Hymn of the Day: “Where Charity and Love Prevail” ELW 359
Text: Latin hymn, 9th cent.; tr. Omer Westendorf, 1916–1997, alt.
Tune: TWENTY-FORTH, attr. Lucius Chapin, 1760–1842

The hymn “Where charity and love prevail” is appropriate for this day. Especially stanzas 4-5 fit well with the day’s emphasis on communal forgiveness. The hymn derives from the ninth-century chant “Ubi caritas,” and many Christians sing it during the foot washing on Maundy Thursday. This translation of the classic text was crafted by Omer Westendorf, a Roman Catholic musician.

In its first publication, in A Collection of Tunes, 1812, under the name TWENTY-FORTH, it is attributed to Lucius Chapin, but Lucius attributes it (under the name ORANGE) to his brother Amzi in an 1812 letter to Andrew Law.

Offertory Anthem: “With A Voice of Singing” Martin Shaw (1875-1958)

The text is Isaiah 48:20 and Psalm 66:1. These verses are used together as an Introit in the mass. Shaw’s works number more than three hundred published pieces, of which this church anthem, originally published 100 years ago, is an enduring favorite. It is scored with a quotation from Vaughan Williams’ “For All the Saints”. Composer, conductor and producer, Martin Shaw was of the Holst and Vaughan Williams generation of composers who was key in reviving public interest in the work of Purcell. He was also a co-founder of the Royal School of Church Music. He once toured Europe as conductor to dancer Isadora Duncan and was briefly engaged to the daughter of theatrical star Ellen Terry.

With a voice of singing declare ye this, and let it be heard, Alleluia!
Utter it even unto the ends of the earth. The Lord hath delivered His people, Alleluia!
O be joyful in God, all ye lands.
O sing praises to the honor of His name, make His praise to be glorious.
With a voice of singing, declare ye this, and let it be heard, Alleluia!

Opening Voluntary: “Listen, God Is Calling” Anne Krenz Organ (1960)

Anne Krentz Organ is a composer and church musician serving as the Director of Music Ministries at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Park Ridge, IL.

Anne is the primary composer of Setting 12, a musical setting of the liturgy found in All Creation Sings, the recently published hymnal supplement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Additional liturgical compositions are included in Evangelical Lutheran Worship and the three volumes of Music Sourcebooks: Lent and the Three Days; Advent through Transfiguration; and Life Passages.

Hymn of the Day: Lead Me, Guide Me, ELW 768
Text: Doris Akers, 1922-1995
Tune: LEAD ME, GUIDE ME, Doris Akers

LEAD ME is representative of the first generation of African American gospel music, a generation that began with Thomas Dorsey and includes gospel artists such as Roberta Martin, Lucie Campbell, Kenneth Morris, Theodore Frye, and Doris M. Akers. The core of this style is improvisation. Thus the printed notes are intended only as guides to the creativity of singers and accompanists.

Doris M. Akers wrote both text and tune of this African American gospel hymn in 1953 in Oakland, California. The text is an earnest plea for an intimate walk with God, who is asked to lead, guide, and protect the believer. The deeply personal stanzas emphasize that divine guidance is essential because of our lack of strength, our blindness, and Satan's temptations. Only God can lead us on the narrow path and through all the complexities and challenges of earthly life. Like many of the psalms, this text pours out the yearning of the individual Christian, a prayer that reminds us of the words of Psalm 4.

Doris Akers was a biracial African-American gospel music composer, arranger and singer and is considered to be "one of the most underrated gospel composers” of the 20th century. She had an active career as singer, choir director, and songwriter. She wrote her first song at age ten and after that time composed more than five hundred gospel songs and hymns. Known for her work with the Sky Pilot Choir, she was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2001.

Offertory Anthem: “How Lovely Are the Messengers” Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

“How Lovely Are the Messengers,” by Felix Mendelssohn, is from Saint Paul, the first of Mendelssohn's oratorios. It refers to Paul and Barnabas as ambassadors of the Christian Church. The composer oversaw versions and performances in both German and English within months of completing the music in early 1836. The libretto "after words of holy scripture" was begun in 1832. The composer with pastor Julius Schubring, a childhood friend, compiled passages from the New Testament, chiefly the Acts of the Apostles, and the Old, as well as the texts of chorales and hymns, in a polyglot manner after Bach's model. Composition of the music started in 1834 and was complete in early 1836. During Mendelssohn's lifetime, St. Paul was a popular and frequently performed work. Today it is regularly performed in Germany and well disseminated in both of its original languages through an array of complete recordings.

How lovely are the messengers that preach us the gospel of peace.
To all the nations is gone forth the sound of their words,
Throughout all the lands their glad tidings.

Opening Voluntary: “Now Let Us All Loudly” Healey Willan (1880-1968)

This is a very exuberant setting of the hymn tune “Now Let Us All Loudly” (Nun preiset alle), text and music by Matthäus Apelles von Löwenstern. Löwenstern’s hymns, thirty in all, are of very varied worth, many being written in imitation of antique verse forms, and on the mottoes of the princes under whom he had served. In the original editions they were accompanied with self-composed melodies. When or where they were first published (cir. 1644) is not clear.

