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April 10, 2020
Rev. Douglas duCharme
Eleanor Daley, Director of Music
Musical Reflection Miserere Mei, Deus Gregorio Allegri (c. 1582-1652)
(Text is from Psalm 51)
Hymn Beneath the Cross of Jesus
Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand,
The shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land;
A home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat, and the burden of the day.
There lies beneath its shadow but on the further side,
The darkness of an awful grave that gapes both deep and wide,
And there between us stands the cross, two arms outstretched to save,
A watchman set to guard the way from that eternal grave.
Upon the cross of Jesus mine eye at times can see
The very dying form of one who suffered there for me;
And from my smitten heart, with tears, two wonders I confess;
The wonders of redeeming love, and my unworthiness.
I take, O cross, thy shadow for my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face,
Content to let the world go by, to know no gain or loss,
My sinful self my only shame, my glory all, the cross.
(Elizabeth Cecilia Clephane, 1830-1869)
First Reading: Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I pray.”
And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled.
And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch.”
And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.
And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt.”
And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour?
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words.
And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to answer him.
And he came the third time, and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?
It is enough; the hour has come; the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” (Mark 14: 32-42)
Anthem My Soul is Exceeding Sorrowful E. Daley (1995)
My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.
Tarry ye here, and watch with me.
Now shall ye see the multitude come upon me,
ye shall flee and I go to be sacrificed for you.
Behold, the hour is at hand,
and the Son of man is betrayèd into the hands of sinners.
Ye shall flee and I go to be sacrificed for you.
(Responsaries for the Offices of Tenebrae)
Second Reading: The Arrest of Jesus
And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.
Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I shall kiss is the man; seize him and lead him away under guard.”
And when he came, he went up to him at once, and said, “Master!” And he kissed him. And they laid hands on him and seized him.
But one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear.
And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me?
Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled.”
And they all forsook him, and fled. (Mark 14:43-50)
Hymn My Song is Love Unknown
My song is love unknown, my Saviour’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown, that they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
My Lord should take frail flesh and die.
He came from his blest throne salvation to bestow;
But all made strange, and none the longed-for Christ would know:
But O my friend, my friend indeed,
Who at my need his life did spend!
Sometimes they strew his way, and his sweet praises sing,
Resounding all the day hosannas to their King;
Then “Crucify!” is all their breath,
And for his death they thirst and cry.
They rise and needs will have my dear Lord made away;
A murderer they save, the Prince of Life they slay.
Yet cheerful he to suffering goes,
That he his foes from thence might free.
Here might I stay and sing, no story so divine;
Never was love, dear King, never was grief like thine!
This is my friend, in whose sweet praise
I all my days would gladly spend.
(Samuel Crossman, 1624-1683)
Third Reading: Jesus Before the Council
And they led Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes were assembled.
And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, and warming himself at the fire.
Now the chief priests and the whole council sought testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none.
For many bore false witness against him, and their witness did not agree.
And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying,
“We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’”
Yet not even so did their testimony agree.
And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?”
But he was silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
And Jesus said, “I am; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
And the high priest tore his garments, and said, “Why do we still need witnesses?
You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death.
And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!”
And the guards received him with blows. (Mark 14:53-65)
Anthem Drop, Drop, Slow Tears E. Daley (1989)
Drop, drop, slow tears, and bathe those beauteous feet,
which brought from heav’n the news and Prince of Peace.
Cease not, wet eyes, his mercies to entreat;
to cry for vengeance, sin doth never cease.
In your deep floods drown all my faults and fears;
nor let his eye see sin, but through my tears.
(Phineas Fletcher, 1582-1650)
Fourth Reading: Peter Denies Jesus
And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the maids of the high priest came;
and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him, and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.”
But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway.
And the maid saw him, and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.”
But again he denied it. And after a little while again the bystanders said to Peter,
“Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.”
But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.”
And immediately the cock crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him,
“Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.”
And he broke down and wept. (Mark 14:66-72)
Hymn Ah, Holy Jesu
Ah, holy Jesu, how hast thou offended,
That all to judge thee hath in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted.
Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesu, hath undone thee;
T’was I, Lord Jesu, I it was denied thee,
I crucified thee.
Lo, the good shepherd for the sheep is offered;
The slave hath sinnèd, and the Son hath suffered;
For our atonement, while he nothing heedeth,
(Johann Heermann, 1585-1647)
Fifth Reading: Jesus Before Pilate
Then the whole company of them arose, and brought him before Pilate.
