Saturday, April 1, 2017

Music for the OSHC Service of April 2, 2017, the Fifth Sunday of Lent

From: Richard Thomas
Sent: Friday, March 31, 2017 11:49 PM

                The introit is “Be Still and Know” by J. Jerome Williams.    He attended Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, NC, and Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.  J. Jerome Williams taught high school band and was the choir director of the First United Methodist Church in Hickory, North Carolina, for 31 years, retiring in 2007.

                “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” hymn no. 267, is the opening hymn. The hymn was authored by Cecil Frances Alexander in 1848.  Cecil Frances Alexander was the daughter of Major John Humphreys, Milltown House, County Tyrone, Ireland.  Major Humphreys had fought in the Napoleonic Wars, and his family was part of the Protestant aristocracy of Ireland.  Cecil Frances Humphreys was born in in Dublin in 1818 and married the Right Reverend W. Alexander, D. D., Bishop of Derry and Raphoe in 1850.  At the time of their marriage, the Rev. W. Alexander was Chaplain to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and Rector of Termonamongan.

                The verses of  “All Things Bright and Beautiful” were first published in 1848 in her book, Hymns for Little Children.  She wrote nearly 400 hymns and poems during her lifetime.  She also authored “Once in Royal David’s City,” “There is a Green Hill Far Away,” and “Jesus Calls Us O’er the Tumult” ( ).  She died in 1895.

                We will not be singing the original third verse (which doesn’t appear in the Presbyterian Hymnal), as it can be seen as supporting the class system:

The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them high and lowly,
And ordered their estate.

Cecil Frances (Humphreys) Alexander
                         in 1890

               The tune is ROYAL OAK, a traditional English tune.  The “royal oak” from which the tune gets its name is a tree at Boscobel, Shropshire, England.  The tree became famous after the Battle of Worcester on 03 Sep 1651, when Charles II escaped capture by Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army by hiding in it.

                Oliver Cromwell died in 1659, and his "feeble son" Richard was not at all good at placating the various generals of Cromwell’s New Model Army.

                Also Richard Cromwell lacked any military training himself, and he didn’t have the diplomatic skill to play the generals off against one another.  So the English Parliament told Charles II he could come back and be king as long as he allowed England to remain Protestant

                Someone wrote a song to celebrate the restoration of the monarchy that took place on 29 May 1660, and the song was called, naturally enough, “The Twenty-Ninth of May.”  The tune for the song was called ROYAL OAK.

                Perhaps that is why the twenty-ninth of May is also called “Pinch-Bum-Day,” in memory of the time when the future king hid in an oak tree and whose discovery and capture by the Puritans had been avoided by his having his bum be regularly pinched by Colonel Careless, to prevent the king from drifting off and falling out of the tree.

They still celebrate “Royal Oak Day” (also called “Oak Apple Day” and “Pinch-bum Day”) in England on May 29.  “Oak Apple Day” celebration in 2014

There is even a long poem about the day by Edward Slow (1841-1925), which you can hear read here: Edward Slow’s poem about “Oak Apple Day”

But better than either of those are the words of “The Twenty-Ninth of May” sung here: “The Twenty-Ninth of May” performed in Staunton, Virginia

Why should we speak of Caesar's Acts,

     or Shimei's Treacheries,

Or of the grand notorious Facts

     of Cromwell’s Tyrannies,

But what we all may gladly sing,

     cheerfully chant and say,

That Charles the second came again

     on the twenty ninth of May:


Since that his Royal Person went

     from us beyond the Seas,

Much Blood and Treasure hath been spent,

     but never obtained peace,

Until the LORD withheld his hand,

     which we may gladly say,

And did a healing Balsom send

     on the twenty ninth of May;

Etc., etc.


                The twenty-ninth of May is celebrated by men doing Morris dancing.  Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans had forbidden Morris dancing, so the Morris dancers were particularly delighted by the Restoration.  Here are some Morris Dancers dancing to “The Twenty-Ninth of May.” ROYAL OAK, the original tune of “The Twenty-Ninth of May,” with Morris Dancers (entertaining, for a while, at least, in a weird sort of way)

After watching the video of Morris dancing, John said he can understand why Cromwell banned it.

