Saturday, March 18, 2017

FW: Music for the OSHC Service of March 19, 2017, the Third Sunday of Lent

From: Richard Thomas []
Sent: Friday, March 17, 2017 6:56 PM


                The opening hymn is no. 483, “Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above.”  The choir sang it as a mini-anthem in February 2008 when Danny was the choir director. The author is Johann Jakob Schütz; Frances E. Cox translated Schütz’s words.  The German title is “Sei Lob und Ehr dem höchsten Gut,” which is sung to a different tune in Germany.

                Johann Jakob Schütz was born 07 Sep 1650 at Frankfort am Main.  He was educated at Tübingen. After 1686, he became a follower of J. W. Petersen, and left the Lutheran Church to become a Separatist. He died at Frankfort on 22 May 1690.

                There are four other English translations of this hymn, including the translation by A. T. Russell, “All Glory Be To God Most High.”

                The tune, which appeared in the hymnal of the Bohemian Brethren in 1566, is MIT FREUDEN ZART (With Tender Joy).  (The tune appeared with the words of the hymn "Mit Freuden zart su dieser Fahrt" by Georg Vetter of Moravia, before the words of this hymn were written.)

                Samuel Metzger always adds a descant for the final verse for the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir, so here is Samuel Metzger’s arrangement: “Sing Praise to God, Who Reigns Above,” by Johann Jacob Schütz, Sam Metzger and Coral Ridge Presbyterian

Here is another rendition where it is easier to hear the men’s parts:  “Sing Praise to God, Who Reigns Above” (clear voices, the singing is good, but the audio quality of the recording is only fair)

                Both readings are from the New Testament.

                The gospel reading is John 4: 5-26.  It is the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, a story found only in the gospel of John.

                                   Christ and the Samaritan Woman (1890) by Henryk Siemiradzki

                This story is told in a gospel songs, “Jesus Gave Me Water,” which is one of my favorites.  The African-American educator, composer, and hymn singer Lucie Eddie Campbell (1885-1963) wrote the song.  At age 19, she had organized a Music Club in Memphis, Tennessee, which later became a thousand-voice choir that performed at the National Baptist Convention. 

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver perform a “southern gospel” rendition: “Jesus Gave Me Water,” by Lucie E. Campbell, sung by Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, a cappella

The Soul Stirrers first recorded this song in 1951 (on a 10” 78 with “Peace in the Valley” on the other side, ).  Later, the Soul Stirrers did a recording with Sam Cooke which I think I may like even better: “Jesus Gave Me Water,” Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers

Both the Davis Sisters and B. B. King released LPs which included this number in 1959, but I like the a cappella singing better.


                The epistle reading is  Romans 5: 1-11.  The verses are about “justification,” which always reminds me of back in the days when John would type up the Brookhaven NAACP newsletter before it was mimeographed.  In order to have lines that were “justified” (that is, have each line end at the right column margin), he had to type the newsletter twice.  The first time, it was typed with normal single spaces between words, but periods were typed after the final word on each line until the right margin was reached (which on old manual typewriters was a hard stop).  Then the periods were counted on each line, to see how many spaces needed to be inserted at the existing spaces between the words on that line in order to justify it.

                The reading, however, is about a different kind of right alignment, though the meaning of theological “justification” depends on the particular theory of soteriology a denomination decides to be “correct.” 

                In Christianity, justification is not achieved through counting the number of periods at the end of a line.  It is instead achieved through some purported act or works of Jesus.  Denominations tend to disagree, however, regarding upon whose behalf Jesus was acting (for everyone or for only  the chosen) and what acts are required by the believers (if any) to be saved (whether “justification” is a gift from a sovereign God).

                Both kinds of justification are about being rightly aligned, but in theological justification the rightly aligned have been made “righteous.”

                None of it makes any sense unless one can first be made to accept the view that there exists a transcendent being who has created rules of behavior for human beings, and that this transcendent being has also determined that any violation of these rules is sin, for which there is a just punishment, and that just punishment is death.  Then one has to accept the idea that there can be some sort of ill-defined “life” after a physical death, and although “salvation” cannot save one from a physical death, it can give those who have been made “righteous” a spiritual eternal life.  At least, that was the case in the old days.  Many groups now focus on what “deliverance” or “salvation” does for the believer in the present.

                Historically, Christians have disagreed over how to describe what Jesus did that brought about justification and made others “righteous” so that they might be at one with God.  There was the Scapegoat theory, the very popular Penal Substitution theory of the Reformers, (and similar Substitutionary theories), the Ransom theory of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Moral Influence theory which gained favor in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, particularly among German theologians.  (As the scapegoat, penal substitution, and ransom theories, are, at their core, morally reprehensible, the moral influence theory was the one favored by liberal Protestants.)

