Sermon

Seeing the Light in the Shadows

Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020

Reign of Christ
Sunday, Nov 22, 2020
Rev. Jean Ward
Eleanor Daley, Director of Music
Lief Mosbaugh, Tenor – Oboe, English Horn, and Viola

 

 

Scripture: Matthew 25:31-46
Reader: Jan Schlee

 

Prelude A Hymn for St. Cecilia          Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
As well as being Reign of Christ Sunday, today is also St. Cecilia’s Day.
St. Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians, and in particular, of church music.

Sing for the morning’s joy, Cecilia, sing,
in words of youth and phrases of the Spring,
walk the bright colonnades by fountains’ spray,
and sing as sunlight fills the waking day;
‘til angels, voyaging in upper air
pause on a wing and gather the clear sound
into celestial joy, wound and unwound,
a silver chain, or golden as your hair.

Sing for your loves of heaven and of earth,
in words of music, and each word a truth;
marriage of heart and longings that aspire,
a bond of roses and a ring of fire.
Your summertime grows short and fades away,
terror must gather to a martyr’s death;
but never tremble, the last indrawn breath
remembers music as an echo may.

Through the cold aftermath of centuries
Cecilia’s music dances in the skies.
Lend us a fragment of the immortal air,
that with your choiring angels we may share
a word to light us thro’ time-fettered night,
water of life or rose of paradise,
so from the earth another song shall rise
to meet your own in heaven’s long delight.
(Ursula Vaughan Williams, 1911-2007)

 

Opening Hymn O Worship the King

 

Introit Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!           E. Daley (1997) 
Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir

Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!
His the sceptre, his the throne.
Alleluia! His the triumph,
His the vict’ry alone.
(William Chatterton Dix, 1837-1898)

 

Anthem To the Lamb on the Throne           Dan Forrest (b. 1978)

Worthy the Lamb.

Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim,
And publish abroad His wonderful name;
The name all victorious of Jesus extol;
His kingdom is glorious, and rules over all.
Worthy the Lamb.

“Salvation to God, who sits on the throne!”
Let all cry aloud, and honour the Son:
The praises of Jesus the angels proclaim,
Fall down on their faces, and worship the Lamb.
Worthy the Lamb.

God rules in the height, almighty to save,
Though hid from our sight, His presence we have;
The great congregation His triumph shall sing,
Ascribing salvation to Jesus our King.
Worthy the Lamb.

Then let us adore and give Him His right,
All glory and pow’r, all wisdom and might,
All honour and blessing, with angels above,
And thanks never ceasing, and infinite love.
Worthy the Lamb!
(Charles Wesley, 1744)

 

Solo Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (from Cantata BWV 147)           J. S. Bach (1685-1750), arr. Lief Mosbaugh
Lief Mosbaugh – tenor, oboe, English horn and viola

Jesu, joy of man’s desiring,
Holy wisdom, Love most bright.
Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring,
Soar to uncreated light.

Word of God, our flesh that fashioned,
With the fire of life impassioned.
Striving still to truth unknown,
Soaring, dying round Thy throne.
(Martin Janus, 1661,
Trans. Robert Seymour Bridges, 1844-1930)

 

Hymn Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!

Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!
His the sceptre, his the throne:
Alleluia! His the triumph,
His the victory alone.
Hark! The songs of peaceful Zion
Thunder like a mighty flood;
Jesus, out of every nation
Hath redeemed us by his blood!

Alleluia! Not as orphans
Are we left in sorrow now:
Alleluia! He is near us;
Faith believes, nor questions how.
Though the cloud from sight received him,
When the forty days were o’er,
Shall our hearts forget his promise,
“I am with you evermore”?

Alleluia! Bread of angels,
Thou on earth our food, our stay;
Alleluia! Here the sinful
Flee to thee from day to day;
Intercessor, Friend of sinners,
Earth’s Redeemer, plead for me,
Where the songs of all the sinless
Sweep across the crystal sea.

Alleluia! King eternal,
Thee the Lord of lords we own;
Alleluia! Born of Mary,
Earth thy footstool, heaven thy throne.
Thou, within the veil hast entered,
Robed in flesh, our great high priest;
Thou on earth both priest and victim
In the eucharistic feast.
(William Chatteron Dix, 1837-1898)

 

Anthem The Yearning           Craig Courtney (b. 1948)

There is a yearning in hearts weighed down by ancient grief
and centuries of sorrow.
There is a yearning in hearts that in the darkness hide
and in the shades of death abide,
A yearning for tomorrow.

