Sermon

Dedication

Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020

 

Sunday, December 27, 2020
Rev. Rob Metcalf
Eleanor Daley, Director of Music

 

 

Scripture: Luke 2:22-40
Reader: Sue Metcalf

 

Prelude Torches           John Joubert (1927-2019)

Torches, torches, run with torches all the way to Bethlehem!
Christ is born and now lies sleeping; come and sing your song to him!

Ah, Roro, Roro, my baby, ah Roro, my love, Roro.
Sleep you well, my heart’s own darling, while we sing you our Roro.

Sing, my friends, and make you merry, joy and mirth and joy again;
Lo, he lives, the King of heaven, now and evermore. Amen.
(Trans. J. B. Trend from the Galician)

 

Opening Carol Unto Us is Born a Son           arr. David Willcocks (1919-2015)

Unto us is born a Son,
King of quires supernal:
See on earth his life begun,
Of lords the Lord eternal,
Of lords the Lord eternal.

Christ, from heav’n descending low,
Comes on earth a stranger;
Ox and ass their owner know,
Be-cradled in the manger,
Be-cradled in the manger.

This did Herod sore affray,
And grievously bewilder,
So he gave the word to slay,
And slew the little childer,
And slew the little childer.

Of his love and mercy mild
This the Christmas story;
And O that Mary’s gentle Child
Might lead us up to glory,
Might lead us up to glory.

O and A, and A and O,
Cum cantibus in choro,
Let our merry organ go,
Benedicamus Domino,
Benedicamus Domino.
(George Ratcliffe Woodward, 1848-1934)

 

Anthem Sussex Carol           arr. David Willcocks (1919-2015)
Eglinton St. George’s Senior Choir
Director of Music and Conductor – Shawn Grenke
Organ – Andrew Adair

On Christmas night all Christians sing,
To hear the news the angels bring,
On Christmas night all Christians sing,
To hear the news the angels bring –
News of great joy, news of great mirth,
News of our merciful King’s birth.

Then why should men on earth be so sad,
Since our Redeemer made us glad,
Then why should men on earth be so sad,
Since our Redeemer made us glad,
When from our sin he set us free,
All for to gain our liberty?

When sin departs before his grace,
Then life and health come in its place;
When sin departs before his grace,
Then life and health come in its place;
Angels and men with joy may sing,
All for to see the new-born King.

All out of darkness we have light,
Which made the angels sing this night:
All out of darkness we have light,
Which made the angels sing this night:
“Glory to God and peace to men,
Now and for evermore. Amen.”
(Traditional English carol)

 

Carol All Poor Men and Humble

All poor men and humble, all lame men who stumble,
Come haste ye, nor feel ye afraid;
For Jesus, our treasure, with love past all measure,
In lowly poor manger was laid.
Though wise men who found him laid rich gifts around him,
Yet oxen they gave him their hay;
And Jesus in beauty accepted their duty;
Contented in manger he lay.

Then haste we to show him the praises we owe him;
Our service he ne’er can despise,
Whose love still is able to show us that stable,
Where softly in manger he lies.
(Katharine Emily Roberts, 1927)

 

Anthem Ding Dong! Merrily on High           arr. Charles Wood (1866-1926)

Ding dong! merrily on high in heav’n the bells are ringing;
Ding dong! verily the sky is riv’n with angel singing.
Gloria, hosanna in excelsis!

E’en so here below, below, let steeple bells be swungen,
And io, io, io, by priest and people sungen.
Gloria, hosanna in excelsis!

Pray you, dutifully prime your matin chime, ye ringers;
May you beautifully rime your eve-time song, ye singers.
Gloria, hosanna in excelsis!
(George Ratcliffe Woodward, 1848-1934)

 

Closing Carol Go, Tell it on the Mountain           arr. John Rutter (b. 1945)

Go, tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and ev’rywhere.
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.

While shepherds kept their watching
O’er silent flocks by night,
Behold, throughout the heavens
There shone a holy light.

Go, tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and ev’rywhere.
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.

The shepherds feared and trembled
When lo, above the earth
Rang out the angel chorus
That hailed the Saviour’s birth.

Go, tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and ev’rywhere.
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.

Down in a lowly manger
The humble Christ was born,
And brought us our salvation
That blessèd Christmas morn.

Go, tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and ev’rywhere.
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.
(John Wesley Work Jr., 1907)

 

Postlude For Unto Us a Child is Born (from Messiah)           George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

 

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given,
And the government shall be upon His shoulder,
And His name shall be callèd:
Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God,
The Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace!
(Isaiah 9:6)

 

♪ Music notes ♪

John Joubert (1927-2019) was a British composer of South African birth, who lived in Birmingham, England for over 50 years. A music academic in the universities of Hull and Birmingham for 36 years, he took early retirement to concentrate on composing, and remained active into his 80s. Although perhaps best known for his choral works, particularly the carols Torches and There is No Rose of Such Virtue, Joubert composed over 160 works including three symphonies, four concertos and seven operas.

