Tuesday, January 27, 2015

This Week at Old South Haven Church

Saturday, Jan 31 2:00pm Memorial Service for
Ann Wiswall

Sunday, Feb. 1 10:00am Morning Worship
Holy Communion
Installation of Elders and Deacons
Sermon: "If I Were An Exorist"
Lessons: Deut. 18:15-20 Mark 1: 21-28

Looking Ahead:

Wednesday, Feb. 18 ASH WEDNESDAY
12noon and 7:00pm The United Methodist Church of Bellport
joins us: Disposition of ashes
Saturday, Feb. 21 3:00pm "Portrait of a People"
An Unique Portrayal of the African-American Experience"
in poetry and song
Daryl Jordan, Soprano

Sunday, Mar 1 10:00am Morning Worship
Linda Majowka, preacher

Sunday, Mar. 15 10:00am Morning Worship
4:00pm Book Discussion
Barbara Brown Taylor's "Learning to Walk in the Dark"

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Introit and Instrumental Music for the OSHC Service of Sunday, January 25, 2015



From: Richard Thomas [mailto:richardathomas@optonline.net]
Sent: Saturday, January 24, 2015 1:48 AM



The bulletin hasn’t been produced yet, so I don’t have the hymns, but the offertory is particularly interesting, which is described below.


The introit is "We Come Before Thee" by James Denton, a pseudonym of Dr. Robert J. Hughes (known to his friends as “Dr. Bob”), who also used the aliases of John Johnson and James Moffatt

The Old Testament reading is from Jonah, chapter 3, verses 1 to 5 and verse 10.  It’s about God changing his mind about destroying Nineveh after the people put on sackcloth and repented.  Even the king took off his robes, put on sackcloth, and sat on ashes.  The king ordered that the cattle, the sheep, --- indeed, every animal, was to put on sackcloth.


The king instructed his people not to eat or drink anything and to turn from their evil way of living and to turn away from violence.


The people did turn from their evil way of living, and it worked, God changed his mind. 


In Jeremiah 18, God explained that whether he carries out a judgment or fulfills a promise is conditional on what the people do:


                There are times, Jeremiah, when I threaten to uproot, tear down, and destroy a nation or kingdom. But if that nation I threatened stops doing wrong, I will cancel the destruction I intended to do to it.

                And there are times when I promise to build up and establish a nation or kingdom. But if that nation does what displeases me and does not obey me, then I will cancel the good I promised to do to it.


In any case, though God may have been satisfied and relented, Jonah was very angry.  After Jonah had tried so hard to escape doing as God had commanded (go to Nineveh and declare God’s judgment against the people there), and God had foiled his attempt to escape from that duty (jump on a ship, storm, sailors find out Jonah’s responsible and throw him overboard, big fish, etc.), and so, ultimately, Jonah had done as God had commanded and had declared God’s judgment, then God had changed his mind!


Jonah wasn’t happy.  Here he had told the people of Nineveh that in forty days they were going to be destroyed, just as God had told him to do, but then they hadn’t been destroyed.  You’ll have to read Chapter 4 to find out what happens next.


The gospel reading is Mark 1: 14-20.  It’s a parallel to the calling of the disciples that we heard last week from John.  In Mark, however, Jesus does not immediately give Simon his nickname of “Rocky” (Peter).  That doesn’t happen until Chapter 3 in Mark.

The sermon is "Like the Words You Speak"

Instrumental Music

The prelude,  "Ach Gott und Herr"  by J. S. Bach is also used as a hymn tune.  It is used with “Strengthen for Service, Lord, the Hands” and “Alas! My God! My Sins Are Great.”


                http://youtu.be/KKpesfAEmBM  “Ach Gott und Herr,” choral, BWV 255


                http://youtu.be/ZwpFDDwmPz0 “Ach Gott und Herr,” instrumental, BWV 255


                http://youtu.be/sSiYJM976Yo “Strengthen for Service, Lord, the Hands”


He also composed another piece with the same name:


                http://youtu.be/zbQmQ85ongo “Ach Gott und Herr,” BWV 714


The offertory is from an opéra fantastique by Jacques Offenbach which was based on three short stories by E. T. A. Hoffman. 


The opera is The Tales of Hoffman (Les contes d'Hoffmann).


The selection is the Barcarolle “Lovely Night, O Night of Love (Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour)”, the most famous barcarolle ever written. 


The words are about love and the beauty of the night.  It is sung at the beginning of the third act (or fourth act if you count the prologue as an act), which is set in Vienna.


                http://youtu.be/g7czptgEvvU Barcarolle from the Tales of Hoffmann, music by Jacques Offenbach


[Sometimes the opera is said to have five acts, while others say it has three acts sandwiched between a prologue and an epilogue.  The plot is about Hoffman, who, in Act I (II) falls in love with a female robot (a mechanical automaton).  In Act II (III) falls in love with a young woman who loves to sing, but her father reveals that she will die if she sings too much --- never a good thing for a character in an opera.  She does, of course, sing too much and then dies. This brings us to Act III (IV) in the video below.]


In the next video from the production in 2003 (Salzburger Festspiele 2003) we hear “Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour” as it is sung in the opera. 


