.  (Earlier in the Psalm, Ps. 16:3-4, the psalmist writes of how the pains of leading officials have multiplied because they desired other gods.  He then declares that he will not make offerings to other gods, then expresses his confidence that because he has devoted himself to Yahweh as his only god, that he, unlike the officials, will not have his troubles multiplied in this time of danger, but will instead be protected from physical harm.)

                The writer of the Psalm is not saying he will never die, he is saying that, though faced with current dangers, he is confident that Yahweh will protect him and not let him die right now—that Yahweh will make it possible for him to get through perilous times.

                Apologists argue that Peter's claim that David was writing about the resurrection has to be seen in a different way.  Peter is calling David "prophetic" in an unusual sense—not that David was foretelling the future, only that the psalmist understood events in his time in a way that bears correspondence to the understanding of events that occurred in Jesus' time. 

                The psalmist (David, according to Peter) understood that Yahweh does not abandon his hasid (his holy one).  Just as Yahweh protected David from an immediate death, he raised Jesus, the ultimate hasid, from death, and because David understood how Yahweh relates to those who devote themselves entirely to Yahweh, David was being "prophetic."

                One apologist writes ( ) that because Peter could see Psalm 16:8-11 as relating to Peter's own experience of the resurrection of Jesus, the psalm is "prophetic" even though David himself was not writing, or even thinking, about resurrection himself when he wrote it. 

                The psalm did not speak of a resurrection until there was one, then it did.

                Though not at all convincing, it is an ingenious argument.

-          -      -      -     -      -     -      -     -      -     -      -     -      -     -      -     -      -     -      -     -      -     -      -

                The epistle lesson is 1 Peter 1:3-9.  Most scholars agree the epistle was not actually written by Peter.  The writer has a better understanding of Greek rhetoric and philosophy and also of the Greek language itself than would be likely for Simon Peter of Galilee. 

                The reading is about how suffering is good for the soul.

                "Trials show the character of your faith . . . and will bring praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." 

                The author says, "the goal of your faith is the salvation of your soul," and "salvation is ready to be revealed in the last time."  Salvation is "an inheritance reserved in heaven" for those "who have not seen him, yet love him, and who do not see him now, but believe in him."

                According to a recent Presbyterian Panel survey of Presbyterian Church (USA) pastors and members, 6% of both members and pastors believe "Salvation is an outdated concept."  (The results of the survey were published 22 October 2016.)



                The survey indicates that half of the ministers are still Calvinists when it comes to who does the saving.  Only 20% of the members believe that salvation is by the grace of a sovereign God who alone chooses the Elect.  (The idea of being one of God's elect seems to have fallen out of favor.)  Is Presbyterianism still a kind of Reformed Christianity  or has it become some other kind of Protestantism?

                The second hymn is no. 117 "O Sons and Daughters, Let Us Sing!" and has special stanzas for the Second Sunday of Easter.

                The tune is the French melody O FILII ET FILIAE, (O Sons and Daughters).

                Here is a smartly dressed high school choir in Santa Barbara singing a piece by the same name as the tune (but it's not the tune of the hymn).  However, it is a very good video (and it's short):

                       O Filii Et Filiae (O Sons and Daughters), San Marcos High School Choirs, Santa Barbara, California

                Here is the tune we're singing (the tune of "O Sons and Daughters, Let Us Sing"): O Filii Et Filiae (O Sons and Daughters), sung by the Choir of the Great Opera of Budapest with Xaver Varnus (organ).

Sermon: "The Future Is Now"

                "I Danced in the Morning," hymn no. 302, is the closing hymn. It is by Sydney Carter.

                "Lord of the Dance" is sung to the Shaker melody SIMPLE GIFTS. Some sources say Elder Joseph Brackett, a Shaker, composed the tune in 1848.

     Elder Joseph Brackett

                You can see the words originally sung with the tune and hear it sung here (highly recommended): "Simple Gifts" sung by the vocal chamber ensemble Cantus  (VERY GOOD)

                The words we will be singing were authored by Sydney Carter in 1963.

