Sermon

Second Sunday in Advent
Sunday, December 6, 2020
Rev. Jean Ward
Eleanor Daley, Director of Music

Virtual Quartet
Soprano 1 – Amy Dodington
Soprano 2 – Anne Bornath
Alto 1 – Andrea Ludwig
Alto 2 – Lynn Featherstone

 

Scripture: Luke 1:26-45, 56

Prelude Magnificat           E. Daley (2006)
Toronto Children’s Chorus
Conductor – Elise Bradley
Organ – Christopher Dawes

My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoicèd in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessèd.
For he that is mighty hath magnifièd me, and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him throughout all generations.
He hath shown strength with his arm;
He hath scatterèd the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seats,
And hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath fillèd the hungry with good things,
And the rich he hath sent empty away.
He, remembering his mercy, hath holpen his servant Israel;
As he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
(Luke 1: 46-55)

 

Opening Hymn People, Look East 

People, look east. The time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love the guest is on the way.

Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim
One more light the bowl shall brim,
Shining beyond the frosty weather,
Bright as sun and moon together.
People, look east and sing today:
Love the star is on the way.

Angels, announce to man and beast
Him who cometh from the east.
Set every peak and valley humming
With the word, the Lord is coming.
People, look east and sing today:
Love the Lord is on the way.
(Eleanor Farjeon, 1928)

 

Introit My Soul Doth Magnify the Lord           E. Daley (1987)
Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir

My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
(Luke 1: 46b,47)

 

Lighting of the Second Advent Candle – Love
The Denbok Tempest Family

 

Come, Light of Lights           E. Daley (2018)
Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir and congregation

Come, Light of lights,
Come, shine upon us.
Come, touch our hearts,
We long for you.
Come, touch our lives,
Come and renew us.
Come to us, Emmanuel.
(E. D.)

 

Anthem Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming           arr. Jan Sandström (b. 1954)

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming as men of old hath sung.
It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.
(T. Baker/F. Layritz, trans. H.R.K. Spaeth)

 

Hymn Mary, Woman of the Promise
Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir and congregation

Mary, woman of the promise,
Bearer of your people’s dreams,
Through your open, willing spirit
Waters of God’s goodness streamed.

Mary, song of holy wisdom,
Sung before the world began,
Faithful to the Word within, you
Carried out God’s wondrous plan.

Mary, morning star of justice,
Mirror of the Radiant Light,
In the shadows of life’s journey,
Be a beacon for our sight.

Mary, model of compassion,
Wounded by your offspring’s pain,
When our hearts are torn by sorrow,
Teach us how to love again.

Mary, woman of the Gospel,
Precious home for treasured seed,
Help us to be true disciples,
Bearing fruit in word and deed.
(Mary Frances Fleischaker, 1988)

 

Quartet I Sing of a Maiden           E. Daley (1990)
Soprano 1 – Amy Dodington
Soprano 2 – Anne Bornath
Alto 1 – Andrea Ludwig
Alto 2 – Lynn Featherstone

I sing of a maiden that is makeless,
King of all Kings to her son she ches.*

He came all so still where his Mother was,
As dew in April that falleth on the grass.

He came all so still to his Mother’s bow’r,
As dew in April that falleth on the flow’r.

He came all so still where his Mother lay,
As dew in April that falleth on the spray.

Mother and maiden was never none but she,
Well may such a lady God’s mother be.
(Trad. 15th century)
*chose

 

Anthem The Angel Gabriel          Bob Chilcott (b. 1955)
Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir Women and Intermediate Choir
Piano – Anne Fraser Burke

The angel Gabriel from heaven came,
His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
“All hail,” said he, “thou lowly maiden Mary,
Most highly favoured lady.” Gloria!

“For known a blessèd Mother thou shalt be,
All generations laud and honour thee,
Thy Son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold,
Most highly favoured lady.” Gloria!

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head.
“To me be as it pleaseth God,” she said.
“My soul shall laud and magnify His holy name.
Most highly favoured lady.” Gloria!

Of her, Emmanuel the Christ was born
In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,
And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say:
“Most highly favoured lady.” Gloria!
(Rev. S. Baring-Gould, 1834-1924)

 

Closing Hymn Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending
Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir and congregation

Lo, he comes with clouds descending,
See the Lamb for sinners slain!
Thousand thousand saints attending
Join to sing the glad refrain:
Hallelujah,
Hallelujah,
Hallelujah!
God appears on earth to reign.