The production is a “tragic version” of The Tales of Hoffman directed by David McVicar. 


David McVicar sees Hoffmann as “an alcoholic and a loser,” and in the end, “Hoffmann simply dies.”


The scenes “portray the fading elegance of a decaying society.”


I couldn’t make out the plot at this point in the opera, but it somehow involves a naked man whose shoulder is bleeding, people wearing masks, a skeleton, strange hats, and a gondola:


http://youtu.be/800ael8l_II  Barcolle, “Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour” sung as part of the opera, The Tales of Hoffman, words by Jules Barbier, Salzburger Festspiele 2003


Well, I could make some sense of the gondola.  It is Venice after all.  I think the guy sitting among scattered sheets of yellow paper, writing, is supposed to be the poet Hoffmann.


Offenbach used this very same music earlier in Die Rheinnixen, where it is sung by a chorus of elves.


Offenbach died while the opera was still in rehearsal.


Elvis Presley sang a jazzed up version with the title “Tonight is so Right for Love” in the movie G.I. Blues (1960).


                http://youtu.be/gw_CE7mQ0eQ “Tonight is so Right for Love,” Elvis Presley


Ginger sings the tune in an episode of “Gilligan’s Island”:


                http://youtu.be/m4qRWsgxssA Ophelia’s Song in the Gilligan’s Island production of Hamlet, sung by Ginger


See, “Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour” truly is “the most famous barcarolle ever written.” (A barcarolle is a song traditionally sung by Venetian gondoliers.)

Bach’s “Allein Gott in der Höh' sei Ehr',” BWV 664,  is the postlude.  Here it is being played in Ukraine:


                http://youtu.be/D6rUUYKZJEo “Allein Gott in der Höh' sei Ehr',” played by Dmitry Ushakov in 2009


The title is, however, also used for BWV 662, which is quite different:


                http://youtu.be/LCtEnDMAoWA “Allein Gott in der Höh' sei Ehr',” BWV 662.


Then there’s BWV 663: http://youtu.be/XUeCegJfZkk , BMV 675 http://youtu.be/EuGad6nboGM , and BMV 676 http://youtu.be/VgFQGHBpUqw .


It is also the name for BWV 715, which is a bit weird:


                http://youtu.be/3Eu4GdfJ9cA  BWV 715



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

This Week at Old South Haven Church


Sunday, Jan. 25         10:00am     Morning Worship
                                                      Sermon: Like the Words You Speak"
                                                      Lessons: Jonah 3: 1-5, 10   Mark 1: 14-20
                                   11:30am                Annual meeting of the
                                                     Congregation and Corporation
Saturday, J an. 31         2:00pm              Memorial Service                
                                                                 for Ann Wiswall
Sunday, Feb. 1            10:00am    Morning Worship/Holy Communion
                                                      Installation of Elders and Deacons
Wednesday, Feb. 18                               ASH WEDNESDAY
                            12noon and 7:00pm      The United Methodist Church of Bellport
                                                                         joins us: Disposition of ashes
Saturday, Feb. 21       3:00pm                "Portrait of a People"
                                        A Unique Portrayal of the African- American Experience"
                                                              in poetry and song
                                                          Daryl Jordan, Soprano

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Music for the OSHC Worship Service of January 18, 2014

From: Richard Thomas


The introit is “We Are Here, Lord” by Herb Frombach, arranged by Robert Lau. 


                https://us.songselect.com/songs/3942057/we-are-here-lord also known as “Wir Sind Hier Herr”


Herb Frombach also wrote the words for the anthem “Be Still,” that we’ve practiced.

“How Great Thou Art,” No. 467, is the opening hymn.


                http://youtu.be/ICcjgBrG-oM  “How Great Thou Art,” a cappella, Reprise Quartet


The hymn is Swedish, “O Store Gud (O Mighty God),” and was authored by Carl Gustave Boberg (16 Aug 1859 – 07 Jan 1940).


Our English translation is not, however, a translation of the original hymn in Swedish.  It was instead translated from a Russian version that was itself based on a German translation of the Swedish hymn.  The English translation is by Stuart K. Hine in 1949.  Boberg was a carpenter’s son.  He was a member of the Swedish Parliament from 1912 to 1931.


The translator, Stuart K. Hine, was born in Great Britain in 1899.  He and his wife were missionaries in Western Ukraine, which was part of Russia at the time.  He died in 1989.


The tune, O STORE GUD, is a Swedish folk melody.


I think it gained its great popularity from the Billy Graham crusades.  George Beverly Shea would sing it at every service.


Here’s George Beverly Shea singing “How Great Thou Art.”


                http://youtu.be/dsrEscUUNMA “How Great Thou Art,” sung by George Beverly Shea, Billy Graham Crusade, New York, 1969.


He was still singing “How Great Thou Art” at age 103!  http://youtu.be/mdF1wR98OeE

After the talk with the children, the choir will sing “When the Angels’ Son is Silent” by Mary Kay Beall.

Mary Kay Beall (b. 1943) was born and raised in Akron, Ohio.  She has a B.M. degree from Ohio Wesleyan and an M.A. from the Ohio State University.  They live in Columbus, Ohio.  She was ordained in the American Baptist Church.

