Sermon

Love’s Many Faces

Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021

 

Sunday, February 14, 2021
Valentine’s Day
Rev. Douglas duCharme
Rev. Jean Ward
Eleanor Daley, Director of Music

Virtual Double Quartet
Soprano – Anne Bornath, Amy Dodington
Alto – Lynn Featherstone, Andrea Ludwig
Tenor – Willis Bote, Phil Smith
Bass – Scot Denton, Giles Tomkins

 

 

Fairlawn’s Stories of Love
Greig & Carolyn Clark
June Rowe
John Haag & Jill McAlpine

Thank You
Intro Mary Ellen Richardson
EB Chair, Kathy Salisbury
Rev. Douglas duCharme

 

Scripture: I John 4 (selected verses)

 

Prelude Love is Kind           F. Filitz/P. Maurice/E. Daley
Soprano – Anne Bornath, Amy Dodington
Alto – Lynn Featherstone, Andrea Ludwig
Tenor – Willis Bote, Phil Smith
Bass – Scot Denton, Giles Tomkins

Love is kind, and suffers long;
Love is humble, thinks no wrong;
Love than death itself more strong,
Therefore give us love.

Prophecy will fade away,
Melting in the light of day;
Love will ever with us stay;
Therefore give us love.

Faith will vanish into sight;
Hope be emptied in delight;
Love in heaven will shine more bright;
Therefore give us love.

Faith and hope and love we see
Joining hand in hand agree;
But the greatest of the three,
And the best, is love.
(Christopher Wordsworth, 1862)

 

Opening Hymn Come Down, O Love Divine

Come down, O love divine,
Seek thou this soul of mine,
And visit it with thine own ardour glowing.
O Comforter, draw near,
Within my heart appear,
And kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn,
Till earthly passions turn
To dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
And let thy glorious light
Shine ever on my sight,
And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity
Mine outward vesture be,
And lowliness become my inner clothing,
True lowliness of heart,
Which takes the humbler part,
And o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

And so the yearning strong
With which the soul will long
Shall far outpass the power of human telling;
For none can guess its grace,
Till he become the place
Wherein the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.
(Bianco da Siena, c.1350-1434
trans. Richard F. Littledale, 1833-1890)

 

Anthem Love Never Ends          E. Daley (2002)
Fairlawn Avenue Chamber Choir
Soprano soloist – Rebecca Whelan

Soprano – Carrie Loring, Sophia Vassiliadis, Rebecca Whelan
Alto – Sonya Gosse, Patricia Jones, Patti Vipond
Tenor – Eugene Burke, Mervin Fick, Phil Smith
Bass – Dennis Caines, Michael Downie, Giles Tomkins

Ubi caritas et amor, (Where there is charity and love,)
Deus ibi est. (God is there.)

Love is patient, love is kind,
Love is not jealous or boastful,
It is not arrogant or rude.
Love does not insist on its own way;
It is not irritable or resentful;
Love does not rejoice at wrong,
But rejoices in the right.
Love bears all things,
Love believes all things,
Love hopes all things,
Love endures all things,
Love never ends.
(I Corinthians 13:4-8a)

 

Hymn The Gift of Love           arr. Hal Hopson (b. 1933)

Though I may speak with bravest fire,
And have the gift to all inspire,
And have not love, my words are vain,
As sounding brass, and hopeless gain.

Though I may give all I possess,
And striving so my love profess,
But not be given by love within,
The profit soon turns strangely thin.

Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control,
Our spirits long to be made whole.
Let inward love guide every deed;
By this we worship, and are freed. Amen.
(Hal Hopson, 1972)

 

Anthem O Love           Elaine Hagenberg (b. 1979)

 

 

Closing Hymn Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down,
Fix in us thy humble dwelling,
All thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesu, thou art all compassion,
Pure, unbounded love thou art;
Visit us with thy salvation,
Enter every trembling heart.

