Saturday, July 1, 2017

Music for the OSHC Service of July 2, 2017, 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

From: Richard Thomas []
Sent: Saturday, July 01, 2017 2:06 AM


                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.

                The opening hymn is the one we sang for Memorial Day weekend, "America, the Beautiful," hymn no. 564.  The text is by Katharine Lee Bates, the daughter of a Congregational Church pastor.

                Katharine Bates was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts, on 12 Aug 1895.  She spent a year at Oxford University in England, then attended Wellesley College.  After graduating from Wellesley, she taught literature there.  She was also involved in social and labor reform.

                She never married, but did develop a romantic relationship, and for 25 years she lived with Katharine Coman, a dean at Wellesley.  

                Bates became chair of the English department at Wellesley and Coman of the Economics department. 

                Coman died of breast cancer in 1915. To honor her partner and celebrate their shared love and scholarship, Bates wrote Yellow Clover: A Book of Remembrance (1922).  According to a 2006 article by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns , "The poem took its name from the little yellow flowers each had pressed into the letters they wrote to each other when apart."   You can read her poems in that book here:

                Judith Schwarz wrote in Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies (Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1979) :

                It would be difficult to find a topic in American history that has been as completely shunned as the subject of female partnerships: the intimate and loving relationships between two women.  Scholars writing about one or both members of a female couple invariably skirt the entire issue of the women's personal lives, or diminish the importance and implications of the relationship with such euphemistic statements as "the two were inseparable," or "this was the beginning of a close and devoted companionship."  Such statements, often sounding as if the writers racked their brains to "protect" the subject's reputation from the taint of lesbianism, only serve to cloud the historically accurate record of real women's lives.  This is particularly true in the writing of the lives of single women, who have often been considered in the public imagination (or lack of it) as either nun-like saints or emotional and sexual nonentities.

                The choir anthem is "God Bless America" by Irving Berlin (Israel Isidore Baline).  He wrote the main part of "God Bless America" in 1917/1918 when he was at Camp Upton.  In November 1938, he added introductory lyrics to the piece for Kate Smith.  According to Wikipedia, in updating the song in 1938, Berlin intended to make it more a "peace song."  He changed some of the words: "to the right" became "through the night."

                When Kate Smith sang it on her Armistice Day broadcast, the introductory lyrics had the phrase "Let us be grateful that we're far from there."  By the time the music was published in March 1939 it was looking as if we might not be "far from there" for very much longer, so in the published sheet music the phrase became, "Let us be grateful for a land so fair."

                Berlin created a charity to receive the royalties for the song: "The God Bless America Fund."  The money goes to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of New York City.

                Here is an instrumental jazz version: "God Bless American" (instrumental), by pianist Bob Baldwin

                In 1917, Berlin also wrote the pro-war song, "Let's All Be Americans Now."  You can hear it here: "Let's All Be Americans Now"

                The Old Testament reading is Psalm 33.

Shout for joy, you upright; praise comes well from the honest.

Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on the ten-stringed lyre.

Sing to him a new song, make sweet music for your cry of victory.


The word of Yahweh is straightforward, all he does springs from his constancy.

He loves uprightness and justice; the faithful love of Yahweh fills the earth.


By the word of Yahweh the heavens were made, by the breath of his mouth all their array.

He collects the waters of the sea like a dam, he stores away the abyss in his treasure-house.


Let the whole earth fear Yahweh, let all who dwell in the world revere him;

for, the moment he spoke, it was so, no sooner had he commanded, than there it stood!


Yahweh thwarts the plans of nations, frustrates the counsels of peoples;

but Yahweh's own plan stands firm forever, his heart's counsel from age to age.

How blessed the nation whose God is Yahweh, the people he has chosen as his heritage.


From heaven Yahweh looks down, he sees all the children of Adam,

from the place where he sits he watches all who dwell on the earth;

he alone molds their hearts, he understands all they do.


A large army will not keep a king safe, nor his strength save a warrior's life;

it is delusion to rely on a horse for safety, for all its power it cannot save.


But see how Yahweh watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his faithful love,

to rescue them from death and keep them alive in famine.


We are waiting for Yahweh; he is our help and our shield,

for in him our heart rejoices, in his holy name we trust.

Yahweh, let your faithful love rest on us, as our hope has rested in you.

                The epistle reading is I Peter 2:9-11, in which the readers are assured they are God's chosen.

                . . . But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. You once were not a people, but now you are God's people. You were shown no mercy, but now you have received mercy.

                Dear friends, I urge you as foreigners and exiles to keep away from fleshly desires that do battle against the soul

                1 Peter 2:9 references Exodus 19:6, when God speaks to Moses at Sinai: "you will be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation."