               The anthem is “God’s Grace,” partly by Lois Irene Myers Emig.  (Some of the words are by Isaac Watts, and some of the music is based on a melody for the Scottish ballad “Helen of Kirkconnel,” which is the basis of the hymn tune MATRYDOM.)

                Hugh Wilson adapted a Scottish ballad melody for a hymn in 1800,.  The Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987, says, “The tune's title presumably refers to the martyred Scottish Covenantor James Fenwick, whose last name is also the name of the town where Wilson lived. Consequently, in Scotland this tune has always had melancholy associations.” 

                The tune is used as a setting for Isaac Watts’ hymn “Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed.”

                       “Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed”

                Lois Myers Emig also composed the music for the Hanukkah song, “Spin, Little Dreidel.”  (More than one composer has given one of their works this title.)

                She was born 12 Oct 1925 in Roseville, Ohio.  Lois Irene Myers was the daughter of Earl Francis and Margaret Byrd (Weaver) Myers.  Her father was a potter at the Nelson McCoy Pottery Company in Roseville, Ohio.

                She received her B.S. degree (with distinction) from The Ohio State University in 1946.   Then she did postgraduate work at Ohio State and at Queens College.

                She taught in the public schools in Ohio and New York from 1946 to 1965.

                On 07 Jun 1947, she married Jack Wayne Emig.

                From 1954 until 1990 she was a private teacher of piano and theory while also composing.

                She composed 250 choral works, nine cantatas, and two piano books.

                She has also served as a church organist.

                Lois Myers Emig was apparently related to the designer Walter Myers who worked at the Roseville Pottery, Zanesville, Ohio.  [Lois and Jack Emig donated a piece of Roseville pottery (a pot for chocolate) to the Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park, Florida. ]

                The Old Testament lesson is Ezekiel 37: 1-14.  You can hear this passage read, with accompanying video, at:

       “Dry Bones,” Ezekiel 37, filmed near Las Vegas

It visually interprets the passage entirely literally and is a bit weird.

                I like the anthems based on this passage better.

       “Dem Bones,” arr. Larry Nickel, sung by a choir directed by the arranger, Larry Nickel

Larry Nickel based his anthem on the African-American spiritual, which you can hear here:

                       “Dry Bones” sung by the Delta Rhythm Boys

                Here’s another anthem on the passage which also incorporates a bit of “Dem Bones,” “Dry Bones” by Mark Hayes, sung by the National Taiwan University Chorus


                The gospel reading is John 11: 1-15.  The lectionary gives it as John 11:1-45, the story of Lazarus, who died, yet lived again.  (It is more a resuscitation story than a resurrection story.)  This story of Lazarus of Bethany appears only in the gospel of John.  (Another man named Lazarus appears in the parable of “the rich man and Lazarus” in the gospel of Luke.  The name “Lazarus” is the Greek form of the Hebrew name “Eleazar,” which means, “whom God helps.”  It was a common Jewish name.)

                A similar story appears in the Secret Gospel of Mark, and some scholars believe that version of the story is an earlier form of the story in John while others doubt that a Secret Gospel of Mark ever existed.  Quotations from the Secret Gospel of Mark appear only in a purported letter of Clement of Alexandria (150 – 215 C.E.), and some have concluded that letter to be a forgery.

                Verses 11:35-37 say:

Jesus wept. Thus the people who had come to mourn said, “Look how much he loved him!” But some of them said, “This is the man who caused the blind man to see! Couldn’t he have done something to keep Lazarus from dying?”

Later in the narrative, Jesus goes to the tomb.

(Now it was a cave, and a stone was placed across it.)

Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of the deceased, replied, “Lord, by this time the body will have a bad smell, because he has been buried four days.”

. . . So they took away the stone. . . . Then Jesus shouted in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

The one who had died came out, his feet and hands tied up with strips of cloth, and a cloth wrapped around his face. Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and let him go.”


In the 1619 painting by Guercino shown below, Lazarus, despite having been buried for four days, appears not to have undergone any decomposition.  In fact, he seems to be in quite good health.  Most artists represented Lazarus as a frail youth.