And they began to accuse him, saying,
“We found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar,
and saying that he himself is Christ a king.”
And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.”
And Pilate said to the chief priests and the multitudes, “I find no crime in this man.”
But they were urgent, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.”
Pilate said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and after examining him before you,
behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him; neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us.
Behold, nothing deserving death has been done by him.
I will therefore chastise him and release him.”
(For of necessity, he must release one of them because of the feast.)
But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”:
(a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city, and for murder.)
Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus; but they shouted out, “Crucify, crucify him!”
A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no crime deserving death;
I will therefore chastise him and release him.”
But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified.
And their voices prevailed. (Luke 23:1-5, 14-23)
Anthem Before Pilate John Henry Maunder (1858-1920) – from Olivet to Calvary
Chorus: Then came Jesus forth from the judgment hall
Wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe,
Pilate: (And Pilate said,) “Behold your King!”
Chorus: And they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him!
He stirreth up the people, Crucify Him!”
Pilate: “Shall I crucify your King?”
Chorus: “We have no king but Caesar!
Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas.
Away with this man, Crucify Him!”
Pilate: “Take ye Him, and crucify Him.
For I find no fault in Him at all.”
Sixth Reading: Jesus is Sentenced to Death
So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning,
he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying,
“I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.”
And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!”
Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. (Matthew 27:24-26)
Hymn There is a Green Hill Far Away
There is a green hill far away,
Without a city wall,
Where the dear Lord was crucified,
Who died to save us all.
We may not know, we cannot tell,
What pains He had to bear;
But we believe it was for us
He hung and suffered there.
He died that we might be forgiven,
He died to make us good,
That we might go at last to heaven,
Saved by His precious blood.
There was no other good enough
To pay the price of sin,
He only could unlock the gate
Of heaven, and let us in.
Oh dearly, dearly has He loved,
And we must love Him too,
And trust in His redeeming blood,
And try His works to do.
(Cecil Frances Alexander, 1823-1895)
Solo The Crucifixion Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
At the cry of the first bird they began to crucify Thee, O Swan!
Never shall lament cease because of that.
It was like the parting of day from night.
Ah, sore was the suffering borne by the body of Mary’s Son.
But sorer still to Him was the grief
Which for His sake came upon His Mother.
(From The Speckled Book, 12th century, trans. H. M. Jones
Seventh Reading: Jesus is Crucified
And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.
Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him.
And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left.
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
And the people stood by, watching; but the rulers scoffed at him, saying,
“He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!”
The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him vinegar, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”
There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”
One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?
And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”
And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:26, 32-43)
Hymn When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died.
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
Save in the death of Christ, my God:
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.
See from his head, his hands, his feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er his body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small:
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
(Isaac Watts, 1674-1748)
Anthem Behold, We Have Seen Him Healey Willan (1880-1968)
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return unto the Lord thy God.
Behold, we have seen him without form or comeliness,
his form is gone from him, he hath borne our sins and his sorrows are for us.
He was wounded for our transgressions, and with his stripes we are healèd.
Surely he hath borne our griefs and carrièd our sorrows, and with his stripes we are healèd.
(Responsaries for the Offices of Tenebrae)
Eighth Reading: The Death of Jesus
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness all over the land until the ninth hour.
And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”,
that is, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
And after this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfil the scripture), “I thirst”.
And a bowl of vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth.
When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished”; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom;
and the earth shook, and the rocks were split; the tombs also were opened,
and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe, and said,
“Truly this was the Son of God!” (excerpts from Matthew 27 and John 19)
Hymn O Sacred Head
O sacred head, sore wounded, defiled and put to scorn;
O kingly head surrounded with mocking crown of thorn:
What sorrow mars thy grandeur? Can death thy bloom deflower?
O countenance whose splendour the hosts of heaven adore!
In thy most bitter passion my heart to share doth cry,
with thee for my salvation upon the cross to die.
Ah, keep my heart thus movèd to stand thy cross beneath,
to mourn thee, well-belovèd, yet thank thee for thy death.
(from a medieval Latin hymn)
Anthem Final Chorus from St. Matthew Passion Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
(Translation from the original German text)
We sit down in tears and call you to your tomb:
Rest softly, softly rest! Rest, you exhausted limbs.
Your grave and tombstone for our anguished conscience
Shall be a pillow that gives peace and comfort
And the place where our souls find rest.
With the greatest content there our eyes will close in sleep.