Every eye shall then behold you,
Robed in awesome majesty;
All who jeered, and mocked, and sold you,
Pierced, and nailed you to the tree,
Deeply grieving,
Deeply grieving,
Deeply grieving,
Shall the true Messiah see.

Now redemption, long expected
See in solemn pomp appear;
All the saints, by us rejected,
Thrill the trumpet sound to hear:
Hallelujah,
Hallelujah,
Hallelujah!
See the day of God appear!

Yea! Amen! Let all adore you,
High on your eternal throne;
Crowns and empires fall before you,
Claim the kingdom for your own:
O come quickly!
O come quickly!
O come quickly!
Everlasting Christ, come down.
(John Cennick, 1750,
rev. Charles Wesley, 1758)

 

Choral Commissioning           E. Daley (2019)
Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir and congregation

(Georg Weissel, 1590-1635,
Trans. Catherine Winkworth, 1855, alt.)

 

Postlude Thou Shalt Know Him           Mark Sirett (b. 1952) 

Thou shalt know him when he comes,
not by any din of drums,
nor his manners, nor his airs,
nor by anything he wears.

Thou shalt know him when he comes,
not by crown or by his gown,
but his coming known shall be,
by the holy harmony which his coming makes in thee.

Thou shalt know him when he comes. Amen.
(Anon.)

 

This morning’s hymn text is reprinted under onelicense.net #A-717945. Mary, Mother of the Promise – words by Mary Frances Fleischaker, © 1994 Selah Publishing Co. All rights reserved.

♪ Music notes ♪

Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965) was a British poet, biographer, and author of children’s books. Her magical but unsentimental tales, which often mock the behaviour of adults, earned her a revered place in many British nurseries! The daughter of a British novelist and granddaughter of an American actor, she grew up in the bohemian literary and dramatic circles of London. Although frequently ill as a child, thereby having to spend a great deal of time at home reading and writing, she nevertheless attended opera and theatre productions at age 4, and began writing on her father’s typewriter at age 7. When she was 16, she came to public attention as the lyricist of an opera, with music written by her brother Harry, which was produced by the Royal Academy of Music. She was the first recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen Award for lifetime achievement in children’s literature, and also received the Carnegie Medal.

Mary Frances Fleischaker (b. 1945) is originally from Chicago and has been an Adrian Dominican sister for 54 years. She earned a Bachelor degree in piano performance from Siena Heights University (Adrian, MI), a Masters degree in Religious Studies from Loyola University (Chicago, IL), and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Her ministerial experience includes teaching, retreat work, and directing worship and liturgical music programs in a variety of pastoral settings including Campus Ministry at Barry University (Miami Shores, FL). Currently, she serves as adjunct professor of theology at Barry University and teaches in the Lay Ministry programme of the Archdiocese of Miami. Fleischaker’s hymn text Mary, Woman of the Promise appears in a number of hymn books.

Jan Sandström (b. 1954) is among the most frequently performed Swedish composers on the international scene today. Sandström was born in Vilhelmina in Lapland, and grew up in Stockholm. He began his university education by studying counterpoint in Stockholm and then at the University School of Music in Piteå from 1974 to 1976, and completed his training at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, studying music theory and composition. He joined the faculty of the Piteå School of Music in the 1980s, and was appointed professor of composition in 1989. Sandström began his musical career as a chorister, and his compositions include orchestral, vocal, opera and choral music. His most widespread choral international success is Det är en ros utsprungen (heard this morning in the English translation, Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming), and is one of his most devout works. A critic once wrote that he composes “music that pats you on the hand and says ‘there, there, it’ll be all right’”. Sandström and his music are constantly on the move, aiming to explore whatever aspect of life and music takes his fancy: “Every morning when I wake up, I want to be surprised by whatever I might think up today!”