Long-lived composer Healey Willan is best known for his liturgical music, though his output of more than 800 works includes most genres: opera, symphony, chamber, organ, piano, band, incidental scores, song, folk-song arrangements, and much else. More than half of those 800 efforts were sacred works for choir and organ, used for Anglican church services. Stylistically, Willan was a conservative whose music divulged the influence of Wagner and post-Romanticism in general. Born in England, he migrated to Canada and there became probably the most influential composer of liturgical music of his time. His influence spread across North America, spilling over into the musical traditions of most major denominations. Although Willan's compositions are not commonly encountered in the concert hall, renewed interest in his liturgical music since the 1990s offers hope to his admirers that even his concert music may enjoy rediscovery.

Closing Voluntary: Allegro assai vivace from Organ Sonata #1 in F Minor, Op. 65, Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

Felix Mendelssohn’s six Organ Sonatas, Opus 65, were published in 1845. Mendelssohn was well known and respected for his diversified improvisations and a seemingly endless varieties of new ideas, and it added new dimensions to what one normally heard played on the organ at the time. These qualities are evident in the organ sonatas, which were commissioned in1844 as a set of voluntaries, or preludes, and published in 1845. In fact, all of the music in these Sonatas was composed between August,1844, and January, 1845, so it is not surprising to find certain general characteristics appearing, almost like a recurring theme, throughout all six sonatas, which unifies the whole collection.

Hymn of the Day: “Lord of All Nations, Grant Me Grace” (ELW 716)
Text: Olive Wise Spannaus, 1916-2018, alt.
Tune: BEATUS VIR, Šamotulský Kancionál, 1561.

With Philippians 2:1-18 as its basis, Olive Wise Spannaus wrote this hymn in 1960. She was living in Elmhurst, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago that, like many cities at that time, was experiencing racial tensions. She says that “the first stanza practically wrote itself. The lines came to me in the midst of ironing, and I quickly picked up a pencil to write them down. The rest of the hymn was done by snatches, and before too long I knew I was writing the hymn for the Lutheran Human Relations Association, a group which my husband and I actively supported. I sent it to them with a note that I hoped they would have some use for it. If not, then I at least shall have had the fun of writing it.”

The Lutheran Human Relations Association did have a use for it. They sang it at their Eleventh Annual Institute at Valparaiso University, 1960. In the same year it appeared in Christians, Awake, the record of their proceedings. In 1965 Edgar Reinke of Valparaiso University brought the hymn to the attention of the Commission on Worship of the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod (LCMS), and in October 1967 it was published in the supplement to This Day magazine called A New Song and then in the Worship Supplement (1969) to The Lutheran Hymnal (1941). The original language was updated for inclusivity in Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), but Elizabethan English was retained. Evangelical Lutheran Worship duplicates that version. Three things might be noted. 1) It expresses the always radically-new message of Christian behavior with archaic English that sounds new. 2) The word "erred" in stanza 3 is not a slant rhyme. It actually rhymes with "word." 3) The author has resisted requests to change singular constructions to plural ones on the ground that "personal relations are and ought to be personal and therefore an individual concern and responsibility."

The hymn was published in This Day magazine with the tune BEATUS VIR. Jaro-slav Vajda was the editor of This Day. One has to assume that, with his knowledge of the Slovak repertoire, he made this match. The tune comes from the Samotulsky Kancionál (1561), where it went with "O blahoslaveny dovek." Psalm 1 was the basis for the original text, so the editors of the Worship Supplement named it with the Latin of Psalm 1, "Beatus vir." In the Duchovna Citara (1933), the tune is attributed to Matthias Kunwaldsky (1442 or 1460-1500). Matthias Kunwaldsky was a Bohemian Brethren bishop. Four of his hymns are in the first known Bohemian Brethren hymnal of 1501 and five more in the Samotulksy Kancionál of 1561.

Offertory Anthem: “O Bread of Life from Heaven” David Ashley White

This text was from the Latin hymn O Esca Viatorum from the Maintzich Gesangbuch which was published in 1661. It was translated to English by Philip Schaff (1819-1893).

This composition by David Ashley White incorporates a 17th-century Latin hymn and has a plainsong feeling.

O Bread of Life from heaven,
To saints and angels given;
O Manna from above!
The souls that hunger feed thou,
The hearts that seek thee, lead thou,
With thy sweet, tender love.

Opening Voluntary “Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart” Joe Utterback (1944).

This tune, MORECAMBE, was written in 1870 by Frederick C. Atkinson. The jazz musician, Joe Utterback beautifully captures this serene hymn tune with his jazz-inspired harmonies. He has published nearly 400 works for piano, choir and organ.

Closing Voluntary “Lead Us, Heavenly Father” Robert J Powell (1932)

Robert J. Powell is an American composer, organist, and choir director. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Louisiana State University with a focus on organ and composition. He studied with Alec Wyton at Union Theological Seminary in New York, and he was also Wyton's assistant at The Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Powell's conservative, neo-Romantic style stems from his practical approach to composition. According to Powell himself, he writes for "choirs of twenty-five because that's what most choirs are. When you come right down to it, most choirs are not of cathedral ability or size. My pieces are all practical things and useful for specific occasions." His publications appear in The Hymnal 1982 as well as in the catalogs of most of the significant American publishers of church music. Powell is a composer whose output bridges denominational boundaries and who is able to serve the larger Church. He has made ecumenical sharing a reality–-and always with a genteel touch.