                You can hear those words here:  "Lord of the Dance," sung by the Central Islip High School Concert Choir

                According to Wikipedia, Sydney Bertram Carter was "an English poet, songwriter, and folk musician."  He was born 06 May 1915 in Camden Town, London, and died 13 Mar 2004 in Herne Hill, London.

                He also wrote a song called "Julian of Norwich."  She was an English anchoress and Christian mystic (1342-1416).

    Sydney Carter

                Carter attended Balliol College, Oxford, where (as they say in England) "he read history" and graduated in 1936.  He was a pacifist and a conscientious objector in World War II.  He served in an Ambulance Unit in Egypt, Palestine, and Greece.

                His most controversial lyrics are:

It was on a Friday morning that they took me from my cell

And I saw they had a carpenter to crucify as well.

You can blame it on to Pilate, you can blame it on the Jews,

You can blame it on the Devil, it's God I accuse.

It's God they ought to crucify, instead of you and me,

I said to the carpenter a-hanging on the tree.

He was right, of course, according to sound Calvinistic theology, the death of Jesus on a cross was precisely what God intended.  In fact, it was not only what God wanted, it was what God demanded according to the penal substitutionary atonement theory of the reformation.  The penal substitution theory is a substitutionary atonement theory that is derived from a merit-based system of righteousness.  It replaced the older ransom-to-Satan theory.

                According to Wikipedia:

Many, but by no means all, ancient and modern branches of Christianity embrace substitutionary atonement as the central meaning of Jesus' death on the cross.

Oddly, in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches, substitutionary atonement is not incorporated in their doctrine of the Cross and Resurrection.

                C. S. Lewis rejected the penal substitutionary atonement theory, but he did believe in some kind of substitutionary atonement.

                All of the substitutionary atonement theories attempt to provide some logical explanation of what was the point of the crucifixion.

                Atonement theories first require that one decide what is sin and how sin relates to God.

                If you define sin as merely being a failure to do what God has designed humans to do, and believe that God can forgive sins, then one doesn't need one of the more exacting substitutionary atonement theories.  One can just say that through the crucifixion Jesus was providing a moral example—and be done with it.

Instrumental Music

                Prelude: "Kyrie Eleison"  by Charles-François Gounod

                "Kyrie, eleison" (Greek for "Lord, have mercy") is a part of the liturgy of the mass.  "Kyre, eleison" in Gounod's Short Mass for Chapels, No. 7 in C Major "Kyre, eleison" in Gounod's Short Mass for Chapels, No. 7 in C Major (sung by the National Taiwan University Chorus)     "Kyrie Eleison," of Gounod's Solemn Mass in Honor of St. Cecilia (sung by the Busan Catholic Choir, Korea)


                      Charles Gounod

                The best known works of Charles Gounod are Ave Maria and his opera Faust

                Gounod also wrote Marche Pontifcale, the official anthem of the Pope, the Holy see and the Vatican City State.

                        Marche Pontificale by Charles Gounod, the National Anthem of Vatican City

                       Marche Pontificale, sung, a cappella

                Gounod was born in Paris on 17 Jun 1818.  His mother was a pianist and his father, an artist.  He died 18 Oct 1893 in Saint-Cloud (a commune in the western suburbs of Paris).

                The music for the offertory is "Sacred Piece" by Louis James Alfred Lefébure-Wély (13 Nov 1817 – 31 Dec 1869).

                "Sacred Piece" may be a name given to a composition of Lefébure-Wély that has another name.  I couldn't find a "Morceau Sacré," so perhaps it is one of the ten parts of Lefébure-Wély's Opus 122, Meditaciones religiosas, first published in 1858.

                I rather like the "Andante in F Major." "Andante in F Major, 'Chœur de Voix humaines' " No. 7 from Meditaciones religiosas, Op. 122, played by Mikail Mishcenko in the Maltese Chapel of the Vorontsov Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia


               Léfébure-Wély was born in Paris and was the son of an organist.  He became the official organist of a fashionable church, Saint-Roch, at age 14 upon the death of his father.  He began attending the Paris Conservatory in 1832, and won first prize for organ in 1835.