                                Raising of Lazarus (1619) by Il Guercino (“the cross-eyed one”)


                                                Raising of Lazarus (1896) by Eduard von Gebhardt,

                The second hymn is “Breathe on Me, Breath of God,” no. 316.  ,” with words by Edwin Hatch, 1886. The words first appear in his self-published little book Beyond Doubt and Prayer, 17 pages.

                Edwin Hatch was born at Derby on 04 Sep 1835.

        Rev. Edwin Hatch, D.D.

                Hatch was a graduate of Pembroke College, Oxford, and, at age 25, won the Ellerton Theological Essay Prize (1858).  (The prize was awarded for the best English essay on “some doctrine or duty of the Christian religion, or on some of the points on which we differ from the Romish Church, or on any other subject of theology which shall be deemed meet and useful.”) He was a winner of the Stanhope Historical Essay Prize for the best essay on a subject of Modern History in 1865 (where “modern history” was defined as history of the period between 1300 A.D. and 1815 A.D.).

                He served as Vice Principal of St. Mary Hall, Oxford (1867) and as Rector of Purleigh (1883).  He died on 10 Nov 1889.

                The tune, TRENTHAM, was not written for this hymn, but was instead composed by Robert Jackson for they hymn “O Perfect Life of Love” by Henry W. Baker.

                Robert Jackson was born in May, 1842, at Royton (near Oldham), Lancashire, England.  He named the tune for a village close to the town in which he was born.  Jackson was trained at the Royal Academy of Music, then was the organist at St. Mark’s Church, Grosvenor Square, London, but only for a short time. 

                Most of his life he was the organist at St. Peter’s Church, Oldham (1868-1914).  His father preceded him there as organist, a position his father had held at St .Peter’s for forty-eight years. Robert Jackson held the same post as his father for forty-six years.  So, together, they were the organists at St. Peter’s, Oldham, for nearly a century.  Jackson died 12 Jul 1914 at Oldham.

                The Psalter Hymnal Handbook says that this “serviceable tune” is “barely adequate for the fervor” of  the text of “Breathe on Me, Breath of God.”

      “Breathe on Me, Breath of God,” the Mountain Anthems, a cappella

   The title of the sermon is "Ground Zero vs. A Valley of Life."

                The communion hymn, authored by James Montgomery, is no. 505, “Be Known to Us in Breaking Bread.” 

                It is sung to ST. FLAVIAN.  The same tune is sometimes used with “Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days,” (no. 81).

       “Be Known to Us in Breaking Bread,” words by James Montgomery (1825)

Other hymns by James Montgomery include “All Hail to God’s Anointed” (no. 205), “Lord, Pour Thy Spirit from on High,” and “Stand Up and Bless the Lord.”

                James Montgomery (b. 04 Nov 1771, Ayrshire in southwest Scotland; d. 30 Apr 1854 at The Mount on Glossop Road, Sheffield) was the son of a Moravian Brethren pastor.  He wrote much poetry, including heroic couplets (The World Before the Flood, 1812), and he authored 400 hymns, 100 of which were still being commonly used in 1907, according to the Dictionary of Hymnology.  “Angels from the Realms of Glory” is one of his more popular hymns.  He also wrote “Go to Dark Gethsemane” ( ) and “Song of Praise the Angels Sang.”

If you would like to read some heroic couplets, you can read the 1819 edition of James Montgomery’s The World Before the Flood here:


The poem is 184 pages long, beginning with the invasion of Eden by the descendants of Cain and ending with the prophecy of Enoch.

                The closing hymn is “By Gracious Powers,” hymn no. 342.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer authored the words in 1944.  Fred Pratt Green translated the German to the verses in English in 1972.

                Dietrich Bonhoeffer was born on 04 Feb 1906 in Breslau, Prussia.  He was a Lutheran pastor and theologian who was opposed to Nazism and to the persecution of the Jews by Hitler.