Hymn of the Day: “Will You Come and Follow Me?” ELW 798
Text: John Lamberton Bell (1949)
Tune: KELVINGROVE, traditional Scottish melody

Though he is not certain of it, John Bell is "fairly confident" that this text was written for the sending out of one our youth volunteers. This was a scheme sponsored by the lona Community whereby young people gave a year or two to live in impoverished parts of Scotland, on the dole, and work out their discipleship in hard places. When they finished, my colleague and I would often write a song for their farewell ceremony always held in the house where they had been working. The words of this song therefore reflect the experience of the volunteer concerned. But we only wrote it for one-off use. It probably goes back to around 1986-87. Bell then adds, "If I had kept a record of people who have spoken of how a particular line in this affected their life, I could have published a book of very moving testimonies by now, but I'm glad I didn't."

John Lamberton Bell is a Scottish hymn-writer and Church of Scotland minister. He is a member of the Iona Community, a broadcaster, and former student activist. He works throughout the world, lecturing in theological colleges in the UK, Canada and the United States, but is primarily concerned with the renewal of congregational worship at the grass roots.

Kelvingrove is a place in Glasgow, Scotland, perhaps best known for the museum with that name. The tune that bears the name KELVINGROVE is a traditional Scottish one linked with a text by Thomas Lyle (1792-1859), "Let us haste to Kelvin Grove, bonnie lassie, O," published in The Scottish Minstrel (1811) as KELVIN WATER. Before that in the eighteenth century it was paired with "Bonnie Lassie-O (The Shearing's Nae for You)," which is about a young woman being raped.

The tune-darkly paradoxically--works very well with this text by John Bell, and one has to believe that the irony of such a tune for a story of rape was not lost on those who sang it in the eighteenth century either.

Offertory: “Meditation on ‘RUSTINGTON’” Hugh S Livingston, Jr. (1945-2014)

C. Hubert H. Parry's RUSTINGTON was first published in the Westminster Abbey Hymn Book (1897) as a setting for Benjamin Webb's "Praise the Rock of Our Salvation." The tune is named for the village in Sussex, England, where Parry lived for some years and where he died.

Hugh S Livingston, Jr. served in music ministries in Tennessee, Indiana, and Ohio, providing his talents as a choral director, pianist, organist, and trumpeter. Even in his retirement, Hugh remained active as a church musician, and shared his musical gifts with hundreds of people in assisted living and nursing homes.

Opening Voluntary: “Bridegroom” James Biery (1956)

Peter Cutts (1937) wrote this melody for "As the bridegroom to his chosen." It was first published in 100 Hymns for Today (London, 1969). He was born in Birmingham, England. He sang in the Birmingham Cathedral Choir, and later earned diplomas in Music and Theology.

James Biery is an American organist, composer and conductor who is Minister of Music at Grosse Pointe Memorial Church (Presbyterian) in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, where he directs the choirs, plays the 66-rank Klais organ and oversees the music program of the church. Prior to this appointment Biery was music director for Cathedrals in St. Paul, Minnesota and Hartford, Connecticut.

Closing Voluntary: “Processional from Partita on ‘Crucifer’, Charles Callahan (1951)

Paired perfectly with our Sending hymn, today’s Closing Voluntary is the first movement of a partita based on the hymn tune, CRUCIFER, composed by Sydney H. Nicholson (1875-1947), who wrote this tune for the text with which it appeared in the 1916 Hymns Ancient and Modern supplement. It is a processional tune that appropriately accompanies the cross borne by the crucifer, for whom it is named.

Charles Callahan is a well-known composer, organist, choral conductor, pianist and teacher. He is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, Pa., and The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. Callahan compositions are performed frequently in church and concert; his writing style has been described by The Washington Post as gentle, confident lyricism.

Hymn of the Day: “The Church’s One Foundation” ELW 654
Text: S. J. Stone (1839-1900)
Tune: AURELIA, Samuel S. Wesley (1810-1876)

In the mid-nineteenth century, Bishop John William Colenso of Natal raised a ruckus in the Catholic Church when he challenged the historicity and authority of many of the Old Testament books. Bishop Gray of Capetown wrote a stirring response of defense, which, in 1866, inspired Samuel Stone, to write this beloved hymn, basing his text on Article 9 of the Apostle’s Creed: “The Holy Catholic (Universal) Church; the Communion of Saints; He is the Head of this Body.” Now an affirmation of Christ as the foundation of our faith, we sing this hymn with those who have gone before us and with Christians around the world, declaring that beyond any theological differences, cultural divides, and variances in practice, we are all part of the same body, the body of Christ.

The actual words have not changed much from Stone’s original text, though there are differences in what verses are sung. Stone’s hymn originally consisted of seven stanzas, to which he added three more, and today most hymnals include the original 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6, though not every hymnal contains all five. In the first two verses, we proclaim our unity as the Church in Christ, through baptism, the Word, and Communion. In stanza 3 and 4, we pray that divisions might cease and we would fully experience that unity, and in verse 5, we acknowledge the unity greater than the sum of individual people, our fellowship with God, the Three in One.