Louis Alfred James Léfébure-Wély, 1840

                Here is another composition of Léfébure-Wély.  It takes three people to play this piece on an organ.  One to play the music and two to pull out and push in the stops, and turn the pages of the music.

                It's fun to watch: "Sortie in E-flat major" by Louis Alfred James Léfébure-Wély,  played by Gert van Hoef in the Stephanuskerk, Hasselt, The Netherlands

                You can learn more about the organ Gert van Hoef is playing here:  The organ has many little statues of angels sitting atop the woodwork that holds the pipes.  The angels are playing a flute, a horn, a lyre, etc.

            "Gloria" by Ignaz Joseph Ritter von Seyfried is the postlude.  (He is also known more simply as "Ignaz von Seyfried.")  "Ritter" is the German word for "Knight."  There is a place in the middle of Austria called Seyfried, but Ignaz Ritter von Seyfried spent his life in Vienna.

            Ignaz von Seyfried was born in Vienna on 15 August 1776, and he died there on 27 August 1841.


               Ignaz Joseph Ritter von Seyfried

   (also known as Ignaz Xaver Ritter von Seyfried)


            He was a musician, conductor, and composer.  He had been a student of Mozart and of Johann Albrechtsberger.  He became music director of the Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna in 1797 and continued in that post until 1826.  (After the organization moved to a new building, it was known as the Theater an der Wien.)

            He conducted the première of Beethoven's Fidelio in 1805.

            His compositions have not achieved much fame and are rarely performed. 

            He did receive a somewhat favorable review in an 1827 issue of The Harmonicon for his compositions for Zum goldenen Löwen:

From The Harmonicon (London), No. 49, 1827, p. 53.

I did find this piece by him on YouTube called "Fest-Chor."

   "Fest-Chor" by Ignaz von Seyfried, sung in Prague by two choirs  (the audio quality isn't great)


Also, here is a part of the "Gloria" from his solemn mass in B minor:

       "Gloria: Gloria in excelsis Deo" of Missa solemnis in B Minor by Ignaz Ritter von Seyfried


and "Gloria: Quoniam tu solus Sanctus" of Missa solemnis in B Minor by Ignaz Ritter von Seyfried

Both are sung by the choir of Rzeszów University in Rzeszów, Poland.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

This Week at Old South Haven Chrch

Saturday, April 22                                  EARTH  DAY

12:00 noon The League of Women Voters of Brookhaven
Earth Day Luncheon
Harbor Crab Restaurant in Patchogue.
See LWV Flyer Attached

                               7:30pm    Old South Haven Presbyterian Church
                                                  observes this day by presenting
                                                         THE  NEW  STUDENTS
                                                          in concert, celebrating Earth Day
                                                               including numbers created for Earth Day 2017
                                         donations will be received for an environmental cause
See flyer attached.

Sunday, April  23            10:00am               Second Sunday of Easter
                                                                    Sermon:  "The Future Is Now"
                                                                    Lessons: I Peter 1:3-9  Acts 2:14, 22-32
Monday, April 24               5:15pm           Confirmation Class
Sunday, April 30              10:00am            Third Sunday of Easter
                                                                   Sermon;  "Opening Eyes"
                                                                   Lessons: Luke 24: 13-35  Acts 2: 14,36-41
Looking Ahead
 Sunday, May 7                10:00am           Fourth Sunday of Easter
                                                                    Sermon:   'A Different Kind of Confidence"
 Monday, May  8                7:00pm           Property/Finance committee
 Saturday, May 13            12:30pm           South Country Peace Group in Gallery
 Sunday, May 14               10;00am                   Mothers Day              
 Monday, May 15                                        Peace Essay submission Deadline
                                              5:00pm          Confirmation Class
                                              7;00pm        Session
 Tuesday, May 16             11:30am        Brookhaven. Bellport Clergy
                                                                       lunch at Royal Oak
 Thursday, May 18              4:30pm      Long Island Council of Churches
                                                                        Annual Meeting
  Sunday, May 21                 5:30pm      Pot luck supper
                                                                      The Plight of Recent Immigrants
  Saturday, May 27                9:00am       Church yard sale