     Dietrich Bonhoeffer

                At age 24, in 1930, Bonhoeffer went to the United States for postgraduate work at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York.  He wasn’t impressed by how theology was taught and developed at Union.  (He said, “There is no theology here.”)  But he was impressed by Reinhold Niebuhr, under whom he studied.  He also met Frank Fisher, a black seminarian who took him to the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.  Bonhoeffer taught Sunday School there.  It was at the Abyssinian Baptist Church that he heard the social justice gospel preached by Adam Clayton Powell, Sr.  Bonhoeffer returned to Germany in 1931.

                He was opposed to Hitler from the start.  Bonhoeffer attacked the new regime only two days after Hitler was made Chancellor in 1933.

                Bonhoeffer advocated that pastors stop officiating at funerals, weddings, and baptisms, but Karl Barth thought that sort of opposition was too radical.

                Bonhoeffer then left Germany in the Fall of 1933 to pastor German-speaking churches in England, at Sydenham and Whitechapel.  Barth accused him of abandoning his work to resist the Nazification of the German churches.   Bonhoeffer returned to Germany in 1935 and established an underground seminary, which the Gestapo closed in 1937.

                Next, he moved from village to village in eastern Germany while conducting a seminary on-the-run.

                After the war began, he knew he could never fight for the Nazis, and with the looming threat of being drafted, in June 1939, he returned to Union Theological Seminary in New York.  He regretted the decision, saying,

“I must live through this difficult period in our national history with the people of Germany. I will have no right to participate in the reconstruction of Christian life in Germany after the war if I do not share the trials of this time with my people... Christians in Germany will have to face the terrible alternative of either willing the defeat of their nation in order that Christian civilization may survive or willing the victory of their nation and thereby destroying civilization. I know which of these alternatives I must choose but I cannot make that choice from security."

He returned to Germany where, in 1941, he was prohibited from publishing or speaking publicly.  Then he joined the anti-Hitler resistance.

                In April 1943 he was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Tegel prison, where he remained for one and a half years.  After the discovery of his connection to the groups that attempted to assassinate Hitler, Bonhoeffer was moved to the house prison (a detention cellar) of the Gestapo.

                It was there that Bonhoeffer wrote the words of the hymn we shall be singing in the form of a poem he included in a letter to his mother on 28 Dec 1944.  [It was printed in English in Letters and Papers from Prison in 1953.]

                He was next transferred to a concentration camp.  He was executed by hanging on 09 Apr 1945 at Flossenbürg concentration camp, only two weeks before the camp was liberated by the Allies.


                The music, INTERCESSOR, is by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, a 1st Baronet. [The baronetcy is the only British hereditary honor which is not a peerage. Baronets and baronetesses rank above all knighthoods and damehoods except the Order of the Garter and the Order of the Thistle.]

       Sir C. Hubert H. Parry

                C. Hubert H. Parry was born 27 Feb 1848 and died 07 Oct 1918.  He composed the tune JERUSALEM which is used with the words of poet William Blake to tell the story of the visit of Jesus to England as a child, when he accompanied Mary’s uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, a tin merchant.  “And did those feet in ancient times, walk about England’s mountains green, and was the Holy Lamb of God on England’s pleasant pastures seen.”   The song is the unofficial national anthem of England.

       “By Gracious Powers So Wonderfully Sheltered”

INTERCESSOR is also used with the hymn “O Brother Man, Fold to Thy Heart Thy Brother.”

                Here is the hymn sung in German:

                       “Von guten Mächten wunderbar geborgen”


Von guten Mächten

Dietrich Bonhöffer, 1944 (1906-1945)

Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse Prison, Berlin


Von guten Mächten treu und still umgeben,
behütet und getröstet wunderbar.
So will ich diese Tage mit euch leben
und mit euch gehen in ein neues Jahr.

Von guten Mächten wunderbar geborgen,
erwarten wir getrost, was kommen mag.
Gott ist mit uns am Abend und am Morgen
und ganz gewiß an jedem neuen Tag.

Noch will das Alte unsere Herzen quälen,
noch drückt uns böser Tage schwere Last.
Ach, Herr, gib unseren aufgescheuchten Seelen
das Heil, für das du uns bereitet hast.