There is a yearning for the promised One,
the First-born of creation.
There is a yearning for the Lord who visited His own,
and by His death for sin atoned,
To bring to us salvation.
Emmanuel, Emmanuel,
within our hearts the yearning.

There is a yearning that fills the hearts of those who wait
the day of His appearing.
There is a yearning when all our sorrows are erased
and we shall see the One who placed
within our hearts the yearning.
Emmanuel, Emmanuel,
within our hearts the yearning.
(Susan Bentall Boersma)

 

Closing Hymn Rejoice, the Lord is King           arr. John Rutter (b. 1945) 

Rejoice, the Lord is King;
Your Lord and King adore;
Rejoice, give thanks and sing
And triumph evermore:
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice:
Rejoice; again I say, rejoice!

Jesus the Saviour reigns,
The God of truth and love;
When he had purged our stains,
He took his seat above:
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice:
Rejoice; again I say, rejoice!

Rejoice in glorious hope;
Our Lord and Judge shall come
And take his servants up
To their eternal home:
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice:
Rejoice; again I say, rejoice!
Amen.
(Charles Wesley, 1707-1788)

 

Postlude Crown Him with Many Crowns

 

This morning’s Prelude text is reprinted under onelicense.net # A-717945. A Hymn for St. Cecilia, words by Ursula Vaughan Williams, © Novello and Company Limited, 1961. All rights reserved.

♪ Music notes ♪

Herbert Howells (1892-1983) was an English composer, organist, and teacher, most famous for his large output of Anglican church music. Born in Gloucestershire, the youngest of six children, he showed early musical promise, and at the age of eleven he became a choirboy and unofficial deputy organist at the local Church of England parish church. In 1912, Howells moved to London to study at the Royal College of Music, where he blossomed in what he considered the “cozy family” atmosphere of the College. However, his promise seemed likely to be cut short in 1915 when he was diagnosed with Graves’ disease and given six months to live. His poor health prevented him from being conscripted in World War I, arguably preserving him from the worse fate awaiting many of his friends and contemporaries. In 1920, he married, and also joined the staff of the Royal College of Music, where he was to remain until 1979, but in 1935 his placid existence as a teacher, adjudicator and occasional composer was abruptly shattered when his nine year old son Michael contracted polio during a family holiday and died three days later. Howells was deeply affected, and at the suggestion of his daughter, sought to channel his grief into music, resulting in a number of small and larger scale works, which to a greater or lesser extent reflect the influence of this tragic loss. He continued to compose until his late 80s, and one of the last works to appear in his lifetime was his Requiem, edited for performance from his manuscripts in 1980 and published the following year, almost fifty years after its composition. Howells died at the age of 90, and his ashes were interred in Westminster Abbey.

Although Ursula Vaughan Williams (1911-2007) had a long association with the musical world and understood it well, she was not a musician, but a writer. She was the second wife of the famous English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, and also the author of what was for many years, considered to be his standard biography. She also wrote poetry that appealed particularly to composers. Some set verses she had already published; with others she worked closely, providing librettos for several operas and large-scale choral works. After the death of Vaughan William’s first wife Adeline in 1951, he and Ursula married and settled in London, where he resumed many activities that he had long been obliged to restrict, due to the ill health of Adeline. It could be said that without the happiness this second marriage brought RVW in his last years, the course his music took might well have been less fruitful.

Of Scottish ancestry, Sir Robert Grant (1779-1838) was born in India. He was educated at Magdalen College, Cambridge, and called to the bar in 1807. He had a distinguished career as a member of the British Parliament and later as Governor of Bombay (now known as Mumbai). As governor, Grant was a law unto himself, and under his rule a multitude of large-scale projects were pushed forward which were to transform the shape of British policy in the East. Knighted in 1834, he was also a hymn writer of great merit. His O Worship the King, based on William Kethe’s translation of Psalm 104 is considered to be one of the greatest hymns in the English language, and is both widely sung and familiar to millions of church-goers. Some of his lesser known hymns are marked with the same graceful versification and deep feeling.