Friday, April 14, 2017

Music for the OSHC Service of April 16, 2017, Easter Sunday

From: Richard Thomas []
Sent: Friday, April 14, 2017 1:05 AM

                Good Friday reminds me of a presentation John and I heard 28 years ago at the PLGC Mid-Winter Conference.  Sandy Brawders, a graduate of Princeton Seminary, stated that it was her conviction that Jesus did not intend to die on a cross, that he had hoped for a better response from those to whom he brought his message.

                She also felt that he would be aghast to discover that we have adorned our churches, both inside and out, with crosses.  And sometimes even crosses bearing his broken body, displaying him at the time of his utmost pain and suffering, glorifying his death rather than his life among us.

                It was an interesting perspective, I guess, but if there had been no crucifixion, we wouldn’t have all those blood hymns, “Are You Washed in the Blood,” “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood,” “Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed,” “There Is Power in the Blood,” “Precious, Precious Blood of Jesus,” “What Can Wash My Sin Away, Nothing But the Blood of Jesus” etc., etc., etc.  Also, we wouldn’t have all those wonderful hymns about the cross, “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Beneath the Cross of Jesus,” “At the Cross,” “In the Cross of Christ I Glory,” “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” “Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone,” etc.

                And without a martyr, there would have been no lasting Christian movement.

                [Sandra Brawders was denied ordination and subsequently had a long career as Executive Director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine and the Trust to Conserve the Northeast Forest.  Upon her retirement in 2009, the president of the group praised her for having “an uncanny ability to see the future.”  In her response, she said “Forward thinking . . . takes a leap of faith.”]


                The introit and anthem will be the same ones we sang for the Easter service last year.

                The introit is “He Is Exalted,” words and music by Twila Paris (descant by Tom Fettke).  Here it is sung at the Pensacola Christian College Music Camp: “He Is Exalted” at the Gala Concert, Music Camp of the Pensacola Christian College

                Here is a good instrumental version—on piano: “He Is Exalted” played by Tolu A.

                You can listen to how it is sung in Huntington Station here: “He Is Exalted,” choir anthem, sung the Family Choir of St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Huntington Station, NY


          Twila Paris, 1984                               Twila Paris, 2013

                Twila Paris is said to have the gift of being able to create praise music in a style that is “acceptable to normally more conservative churches.” [Here “conservative churches” means musically conservative; that is, those congregations that find the emotional praise and worship of Pentecostal/Charismatic churches disconcerting.]

                Twila Inez Paris Wright was born 28 Dec 1958 in Fort Worth, Texas.  She is the daughter of Oren II and Rachel Inez Paris.  Oren Paris II is the founder and Chancellor of Ecclesia College in Springdale, Arkansas.  Twila Paris married Jack Wright.  They live in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  They have a son, J. P., whom she home-schools.

                She has an entry in the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.

                She released her first full-length album, Knowin’ You’re Around, in 1981.  According to her Encyclopedia entry “her album Sanctuary won the Gospel Music Association’s Praise and Worship Album of the Year award. Her Dove Awards include Female Vocalist of the Year for 1993 and 1994. In 1995, she won the GMA Song of the Year award for “God Is in Control.”

                The opening hymn is no. 123, “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today.”  The fourth stanza (a doxology) was authored by Charles Wesley.  The first three stanzas and the tune were included in the first publication of the hymn in English in 1708 in Lyrica Davidica, or a Collection of Divine Songs and Hymns, Partly Newly Composed, Partly Translated from the High German and Latin Hymns, and Set to Easy and Pleasant Tunes.