Musical Reflection John 19:41 (from Jesus Christ Superstar) Andrew Lloyd Webber (b. 1948)
(Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden,
And in the garden a new tomb where no one had ever been laid.)
♪ Music notes ♪
Very few western choral works have experienced a musical evolution (alongside legendary tales) like the Allegri Miserere mei, Deus. In 1638, a singer in the Sistine Chapel Choir composed a setting of Psalm 51 to be sung there during Holy Week. That singer was Gregorio Allegri, and his setting, Miserere mei, Deus – now commonly known as Miserere, is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written. It was considered so sublime that the Pope forbade the transcription of the music, and prohibited it being performed anywhere else. But not only is the version we hear today significantly different from Allegri’s original manuscript — if it weren’t for one particularly precocious 14-year-old, it may never have been heard outside the Vatican’s walls. What the Pope hadn’t planned on (at least according to the legend) was Leopold Mozart’s trip to Rome in 1770, more than 100 years after the piece had been written; and more specifically, the attendance of his 14-year-old son, Wolfgang Amadeus. The Mozarts attended the Wednesday service at the Vatican, at which the Miserere was being performed. A couple of hours later, the young Wolfgang proceeded to transcribe the entire piece from memory. He went back to the Good Friday service to make a couple of corrections, and the Vatican’s secret was out. Several years later – to the great good fortune of the world, it was published in London. During the Romantic Period (a century after Mozart), Felix Mendelssohn also transcribed Miserere, this time with more of the famous high notes we hear today.
Elizabeth Cecilia Clephane (1830-1869) was a Scottish song and hymn writer who lived most of her brief life near Edinburgh. She left a mere eight hymns to posterity, but they (“Beneath the Cross of Jesus” being the most well known) are among the finest examples of evangelical hymnody, which was one of the dominant types of devotional writing of her time. During the explosion of hymn writing in the nineteenth century, such religious verse – much of which was written by women – was published in newspapers and religious magazines, and eventually made its way into one or more of the hundreds of nineteenth-century hymnbooks, many of which are still found in many of the hymnals of today.
My Soul is Exceeding Sorrowful and Drop, Drop, Slow Tears were written for Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir. The recordings can be found on their CD titled “Canticle to the Spirit”.
Samuel Crossman (1623-1683) was a hymn writer and minister in the Church of England. He earned a Bachelor of Divinity from Pembroke College, Cambridge, and after graduating he ministered to both Anglican and Puritan congregations. Crossman sympathized with the Puritan cause, and attended the 1661 Savoy Conference, which attempted to update the Book of Common Prayer so both Puritans and Anglicans could use it. The conference failed, and the 1662 Act of Uniformity expelled some 2,000 ministers from the Church, including Crossman. He recanted shortly thereafter, and was ordained in 1665, becoming a royal chaplain. He received a post at Bristol in 1667, and became Dean of Bristol Cathedral in 1683. “My Song is Love Unknown” is his most well known hymn text.
Phineas Fletcher (1582-1650) was an English Renaissance poet and dramatist. He was educated at Eton School and then at King’s College, Cambridge, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in 1604, and a Master’s degree four years later. Fletcher had ambitions to be a priest and he was ordained while at Cambridge. He might have remained there but for a dispute over money owed him which caused him to leave. Instead, he became a rector in a small town in Norfolk, where he stayed for the remainder of his life. He was a prolific writer throughout his life, and at his death he left behind a body of literature larger than many of his Renaissance contemporaries – in fact, the volume of his output was on a par with the works produced by the likes of John Milton and Edmund Spenser.
“Herzliebster Jesu” (often translated into English as “Ah, Holy Jesu”) is a German hymn text for Passiontide, written by Johann Heermann (1585-1647) in 1630. Its tune, also called “Herzliebster Jesu” was composed ten years later by Johann Crüger. This tune has been arranged many times, including settings by J. S. Bach (two movements of his St. John Passion and three movements of his St. Matthew Passion) as well as by other noted composers such as Johannes Brahms and Max Reger. The common English translation of this hymn was written by the British poet Robert Bridges in 1897.
John Henry Maunder (1858-1920) was an English organist and composer. He was born in Chelsea, London, and studied at the Royal Academy of Music. He began his career as a theatre composer, but later specialized exclusively in producing sacred works for the Anglican church, and held posts as organist in several London churches. During his day, his many sacred cantatas were widely performed and admired, but Olivet to Calvary, which recalls the scenes that mark the last few days of Christ’s life on earth, remains today as one of Maunder’s better known works.
Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895) was an Anglo-Irish hymnodist and poet. “There Is a Green Hill Far Away”, “All Things Bright and Beautiful”, and the Christmas carol “Once in Royal David’s City” are three of her most well known hymn texts.
Samuel Barber (1910-1981) was one of the most prominent American composers of the mid-20th century. He wrote in virtually every genre, including opera, ballet, vocal, choral, keyboard, chamber, and orchestral music. His expressive and directly communicative music has never lacked support and devotion from concert audiences, and he remains one of the best known and beloved composers to this day. Barber’s Adagio for Strings has achieved iconic status as a profound and universally understood expression of grief, and remains a testament to his ability to write music of the highest artistic standards that can also touch the heart.
Isaac Watts (1674-1748) was an English minister, hymn writer, theologian, and logician. He was a prolific and popular hymn writer and is credited with some 750 hymns. He is recognized as the “Godfather of English Hymnody”; many of his hymns remain in use today and have been translated into numerous languages.
Healey Willan (1880-1968) was a composer, organist, choir director, and educator who was a dominant figure in Canadian musical life for over half a century. He influenced several generations of composers, organists, choir directors, singers and audiences through his teaching and example. After immigrating to Canada from England in 1913, he taught at the Toronto Conservatory (1913-36) and at the University of Toronto (1937-50). From 1921 until his death, he was organist-choirmaster at the Anglican Church of St Mary Magdalene in Toronto. He composed operas, symphonies, concertos and music for band, piano, organ, choir and solo voice – some 800+ works in all. Frequently known as the “Dean of Canadian composers”, Willan was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1967.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was a German composer of the Baroque period (ca. 1600-1750). He lived in Protestant north Germany in the days when music there made up an important part of the splendor of courts, of religious observance, and the daily happiness of the people. Over the course of his life, he held numerous posts: choir-boy, violinist in the orchestra of a prince, organist of town churchs, and chief court musician. His last position was as music director at the St. Thomas Church and School in Leipzig, of which city his name is chiefly connected, since he remained there for almost the last thirty years of his life. He played many instruments, and as a clavichordist, harpsichordist, and organist, was supreme in his day. He was an extremely prolific composer and produced monumental instrumental compositions as the Art of the Fugue, the Brandenburg Concertos, and the Goldberg Variations, as well as cantatas, motets, sacred songs and arias, sonatas, concertos, suites, and an enormous amount of organ and other keyboard music. Two of Bach’s best known large choral works are the St. Matthew Passion and the Mass in B Minor, and since the 19th-century Bach revival, in no small part, thanks to Felix Mendelssohn, he is now regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time. Bach was twice married, and the parent of twenty (!) children, several of whom were also musicians.
Andrew Lloyd Webber (b. 1948) is an English composer and impresario of musical theatre. Several of his musicals, including Jesus Christ Superstar have run for more than a decade in London’s West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, and a Requiem Mass. Lloyd Webber has received numerous awards, including a knighthood in 1992, followed by a peerage from Queen Elizabeth II for services to the Arts. He is also involved in a number of charitable activities, including the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Prostate Cancer UK, and War Child.
Miserere Mei, Deus Gregorio Allegri (c. 1582-1652) Voces8 https://youtu.be/5VoQsXkOrZA
Beneath the Cross of Jesus https://youtu.be/As4gSoRArLo
My Soul is Exceeding Sorrowful E. Daley (1995)
My Song is Love Unknown https://youtu.be/HMart4wXsI0
Drop, Drop, Slow Tears E. Daley (1989)
Ah, Holy Jesu https://youtu.be/vtYIs84irlY
Before Pilate John Henry Maunder (1858-1920) – from Olivet to Calvary https://youtu.be/vUBiX8UNg2Q
There is a Green Hill Far Away https://youtu.be/d0ybUpuLn8M
The Crucifixion Samuel Barber (1910-1981) https://youtu.be/6BnmH5j0dG4
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross https://youtu.be/Z9eCUqz_x5A
Behold, We Have Seen Him Healey Willan (1880-1968) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4n4UFelbMtc
O Sacred Head https://youtu.be/Yi4gbXnjRsU
Final Chorus from St. Matthew Passion Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) https://youtu.be/w7X41SUO5-o
John 19:41 (from Jesus Christ Superstar) Andrew Lloyd Webber (b. 1948)https://youtu.be/Z_Ruk72KRjc