William Kethe (ca. 1530-1594) is thought to have been Scots-born, although this has never been confirmed. A Protestant, he fled to the continent during Queen Mary’s persecution in the 1550s. He lived in Geneva for some time, but travelled to Basel and Strasbourg to maintain contact with other English refugees. Kethe helped translate the Geneva Bible in 1560 and contributed twenty-five psalm versifications to the 1561 Anglo-Genevan Psalter. Only ten of these were retained in the 1562 English Psalter, while the 1564 Scottish Psalter kept all twenty-five. This morning’s Opening Hymn was originally titled My Soul, Praise the Lord.

Dan Forrest (b. 1978) has been described as having an undoubted gift for writing beautiful music that is truly magical, with works hailed as magnificent, cleverly constructed sound sculpture, and superb writing … full of spine-tingling moments. In the last decade, Dan’s music has become well established in the U.S., Canada, and abroad. The Fairlawn Senior Choir has presented the Canadian premieres of two of his critically acclaimed major works for choir and orchestra – Requiem for the Living (2014) and Jubilate Deo (2017). Jubilate Deo features the text of Psalm 100, sung in seven languages: Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Zulu, Spanish, and English. Dan holds a doctoral degree in composition from the University of Kansas, as well as a master’s degree in piano performance. He keeps a busy schedule doing commissions, workshops, recordings, adjunct professorships, and residencies with universities, churches and community choirs, teaching composition, coaching, and collaborating as an accompanist.

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 master’s 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, and he became the father of musician Samuel Wesley, and the grandfather of musician Samuel Sebastian Wesley.

J. S. 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 splendour 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 churches, 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.

Martin Janus (ca.1620–ca.1682) was a German Protestant minister, church musician, hymn-writer, teacher, and editor. He wrote the lyrics of the hymn Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne, popularized in a chorale arrangement by Johann Sebastian Bach, and known in English as Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.

Robert Seymour Bridges (1844-1930) was born in Kent, England. Educated at Eton College and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, he went on to study medicine at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, intending to practise until the age of forty, and then retire to write poetry. Lung disease forced Bridges to retire in 1882, and from that point on he devoted himself to writing and literary research. However, his literary work started long before his retirement – his first collection of poems having been published in 1873. He was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 1900, and appointed Poet Laureate in 1913 – the only medical graduate to have held the office. Despite this appointment, Bridges was never a very well-known poet, and only achieved his great popularity shortly before his death, but, his verse evoked response in many great British composers of the time. Among those to set his poems to music were Hubert Parry and Gustav Holst. Bridges also translated historic hymns, many of which are still in use today, including his translation of Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring from the original German.

William Chatterton Dix (1837-1898) was an English writer of hymns and carols. He was educated in Bristol, for a mercantile career, and became manager of a maritime insurance company in Glasgow where he spent most of his life. His hymn texts are found in hymn books of many denominations, some of the most popular being As with Gladness Men of Old, What Child is This? and this morning’s middle hymn, Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!

Craig Courtney is an internationally-renowned choral composer, arranger, pianist, accompanist, clinician, and choir director. A native of Indiana, he began playing the piano at the age of three and the cello at the age of eleven, and received a Bachelors and a Masters degree in piano performance at the University of Cincinnati. Following a three-year stay in Milan, Italy, where he studied the piano and worked extensively as a vocal coach, he was invited to join the music faculty of the famed Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. It was during this period, while serving in the music ministry of the Salzburg International Baptist Church, that Courtney began directing a church choir and composing sacred choral music, due to the unavailability of English language music.

Susan Bentall Boersma was born and educated in Michigan and began her study of music with her parents, both of whom were performing artists. Her piano/organ/voice studies continued while attending Hope College. She has served as accompanist for college choirs and touring groups as well as for various solo artists and community choirs; has led workshops on music and worship, and has held positions as pianist, choral director and director of music ministries at churches in Michigan, Wisconsin, Vermont and Ohio. Susan often collaborates as a lyricist with composers Craig Courtney, Lloyd Larson and Mark Hayes, to name a few – on both sacred and school repertoire.

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.

Music Source:

A Hymn for St. Cecilia Herbert Howells https://youtu.be/a-bhLD1Vmb4
O Worship the King https://youtu.be/Wy1ahfW14M0
Alleluia! Sing to Jesus! E. Daley Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir
To the Lamb on the Throne Dan Forrest https://www.beckenhorstpress.com
Alleluia! Sing to Jesus! https://youtu.be/A7eeNp7YwBc
The Yearning Craig Courtney https://youtu.be/vPW3cVJ12Yw
Rejoice, the Lord is King arr. John Rutter https://youtu.be/xA0jM77Qers