     “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today” is an anonymous translation of an anonymous Latin hymn, “Surrexit Christus hodie,” probably from the 14th century.  In 1749, the second and third stanzas were rewritten without reference to the original Latin, but the tune (also anonymous) is mostly unchanged. “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today,” sung at First Plymouth Church, Lincoln, Nebraska, with timpani

Or you can listen to it in  D Major for a Choir of Men and Boys at the Washington National Cathedral:

       “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today,” sung by Washington National Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys

                The choir anthem is  “Alleluia, He is Risen,” (with trumpet) arranged by Cindy Berry.  You can hear an audio recording of a performance of a version with the orchestration by Brant Adams by going to this link and clicking on the “Play” icon.  "Alleluia, He is Risen", arranged by Cindy Berry, orchestrated by Brant Adams

Cindy Berry is the church pianist and her husband Bruce is the Minister of Music at the First Baptist Church in Killeen, Texas.

                Dr. Brant Adams is professor of theory and composition at the Department of Music of Oklahoma State University.  He was born in 1955 and raised in Gallipolis, Ohio.  He has a bachelor’s in music from Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, a master’s of music in music theory from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and a doctorate from The University of Texas, Austin.  He first taught at Mercer University, Macon, Georgia, and taught at The Ohio State University after 1987.

Brant Adams in 2012.

                The gospel lesson is  Matthew 28:1-10.  This is the last chapter of the gospel, and it tells of “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary” finding an empty tomb.  It is a much grander story than the one found in Mark, the earliest gospel, which ends abruptly with the tomb being found empty (though both a short and a long resurrection story was tacked onto the end of Mark later). In Mark, there are three women (Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome), and they find the tomb with the stone already rolled away.

                In Matthew, when the two women reach the tomb, the stone has not yet been rolled away. Then there is an earthquake; an angel (with an appearance like lightning and clothes as white as snow) descends from heaven, rolls away the stone, then sits on it.

                In Matthew, the angel speaks to them:

“Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.

He is not here, for he has been raised, just as he said. Come and see the place where he was lying.

Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. He is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there.’

Listen, I have told you!”

(This passage is the basis for “Easter Song,” which our choir found to be surprisingly difficult to sing: “Easter Song” words and music by Anne Herring, 1974, sung by GLAD )


Matthew continues, “So they left the tomb quickly, with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.” Along the way, they run into Jesus, who gives them the same message to give to the disciples that the angel gave them. (It seems a bit odd that the newly risen Jesus didn’t have something more important to say to the women or instructions to give them—other than what the angel had just told them.)


                In Mark, three women go into the (already-open) tomb and find a young man (rather than an angel) dressed in white sitting on the right.  The young man says:

“Do not be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified.

He has been raised! He is not here. Look, there is the place where they laid him.

But go, tell his disciples, even Peter, that he is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you.”

The gospel of Mark then abruptly ends: “Then they went out and ran from the tomb, for terror and bewilderment had seized them. And they said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

                Matthew has two more short passages before that gospel ends, one about a guard who reports what he has seen to the chief priests, and another about the disciples going to Galilee where they see Jesus. “When they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted.”

                It is the gospel of Luke that has Peter running to the tomb, plus the wonderful story of the two disciples meeting Jesus on the road to Emmaus, and the story about the risen Jesus eating some broiled fish “in front of the disciples.” [The latter story about Jesus eating the broiled fish doesn’t seem to get the attention it deserves.]

                In John, two disciples run to the tomb. (It seems men become more and more important in the tomb story as time goes on and other gospels get written.)  John also has the story of multiple appearances of the resurrected Jesus, including his appearance to Doubting Thomas, which occurs only in the gospel of John.


                The second lesson is Acts 10: 34-43, the same as last year.  (During Eastertide, the lectionary provides a reading from Acts as a substitute for a reading from the Old Testament.  This substitute reading from Acts for Easter Sunday is the same for each of the three years of the lectionary cycle.)

                Acts 10:34-43 follow the story of Simon Peter falling into a trance and seeing a vision which causes Peter to realize (with the help of the Holy Spirit) that he should accept the invitation of Cornelius, the centurion of Caesarea, to come and preach to him, even though Cornelius is not a Jew.