                One soon finds oneself floundering in a swamp of dismal moral distinctions, such as purgatories for rescuing infants—and other bogs of orthodoxy,  if he or she attempts to make sense of religious concepts by way of logic or the use of higher mental faculties.

                When Paul wrote to the Romans, he didn’t have to worry about how people would struggle to make sense of what he wrote over the centuries that followed.  Paul says:

                For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.   . . . But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by his blood, we will be saved through him from God’s wrath. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life? Not only this, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.

                There are many hymns based on this passage: “Saved by the Blood,” “Nothing But the Blood,”  “Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed,” “And Can It Be,” for example.  Even Bob Dylan and Tim Drummond wrote a song on this theme: “Saved, By the Blood of the Lamb, Saved” sung by Bob Dylan

I was blinded by the devil,
Born already ruined,
Stone-cold dead
As I stepped out of the womb.
By His grace I have been touched,
By His word I have been healed,
By His hand I've been delivered,
By His spirit I've been sealed.

Here is “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus,”  “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus,” Buddy Greene (harmonica), Bill and Gloria Gaither

                The second hymn is No. 446, “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken” which is sung to Franz Joseph Haydn’s AUSTRIAN HYMN, otherwise known as “Deutchland, Deutchland,” etc.

                When Haydn composed the music, it called the Emperor’s Hymn (or the Kaiser’s Hymn).

                Here is an arrangement written for the Kansas Mennonite Men’s Choir, with brass quintet: “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken,” arr. J. Harold Moyer for men’s choir  (Click the “Play” icon)

                Here is a congregation singing the Kaiser Hymn at the funeral of Otto von Habsburg, the last Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary, who died July 4, 2011.  He became the Crown Prince of the Empire in 1916, but two years later, the empire was dissolved.  Singing the “Kaiser Hymn” at the funeral of Otto von Habsburg, last Crown Prince of the Empire, son of Charles, last Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, the last monarch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.  The funeral was held at St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, Austria, on July 16, 2011.

   Otto’s father, Charles, became emperor after Charles’s uncle, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the presumed heir to the crown, was assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914, which started World War I.

"Gott erhalte, Gott beschütze,
unsern Kaiser, unser Land,
mächtig durch des Glaubens Stütze,
führt er uns mit weiser Hand.
Lasst uns seiner Väter Krone,
schirmen wider jeden Feind,
Innig bleibt mit Habsburgs Throne, 
Österreichs Geschick vereint,
innig bleibt mit Habsurgs Throne,
Österreichs Geschick vereint."

God save, God protect

Our Emperor, Our Country!

Powerful through the support of the Faith,

He leads us with a wise hand!

Let the Crown of his Fathers

shield against any foe!

Austria's Destiny remains

intimately united with the Habsburg throne!

                When Otto von Habsburg became the Crown Prince, the empire consisted of modern day Austria, Hungary, Bosnia, and Herzegovina.  He was buried in the Imperial Crypt.

                If you want to hear it as an instrumental piece, you can listen to it here: “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken,” organ and trumpet, Timothy Moke on trumpet, Georg Masanz, pipe organ

                Sermon:  "Confidence in God's Love"

                Hymn No. 304, “Jesus Loves Me,” is the closing hymn. “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know,” bluesy version, sung by Jeremy Camp, with Bobbie Lancaster

                “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know” was written by Anna Bartlett Warner.

      Anna Bartlett Warner (1820 – 1915)

                Anna Bartlett Warner was born on Long Island on 31 Aug 1820.  She was the daughter of a wealthy New York City lawyer, Henry W. Warner, and after birth lived in a New York City mansion.  Her mother died when she was young, and her father lost his fortune in the Panic of 1837.  Then they moved to the 282-acre Constitution Island in the Hudson River, near West Point, and lived in an old farmhouse.  The Warners purchased the island.  The Warner House is now a National Historic Landmark, but you can no longer visit it, as the structure has become unstable.

             Warner House, July 2010, Constitution Island, NY

                For income, Anna and her sister Sarah began to write novels in 1849.  Anna’s most popular novel was Glen Luna; or, Dollars and Cents published in 1852, which she wrote under the pen name Amy Lothrop.  They authored some novels together, including Wych Hazel in 1853.

                You can read Glen Luna; or, Dollars and Cents here:


                Anna Warner was a Presbyterian.  She and her sister held Bible studies for the cadets at West Point for 40 years.
                She died at age 87 in Highland Falls, New York, on 22 Jan 1915, and is buried in the U. S. Military Academy Post Cemetery.