The Old Testament lesson is Isaiah 49:1-7.  Verse 6 is the famous “Light to the Nations” passage, which Norman K. Gottwald used as the title for his “introduction to the Old Testament” text book.  It was, I think, my favorite introductory text.  Every student at the college I attended had to take a semester course on introduction to the Old Testament and a semester on Introduction to the New Testament.  Dr. David O. Moore taught Old Testament, and Gottwald’s “Light to the Nations” was one of the supplementary texts he recommended we use.

    Nine years after I had graduated, Dr. Moore almost lost his job because he wouldn’t profess belief in a personal devil.  (The college received significant financial support from the Southern Baptists of Missouri --- the Missouri Baptist Convention.)  Dr. Moore was too highly respected for the trustees to cave in, and he kept his job, but the relationship between the college and the Missouri Southern Baptists continued to worsen.

    After 150 years of support – which had reached $1 million by 2003,  the Missouri Baptist Convention and William Jewell College decided to go their separate ways.  The MBC couldn’t tolerate the college’s “tolerance of homosexuality.” It also didn’t like the drama department, which had staged a presentation of “The Vagina Monologues.”


The New Testament lesson is John 1:29-42.  It’s the testimony of John the Baptist, that Jesus is the Chosen One of God. (There is debate about whether the Greek read, “This is the Son of God,” or whether it said “This is the Chosen One of God,” which is the wording in a majority of ancient copies of the Gospel of John, as well as the wording in a majority of the Byzantine minuscules.

    As “You are” (or “This is”) “my beloved Son” appears in the other gospels, the scribes would have been inclined to harmonize John by changing “God’s chosen one” to “the Son of God,” but there would have been no inclination to change “the Son of God” to “God’s chosen one” so “God’s chosen one” is probably the correct earlier reading.

    The lesson ends with Andrew and his brother Simon following Jesus. 

    Jesus gives Simon the nickname “Stony” (Cephas, actually Qéphâ in Galilean Aramaic), which in Greek translation became the nickname “Rocky” (Peter).  Neither Qéphâ nor Petros is a usual proper name, they are instead nicknames.

     The verses that follow the lesson is about the calling of more disciples.

The second hymn is “Called as Partners in Christ’s Service” by Jane Parker Huber. 


It is NOT however Hymn No. 415, as appears in the bulletin.  It is instead Hymn No. 343.  (Unless we are intended to sing “Come, Labor On” which is No. 415.)


The tune for  “Called as Partners in Christ’s Service” is BEECHER (1870) by John Zundel.


Jane Parker Huber, although a prominent member of the committee that developed our blue hymnal, did not have a good ear for a pleasing line.  This hymn has the jarring phrase “reconciling folk on earth.”  Has anyone ever said such a phrase in real life? 


But I guess not many people go about “treading the verge” of rivers either, as we sing when we sing William William’s hymn, “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah.”


Jane Parker Huber has also composed a verse for this hymn that begins “Thus new patterns for Christ’s mission, in a small or global sense.”  I guess she wrote “in a small or global sense” because she needed a word to rhyme with “fence.”


Jane Parker Huber was the daughter of Presbyterian missionaries.  She was born in China on 24 October 1926.  The family returned to the United States in 1928, and in 1929 her father became president of Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana.


She spent three years at Wellesley College, then returned to Indiana and graduated from Hanover College in 1948.


Jane Parker Huber was the vice-president of United Presbyterian Women from 1973 to 1976.  She began writing hymns in 1976 and wrote over 125.  She served on the Committee for a New Hymnal, and eleven of her hymns “made their way” into the 1990 hymnal.


She died on 17 November 2008 in Hanover, Indiana.


  Jane Parker Huber


There are many people who love Jane Parker Huber’s hymns. (In fact, one writer declares that  “Called as Partners in Christ’s Service” is her favorite hymn in the 1990 hymnal.)  It’s true that she always uses inclusive language and her hymns are about the social mission of the church, but they lack artistry and a fluency in diction.


Here’s what Brian Abel Ragen says about her hymns. 


He was looking at G. K. Chesterton’s hymn, “O God of Earth and Altar.”  The original words are:


From all the easy speeches

    That comfort cruel men,

From sale and profanation

     Of honour and the sword,

From sleep and from damnation,

    Deliver us, good Lord!


Tie in a living tether

    The prince and priest and thrall,

Bind all our lives together,

    Smite us and save us all;

In ire and exultation

    Aflame with faith, and free,

Lift us a living nation,

     A single sword to thee.


Jane Parker Huber rewrote these verses for the Presbyterian Hymnal, so they become


From all that terror teaches,

    From lies of pen and voice,

From all the easy speeches

    That make our hearts rejoice,

From sale and profanation

    Of honor and the sword,

From sleep and from damnation,

    Deliver us, good Lord!


Awaken us to action

    And forge us into one,

Defying sect and faction;

    O God, Your will be done!

Oppressive systems snare us;

     Our apathies increase.

Great God, in mercy spare us

    For justice and for peace!