                1 Peter 2:10 quotes from Hosea (the prophet with the unfaithful wife, whose name was Gomer).  [God commanded Hosea to marry a prostitute, Gomer, and God also tells Hosea that his wife will, after their marriage, continue to be a prostitute and will bear illegitimate children.  He instructs Hosea to name one of the boys, "Not My People," and to name a daughter, "No Pity."]

                The second hymn, no. 332, is Jane Parker Huber's "Live into Hope," which is sung to the tune TRURO, an anonymous tune first published by Thomas Williams in 1789.  We sing another hymn to this same tune, Brian Wren's "Christ Is Alive."  Traditionally, the tune is a setting for "Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates" and for "Jesus Shall Reign."

      "Jesus Shall Reign," tune TRURO  (with descant)

                The sermon title is "A Christian Nation! . . .?"


                The lead article in June 1870 issue of The Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter was "Is This a Christian Nation?"

                There was a movement in 1870 which had the aim of making the United States of America officially a Christian nation by amending the U.S. constitution.  The article above concludes that the U. S. Constitution is the highest law of the land, and it is not a Christian document.

In the constitution there is not the remotest reference to the Lord Jesus.  A person ignorant of the fact might read it from first to last, and not know that Jesus ever lived.  . . . It in no way discriminates in favor of Christianity.  It extends to it no protection which it withholds from systems of error and unbelief. . . . The constitution of the United States makes no mention of Almighty God, the author of national existence; nor of the Bible, which is the fountain of law and good morals as well as religion.

The author thinks this is a deficiency that should be corrected.

                A national movement formed based on the belief that:

Resolved, that it is the right and duty of the United States, a nation settled by Christians, a nation with Christian law and usages, and with Christianity as its greatest social force, to acknowledge itself in its written Constitution to be a Christian nation.

Those who joined this movement appear to have been particularly concerned by the increasing secularization of the Sabbath, by opposition to the use of the Protestant Bible in schools, and by changes to the marriage laws which were leading to higher rates of divorce. (The objections to the use of the Protestant Bible in schools appear to have arisen in places where the Catholic immigrant population was dramatically increasing.)

                Here is a sermon that was preached in opposition to this movement:

In his sermon, Rev.  Frederic Hedge, D.D., of the First Parish in Brookline, argues:

One does not see how the mere declarations of Christian faith can affect the religious condition of the land.  Either, as a nation, we are Christians or we are not Christians.  If we are Christians, the Christian faith will make itself felt and show itself in our national policy.  If we are not Christians, no declaration to the contrary can be of any avail.

Luckily for us, the wiser heads prevailed.

(The above from )

                The hymn before communion is no. 517, "We Come As Guests Invited."

                It is sung to the tune WIE LIEBICH IST DER MAIEN.

                WIE LIEBICH IST DER MAIEN is a setting of a love song, "Mit Lieb bin ich umfangen," composed by Johann Steurlein in 1575.  (If you've ever been umfangened with lieb, you'll know what that means.)

                It is also used for "Sing to the Lord of Harvest."  "Mit Lieb' bin ich umfangen  (I Am Surrounded with Love)," sung by The Little Singers of the Wooden Cross (Les Petits Chanteurs à la Croix de Bois)

                Here is an organ improvisation on the tune:

                    John Hong plays an organ fantasy on WIE LIEBICH IST DER MAIEN

                It starts getting really good about a third of the way through, then gets better!  (It has a dramatic ending.)

                It is long though, so you may want to skip part of the first part.

                (John Hong is guy whose identical twin brother, Paul, got accepted to Julliard to become an organist, but Paul died of leukemia before he could fulfill his dream, so his brother, John, took his place.)

The closing hymn is "My Country 'Tis of Thee," no. 561.

               The words were authored by Samuel Francis Smith in 1832.

                The tune is now called AMERICA in the United States. The tune first appeared in Harmonia Anglicana, published in 1742, but NOT with that name.  Harmonia Anglicana was retitled and appeared under the title Thesaurus Musicus, in 1744, and it was expanded to two volumes.

                The words that first appeared with the tune were:

                                "God save our Lord the King, long live our noble King" Charles Wesley's variations on the tune "God Save the King" (on an emulated organ)

and the name used for the tune was not AMERICA.

                The tune (with the original words) was first publicly performed and sung at the Drury Lane Theatre on 28 Sep 1745. 

                The words, "God save our Lord the King, long live our noble King" are believed to pre-date the tune, as they appear etched on a drinking glass believed to date from 1725.  However, the words on the glass referred to Bonnie Prince Charlie (a Stuart, Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender to the throne) and was used by a supporter of the Jacobite rebellion.