Stone attended schools at Charterhouse and Pembroke College in Oxford, England. Ordained in the Church of England in 1862, he became curate of Windsor, a position he held until he joined his father in ministry at St. Paul's in Haggerston, London, in 1870. He succeeded his father as vicar at Haggerston in 1874, staying until 1890. From 1890 until his death he served All-Hallow-on-the-Wall in London, which he turned into a haven for working girls and women. In addition to his collection of hymns, Stone's publications include Sonnets of the Christian Year (1875), Hymns (1886), and Iona (1898). He served as a member of the committee that prepared Hymns Ancient and Modern (1909). His Collected Hymns and Poems were published posthumously.

The tune that most often accompanies this text is AURELIA, composed in 1864 by Samuel S. Wesley and first published as a setting for “Jerusalem the Golden.” It was paired with Stone’s text shortly after, to the chagrin of some: Dr. Henry Gauntlett was apparently very annoyed by this match-up, as he thought Wesley’s tune was “inartistic, secular twaddle.” Dr. Gauntlett was not to have the last word however, and the tune has stuck.

Offertory: “Trentham” Philip Moore (1943)

Robert Jackson (1842-1914) originally composed TRENTHAM as a setting for Henry W. Baker's "O Perfect Life of Love". Named for a village in Staffordshire, England, close to the town in which Jackson was born, the tune was published with the Baker text in Fifty Sacred Leaflets (1888).

Philip Moore was educated at the Royal College of Music in London. Here he won the Walford Davies Prize for Organ Playing and the Limpus, Turpin, and Read Prizes in the Royal College of Organists’ exams. He holds a BMus degree from the University of Durham, and more recently was awarded Honorary Fellowships by the Royal School of Church Music, the Guild of Church Musicians, and the Academy of St Cecilia for his services to Church Music. In 2008, the Archbishop of York awarded him the Order of St William, and in 2016 the Archbishop of Canterbury awarded him the Cranmer Award for Worship “for his contribution to the English choral tradition as a composer, arranger, and performer”.

Opening Voluntary: “Spirit of the Living God” Malcolm Archer

Daniel Iverson (1890-1977) wrote the first stanza and tune of this hymn after hearing a sermon on the Holy Spirit during an evangelism crusade by the George Stephens Evangelistic Team in Orlando, Florida, 1926. The hymn was sung at the crusade and then printed in leaflets for use at other services. Published anonymously in Robert H. Coleman's Revival Songs (1929) with alterations in the tune, this short hymn gained much popularity by the middle of the century. Since the 1960s it has again been properly credited to Iverson.

Malcolm Archer has had a distinguished career in church music which has taken him to the posts of Organist and Director of Music at three English Cathedrals: Bristol, Wells and St Paul’s, and for eleven years, Director of Chapel Music at Winchester College. He holds Fellowships from the Royal College of Organists, the Royal School of Church Music and the Guild of Church Musicians, the latter two awarded for his many years of service to the church as a choir trainer and composer.

Closing Voluntary: “Shipston (Fugitives on the Run)” Paul Leddington Wright (1951)

SHIPSTON is English traditional melody collected by Lucy Broadwood (1858-1929). It was originally harmonized by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958), first appearing in The English Hymnal (1906) where it accompanied two hymns: “Firmly I believe and truly” and “Jesu, tender Shepherd, hear me”.

PAUL LEDDINGTON WRIGHT held his first two appointments as Organist and Choirmaster of the Maidenhead Methodist Church, and also the Maidenhead Schools' Orchestra at the age of 15. At 17, he made his first organ recital tour of the USA, Canada and Jamaica.

A graduate of Cambridge University, he was organ scholar of St. Catharine's College, graduating with a Masters degree in music, studying with Sir David Willcocks and Peter Hurford.

Hymn of the Day: “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” ELW 588
Text: Frederick W. Faber, 1814–1863, alt.
Tune: LORD, REVIVE US, North American, 19th cent.

Frederick Faber, born in Yorkshire, England, was one of a number of English clergy who converted from the Anglican Church to Roman Catholicism in the Romantic era of hymnody in the 19th century.

Faber was born an Anglican and reared a strict Calvinist. After attending Oxford, he took orders as an Anglican priest and began his ministry as a rector. Influenced by his friend John Henry Newman who converted from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism in 1845, Faber also converted to Catholicism that same year.

Both Newman and Faber were influenced by the rituals and tradition of Rome. Faber formed a community in Birmingham called “Brothers of the Will of God.” Newman joined the Oratory, an order of secular priests established in 1564 by St. Philip Neri in Rome, and Faber eventually followed him there. Hymnologist Albert Bailey noted, “Father Faber was the moving and guiding spirit [of the Oratory] as long as he lived, a great preacher and a man of charming personality.”

Drawing inspiration from the hymns of John Newton, William Cowper and the Wesleys during his Anglican youth, he recognized that Roman Catholics lacked a tradition of more recent metrical hymnody in English. He took it upon himself to remedy this. By the time he died, he had contributed 150 hymns, all composed after his conversion to Roman Catholicism.

“There’s a wideness in God’s mercy” originally had eight stanzas and appeared under the title “Come to Jesus” in Faber’s Oratory Hymns (1854). In a later collection, the hymn expanded to 13 stanzas, beginning with “Souls of men, why will ye scatter/ Like a crowd of frightened sheep?” That version was included in a posthumous collection, Hymns Selected from F. W. Faber (1867).