Brian Abel Ragen writes:


                One need not point out that the perpetrator of this revision—Jane Parker Huber—does not have Chesterton’s way with words. But it is worth considering why her banalities would seem preferable to Chesterton’s vivid language, at least to the editors of this hymnal (one of whom, of course, was Ms. Huber herself).

                First, the new stanzas use inclusive—that is, genderless—language. . . . (Whether texts make sense is less important to some revisers than that they avoid sexist language:  we know just what “the easy speeches that comfort cruel men” are: we hear them regularly from politicians and sometimes may find them being uttered by our own lips. “The easy speeches that make our hearts rejoice” could be almost anything, good or bad—Ms. Huber’s bland verbiage itself might come under that rubric—but avoiding “men” matters more than conveying a clear meaning.)

                . . . In Huber’s revision of Chesterton, swords are allowed to remain only so long as they are negative symbols. “The swords of scorn” can still divide us, and the sword can still be sold and profaned, but we cannot think of a converted people as a single blade in the Lord’s hand—that might make it sound as if swords were good things. Of course, Jesus advised his disciples to get swords—he in fact said he came to bring, not peace, but a sword—and St. Paul was unafraid to invoke the image when he talked about the “sword of the spirit,” but our modern revisers are more enlightened than the Savior and his apostle were.

                While Chesterton asks that the prince and slave (thrall) be joined together, Huber prefers not to mention the unpleasant subject of human inequality at all.

                Sin is never personal in the new revisions, it is often corporate.  Sin is something we do in groups, not something we do individually.

                The revisions of traditional hymns in recent American hymnals reveal a troubling attitude toward the members of the congregation: they are evidently imagined to be not very bright, not able to deal with any sort of difficulty, and more interested in feeling good about themselves than in the doctrines of Christianity. They cannot deal with vivid imagery, with archaic words—even Thou. They cannot even sing settings as complex as those their parents and grandparents sang with joy.


Actually, I do very much prefer a hymn to use inclusive language.  (I’ve been a member NOW  --- it’s the National Organization for Women, not the National Organization of Women – since the late 1970s.)  But I also like for it to be done well.


Singing about “folk” just sounds weird.


We did use the word “folks” quite a bit in Missouri, as in “You folks come over and see us sometime,” but it sounds odd in a hymn.


In the Methodist hymnal, the Wesley brothers are the authors of the largest number of hymns.  In the 1933 green Presbyterian hymnal, Isaac Watts was the largest source of hymns.


In our blue 1990 Presbyterian hymnal, Jane Parker Huber is in the top ten individual writers of hymns, just slightly behind Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley.


Not all of her hymns are bad.  I recall that there is one that we sometimes sing that doesn’t have any clinkers.  (We heated our old farmhouse in Missouri with coal stoves in each bedroom and one in the living room, so I know something about clinkers.)


The tune, BEECHER, is by John Zundel (b. 1815, near Stuttgart, Germany; d. 1882, Cannstadt, Germany).  Despite being born and dying in German, from 1847 to 1878 he was an organist in Brooklyn, NY.


Zundel was organist at Henry Ward Beecher’s church, the Plymouth Congregational Church of Brooklyn.  (Henry Ward Beecher’s sister was Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin.)   The tune is often used with “Love Divine, All Love’s Excelling.”

The sermon is “A Conversation Worth Having.”

“Today  We All Are Called to Be Disciples,” No. 434, is the closing hymn.  The hymn was written by H. Kenn Carmichael in 1985.  It is sung to the tune KINGSFOLD, an English country song harmonized by Ralph Vaughn Williams.


The tune is also used for “O Sing a Song of Bethlehem” and “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say.”  There is even one hymnal that has set “We Sing the Mighty Power of God” to the tune.


Although said to be an English country song, it is nearly identical to the Irish song, “Star of the County Down.”  (See: http://youtu.be/Rc82kInq2rQ,  http://youtu.be/HEt2XdN_TbQ .)


There is also an instrumental performance of this tune on mandolin and guitar,  http://youtu.be/d-J1o9BTQEk


The author of the hymn, Herbert Kenneth Carmichael (b. 1908, Martin’s Ferry, OH; d. 1996) received a B.A. from Muskingum College (1928, New Concord, OH), an M.A. in speech from the University of Wisconsin (1930), and a Ph.D. in theater from the University of Minnesota (1941).  He taught at City College, Los Angeles, from 1947-1954.  From 1972-1979 he served as pastor of Central Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles.

Instrumental Music

Prelude on “Evan” by Gerald Peterson.  I didn’t find the prelude arrangement for organ, but here is the hymn tune EVAN (1846) is by William Henry Havergal.


The tune is used most with “The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want.”  It is also used with “O for a Faith that Will Not Shrink,” “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say” and this one:


                http://youtu.be/0gtYBTxT4XI  “Oh, that the Lord Would Guide My Ways,” hymn tune EVAN


William Havergal was born at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, in 1793, and died 18 Apr 1870.

The offertory is a “Voluntary in A Minor,” “Largo”


There are quite a few voluntaries in A minor, but many don’t have a Largo movement.


