Sermon

Love is Something We Do

Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, Preacher: Rev. Jean Ward

Sunday, October 25, 2020
Rev. Jean Ward
Eleanor Daley, Director of Music
Tenor – Eugene Burke
Piano – Anne Fraser Burke
Violin – Carol Yampolsky

 

 

Scripture: Matthew 22:34-40
Reader: Heather McPherson

 

Prelude Siciliano in Eb Major, BWV 1031           J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

 

Opening 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 Where Peace Has Always Been           Michael John Trotta (b. 1978)

Be still, my soul! Release from deep within;
Find in his loving will where peace has always been.
For little do you know, for little can you see,
Unfoldings of the plan that grasps eternity.

When you look all around, and you look deep within,
You will find where peace has always been.
Be not afraid, my love for you shall never fade.

As flowers blossom in the field,
And soaring birds shall have their fill,
The harvests you shall yield.
Shall be much greater still.

When you look all around, and you look deep within,
You will find where peace has always been.
Be not afraid, my love for you shall never fade.

Be still, my soul! Release from deep within;
Find in his loving will where peace has always been.
For little do you know, for little can you see,
Unfoldings of the plan that grasps eternity.

Be still, my soul. Be still.
(Anon./Michael John Trotta)

 

Solo Above the Voices of the World Around Me           K. Lee Scott (b. 1950)
Tenor – Eugene Burke
Piano – Anne Fraser Burke
Violin – Carol Yampolsky

 

Above the voices of the world around me,
My hopes and dreams, my cares and loves and fears,
The long awaited call of Christ has found me,
The voice of Jesus echoes in my ears:
“I gave My life to break the cords that bind you,
I rose from death to set your spirit free;
Turn from your sins and put the past behind you,
Take up your cross and come and follow me.”

Lord, I believe; help now my unbelieving;
I come in faith because Your promise stands.
Your word of pardon and of peace receiving,
All that I am I place within Your hands.
Let me become what You shall choose to make me,
Freed from the guilt and burden of my sins.
Jesus is mine, who never shall forsake me,
And in His love my newborn life begins.
(Timothy Dudley-Smith, b. 1926)

 

Hymn Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art,
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

Hast Thou not bid me love Thee, God and King,
All, all Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind?
I see Thy cross; there teach my heart to cling:
O let me seek Thee, and O let me find!

Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame;
The kindling of the heaven-descended Dove,
My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.
(George Croly, 1780-1860)

 

Anthem Come to Me           Dan Forrest (b. 1978)

 

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 An Irish Blessing           E. Daley (2000)
Bach Children’s Chorus and Youth Choir
Conductor – Linda Beaupré
Piano – Eleanor Daley

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

 

This morning’s hymn, anthem and solo texts are reprinted under onelicense.net #A-717945. The Gift of Love – words by Hal Hopson, © 1972 Hope Publishing Company. Where Peace Has Always Been – words anonymous/Michael John Trotta, © 2018 MorningStar Music Publications. Above the Voices of the World Around Me – words by Timothy Dudley-Smith, © 1987 Hope Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

 

♪ Music notes ♪

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.

Hal Hopson (b. 1933) is a full time composer and church musician residing in Cedar Park, Texas. He has over 3000 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.

Michael John Trotta (b. 1978) is an American composer, conductor and clinician. Prior to his work as a full-time composer, he taught at the elementary, secondary and university levels, and also worked as a church director of music. His compositions have been described as inspired, deeply stirring and elegant, but always singable.

K. (Keaton) Lee Scott (b. 1950) is an internationally known teacher, conductor and composer of sacred music, choral music and hymns, currently residing in Birmingham, Alabama. Recognized as one of America’s foremost composers of music for the church, his hymns are published in eight hymnals, including Voices United. He has over 300 compositions in publication, including anthems, hymns, works for solo voice, organ, brass, and larger choral works. Scott holds degrees in choral music and composition from the University of Alabama School of Music, and has travelled extensively as a guest conductor and clinician throughout the United States, as well as to Canada and Africa. In years past, the Senior Choir has presented the Canadian premiere of his Gloria, and the Toronto premiere of his Requiem.

Timothy Dudley-Smith (b. 1926) is an English hymn writer and a retired bishop of the Church of England. As a hymn writer, Dudley-Smith has published some 400 hymn texts, many of which appear in hymnals throughout the English-speaking world and in translation. He is an honorary vice-president of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland, a Fellow of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and a Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music. In 2003 he was awarded an OBE ‘for services to hymnody’, and in 2009 an honorary Doctor of Divinity from the University of Durham in the UK.

George Croly (1780-1860) was an Irish poet, novelist, historian, and Anglican priest. Born in Dublin, the son of a physician, he graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with an MA in 1804 and was ordained the same year. He served as a curate at a parish in the diocese of Meath until around 1810. Then, accompanied by his widowed mother, his brother Henry and his sisters, he moved to London. Finding himself unable to obtain work in the church, he dedicated himself to a literary career. A leading contributor to a number of magazines, Croly also worked as a theatre critic for the New York Times, and as a foreign correspondent. He wrote poems, plays, satires, novels, history, and theological works, and achieved some measure of success in all. His hymn text Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart was written in 1854.

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

An Irish Blessing was commissioned by Northlea Public School Junior Choir, Mitch Bondy, conductor. The published version is dedicated to Dr. Dan and Velma Daley on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary, September 2, 2000, and this morning’s recording is from the Bach Children’s Chorus’ 2017 spring concert.

Music Sources:

The Gift of Love arr. Hal Hopson https://youtu.be/c0AicZiBA7s
Where Peace Has Always Been Michael John Trotta https://youtu.be/8J9N0-5XN8s
Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart https://youtu.be/cGUS3GKT6VU
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling https://youtu.be/miFQoHvOTaw