LORD, REVIVE US is an anonymous nineteenth-century American tune first used with John Newton's hymn "Savior, visit thy plantation" at #51 in Joseph Hillman's The Revivalist: A Collection of Choice Revival Hymns and Tunes, Original and Selected (New York, 1868). The last line of Newton's fifth and last stanza (in Olney Hymns, #51) was "To revive thy work afresh." It was printed as stanza 4 in The Revivalist. The last line of Newton's second stanza was "Help can only come from thee." Though it was not printed in The Revivalist, somebody seems to have known it and put the two lines together to construct the refrain, "Lord, revive us, All our help must come from thee." The name of the tune was born. The tune seems to be related to HOLY MANNA though it is not pentatonic.

Offertory: Prelude on “Open My Eyes” Charles Callahan (1951)

Charles Callahan is a well-known composer of music best described as exhibiting a gentle, confident lyricism. He is an organist, choral conductor, pianist and teacher, a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, Pa., and The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC.

The tune, “Open My Eyes,” was composed by Clara Harriett Fiske Jones Scott (1841-1897). She was the first woman to publish a volume of anthems, 'The Royal anthem book’ in 1882. This hymn first appeared in Best Hymns No. 2, by Elisha A. Hoffman & Harold F. Sayles (Chicago, Illinois: Evangelical Publishing Company, 1895). Some hymnals show the author incorrectly as "Charles" Scott.

Opening Voluntary: “Elevation,” Léon Boëllmann (1862-1897)

Léon Boëllmann was a Romantic French organist and composer who wrote over 160 works in his short lifetime of only 35 years. His best-known composition is Suite Gothique, which is a staple of the organ repertoire, especially its concluding Toccata. Had he lived longer, Boëllmann would likely be regarded today as one of the great Romantic French organist-composers, in a line that included Franck, Widor, and Vierne.

Closing Voluntary: “Invention #1 Joseph Callaerts (1830-1901)

Joseph Callaerts was born in 1830 in Antwerp, and spent nearly all of his life in that city. He started learning music when he was a boy, singing in Antwerp's choir of the Cathedral of Our Lady. As a young man, he studied the organ with Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens (whose “Fanfare” I played last month) at the Brussels Royal Conservatoire, and he won the first prize in organ at that institution in 1856. Starting in 1850, Callaerts served as the organist at the Jesuit College in Antwerp. In 1855 he became the organist at Antwerp Cathedral and in 1863 he became carillonneur of the city of Antwerp. From 1867 on, he taught organ and harmony at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, which had its name changed to the Royal Flemish Conservatoire in 1898. He also gave expert advice in the building of several organs. Callaerts has a traditionalist composer profile. Unlike his contemporaries, he did not search for innovative forms and did not aspire to convey a political or social message with his music. His compositions were widely appreciated during his lifetime, but their popularity decreased from the first decades of the twentieth century onwards.

Hymn of the Day: “Eternal Father Strong to Save” ELW 756
Text: William Whiting (1825-1878)
Tune: MELITA John B. Dykes (1823-1876)

William Whiting wrote this hymn in 1860 for one of his students who was about to sail to America. It was revised and included in the first edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861) "for those at sea." The first stanza originally began, "O Thou who bidd'st the ocean deep" and has sometimes been found with "Almighty Father" rather than "Eternal Father." Evangelical Lutheran Worship uses the same altered versions of Whiting's four stanzas that Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) used. This hymn has found wide usage in English-speaking countries as the sailor's hymn and has been allied to the state almost as much as to the church. In the United States it is inscribed over the chancel of the Naval Academy chapel at Annapolis, was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's favorite hymn, was sung at his funeral in 1945, and was played by the Navy Band as John F. Kennedy's body was carried up the steps of the Capitol building to lie in state in 1963.

William Whiting was born in Kensington, England, the son of a grocer, and moved with his family to Clapham, where he went to school. In 1841 he enrolled at the Winchester Training Institute, and in 1842 he became master of the Winchester College Choristers' School, serving there until he died. He was an active participant in civic and church life and became honorary secretary to the Winchester-Hursley branch of the English Church Union, which supported the Catholic cause in the Church of England. Besides hymns, he wrote two books of verse: Rural Thoughts (1851) and Edgar Thorpe, or the Warfare of Life (1867).

The tune, MELITA, is named after the island where Paul was shipwrecked (Acts 28:1 KJV; modern Bible translations have “Malta”). It is a fitting name for a tune associated with a text about safety on the seas. MELITA was composed by John B. Dykes especially for this text in 1861, and they were published together in Hymns Ancient and Modern.

Offertory: “Aria” Georg Böem (1661-1733)

The son of an organist-schoolmaster, Georg Böhm went to study at the University of Jena in 1684 and left probably in 1690. In 1698 he became organist at the Church of St. Johannis in Lüneburg, where he remained for the rest of his life and where the young J.S. Bach doubtless heard him play. Although Böhm wrote numerous cantatas and sacred songs, he is chiefly remembered for his keyboard works, in which he deploys differing styles for harpsichord and organ. His harpsichord suites are in the manner of J.J. Froberger, but his organ works are more important. Some of his toccatas, preludes, fugues, and postludes for organ are brilliant, and his treatment of chorale melodies in organ partitas was truly original and exercised a strong influence on Bach.