Here is one that does:


                http://zionorgan.com/vb/mp3/greene_vol_am_anl.mp3 “Voluntary in A minor” by Maurice Greene


Here’s another:


                http://youtu.be/OHezqWKBIrY “Voluntary in A minor” by William Boyce


“Celebration” by Robert Lau is the postlude.



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

This Week at Old South Haven Church

       Dorry Tooker: We extend our sympathy to Bruce Tooker and to Dorry Tooker's Daughter Tara,
son Chuck, and other members of her family upon her death early last Sunday morning.
 A tribute and celebration of her life will take place this Saturday, January 17 in the
 Carriage House at Old South Haven Presbyterian Church beginning at 2:00pm

Looking Ahead
      Sunday, Jan. 18        10:00am             Morning Worship
                                                                   Sermon: "A Conversation Worth Having"
                                                                   Lessons: Isaiah 49: 1-7  John 1: 29--42
                                         2:30pm              South Country Peace Group: Annual Meeting
                                         4:00pm              SCPC Party
                                                                    St. James Episcopal Church, Brookhaven
     Monday , Jan 19                            Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
                                        7:00pm               Session meeting
     Saturday, Jan 24        9:00am                Meeting of Presbytery, Oyster Bay
    Sunday, Jan. 25       10:00am               Morning Worship
                                     11:30am               Annual Meeting of Congregation and Corporation
    Saturday, Jan. 31      2:00pm                Memorial Service for Ann Wiswall
    Sunday, Feb. 1        10:00am                Morning Worship
                                                                   Installation of Elders and Deacons
   Wednesday, Feb, 18                                              Ash Wednesday
                                                                                   Beginning of Lent

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

This Week at Old South Haven Church

Sunday, Jan. 11 10:00 am Morning Worship
Sermon: "Why Go to Church?"
Lessons: Psalm 118: 1-9, 19-29
I Peter 2: 1-10
Choir Anthem: "When the Angel's Song is Silent"

Looking Ahead

Sunday, Jan. 18 10:00am Morning Worship
Sermon: "A Conversation Worth Having"
Lessons Isaiah 49:1-7 John 1: 29-42

2:30pm South Country Peace Group
Annual meeting
4:00pm SCPC Party
St. James Episcopal Church, Brookhaven

Monday, Jan. 19 Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
7:00pm Session Meeting

Sunday, Jan. 25 10:00am Morning Worship
11:30am Annual Meeting

Saturday, Jan 31 2:00pm Memorial Service for
Ann Wiswall

Sunday, Feb. 1 10:00am Morning Worship
Installation of Elders and Deacons

Wednesday, Feb. 18 Ash Wednesday
Beginning of Lent

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Music for the OSHC Service of Sunday, Jan 04, 2015



From: Richard Thomas [mailto:richardathomas@optonline.net]
Sent: Saturday, January 03, 2015 12:50 PM

The Introit is “Emmanuel, Emmanuel” again.

The opening hymn is No. 67, “Brightest and Best of the Stars of the Morning.” 


We are singing the hymn in anticipation of Epiphany, which is celebrated on Tuesday, January 6.


When I took a philosophy class on “Death of God Theology” at William Jewell College, I recall that Thomas J. J. Altizer had a lot to say about “epiphany.”  For Altizer, when the “Word became flesh,” God emptied himself into humanity.  It was a self-annihilation. 


(This wasn’t an entirely new idea.  The self-emptying of God in the incarnation was also a subject considered by Nietzsche and is known as “kenosis.”)


Reading Altizer was very heavy going.  He would write sentences like:


“Nowhere else in history does such an ultimate and absolute transformation occur, and if the Christian God is unique in its absolute sovereignty and absolute transcendence, the epiphany or realization of that very transcendence and sovereignty can be understood as a consequence of a pure and total reversal of an absolutely immanent and kenotic Kingdom of God.”


“Realizing as we must that every original symbol of the sacred has disappeared in our  darkness, we must be open to a dialectical metamorphosis of the sacred, a kenotic transformation of the sacred into the profane, an historical epiphany of the broken Body of Jesus in a totally fallen human hand and face.”


Thankfully, I long ago forgot more than I ever knew about “epiphany” and “kenosis” as used by Thomas J. J. Altizer.  It made my head hurt.


Here is the hymn:


http://youtu.be/i0DfhqtLa1o “Brightest and Best of the Stars of the Morning”


The Mennonites sing it to a different tune:


                http://youtu.be/yIW2a5pFYAk “Brightest and Best of the Stars of the Morning,” Calvary Mennonite Church Chorus at UMC, Dover, TN, but sung to a different tune


Here is Harding’s tune, MORNING STAR, played on an organ:


                http://youtu.be/abxaZ5nqk10 Tune: MORNING STAR,


The words date from 1811 and are by Reginald Heber.  The tune is MORNING STAR, composed by James Proctor Harding in 1892.


The tune is quite familiar and is attached.  The composer was the organist and choirmaster of St. Andrew’s Church, Islington, London, for 35 years.  In addition to composing music for hymns, he composed anthems for children’s festivals at the Gifford Hall Mission.  He was born in London about 1850, and died in London on 21 Feb 1911.