       St. Peter and Cornelius, the Centurion (1640s) by Bernardo Cavalino (1616-1656)

                                    (National Gallery of Ancient Art, Rome, Italy)

                The passage tells what Peter said to Cornelius and to his household.  It is the story of the resurrection, but Peter makes no specific mention of the women at all.  Peter tells Cornelius’ household that Jesus had gone about “doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil.”  Peter also tells them that God has appointed Jesus as the judge of the living and the dead, and that “everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

                The second hymn is “The Strife Is O’er, the Battle Done” no. 119. It is an anonymous Latin hymn dating from 1695.  It was translated by Francis Pott in 1861.  The tune is VICTORY and was composed by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina in 1591. 

                The adaptation of the tune by William Henry Monk includes three “alleluias” that are sung only before the first verse and after the last verse.

      Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

                Palestrina was born about 1525 in Palestrina, near Rome.  He was listed as a chorister in Rome in 1537.  He was influenced by the northern European style of composing by two composers from Holland, Buillaume Dufay and Josquin des Prez.

                From 1544 to 1551, Palestrina was the organist of the cathedral of St. Agapito in Palestrina.  Pope Julius III, who had been Bishop of Palestrina,  appointed Palestrina musical director of the Julian Chapel Choir of St. Peter’s Basilica.

                The tune VICTORY is a melody from a Palestrina Magnificat, the Gloria melody.

                Palestrina died of pleurisy in Rome on 02 Feb 1594.  “The Strife Is O’er,” arrangement by Tom Fettke and Billy Ray Hearn (with orchestra) “The Strife is O’er, the Battle Done,” a cappella

                Francis Pott, the translator, was born 29 Dec 1832, and attend Brasenose College, Oxford, obtaining a B.A. in 1854 and a M. A. in 1857.  He became an Anglican priest in 1857.

The sermon title is "No Tomb Can Hold Him.”

                Ken and Sandy will sing “The Holy City,” with trumpet accompaniment by Joe Porcelli (and also keyboard on CD) for the offertory.

                Here it is sung by three Celtic tenors: “The Holy City,” music by Stephen Adams (a pseudonym), lyrics by Frederick E. Weatherly, sung by the Celtic Tenors


Michael Maybrick (1841-1913)

                The composer, “Stephen Adams,” was actually Michael Maybrick, though, as a composer, he was better known by his pseudonym.

                He was born 31 Jan 1841 in Kenya.  His father, William, was born in Liverpool and was an engraver.  His uncle, also named Michael Maybrick, was an organist and the conductor of the Liverpool Choral Society.

                Maybrick studied keyboard and harmony in Leipzig in 1865, but then switched to training as a baritone in Milan, Italy.

                He appeared in London in Mendelssohn’s Elijah in 1869 and received glowing reviews.  He also appeared in Wagner’s Lohengrin.

                Around 1870, Maybrick began writing his own music for himself to sing.  He published it under the name Stephen Adams.  His compositions were very popular and included “sea songs” such as “Nancy Lee,” “They All Love Jack,” and “The Midshipmite.”  He wrote sentimental, romantic, and sacred songs.  “Nancy Lee” sold over 100,000 copies.

       “Nancy Lee,” music by Michael Maybrick, words by Fred Weatherly

                He toured the United States in 1884.  When he performed his music, “The Midshipmite” was one of his most requested pieces.

                He also composed the music for the songs “Your Dear Brown Eyes,” “The Blue Alsatian Mountains,” and “The Holy City.”


                Some found him charming, others thought him arrogant and vain, according to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

                At age 52, he married for the first time.  He married his housekeeper, Laura Withers, age 40, and they  raised the two children of his brother, James Maybrick, a Liverpool cotton merchant. 

                His brother James was suspected of being Jack the Ripper.  When James was murdered, his wife, Florence, was charged with the crime.  She was convicted of his murder in 1889, but she was released fifteen years later upon re-examination of her case.