Opening Voluntary: “Pleading Savior,” Emma Lou Diemer (1927)

A beautiful old American hymn tune, PLEADING SAVIOR is the setting for a half-dozen lyrics by Protestants and Catholics and even Orthodox. The tune was written by Joshua Leavitt and first published by Deodatus Dutton in The Christian Lyre in 1833, then again in The Plymouth Collection in 1855 where the words "There the Savior stands a-pleading" were the first words of the lyric. The English editors called it SALTASH after a town in Cornwall.

Emma Lou Diemer played the piano and composed at a very early age and became organist in her church at age 13. Her great interest in composing music continued through College High School in Warrensburg, MO, and she majored in composition at the Yale Music School (BM, 1949; MM, 1950) and at the Eastman School of Music (Ph.D, 1960). She studied in Brussels, Belgium on a Fulbright Scholarship and spent two summers of composition study at the Berkshire Music Center. She taught in several colleges and was organist at several churches in the Kansas City area during the 1950s. From 1959-61 she was composer-in-residence in the Arlington, VA schools under the Ford Foundation Young Composers Project, and composed many choral and instrumental works for the schools. She was consultant for the MENC Contemporary Music Project before joining the faculty of the University of Maryland where she taught composition and theory from 1965-70. In 1971 she moved from the East Coast to teach composition and theory at the University of California, Santa Barbara. At UCSB she was instrumental in founding the electronic/computer music program. In 1991 she became Professor Emeritus at UCSB. She is an active keyboard performer (piano, organ, harpsichord, synthesizer), and has given concerts of her own music at Washington National Cathedral, St. Mary's Cathedral and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, and elsewhere.

Closing Voluntary: “Fanfare,” R. Mark Otterstad

“Fanfare” was written by Mr. Otterstad in 1963, while he was a student at St. Olaf College.

Hymn of the Day: "Break Now the Bread of Life" (ELW 515)
Text: Mary A. Lathbury (1841-1913)
Tune: BREAD OF LIFE, William F. Sherwin (1826-1888)

Mary A. Lathbury is known primarily for two hymns: this one (originally "Break Thou the Bread of Life") and "Day Is Dying in the West." She wrote both at the request of Bishop John H. Vincent for use in the services of the Chautauqua Assembly, well-known in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as a conference center that offered a rich fare of Bible study, Sunday school teaching methods, concerts, and plays. Vincent, the secretary of the Methodist Sunday School Union, founded the Chautauqua Institution on Chautauqua Lake in upper New York State in an effort to educate Sunday school teachers. An assistant to Vincent at the camp, Lathbury was also a well-known writer, editor, and illustrator of children's books. Her literary skills earned her the nickname "Poet Laureate of Chautauqua."

Lathbury wrote stanzas 1 and 2 in 1877; they were first published in Chautauqua Carols (1878). Alexander Groves (1842-1909) added stanzas 3 and 4 later, and they were first published in the Wesleyan Methodist Magazine (London, Sept. 1913). Groves's career included being a grocer and accountant as well as a trustee, auditor, and actuary for the Henley Savings Bank. He served as organist of the Henley Wesleyan Chapel but later in life became a member of the Anglican Church in Henley.

Some expressions in "Break Now the Bread of Life" may not satisfy everyone in the Reformed community, but these verses were not written to define doctrine in sharp detail. They were intended to be used as a simple prayer for illumination for Bible study groups and in the meetings of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle. Tradition also calls for the hymn's use during Sunday-evening vespers at the Lake Chautauqua' assembly grounds.

The hymn text draws on biblical images to depict Scripture's role in our lives. Stanzas 1 and 2 recall the breaking and the blessing of the bread at Jesus' feeding of the five thousand. Stanza 3 confesses Christ as the bread of life.

This hymn has served as both a comfort and inspiration to many people since its first publication. Before every mid-week service, the great English preacher G. Campbell Morgan would read the words to this hymn to help him focus on his message. The primary focus of this hymn is centered upon Bible study and the desire to glean truth from God’s word.

The tune most commonly sung for this hymn is BREAD OF LIFE, specifically written for the text by William F. Sherwin in 1877. He composed BREAD OF LIFE in 1877 for the stanzas by Lathbury when he was the music director for the Chautauqua Institution. The notes are both gentle and reassuring, complimenting Mary Lathbury’s lyrics, and allowing the singer to focus on each word of the hymn. It is a slow, flowing tune, but uplifting nonetheless.

William F. Sherwin, an American Baptist, was born at Buckland, Massachusetts. His educational opportunities, so far as schools were concerned, were few, but he made excellent use of his time and surroundings. At fifteen he went to Boston and studied music under Dr. Mason. In due course he became a teacher of vocal music, and held several important appointments in Massachusetts; in Hudson and Albany, New York County, and then in New York City. Taking special interest in Sunday Schools, he composed carols and hymn-tunes largely for their use, and was associated with the Rev. R. Lowry and others in preparing Bright Jewels, and other popular Sunday School hymn and tune books.

Hymn of the Day: “Jesus, priceless treasure” ELW 775
Text: Johann Franck, 1618-1677; tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1827-1878, alt.
Tune: JESU MEINE FREUDE, Johann Crüger, 1598-1662

A most appropriate hymn for the day is “Jesus, priceless treasure” (ELW 775). Using some of the imagery of today’s gospel, such as a treasure that is priceless, the author Johann Franck adds his own image of the merciful domain of God: God is lover, for whom we are thirsting, in whose arm we rest. Such erotic religious imagery was more common in its time, 1653, than it is for some Christians in the present time. Any suggestions why?