          Anna B. Warner

                The words of the refrain to “Jesus Loves Me” are by William Batchelder Bradbury.  They were added when he wrote the tune for it.  (He wrote “Asleep in Jesus” which is also a fine hymn.)

                William Bradbury was born in York, Maine, on 06 Oct 1816.  In 1830, his parents moved to Boston, and he soon became known as an organist.  Dr. Mason was leading singing classes at the time, which were very popular, and William Bradbury attended.  He was then admitted to Mason’s Bowdoin Street church choir.

                He next taught in singing schools himself in Machias, Maine, and St. Johns, New Brunswick.  Then he became the Director of Music and organist at the First Baptist Church of Brooklyn which was followed by a position at the Baptist Tabernacle in New York City.

                He began teaching singing classes in New York City.  He had a class of over 600 in the Spring Street Church alone.  Then he produced a series of “Juvenile Music Festivals” at the Broadway Tabernacle, with a thousand children singing (two-thirds of whom were girls).  It was said to be quite a sight to see 1000 children, all dressed in their uniforms, rise together at the beginning of the concert.

           William Batchelder Bradbury

                William Bradbury wrote many Sunday School tunes for singing by children, and worked to have music taught in the public schools of New York City, an effort in which he succeeded.

                He also wrote the tune for “He Leadeth Me.”

Whate'er I do, where'er I be,

still 'tis God's hand that leadeth me.


He leadeth me, he leadeth me;

by his own hand he leadeth me:

his faithful follower I would be,

for by his hand, he leadeth me.

and the tune for “Just As I Am” (words by Charlotte Elliott). “Just As I Am” performed by GLAD, a cappella (one of my favorites)

William Bradbury died at age 51 on 07 Jan 1868 and is buried in Bloomfield Cemetery in New Jersey.

Instrumental Music

                The prelude is "Reverie" by William Stickles.

                William Charles Stickles was born in Cohoes, New York, (north of Troy) on 07 Mar 1882.  He was a composer, arranger, teacher, and editor.

                He attended the Utica Conservatory and Syracuse University, then studied abroad.  For five years, he assisted Isadore Braggiotti, a voice teacher, in Florence, Italy.  Then he spent two years as a vocal coach for soloists with Felix Motti at the Hof Theater in Munich.  After that, he taught in Boston and New York. 

                In April 1912, he was the accompanist for Anna Chase of the Metropolitan Opera in her appearance at the White House for President and Mrs. Taft.

                On 01 Dec 1919, he married Clara Hazard of Los Angeles in Trinity Chapel, New York City.  She was a soprano and soloist at St. John’s Protestant Episcopal Church in Los Angeles.  He had been touring with her and Theodore Karie (tenor) as their accompanist.

                He produced many arrangements of standard works for chorus, organ, and piano, and also composed original pieces.  He did arrangements of “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (music: Jerome Kerns, words: Otto Harbach), “Bali Ha’i” (music: Richard Rogers, words: Oscar Hammerstein II), “Summertime” (SATB) (George Gershwin and Du Bose Heyward), “easy-to-play piano arrangements” of the songs of Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me Kate,” and also a collection of arrangements of “cowboy duets,” along with arrangements of the songs of many other popular musicals (“Oklahoma,” “West Side Story,” etc.). 

                His Book of Preludes, Offertories, Postludes for all Organs was published in 1957.  It was enlarged and published as The Deluxe Book of Preludes, Offertories, Postludes for all Organs ten years later with Chester Nordman as co-editor and composer.

                He died in Queens, New York, in October 1971.

                I couldn’t find “Reverie” but here is William Stickles’ arrangement of “Somewhere (West Side Story)” “Somewhere” by Leonard Bernstein, arranged for women’s choir by William Stickles, sung by Eufonia women’s choir of Torhout, West Flanders, Belgium

                The offertory is “Chanson Mantinale (Morning Hymn)” by Richard Lange.  There is a “Richard Lange” who was a German arranger and composer who lived from 1867 until about 1915, but I don’t know whether that Richard Lange is the arranger of this piece.

                This arrangement of “Chanson Mantinale,” was edited by Dr. William Carl and bears a copyright date of 1916.

                Here is the piece: “Chason Matinale” by Richard Lange, played by David Christensen

                The postlude is “We All Believe in One God (Wir glauben all’ an einen Gott) (Nous croyons tous en un seul Dieu),” Op. 28, No. 78, by Marcel Dupré.

                        Marcel Dupré

                It is one of his seventy-nine chorales for organ which Dupré wrote to teach organists how to play Bach chorales.

         79 Chorales by Marcel Dupré, Op. 28, No. 78, “Wir Glauben All' An Einen Gott” played by Mark Pace, Episcopal Church of the Ascension, Knoxville, Tennessee


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