The author of the hymn, Reginald Heber, was born 21 April 1783 in England.  He died before his 43rd birthday.


Reginald Heber was a child prodigy and was translating a Latin classic into English at the age of seven.  He won two awards for poetry while at Oxford.  His family was wealthy and his parents well-educated.  After graduating from Oxford, he became rector of his father’s church in Hodnet, near Shrewsbury in west England. 


In 1823, he was appointed Bishop of Calcutta.  He did not adapt well to the hot and humid weather of Calcutta in May and June, when the temperatures often exceeds 104 °F.  As Bishop of the see of Calcutta, he was required to travel long distances, going to Bengal, Bombay, Ceylon, Delhi, and Lucknow.  After working in India for three years, he died of a stroke on 03 April 1826.


He wrote all of his 57 hymns before going to India.  He is the author of eight hymns in our old green Presbyterian Hymnal (1933), including “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty”  “Bread of the World, In Mercy Broken,” “The Son of God Goes Forth to War,” “From Greenland’s Icy Mountains.” He also wrote “O God, My Sins Are Manifold,” and “The Feeble Pulse, the Gasping Breath,” a burial hymn.


According to The Hymnal 1982 Companion, Vol. Three A, (edited by Raymond Glover), some rejected “Brightest and Best” originally as it uses the term “Star of the East,” which they felt implied “star worship.”  They were also put off by the author’s suggestion that his hymn be sung to a Scottish tune named WANDERING WILLIE.


If you would rather sing “Brightest and Best Stars of the Morning” to WANDERING WILLIE, you can hear that tune here:  http://youtu.be/bd4vwhMgTG8  or http://youtu.be/4XcOuwlNUn4 .


The Old Testament lesson is from Deutero-Isaiah, Isaiah 60:1-6.  It’s a prophecy of eventual victory and restoration of Zion.


Then you will look and smile,

you will be excited and your heart will swell with pride.

For the riches of distant lands will belong to you

and the wealth of nations will come to you.


Later in the chapter, it says:


You will drink the milk of nations;

you will nurse at the breasts of kings.


Apparently not every Hebrew idiom can be easily translated.


The New Testament reading is Ephesians 3:1-12 in which Paul tells the Ephesians that the God’s secret plan was revealed to him, and that secret is that “Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus.” 


Paul tells the Gentiles in Ephesus (the uncircumcised), that they were formerly “alienated from the citizenship of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, and had no hope,” . . . “but now in Christ Jesus, you who used to be far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”


The Gospel lesson is Matthew 2:1-12, the story about the wise men from the east who bring gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 


As a young child, I often puzzled over how one would be able to find anything by “following a star.”  To me, it didn’t seem to be a very precise method of giving direction. 


I lived on a farm, far away from cities and towns, so there were many bright stars in the sky at night, but except for the North star, none appeared to be very effective at guiding anyone anywhere.  At best, they could be used to determine direction, but how would they tell you when to stop? 


According to Matthew, the star “stopped above the place where the child was,” which would be very unusual behavior for a star.  (Does that mean it was directly over Bethlehem?  If so, you would have to be looking straight up to see it, which would really strain your neck and make it difficult to see where you were walking as you searched for the new-born King.)  One would have thought many more would have noticed if a star were to have actually stopped over some point on the earth’s surface, as it would be unusual for a star to exhibit such exceptional behavior.

The reading from Matthew is followed by singing “We Three Kings of Orient Are.”  John Henry Hopkins Jr. is both the author and the composer of the tune, THREE KINGS OF ORIENT  (1857).



        John Henry Hopkins Jr., about 1865


John Henry Hopkins Jr. was born in Pittsburgh on 28 Oct 1820.  His father was a prominent Episcopal Bishop, and John Henry Jr. later wrote his biography. 


Hopkins Jr., who went by the name Henry, graduated from the University of Vermont in 1839 and then worked as a reporter in NYC, thinking he might eventually want to go into law. 


He then entered General Episcopal Seminary (Episcopal) in NYC. 


A female acquaintance of Henry Hopkins during this time (1848 and 1849), Marie Shrew, thought his habits “very irregular and injurious to his health.” “He never sleeps more than 6 hours often less--devotes himself to society in the evening till 10 [or 12 is added and crossed out] o’clk, and then begins to study on his German, then too sleepy to keep awake he takes strong tea and coffee as stimulants. The Seminary baths are now frozen so that he does not bathe regularly . . .”


Henry Hopkins Jr. graduated from seminary in 1850 and was ordained a deacon in 1853.  He next founded and edited a magazine called Church Journal.  He didn’t become a priest until 1872, after which he was appointed rector of Trinity Church in Plattsburgh, NY.  He died in Hudson, NY, on 14 Aug 1891.


Here is a women’s group, Mediaeval Baebes, singing the hymn. 


They must not have been very good at following stars, as they seem to have somehow wandered off into an ocean or sea.  They should have stopped and asked for directions.


                http://youtu.be/5TrZB74DALs “We Three Kings of Orient Are,” by the Mediaeval Baebes


You might like this version from Kings College, Cambridge, better:


                http://youtu.be/L_TxLf9vAlc  “We Three Kings of Orient Are,” Kings College, Cambridge, on BBC TWO.