— Gail Ramshaw

Johann Crüger composed JESU, MEINE FREUDE, a bar form tune (AAB) written for this text. Crüger was one of the most distinguished musicians of his time. He was editor of Praxis pietatis melica, considered one of the most important collections of German hymnody in the seventeenth century. Of his hymn tunes, which are generally noble and simple in style, some 20 are still in use, the best known probably being "NUN DANKET ALLE GOTT."

Opening Voluntary: Liturgical Prelude #2, George Oldroyd (1886-1951)

George Oldroyd was an English organist, composer and teacher of Anglican church music. He composed numerous settings of the mass, but is best remembered for his Mass of the Quiet Hour composed in 1928. It is still part of the repertoire of many English cathedrals and parish churches. Other works include the part song, “Lute book lullaby”, organ works including the Liturgical Prelude played today and pieces for piano and for violin. Oldroyd was an authority on counterpoint, and published The Technique And Spirit Of Fugue: An Historical Study.

Offertory: In Communion Dennis Eliot (1941)

Today’s Offertory is a setting of the hymn tune TRUST IN JESUS, with a text written by Louisa M. R. Stead (1850-1917). The accounts vary widely on the details and drama surrounding the writing of this hymn. What is known is that, in 1880, Louisa Stead’s husband drowned, and that this hymn was published in Songs of Triumph two years later. It is widely believed that she wrote this hymn in response to the peace she found in trusting Jesus despite her sorrow. Mrs. Stead went on to serve for many years as a missionary in Africa.

This hymn is always sung to the tune TRUST IN JESUS, which was written for this text by William Kirkpatrick (1838-1921) in 1882 and appeared in the first publication of this text.

Closing Voluntary: Fanfare Jacques Lemmens (1823-1881)

When Jacques Nicolas Lemmens first published his organ method book, the Ecole d'orgue. his aim was twofold: to help organists develop the technical ability to play great organ literature, and to provide a body of repertoire especially suited to the Catholic church. Although the compositions in the Ecole are rarely performed today, the exercises that Lemmens developed to improve the technique of organists have had a profound influence on organ pedagogy for over one hundred years.

Jacques-Nicholas Lemmens was an eminent Belgian organist, recitalist, composer, and educator. His first organ training was with his father, then he studied at the Royal Brussels Conservatoire, where he was appointed organ professor at age 26. His distinguished students included Alexander Guilmant and Charles-Marie Widor. During 1852 he presented numerous stunning organ recitals in Paris. His astonishing pedal technique was mostly due to his studies of Bach’s organ works, which were not well-known in France at the time.

Fanfare is Lemmens’ most famous composition, which was very popular when he performed it in recitals, and is probably his most famous work today.

Text: John Cawood (1775-1852)
Tune: ST. FLAVIAN, English folk tune

Written about 1815 in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and designated for use "After a Sermon". The text is stimulated by Jesus’ parable of the sower. It was reprinted in 1825 and from that date it has grown in importance as a congregational hymn, and its use has become extensive in all English-speaking countries. John Cawood published several prose works, but no volume of hymns or poems. His son says, "My father composed about thirteen hymns, which have one by one got into print, though never published by himself, or any one representing him.”

ST. FLAVIAN is an example of an English psalm tune that, like many Genevan Psalter tunes and German chorales, had its original rhythms smoothed out. It is an English tune that has been happily attached to numerous texts.

Offertory from Thirty-five Miniatures for Organ, #18 Flor Peeters (1903-1986)

This is another selection from Flor Peters’ collection of Thirty-five Miniatures for Organ.

His compositions include an organ method, various collections and recital pieces, and work for church use. His "Thirty-Five Miniatures" is perhaps his most popular collection of organ compositions.

Opening Voluntary: “Down Ampney (Hommage to RVW)” David Blackwell (1961)

To ready our hearts and minds for the service, I continue to offer quiet and gentle music to help us feel cool and comfortable in spite of some very hot weather. This is David Blackwell’s setting of DOWN AMPNEY, in which he uses introductory and accompanying material recalling the very pleasing style of last Sunday’s Opening Voluntary, Ralph Vaughn Williams’ “Rosemedre.” In addition, this tune, written for the text "Come Down, O Love Divine" was composed by Vaughn Williams and named DOWN AMPNEY in honor of his birthplace.

Closing Voluntary: "We Are One in the Spirit" (St. Brendan’s)” by David Schelat (1955)

Also known as "They'll Know We Are Christians by Our Love," Peter Scholtes (1938–2009) wrote this hymn text and the hymn tune “St. Brendan’s” while he was a parish priest at St. Brendan's on the South Side of Chicago in the 1960s. The idea for the hymn was born when he was leading a youth choir and was looking for an appropriate song for a series of ecumenical, interracial events. When he couldn't find such a song, he wrote the now-famous hymn in a single day. His experiences at St. Brendan's, and in the Chicago Civil Rights movement, influenced him for the rest of his life.

