Sermon

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Sunday, May. 17, 2020

Sixth Sunday of Easter
Sunday, May 17, 2020
Rev. Rob Metcalf
Eleanor Daley, Director of Music

 

 

Scripture Reading  John 14:15-21

 

Prelude Rise Up, My Love        E. Daley (1988/2012)
Fairlawn Senior Choir Men
Piano – Anne Fraser Burke

Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away;
For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
The flow’rs appear on the earth,
The time of the singing of birds is come.
(Song of Solomon 2:10-12a)

 

Opening Hymn Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, brothers and sisters draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen all that His people hath been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee;
Ponder anew all the Almighty can do,
He, who with love doth befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord! Oh, let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him!
Let the Amen sound from His people again:
Gladly for aye we adore Him.
(Joachim Neander, 1640-1680,
trans. Catherine Winkworth, 1829-1878)

 

Reading  Song of Faith – God’s Spirit

And so we sing of God the Spirit
who from the beginning has swept over the face of creation,
animating all energy and matter
and moving in the human heart.

We sing of God the Spirit,
faithful and untameable,
who is creatively and redemptively active in the world.

The Spirit challenges us to celebrate the holy not only in what is familiar
but also in that which seems foreign.

The Spirit breathes revelatory power into scripture,
bestowing upon it a unique and normative place in the life of the community.
The Spirit judges us critically when we abuse scripture by interpreting it narrow-mindedly,
using it as a tool of oppression, exclusion, or hatred.

We sing of the Spirit,
who speaks our prayers of deepest longing
and enfolds our concerns and confession,
transforming us and the world.

 

Anthem Prayer        René Clausen (b. 1953)

Help me spread your fragrance wherever I go.
Flood my soul with Your Spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly
That my life may be only a radiance of Yours.
Shine through me, and be so in me
That every soul I know will feel Your presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me, but only You. Amen.
(From the Daily Prayer of Mother Teresa, 1910-1997)

 

Hymn The King of Love My Shepherd Is

The King of love my shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am his
And he is mine forever.

Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul he leadeth,
And where the verdant pastures grow
With food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish oft I strayed;
But yet in love he sought me,
And on his shoulder gently laid,
And home rejoicing brought me.

In death’s dark vale I fear no ill
With thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.

Thou spread’st a table in my sight;
Thy unction grace bestoweth;
And O what transport of delight
From thy pure chalice floweth!

And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never:
Good shepherd, may I sing thy praise
Within thy house for ever!
(Henry Williams Baker, 1821-1877,
based on Psalm 23)

 

Anthem Come to Me        Dan Forrest (b. 1978)

“Come to me, all you who labour,
Come to me, and I will give you rest.
Come to me, all who are weary and burdened,
And you will find rest for your souls.
Come, my child, learn my heart,
For I am gentle and lowly.
See how great my love for you,
That I have called you my child.”
(Adapted from Matthew 11:25, 28-29,
2 Corinthians 6:18, I John 3:1)

 

Closing Hymn Lord, You Give the Great Commission

Lord, you give the great commission:
“Heal the sick and preach the word.”
Lest the church neglect its mission,
And the gospel go unheard,
Help us witness to your purpose
With renewed integrity;
With the Spirit’s gifts empow’r us
For the work of ministry.

Lord, you bless with words assuring:
“I am with you to the end.”
Faith and hope and love restoring,
May we serve as you intend,
And, amid the cares that claim us,
Hold in mind eternity;
With the Spirit’s gifts empow’r us
For the work of ministry.
(Jeffery W. Rowthorn, 1978)

 

Postlude Irish Blessing        Bob Chilcott (b. 1955)

May the road rise to meet you,
may the wind be ever at your back,
may the sun shine warm upon your face,
and the rain fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, may God hold you,
ever in the palm of his hand.
(Traditional Irish)

 

This morning’s Anthem and Closing Hymn texts are reprinted under onelicense.net #A-717945. Prayer – words by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, used by permission of the Mother Teresa Centre, music arrangement © 2009 Roger Dean Publishing Co. Lord, You Give the Great Commission, words by Jeffery W. Rowthorn, © 1978 Hope Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

 

♪ Music notes ♪

Rise Up, My Love was composed for the wedding of Jay and Cindy Daley in 1988. Originally scored for organ and solo voice, it was transposed and revised for piano and men’s voices and sung by the men of Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir at the wedding reception of Gary and Weili Poole in July 2012. This morning’s recording is from Special Music Sunday, April 28, 2013.

Joachim Neander (1650-1680) was a German Reformed Church teacher, theologian and hymn writer whose most famous hymn, Praise to the Lord, the Almighty was described in John Julian’s “A Dictionary of Hymnology” as a magnificent hymn of praise to God, perhaps the finest creation of its author. Due to its immense popularity it was translated several times into English, and the hymn appears in most major hymnals. Tragically, Neander died of tuberculosis at the age of 30.

Catherine Winkworth (1829-1878) 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.

René Clausen (b. 1953) is an American composer and professor of music at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. His works are widely performed by high school and church choirs, and have been performed and recorded by many college and professional choirs. Clausen is a frequent guest conductor, guest composer and lecturer, both nationally and internationally.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997) was a Roman Catholic nun from the Republic of Macedonia who adopted India as her country of service. She dedicated her life to the service of the poor, the ailing, and the destitute through the Missionaries of Charities, an order of Roman Catholic nuns, in Calcutta, India. She once said, “Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.” Her work transcended geo-political borders and she encompassed the whole of humanity in her healing embrace. Her work was recognized through numerous international and national awards and recognitions. She was canonized at a ceremony in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican by Pope Francis on September 4, 2016, and came to be known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

Henry Williams Baker (1821-1877) was an English hymn writer. He was born in London, and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. 1844, and M.A. 1847. From 1851 until his death in 1877 he was Vicar of Monkland, Herefordshire, during which time he rendered the Church great service by editing “Hymns Ancient and Modern,” one of the most popular of modern hymn-books, to which he contributed a number of original hymns, metrical litanies, and translations. Baker’s most widely used hymn is The King of Love My Shepherd Is, the third verse of which formed his dying words, according to his friend and fellow hymn writer, John Ellerton.

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.

Jeffery W. Rowthorn (b. 1934) was born in Wales and educated at Cambridge and Oxford. He taught at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and then at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut. In 1973, he helped establish the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University. His last appointment was Bishop in Charge of the Convocation of American Episcopal Churches in Europe, and his office was at the American Cathedral in Paris. He retired from this position in 2001. He has been writing hymns for three decades, and one of his most popular – Lord, You Give the Great Commission can be found in many hymnals.

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).

Music Sources:
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty https://youtu.be/0JvCmvlm-Qg?list=RD0JvCmvlm-Qg
Prayer René Clausen https://youtu.be/-DXt7-S_yHQ
The King of Love My Shepherd Is https://youtu.be/MjcImI7nA7Y
Come to Me Dan Forrest https://youtu.be/bi6IZCJx3qA
Lord, You Give the Great Commission https://youtu.be/IG36MuVpmGk
Irish Blessing Bob Chilcott https://youtu.be/PO3j6Hl_-Yw