                (Florence was an American from Mobile, Alabama.  She was the daughter of a Mobile banker, who was at one time also mayor of Mobile.)

                Michael Maybrick died on 26 Aug 1913 on the Isle of Wright.


                In 2015, the British novelist, screenwriter, and director, Bruce Robinson, wrote a book called They All Love Jack: Busting the Ripper.   In what The Guardian describes as a “deeply researched Ripper theory,” Robinson identifies a new prime suspect, Michael Maybrick! 

                Robinson rejects the idea that James Maybrick was Jack the Ripper.  He focuses on the composer of the music of “The Holy City” as the true serial killer.  He uses true TV mystery logic—that the least suspicious person is the one who actually committed the crime—to reach his conclusion. 

                As Michael Maybrick was “just about the last man in London you’d finger as the Ripper,” it almost has to be him.  See:   

                (Bruce Robinson also claims it was Michael who poisoned his brother James, not James’ wife, Florence.) [The book must not have sold very well.  You can purchase a new hardcover edition for less than $10 on Amazon.]


                Here is a performance of “The Holy City” in Columbia, South Carolina, at Saint Peter’s Catholic Church.  It is remarkable because of how difficult it must have been for the organist.  The piece is sung by two guys, Mark Husey and Antonio Rivera.  Mark Husey not only sings the tenor part, he also plays the organ at the same time (including the pedals), and keeps changing the registration throughout. “The Holy City” sung by two guys, Antonio Rivera, baritone, and Mark Husey, tenor and organ


      Pierre Gardy Fontaine

                This is an interesting performance, though not without a few flaws.  I like it because I can make out the words—at least until the choir overpowers him near the end.

        “The Holy City,” music by Michael Maybrick, 1892, sung by baritone Pierre Gardy Fontaine


                The author of the words of “The Holy City,” Frederick Edward Weatherly, was born 04 Oct 1848 in Portishead, Somerset, England.  He not only wrote the words of “The Holy City (1892),” he also wrote “Danny Boy (1913)” and “Roses of Picardy (1916).”  In addition to writing the lyrics to over 3,000 songs, he was a lawyer and author.

                He was the eldest son of a medical doctor.  He attended the Hereford Cathedral School, then went to Oxford University on scholarship (Brasenose College) where he obtained a degree in Classics in 1871.

                He married Anna Maria “Minnie” Hardwick of Axbridge in 1872 in Somerset, with whom he had three children.  They separated in 1900.

                Weatherly became a barrister in 1887 and practiced in London and in the west of England.

                About 1902, a Maude Eugenie Beatrice Francfort of Esher in Surrey began living in the same household with Weatherly.  She used the surname “Weatherly” while they lived together in Bath, though Frederick never divorced his wife.  His wife, whom Frederick supported financially until her death in 1920, lived in Portishead.

                In his last years, he was a popular lecturer and after-dinner speaker.

                His partner, Maude Francfort, died in 1923, and he then married the widow of the tenor John Bryan, Miriam Bryan née Davies.  Miriam Bryan had been Maude’s nurse and companion during the last years of her life.

                In 1926, he was made King’s Counsel (a senior barrister).  He died on 07 Sep 1929 at age 80.

                You can peruse some of the books he authored here: , including Oxford Days: Or, How Ross Got His Degree (1879).

                Hymn no. 122, “Thine Is the Glory” is the closing hymn.  It is sung to a tune from Georg Frederick Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus. “See the Conqu’ring Hero Comes!”  Chorus from Judas Maccabaeus by Handel, sung at the National Auditorium of Music of Madrid

with a huge chorus and a large orchestra


                The words of “Thine Is the Glory” are by Edmond Louis Budry, who was Swiss.  (The words were translated from French by R. Birch Hoyle in 1923.)

                Edmond Louis Budry was born 30 Aug 1854 in Vevey, Switzerland, and died in Vevey on 12 Nov 1932.  He studied theology in Lausanne and was a pastor from 1881.  He was pastor of the Free Church of Vevey from 1889 until his retirement in 1923.  He wrote this hymn in 1884.