The communion hymn is “Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts,” originally by Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153) and translated to English by Ray Palmer, 1858.  The tune was composed by Henry Baker and is called QUEBEC (1854).


Here it is sung in Thai (with English translation):


                http://youtu.be/1v-QRcK_GPc “Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts,” Trang Church, Mueang Trang, Thailand


Saint Bernard of Clairvaux


Bernard of Clairvaux was a French abbot.  Upon the death of Pope Honorius II on 13 Feb 1130, Bernard played an important role in determining who would become the next pope. 


France, England, Germany, Castile, and Aragon supported Innocent, as did Bernard, while southern France, most of Italy, Sicily, and the patriarchs of Constantinople, Antioch, and Jerusalem supported Anacletus.  Bernard went to the nobles in the regions that supported Anacletus to persuade them to support Innocent instead.


The whole problem finally went away when Anacletus died eight years later in January 1138. 


Bernard then busied himself with fighting heresies. 


Then in December 1144, Edessa fell from Christian control at the end of a siege led by Zengi the atabeg of Mosul and Aleppo, and Bernard took on the task of trying to gain support for a Second Crusade.  The defense of Edessa had been led by Archbishop Hugh II (Latin), Bishop John (Armenian), and Bishop Basil (Jacobite), but the three bishops and their forces had been no match for Zengi the atabeg.


Bernard preached to Louis VII of France and to his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and to many princes and lords in Germany and elsewhere.  He was rather successful in drumming up support for the Second Crusade, which was aided by the granting of indulgences and the distribution of pilgrims’ crosses.


His preaching did “inadvertently” lead to attacks on Jews, including a massacre of Jews in the Rhineland, Cologne, Mainz, Worms, and Speyer (the Jews were charged of having not given sufficient financial support to “rescue the Holy Land”), but it is claimed that Bernard himself was neither “a bigot nor a persecutor.”


The Second Crusade was a monumental failure.  There was much distrust among the leaders of the various Christian forces.  Even the marriage of Louis and Eleanor, who had gone to Jerusalem, fell apart.  They sailed back to France in separate ships.


Bernard of Clairvaux was humiliated and wrote a letter of apology to the Pope.  He blamed the failure of the Second Crusade on the sins of the crusaders “and tried to disassociate himself from the fiasco altogether.”


The tune QUEBEC was composed by Henry Baker.  It is one of the few hymn tunes composed by a civil engineer.  Baker was born in Nuneham, Oxfordshire, England, in 1835, and die in Wimbledon in 1910.  In between, he attended Winchester and Cooper’s Hill colleges and became a civil engineer.  (Cooper’s Hill was the familiar name for the Royal Indian Engineering College near Egham, in Surrey, that trained civil engineers for service in India.)


In 1854, he was a student at Exeter College, Oxford, but did not obtain a music degree from the college until 1867.  After that he received his training in civil engineering and went to India to build railroads.

The closing hymn is “As With Gladness Men of Old” which was written by William Chatterton Dix about 1858.  The tune, composed by Conrad Kocher, is called DIX.


You can hear the tune here:  http://www.hymnary.org/media/fetch/148345 DIX by Conrad Kocher


It is also the tune used with the hymn “For the Beauty of the Earth,”   and it is the tune for “Chief of Sinners Tho’ I Be,” but that hymn isn’t often sung.


William Chatterton Dix was born in Bristol on 14 May 1837.  He chose a career in business and became a manager of a marine insurance company in Glasgow.  During a period of illness at the age of 29 he started writing poetry.  He wrote more than 40 hymns but continued in his insurance business.  He died at Cheddar, Somerset, England, on 09 Sep 1898.



        Conrad Kocher


The composer of DIX was born in Ditzingen in 1786.  He died in Stuttgart in 1872.  He is also the composer of the familiar hymn tune ELLACOMBE.


At the age of 17, Kocher moved to St. Petersburg, Russia, to work as a tutor.  In 1811, he moved back to Germany to live in Stuttgart where he founded a School for Sacred Song in 1821.  “He was organist and choir director at the Striftsckirche, Stuttgart, from 1827 to 1865.”  He composed an oratorio, two operas, a large number of chorales, and some sonatas.


The tune is taken from Kocher’s “Treuer Heiland, wir sind hier,” which actually sounds like this (I think):


                http://youtu.be/WY6VlXlMGpg Conrad Kocher’s “Treuer Heiland, wir sind hier”


If you would like to learn to sing the bass part of “As With Gladness, Men of Old” you can do that here: http://youtu.be/Hj_k05S8IXE bass part


The Wells Cathedral Choir sings the hymn here: 


                http://youtu.be/uCenyCQ0VcQ “As With Gladness, Men of Old,” Wells Cathedral Choir


The Wells Cathedral Choir was 1,100 years old in 2009, as it was in 909 that boys first sang at Wells Cathedral.  The choir is heard regularly on BBC Radio 3.

