Sermon

Sunday, August 23, 2020
Rev. Dr. Ambury Stuart
Eleanor Daley, Director of Music
Mezzo Soprano – Andrea Ludwig 

 

Scripture: Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Read by: Vicki Stuart

 

Prelude Allegro from Concerto for Two Violins in A Minor Op.3, No. 8           Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)

 

Opening Hymn Praise the Lord, His Glories Show

Praise the Lord, His glories show: alleluia!
Saints within His courts below, alleluia!
Angels round His throne above, alleluia!
All that see and share His love: alleluia!

Earth to heaven and heaven to earth: alleluia!
Tell His wonders, sing His worth, alleluia!
Age to age, and shore to shore, alleluia!
Praise Him, praise Him, evermore, alleluia!

Praise the Lord, His mercies trace: alleluia!
Praise His providence and grace, alleluia!
All that He for us hath done, alleluia!
All He sends us through His Son, alleluia!

Strings and voices, hands and hearts: alleluia!
In the concert bear your parts, alleluia!
All that breathe, your Lord adore, alleluia!
Praise Him, praise Him, evermore, alleluia! Amen.
(Henry Francis Lyte, 1793-1847)

 

Anthem Let All the World in Every Corner Sing          Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)

Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and King!
The heavens are not too high, His praise may thither fly,
The earth is not too low, His praises there may grow.
Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and King!

Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and King!
The church with psalms must shout, no door can keep them out;
But, above all, the heart must bear the longest part.
Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and King!
(George Herbert, 1593-1633)

 

Hymn God Who Gives to Life Its Goodness

God who gives to life its goodness,
God, creator of all joy,
God who gives to us our freedom,
God who blesses tool and toy:
Teach us now to laugh and praise you,
Deep within your praises sing,
Till the whole creation dances
For the goodness of its King.

God who fills the earth with beauty,
God who binds each friend to friend,
God who names us co-creators,
God who wills that chaos end:
Grant us now creative spirits,
Minds responsive to your mind,
Hearts and wills your rule extending
All our acts by Love refined.
(Walter Farquharson, 1970, alt.)

 

Mezzo Soprano – Andrea Ludwig – Be Not Afraid

 

Be not afraid: for I have redeemed you;
Be not afraid: I have called you by name.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
When you pass through the floods, they will not sweep o’er you;
When you walk through the fire, you will not be consumed;
You are mine, you are precious in my sight.

My love for you is everlasting,
My love for you shall have no end.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
When you pass through the floods, they will not sweep o’er you;
When you walk through the fire, you will not be consumed;
You are mine, you are precious in my sight.
(Based on Isaiah 43:1-4)

 

Anthem God Gives Us a Future with Hope           Pepper Choplin (b. 1957)

Surely I know the plans I have for you,
Plans for your welfare and not for harm.
Surely I know the plans I have for you,
Plans for a future that’s full of hope.

Our God lives, our God loves,
And gives us a future with hope.
Our God hears, our God cares,
And gives us a future with hope.

Surely I know the plans I have for you,
Plans for your welfare and not for harm.
Surely I know the plans I have for you,
Plans for a future that’s full of hope.

Our God lives, our God loves,
And gives us a future with hope.
Our God hears, our God cares,
And gives us a future with hope.

If you call me, I will answer,
If you pray to me, I will hear.
When you search for me, I will be there,
When you seek me with all your heart,
You’ll find me. You will find me.

We know our God lives, our God loves,
And gives us a future with hope.
Our God hears, our God cares,
And gives us a future with hope.

So, look to the future, and praise the future,
God gives a future, God gives us hope.
(Pepper Choplin, based on Jeremiah 29:11-14)

 

Closing Hymn Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah

Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
Hold me with thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
Feed me till I want know more,
Feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through.
Strong deliverer, strong deliverer,
Be thou still my strength and shield,
Be thou still my strength and shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death, and hell’s destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side:
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to thee,
I will ever give to thee.
(William Williams, 1717-1791,
Trans. William Williams and Peter Williams, 1723-1796, alt.)

 

Postlude Blessing           Paul Mealor (b. 1975)

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you,
Ever in the palm of His hand.

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

 

 

This morning’s hymn and anthem texts are reprinted under onelicense.net #A-717945. God Who Gives to Life Its Goodness – words by Walter Farquharson, © 1970 Hope Publishing Co. God Gives Us a Future with Hope – words by Pepper Choplin, based on Jeremiah 29:11-14, © 2013 Lorenz Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

♪ Music notes ♪

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) was an Italian Baroque composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher, and Roman Catholic priest. Born in Venice, the capital of the Venetian Republic, he is regarded as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe. Vivaldi’s main teacher was probably his father, Giovanni Battista, who in 1685 was admitted as a violinist to the orchestra of the San Marco Basilica in Venice. Vivaldi composed many instrumental concertos for the violin and a variety of other musical instruments, as well as numerous sacred choral works and more than forty operas. His best-known work is a series of violin concertos known as the Four Seasons. Many of his compositions were written for the all-female music ensemble of the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned children. He worked there as a Catholic priest and teacher from 1703 to 1715, and from 1723 to 1740. Vivaldi (who earned the nickname “The Red Priest”, due to his distinctive reddish hair) also had some success with expensive stagings of his operas in Venice, Mantua and Vienna. After meeting the Emperor Charles VI, he moved to Vienna, hoping for royal support. However, the Emperor died soon after Vivaldi’s arrival, and Vivaldi himself died in poverty less than a year later.

Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) was an Anglican minister, hymnodist, and poet. He was born in Scotland, of English parentage. After abandoning his intention to study medicine, he studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and with very limited training for the ministry, he took Anglican holy orders in 1815. Lyte was described as “slightly eccentric but of great personal charm, a man noted for his wit and human understanding, a born poet and an able scholar.” He was also an expert flute player and spoke Latin, Greek, and French.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) was an English composer and some-time organist and choir director. His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies, written over sixty years. Strongly influenced by Tudor music and English folk-song, his output marked a decisive break in British music from its German-dominated style of the 19th century. Vaughan Williams was born to a well-to-do family with strong moral views and a progressive social outlook. Throughout his life he sought to be of service to his fellow citizens, and believing in making music as available as possible to everybody, he wrote many works for amateur and student performance. Vaughan Williams is among the best-known British symphonists, noted for his very wide range of moods, from stormy and impassioned to tranquil, from mysterious to exuberant. Among the most familiar of his other concert works are Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910) and The Lark Ascending (1914). His vocal works include hymns, folk-song arrangements and both small and large-scale choral pieces. Two episodes made notably deep impressions in Vaughan Williams’ personal life. The First World War, in which he served in the army, had a lasting emotional effect. Twenty years later, though in his sixties and devotedly married, he was reinvigorated by a love affair with a much younger woman (Ursula Wood), who, by all accounts, seems to have been adopted by his wife Adeline in the most amicable way, to be her successor, and who did indeed become his second wife when Adeline passed away at the age of eighty. Vaughan Williams composed his last symphony just months before his death at the age of eighty-five.

George Herbert (1593-1633) was a Welsh-born poet, orator, and priest of the Church of England. His poetry is associated with the writings of the metaphysical poets, and he is recognized as “one of the foremost British devotional lyricists.” He was born into an artistic and wealthy family and largely raised in England. He received a good education that led to his admission to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1609. He went there with the intention of becoming a priest, but he became the University’s Public Orator and attracted the attention of King James I. He served in the Parliament of England in 1624 and briefly in 1625. After the death of King James, Herbert renewed his interest in ordination. He gave up his secular ambitions in his mid-thirties and took holy orders in the Church of England, spending the rest of his life as the rector of the little parish of St Andrew’s Church in Salisbury. He was noted for unfailing care for his parishioners, bringing the sacraments to them when they were ill and providing food and clothing for those in need. Henry Vaughan called him “a most glorious saint and seer.” Herbert was never a healthy man and died of consumption at age 39.

Pepper Choplin (b. 1957) is a full-time composer, conductor and humorist. He has gained a reputation as one of the most creative writers in church music today. With a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, he went on to earn a Master of Music degree in composition from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Much of Pepper’s creative energy goes into planning creative and vibrant worship for Greystone Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC where he is Minister of Music. Many of his anthems are born out of a need at his own church. Pepper’s chief desire is “to create music that will lead people to worship in a dramatic way.”

William Williams (1717-1781) was the son of a prosperous farmer in Wales, considered by many to be the father of Welsh hymnody. He had intended to become a physician, but at a revival meeting conducted by the evangelist Howell Harris, he instead committed himself to ministry. The revivalists realized that the Welsh language was lacking in hymns—the church in Wales was still primarily singing metrical psalms in their worship services. In order to promote the creation of hymns, Harris put together a hymn-writing competition between the different preachers. The prize fell easily to Williams, who had the poet’s passion and a gift of verse-writing. He was very prolific, and wrote more than eight hundred hymns during his lifetime. Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah first appeared in Welsh in 1745. Twenty six years later, in 1771, Peter Williams (no relation) translated the first verse into English, prompting William Williams to translate the rest of it into English as well. To this day, it is sung in congregations across denominational lines around the globe.

Paul Mealor (b. 1975) is a Welsh composer. A large proportion of his output is for chorus, both a cappella and accompanied. He came to wider notice when his motet Ubi Caritas et Amor was performed at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, and since then, he is considered to be one of the world’s most performed living composers. Since 2003, he has been teaching at the University of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, Scotland, where he is currently Professor of Composition, and has held visiting professorships in composition at institutions in Scandinavia and the United States.

Music Sources:

Allegro from Concerto for Two Violins in A Minor Op.3, No. 8 – Antonio Vivaldi https://youtu.be/XDw68FKzy8I
Praise the Lord, His Glories Show https://youtu.be/MnqxIJo7syE
Let All the World in Every Corner Sing Ralph – Vaughan Williams https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7qh9ZMhj-o
God Who Gives to Life Its Goodness https://youtu.be/GAkV9ucJ2AY
God Gives Us a Future with Hope – Pepper Choplin http://www.lorenz.com/Med/Sample/10_4396L.mp3
Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah https://youtu.be/AwuMRhIHv0Q
Blessing – Paul Mealor https://youtu.be/iqjeuco6PEA

Image Sources:

J. Heintz il giovane «La processione del Redentore» https://bit.ly/31lDHvO
Sunrise Photograph by A. Stuart