Und reichst du uns den schweren Kelch,
den bittren des Leids, gefüllt bis an den höchsten Rand,
so nehmen wir ihn dankbar ohne Zittern
aus deiner guten und geliebten Hand.

Doch willst du uns noch einmal Freude schenken
an dieser Welt und ihrer Sonne Glanz,
dann woll'n wir des Vergangenen gedenken
und dann gehört dir unser Leben ganz.

Laß warm und still die Kerzen heute flammen,
die du in unsere Dunkelheit gebracht.
Führ, wenn es sein kann, wieder uns zusammen.
Wir wissen es, dein Licht scheint in der Nacht.


Wenn sich die Stille nun tief um uns breitet,
so laß uns hören jenen vollen Klang der Welt,
die unsichtbar sich um uns weitet,
all Deiner Kinder hohen Lobgesang.



Instrumental Music

                The prelude is “Cross of Jesus (Meditation)” by Charles Callahan.  It is an arrangement of the communion hymn of the same name.  The original tune is by John Stainer (1887).  In our hymnal, the tune is used “For the Bread which You Have Broken,” no. 509.

             Charles Callahan was born in 1951 and grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He graduated from The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.  He has published two books on the history of American organ building—one on classic American organs and one on Aeolian-Skinner organs.

                In 2014, he received the Distinguished Artist award from the American Guild of Organists.

                This tune is also used as a setting for “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” although in the Presbyterian Hymnal, that hymn (by Charles Wesley) is set to STUTTGART (no. 1) and HYFRYDOL (no. 2).

       “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus,” sung beautifully by the St. John’s College Choir of Cambridge University (with a lovely descant) to the tune CROSS OF JESUS by John Stainer

                Sir John Stainer composed the tune to go with a hymn he authored in 1887, “Cross of Jesus, Cross of Sorrow.”

                  tune and hymn CROSS OF JESUS by Sir John Stainer

                John Stainer was born in London, 06 Jun 1840.  His father, who played piano, organ and flute, was the schoolmaster at St. Thomas’s School, Southwark.  By age seven, John Stainer could play Bach’s “Fugue in E Major” on the organ.  Stainer was the organist at St. Paul’s Cathedral from 1872 to 1888.  He received a knighthood from Queen Victoria in 1888 for his services to music.  He died in Verona, Italy, on 31 Mar 1901.

                The offertory music is "Morning" 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.

                The postlude is  “Voluntary on ‘Hyfrydol’” by Charles Callahan.   Charles Callahan also composed “Festival Voluntary for One Organ and Four Hands,” but that is a different voluntary.  (It’s a duet, hence the four hands.)  It incorporates five hymn tunes, including HFRYDOL.  The others are DIADEMATA, HANOVER, ITALIAN HYMN (MOSCOW), and ROYAL OAK. (We sang ROYAL OAK last week.) 

                You can hear part of “Festival Voluntary for One Organ and Four Hands” here:

                There is another work incorporating HFRYDOL by Charles Callahan.  It is his Partita on Hyfrydol.

                I think the “Voluntary” may be the “Finale” movement of Partita on Hyfrydol.  I didn’t find the “Finale,” but I did find the adagio movement of Partita on Hyfrydol. “Adagio,” Partita on Hyfrydol


            Charles Callahan

                The tune HFRYDOL is by Rowland Huw Prichard.

                Rowland Huw Prichard was a native of Graienyn, Wales, born 14 Jan 1811.  He was a loom tender’s assistant in Holywell and died there 25 Jan 1887. 

                His song book, “The Singer’s Friend” was written for use by children.  “Hyfrydol” means “cheerful,” and was composed by Prichard when he was 20.

                Wikipedia describes the tune as “impressively flexible . . with beautiful chord progressions.”

                It is also the tune for “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.”  In fact, many different hymns are sung to the tune.  In the Baptist Hymnal alone, in addition to the two hymns just named, there are: “Praise the Lord! Ye Heavens, Adore Him,” “Jesus! What a Friend of Sinners,” and “I will Sing the Wondrous Story.”

                You can hear an interesting hand bell rendition here:

                       Handbell solo by South Korean woman on Prichard’s tune



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