        Charles Edward Stuart


[Prince Charlie once escaped while being pursued in Scotland by disguising himself as a woman (which probably wasn't very difficult if the painting above is a true likeness).  As the Irish maid of Flora MacDonald, he and Flora sailed in a small boat to the Isle of Skye, an event upon which the popular bagpipe tune, "Skye Boat Song" is based.  and .  John and I used to play it when we were in a bagpipe band.  I liked it, as it was rather slow, so you didn't run out of breath.]

                You can hear "God Save the Queen" sung at the end of The Proms at Royal Albert Hall here:  William Blake's "Jerusalem" (music by Hubert Parry) followed by "God Save the Queen"

                At all international sports competitions (bar one), "God Save the Queen" serves as the national anthem for England. 

                The one exception is cricket.  For cricket games, the song used as the national anthem for England is Hubert Parry's "Jerusalem."

God save our gracious Queen / Long live our noble Queen / God save the Queen

Send her victorious / Happy and glorious / Long to reign over us

God save the Queen


O Lord our God arise / Scatter her enemies / And make them fall

Confound their politics / Frustrate their knavish tricks / On Thee our hopes we fix

God save us all


Thy choicest gifts in store / On her be pleased to pour / Long may she reign

May she defend our laws / And ever give us cause / To sing with heart and voice

God save the Queen


Not in this land alone / But be God's mercies known / From shore to shore

Lord make the nations see / That men should brothers be / And form one family

The wide world o'er


From every latent foe, / From the assassins blow, / God save the Queen!

O'er her thine arm extend, / For Britain's sake defend, / Our mother, prince, and friend,

God save the Queen!

                The tune became popular in the colonies by 1761, and different American verses were sung to the tune.

                Samuel Francis Smith did not author his words to the tune until about 1831, as on 04 Jul 1831, they appeared (five verses) on a broadside (without music) published by the Boston Sabbath School Union, Park Street Church, Boston. 

                On 05 Nov 1832, the words were published in The Choir by Lowell Mason, with the music, and the tune was given the name AMERICA.  (Given the use of the tune in Great Britain, I wonder if the name was satirical.)

                Later publications of the hymn, under the title My Country! 'Tis of Thee, included only four verses.

                                       Words sung to the tune "AMERICA," more similar to those originally sung in 1745 (with fanfare, and hats) [excellent video]

                                        "My Country! 'Tis of Thee,"Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square

                (inspirational video)       

                Samuel Francis Smith was born 21 Oct 1808.  He was a classmate of Oliver Wendell Holmes at Harvard, which he attended from 1825 to 1829.  He worked in Boston for a time as editor of the Baptist Missionary Magazine.  Smith attended Andover Theological Academy and on 12 Feb 1834 was ordained a Baptist minister in Waterville, Maine.  While in Maine, he was professor of modern languages at Waterville College.

       Rev. Samuel F. Smith                                    1890


                He then moved to Newton, Massachusetts, where he was editor of various publications of the Baptist Missionary Union and pastor of the First Baptist Church in Newton Centre.

                Smith wrote over 150 hymns and helped compile a Baptist hymnal in 1843.  Smith was also a local historian, and in 1880 published History of Newton, Massachusetts.

                He died suddenly on 16 Nov 1895 while traveling by train to Readville, a Boston neighborhood, where he was to preach.  He was buried in Newton Cemetery.


S. F. Smith's large monument notes that he is the author of "My Country 'Tis of Thee."

Instrumental Music

                The prelude is Léon Boëllmann's "Prière à Notre-Dame (Prayer to Our Lady)" in A-flat major—the  third movement of his Suite Gothique, Op. 25.  It is sometimes described as "dreamy music."

     Léon Boëllmann   "Prière à Notre-Dame," Movement III,  Suite Gothique, Op. 25 by Léon Boëllmann performed by Simone Gheller on a three-manual organ at the St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin   Steven Rabanal plays "Movement III. Prière à Notre-Dame," beginning with a brighter registration accordion duet by Karol Jabłoński and Piotr Zarzyka in the Synagogue in town of Győr, Hungary

                Boëllmann was born 25 Sep 1862 in Ensisheim, Haut-Rhin.  He was educated in Paris, entering the School of Classical Religious Music when he was only nine years old.

                After graduation, he "moved in the best circles of the French musical world."  It was said he could "coax pleasing sounds out of recalcitrant instruments."

                He died at age 35 on 11 Oct 1897.

                The offertory music 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 postlude is  "Voluntary on 'Hyfrydol'" by Charles Callahan.   

                Perhaps the "Voluntary" is this "Finale" on HYFRYDOL.  Finale on Hyfrydol performed by Jay Whatley, organist, First United Methodist Church, Downtown, Houston, Texas


            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."

                      HYFRYDOL played on accordion   HYFRYDOL played with the Garritan Personal Orchestra instruments (software generated from digital samples)

(flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon)



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