Come, almighty to deliver,
Let us all thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never,
Never more thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve thee as thy hosts above,
Pray, and praise thee without ceasing,
Glory in thy perfect love.

Finish then thy new creation,
Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see thy great salvation,
Perfectly restored in thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before thee,
Lost in wonder, love and praise.
(Charles Wesley, 1707-1788)

 

Postlude All You Need is Love

 

This morning’s middle hymn text is reprinted under onelicense.net #A-717945. The Gift of Love – words by Hal Hopson, © 1972 Hope Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

 

♪ Music notes ♪

Christopher Wordsworth (1807-1885) was a nephew of the great poet, William Wordsworth. He was educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Cambridge, was elected Fellow of the College in 1830, and received Priest’s Orders in 1835. He held many distinguished posts over the course of his life, including head master of Harrow School, Canon of Westminster Abbey, Hulsean Lecturer at Cambridge; Vicar of Stanford-in-the-Vale, Archdeacon of Westminster, and Bishop of Lincoln. His writings are numerous and some of them very valuable. Although most of his works are in prose, Wordsworth’s “The Holy Year: Hymns for Sundays, Holidays, and other occasions throughout the Year” contains 127 hymns and was published in 1862 – the same year that is noted in this morning’s Prelude text. He wrote many volumes of sermons and an enormous amount of pamphlets, addresses, letters and speeches, on almost every subject in which the interests of the church were concerned, as well as on subjects connected with classical literature.

Bianco de Siena (c.1350-1434) was an Italian mystic poet. He wrote many religiously-inspired poems that were widely read in the Middle Ages. Over one hundred and twenty-two of his poems were published, spanning more than twenty thousand lines of verse. The Irish born curate Richard F. Littledale translated many of these poems into English that have since come into common use in the church, including Come Down, O Love Divine (known as “Discendi, Amor Sante” in Italian.)

Richard F. Littledale (1833-1891) was born in Dublin. He graduated first class in classics and divinity at Trinity College Dublin, and then continued his studies at Oxford. Although he was curate of two churches in England, he suffered from chronic ill-health for much of his life, and so took little part in any parochial duties, devoting himself mainly to writing and translating.

Love Never Ends was commissioned by Fairlawn congregant Ron Nickle for his wife Sharon, in celebration of their 10th wedding anniversary, August 29, 2002. This morning’s recording is from a concert given by the Fairlawn Avenue Chamber Choir at FESTIVAL 500 in St. John’s, NFLD, July 2005.

Hal Hopson (b. 1933) is a full time composer and church musician residing in Cedar Park, Texas. He has over 3,000 published works, which comprise almost every musical form in church music, including anthems for children, youth, and adult choir, as well as compositions for organ, piano, harpsichord and handbells. He is also active as a conductor and clinician, having conducted choral festivals and workshops in the United States, Europe and Asia. Hopson’s cantata, God with Us, was one of the few compositions chosen to be placed in a capsule during the American Bicentennial in 1976. The capsule will be opened at the Tercentennial in 2076, and will be heard again as a representative piece of American choral composition of this century.

Elaine Hagenberg’s music “soars with eloquence and ingenuity” (American Choral Directors Association Choral Journal.) Her compositions have received many awards, and are performed by schools, churches, universities, honour choirs and choral festivals throughout the United States and abroad. Notable performances include the National Youth Choir at Carnegie Hall, the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, the Melbourne International Choral Festival in Australia, and other international performances in South Africa, Taiwan and throughout Europe. Elaine graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and her compositions are published by many publishing houses.

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, the father of musician Samuel Wesley, and the grandfather of musician Samuel Sebastian Wesley.

Music Sources:

Come Down, O Love Divine https://youtu.be/zXO4rqBQOAU
The Gift of Love arr. Hal Hopson https://youtu.be/c0AicZiBA7s
O Love Elaine Hagenberg https://youtu.be/U2cqblTDR8w
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling https://youtu.be/miFQoHvOTaw
All You Need is Love Lennon and McCartney https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5ze_e4R9QY