                Here it is a upbeat version of “To Thine Be the Glory” sung in French:

       “À Toi la Gloire,” sung with guitar, banjo, bass, and drums (very upbeat), performed by Sebastian Demrey & Jimmy Lahaie, and others (very good)


À toi la gloire Ô Ressuscité
À toi la victoire pour l'éternité
Brillant de lumière, l'ange est descendu
Il roule la pierre du tombeau vaincu

À toi la gloire Ô Ressuscité
À toi la victoire pour l'éternité

Instrumental Music

                The prelude is “Christ Is Alive,” a selection from Mary McDonald’s arrangements in her three-part Easter Suite for Organ, Sacrifice and Splendor (2012).

                “Christ Is Alive” is a fanfare-like prelude that incorporates a bit of the well-known tune TRURO.

                You can hear Mary McDonald’s “Christ Is Alive” here: “Christ Is Alive” by Mary McDonald

(Click “Listen” at the speaker icon, then click the “play icon” on the window that pops up.)

                (The choir has sung—in practices, at least—Mary McDonald’s arrangement of “Be Still,” with words by Herb Frombach.)

                TRURO is not only the tune used with the Brian Wren hymn “Christ Is Alive! Let Christians Sing,” (1968, alt. 1978).  It is also the tune used as a setting for “Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates.”  TRURO is an anonymous tune and was first published in Thomas Williams’s Psalmodia Evangelica (Vol. II, 1789).  The tune is named for a city in Cornwall, England.

Mary McDonald

                Mary McDonald has a strong Texas accent.  Here’s a quote from Mary McDonald,


“Just stand up and sing the song—and don’t worry about the notes, but if you wanna sing the right ones, it wouldn’t hurt.”


                Always good advice, I would say.

                (See: Mary McDonald, clinician, at Stanton’s Sacred Choral Reading Session)


                Mary McDonald was born in 1956.  She graduated from Carson-Newman College in East Tennessee in 1978.  She then served as organist at Beaver Dam Baptist Church in Knoxville.  At the time, she did not read music well, so she played by ear and improvised the service music. 

                In 1985, she served as accompanist for the Tennessee Men’s Chorale.

                In 2000, she became president of the Southern Baptist Church Music Conference—the first woman to hold that position.

                She is currently organist at Central Baptist Church, Knoxville, Tennessee.  She has published over 800 choral anthems, cantatas and keyboard works.

                She married her high school sweetheart, Brian McDonald.  (She had first dated Brian’s brother.  As Mary McDonald remarks, “What can I say, it’s Tennessee.” )  Brian is an architect.  They live in Knoxville.

                The offertory music is "The Holy City."  See vocal music, above.

                The postlude is selections from Sigmund Hering "Classic Pieces for the Advancing Trumpeter.”

                Sigmund Hering was born 10 May 1898 in Austro-Hungary. He studied at the Academy for Music and the Performing Arts in Vienna from 1915-1921.

                On 27 Mar 1921, he immigrated to the United States with his parents and his brother and sister-in-law.  (On the ship’s manifest, the S. S. Lapland, his father’s occupation is also shown as “musician,” and his language is shown as Yiddish. Sigmund’s nationality is shown as “Polish.”)  After immigrating to the United States, he also obtained a degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 1930, where he majored in trumpet an double bass.  He was also a skilled pianist.  He was a trumpeter with the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1925 to 1964.

                Sigmund Hering was the most influential trumpet teacher of his generation.  He published 32 etude and method books (with 408 trumpet etudes) which his students used.  He taught his students sight-reading, transposition, and the orchestral repertoire. He gave lessons at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia for over fifty years, but (at least in his later years) he never played at lessons.

                He died in January 1986.

                I didn’t find a YouTube video of Hering’s “Classic Pieces” but I did find videos of Hering’s “Progressive Etudes.”  Here is #29.

                         Sigmund Hering’s #29 of 32 etudes played by Jerry Wyrick