David Willcocks (1919-2015) was a conductor, organist, composer and arranger, and long considered Britain’s most esteemed choir director. During the course of his remarkable life, to name but a few of his many accomplishments, he was the Music Director of the King’s College Choir of Cambridge University, and was associated for many years with the Bach Choir, based in London, England. His work with both ensembles — renowned for the brightness, clarity and impeccable intonation he routinely summoned from his singers — was considered exquisitely representative of the modern English choral tradition. He was also the co-editor (along with John Rutter) of the beloved Carols for Choirs series – carol books found in virtually every church and community choir’s library, and in which his arrangement of this morning’s opening hymn and first anthem appears. As a choral ambassador, Willcocks led ensembles in Canada, the United States and across the globe – and even worked with the Rolling Stones!

George Ratcliffe Woodward (1848-1934) was an English Anglican priest who wrote mostly religious verse, both original and translated from ancient authors. The best known of these were written to fit traditional melodies, mainly from the Renaissance era. He sometimes harmonized these melodies himself, but usually left it to his frequent collaborator, composer Charles Wood. In 1924, Wood and Woodward published “A Cambridge Carol Book: Being Fifty-two Songs for Christmas, Easter and Other Seasons”, which included this morning’s anthem Ding Dong! Merrily on High.

Charles Wood (1866-1926) was an Irish composer, organist and teacher; his pupils included Ralph Vaughan Williams at Cambridge, and Herbert Howells at the Royal College of Music in London. One of the more important minor composers from the British Isles of his generation, he composed songs, cantatas, works for the stage, as well as orchestral and chamber pieces, but is best remembered for his large output of anthems, communion service settings, psalm settings, and other religious compositions.

Katharine Emily (Clayton) Roberts (1877-1962) was born in Leicester, England. Her father was a Bishop and her mother was active in the woman’s suffrage movement. She married Rev. Robert Edwin Roberts who was born in Wales, served as a Master at the Choir School of Westminster Abbey and later became Canon of the Church of England and Dean of Leicester Cathedral. Katharine translated and freely paraphrased Welsh carols for “The Oxford Book of Carols”. Translations include this morning’s second hymn All Poor Men and Humble, and her paraphrases include Now the Joyful Bells A-Ringing – better known in its secular version as Deck the Halls.

John Rutter (b. 1945) is an English composer, conductor, editor, arranger, and record producer, mainly of choral music. He studied music at Clare College, England, and later became the College’s first full-time Director of Music in 1975, leading the Choir to international prominence. In 1981 he founded his own professional choir, the Cambridge Singers, with which he has made many recordings of the sacred choral repertoire. Rutter’s music is very well known and much beloved in choral circles, and is performed worldwide. His larger-scale works – particularly his Gloria (1974), Requiem (1985), and Magnificat (1990) are also well established in the choral repertoire, and the late Sir David Willcocks considered him to be the most gifted composer of his generation.

John Wesley Work Jr. (1871-1925) was the first African-American collector of folk songs and spirituals, and also a choral director, educationalist and songwriter. He is now sometimes known as John Wesley Work II, to distinguish him from his son, John Wesley Work III.

Various legends, registering differing degrees of reality and truth, inevitably surround such a famous and long-lived composition as Messiah by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759). It is known that he wrote most of the work in an astonishingly short three weeks time, beginning on August 22, 1741. Another legend attached to the work relates to his inspiration, which casts the frenzied composition as a sort of divine dictation. Handel is said to have emerged at some point (usually, it is noted, after finishing the Hallelujah Chorus,) and proclaimed: “I did think I did see all Heaven before me, and the great God himself!” The first performance of Messiah took place in Dublin, on April 13, 1742. Handel gave the London premiere less than a year later at Covent Garden, and in the almost 300 years since then, Messiah has taken its rightful place as one of the most frequently performed and most beloved choral works of all time.

 

Music Sources:

Torches John Joubert https://youtu.be/JulhReGJbp8?list=PLlx5408QK0fG-hWcrAZMVGNlJ4cJ8ZJI9
Unto Us is Born a Son arr. David Willcocks https://youtu.be/uTlEWXyAUEw
Sussex Carol arr. David Willcocks Eglinton St. George’s Senior Choir
All Poor Men and Humble https://youtu.be/6ZLfzkXW0GM
Ding Dong! Merrily on High arr. Charles Wood https://youtu.be/-47zCXSynSY
Go, Tell it on the Mountain arr. John Rutter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUZuq0U1F_Y
For Unto Us a Child is Born (fromMessiah) George Frideric Handel https://youtu.be/p6m0NfrEn_k?list=RD9cAbnj6LKjI

 

Image Souces:

12 Days of Christmas – Doves https://www.emblibrary.com/el/Products.aspx?Catalog=Emblibrary&ProductID=a1203