Bob Chilcott (b. 1955) is a British choral composer, conductor and singer, based in Oxford, England. He has been called “a contemporary hero of British choral music”, and his compositions are performed worldwide. In his early years as a boy soprano chorister and choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, he sang the Pie Jesu in Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem on the famous 1967 King’s College recording, under the direction of the late Sir David Willcocks. In 1985 he joined the acclaimed vocal group the King’s Singers, and sang tenor with them for twelve years. Since 1997, he has worked as a full-time composer, and has written a wide variety of sacred and secular choral music. Bob’s compositions reflect his diverse taste in musical styles, and his commitment to writing music that is singable, as well as appealing and communicative to singers and listeners alike. A number of his 100+ published pieces have been translated into German, Swedish, Norwegian, and Slovenian. The Fairlawn Senior Choir has had the privilege of presenting the Canadian premiere of Bob’s Gloria (2016), and the Toronto premiere of his On Christmas Night (2019).

Rev. S. Baring-Gould (1834-1924) was an Anglican priest, hagiographer, antiquarian, novelist, folk song collector, and eclectic scholar. He is particularly remembered as a writer of hymns, the best known being Onward, Christian Soldiers, and his translation of the carol Gabriel’s Message (titled The Angel Gabriel in this morning’s anthem) from the Basque language to English.

John Cennick (1718-1755) was an early Methodist and Moravian evangelist, as well as a successful and prolific hymn writer. His family was originally from Bohemia, but Cennick was born in England to an Anglican family and raised in the Church of England. He spent much time as an itinerant evangelist in England and Ireland, enduring great and often violent opposition. By the time of his early death, he had established over 40 churches. Although he wrote many hymns, he is probably best remembered for the popular Advent hymn “Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending”, the text of which was subsequently revised by Charles Wesley.

Charles Wesley (1707-1788) was an English leader of the Methodist movement, most widely known for writing about 6,500 hymn texts. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford, and after graduating with a masters degree in classical languages and literature, Charles followed his father and brother into Anglican orders in 1735. He was a younger brother of Methodist founder John Wesley, and Anglican cleric Samuel Wesley the Younger, the father of musician Samuel Wesley, and the grandfather of musician Samuel Sebastian Wesley.

Georg Weissel (1590-1635) was a Prussian pastor who served a church in Königsberg for most of his career. One of the most important of the earliest hymn writers of Prussia, he wrote Macht hoch die Tür (Lift Up Your Heads) for the first Sunday of Advent. This morning’s choral commissioning is the text of the third verse (translated into English by Catherine Winkworth). Although Weissel wrote some 20 hymn texts in total, this hymn is the only one to endure.

Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878) was the foremost 19th century British translator of German hymns into English. Her translations were polished, and yet remained close to the original, and are still used extensively in many denominational hymnals. Educated initially by her mother, she lived with relatives in Dresden, Germany in 1845, where she acquired her knowledge and interest in German hymnody. A pioneer in promoting women’s rights, Winkworth put much of her energy into the encouragement of higher education for women.

Conductor, composer, pianist and organist, Dr. Mark Sirett (b. 1952) is the founding Artistic Director of the renowned Cantabile Choirs of Kingston, Ontario. A native of Kingston, he holds both masters and doctoral degrees in choral conducting and pedagogy from the University of Iowa, and has held teaching positions at the University of Alberta, University of Western Ontario and Queen’s University. A former organist and music director of St. George’s Cathedral, Kingston, Mark is also an award-winning composer whose works are frequently performed by some of Canada’s leading ensembles. Commissions have included works for the National Youth Choir of Canada, the Amabile Youth Singers, Ottawa Regional Youth Choir, Elora Festival Singers, University of Iowa and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.

Music Sources:

Magnificat E. Daley Toronto Children’s Chorus
People, Look East https://youtu.be/F8GNlRcBdvs
My Soul Doth Magnify the Lord E. Daley Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir
Come, Light of lights E. Daley Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir and congregation
Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming arr. Jan Sandström https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqkSPPVLf24
I Sing of a Maiden E. Daley Fairlawn Avenue Quartet
The Angel Gabriel Bob Chilcott Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir Women, and Intermediate Choir Piano – Anne Fraser Burke
Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir and congregation
Choral Commissioning E. Daley Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir and congregation
Thou Shalt Know Him Mark Sirett https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5xic4pMFBs

Image Sources:

Madonna del Magnificat Sandro Botticelli https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandro_Botticelli