Instrumental Music

Prelude: “Glorificamus”  by John Redford.    This prelude was also heard on the services of May 4 and September 14, 2014, for which I wrote:


You can hear a segment here:


               http://www.muziekweb.nl/Link/CLX0656  “Glorificamus” by John Redford (1471-1547, on organ by Okke Dijkhuizen  (Click the “play” icon for track 1.)


It sounds very different when played by Bernard Winsemius on an organ---which wants tuning:


                http://www.muziekweb.nl/Link/CLX3372  “Glorificamus” by John Redford played by Bernard Winsemius (Click on “play” for track 6.)


John Redford was the organist at St. Paul’s Cathedral and choirmaster there from 1531 until his death.  


He wrote an odd poem about the hard life of the choir boys during this period in England and the beatings they endured (on their “lytle butokes”), which you can read here:


                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Redford “The Chorister’s Lament” by John Redford


I wonder if the lashes actually improved their singing.  I suppose it might have been an encouragement for memorization of the words.  Sandy may want to test it out with our choir.



The offertory is an arrangement of a tune by Lowell Mason for the hymn “Lord, Pour Thy Spirit from on High.”  Lowell Mason was associated with two tunes used for that hymn.  I suspect HAMBURG is the tune in this case.  (The words of “Lord, Pour Thy Spirit from on High” were written by James Montgomery.)


Another tune, FEDERAL STREET by Henry Kemble Oliver, is sometimes used for singing this hymn.  Oliver was a student of Lowell Mason and Mason may have helped with the harmony.


Lowell Mason’s tune HAMBURG is more memorably associated with “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”  The tune is used for “Jesu, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts!.”  It is also sometimes used as the tune for “Just As I Am, Without One Plea,” “A Little Child the Savior Came,” “ ‘Ere Mountains Reared Their Forms Sublime,” and “O Happy Day, That Fixed My Choice.”


Here is a piano solo based on the tune:


                http://youtu.be/1CZUNI8m5a8 Tune: HAMBURG by Lowell Mason, piano solo, Northside Baptist Church, North Charleston, South Carolina


Lowell Mason is known as “the father of American church music.”  He was born in Medfield, Massachusetts, on 08 Jan 1792.  When he was twenty, he worked as a clerk at a banking house in Savannah, Georgia.  He originally could find no publishers for his collection of church music, but after his manuscript received a favorable review in 1822 from Dr. G. K. Jackson of the Boston Handel and Haydn Society, it was quickly accepted.  (Dr. Jackson was known as a severe critic, so if he liked it, it must be good.)


Mason thought that being known as a composer would not be helpful to his career in banking in Savannah, so he sold the copyright to his works and asked that they be published without his name.


This was the time of the spread of singing schools throughout New England and Long Island, and Mason’s compositions became extremely popular, and church choirs began singing them.  The Haydn and Handel Society Collection of Church Music went through seventenn editions.


Mason was invited to come to Boston with a guaranteed income of $2,000 annually, so he decided change careers.  He didn’t feel comfortable accepting the $2,000 and got a position at the Bowdoin Street Church, but his supporters arranged for him to have the position of teller at the American Bank to supplement his income.


Lowell Mason became president and conductor of the Handel and Haydn Society in 1827.  He was a member of the Presbyterian Church.  Two of his sons, Lowell and Henry, were the founders of the organ company Mason & Hamlin.  Dr. Lowell Mason died at Orange Mountain, New Jersey, on 11 Aug 1872.


The postlude is the first movement from “Suite Gothique, Op. 25” by Léon Boëllmann, which is entitled “Choral.”  We heard "Prière à Notre-Dame" from this work on August 2, 2014, when it was used as the Prelude for that service.


From Wikipedia:


The suite consists of four movements:

1.            Introduction - Choral (C minor)

2.            Menuet gothique (C major)

3.            Prière à Notre-Dame (A-flat major)

4.            Toccata (C minor)

     The first movement (Introduction - Choral) is in C minor and is made up of harmonized choral phrases that are first played in block chords on the great and pedals, and then repeated, piano, on the Swell.

     The second movement (Menuet gothique) is in 3/4 time and in C major.

     The third movement (Prière à Notre-Dame) is in A-flat major. It rarely uses dynamics above 'piano'. This movement is often played at weddings.

     The final fourth movement (Toccata) is the best-known of the suite. This movement returns to C minor, ending with a Tierce de Picardie on full organ.

     The suite was transcribed for brass band by Eric Ball, and is frequently used as a concert finale by bands such as Fodens, Black Dyke and Brighouse && Rastrick.


You can hear it here


http://youtu.be/n_AQ0FLrRMo “Suite Gothique, Op. 25” by Léon Boëllmann, played by Fabian Schwarzkopf on the 1841 Buchholz organ (1841) of St. Nikolai, Stralsund, Germany.  St. Nicholas Church was dedicated to St. Nicholas of Myra, the patron saint of sailors, in 1279.  It became an Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1524.


But I like to be able to watch the organist playing, which you can do here:


                http://youtu.be/xR5njBIEBtg  Movements 1 and 2, “Suite Gothique, Op. 25” by Léon Boëllmann, played by  Sam Bayliss on a two-manual organ at the Somerville College Chapel, Oxford