David Schelat is Minister of Music at First & Central Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware. He has performed as organist, conductor, or composer for five regional conventions of the AGO, as well as for conferences of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

Hymn of the Day: “The Word of God is Source and Seed” ELW 506
Text: Delores Dufner (1939)
Tune: GAUDEAMUS DOMINO, David Hurd (1950)

Delores Dufner wrote this hymn in 1983. Her descriptions of its themes plot the progression: "God's Word is like seed; God's Word is powerful and life-giving; God's Word was made flesh in Jesus”. She says that for her "one of the greatest gifts of Vatican II was the 'opening up' of scripture. Hearing chapter 37 of Ezekiel powerfully proclaimed shortly after Vatican II, I understood that the Word of God could bring new life even in apparently hopeless situations."

This hymn was first published in Benedictine Book of Song II (1992), with a musical setting by Jay Hunstiger. He added the refrain, which "seemed to complete both text and tune nicely." It was retained in With One Voice (1995) and Evangelical Lutheran Worship.

The name of the tune, GAUDEAMUS DOMINO, comes from the refrain. Augsburg Fortress commissioned David Hurd to compose it for With One Voice. He had not previously seen the text and "very much enjoyed creating a musical setting for it.”

Offertory Anthem: “Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me” Stephan Casurella (1973)

An original and utterly charming setting of this late 19th century hymn text written by Edward Hopper. Incidentally, the nau­ti­cal theme re­flects Hop­per’s min­is­try at the Church of the Sea and Land in New York City.

Stephan Casurella was born in England, where he began studying piano, organ and music composition at an early age. After moving to the United States, he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in both piano performance and music composition and in 2009 was awarded a doctor of musical arts degree in church music (organ emphasis) from the University of Kansas. Stephan is a published composer who has written for a wide range of media. His works have been performed by soloists and ensembles such as the choir of Chester Cathedral, England, the Thalia Symphony Orchestra, the Xavier University Concert Choir, and flutist James Hall.

Jesus, Savior, pilot me
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
Chart and compass come from Thee;
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

As a mother stills her child,
Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
Boisterous waves obey Thy will,
When Thou sayest to them, "Be still!"
Wondrous Sovereign of the sea,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

When at last I near the shore,
And the fearful breakers roar
’Twixt me and the peaceful rest,
Then, while leaning on Thy breast,
May I hear Thee say to me,
Fear not, I will pilot thee.

Opening Voluntary: Prelude on the Hymn Tune “Rhosemedre”, Ralph Vaughn Williams (1872-1958)

Although best known in this original version for solo organ, “Rhosymedre” is also well known as an orchestral arrangement by Arnold Foster. Ralph Vaughan Williams used the hymn tune as the basis of the second movement of his organ composition Three Preludes on Welsh Hymn Tunes. “Rhosymedre” is the name of a hymn tune written by the 19th-century Welsh Anglican priest John David Edwards. Edwards named the tune after the village of Rhosymedre in the County Borough of Wrexham, Wales, where he was the vicar from 1843 until his death in 1885. The hymn tune is seven lines long, appears in a number of hymnals and is sung to a variety of texts.

Closing Voluntary: “Processional” William Mathias (1934 - 1992)

Welsh composer William Matthias was a child prodigy who began playing the piano at the age of three and composing at five. His formal musical studies took place first at Aberystwyth University and later the Royal School of Music where he was a composition student of Lennox Berkeley. He received his doctorate from the University of Wales, where he was appointed Professor of Music in 1970 and remained in the position until 1988. He was an in-house composer for Oxford University Press and founded the North Wales Music Festival at Asaph Cathedral, where he served as Artistic Director until his death.

In addition to a number of symphonies, concertos, and operas written for the secular music world, Matthias produced a large number of solo organ works and Anglican-style choral anthems for use in the church. His “Let the People Praise Thee, O God” was commissioned for the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981 and brought him international fame.

“Processional” dates from 1964 and is written in neo-classical style. Its jaunty, fanfare-like main theme hearkens back to the trumpet voluntaries of the English baroque but with a modern twist. Its ternary form features modal, quartal, and added-note harmonies.

Hymn of the Day: “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say” ELW 611
Text: Horatius Bonar, 1808-1889
Tune: KINGSFOLD, English Folk Tune

Despite his intimidating name and physical appearance, Horatius Bonar was a great lover of children and was concerned about how little the children understood of the metrical Psalms that were sung in the Scottish church of his day. "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say" was one of the over 600 hymns he wrote to address the needs of the churches he served.

In Great Britain and America nearly 100 of Dr. Bonar's hymns are in common use. They are found in almost all modern hymnals from four in Hymns Ancient & Modern to more than twenty in the American Songs for the Sanctuary, N. Y., 1865-72. The most widely known are, "A few more years shall roll;" "Come, Lord, and tarry not;" "Here, O my Lord, I see Thee face to face;" "I heard the Voice of Jesus say;" "The Church has waited long;" and "Thy way, not mine, O Lord."

Thought by some scholars to date back to the Middle Ages, KINGSFOLD is a folk tune set to a variety of texts in England and Ireland. After having heard the tune in Kingsfold, Sussex, England (thus its name), Ralph Vaughan Williams introduced it as a hymn tune in The English Hymnal (1906) as a setting for Horatius Bonar's "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say."

Offertory: “Poco Allegretto” Cesar Franck (1822-1890)

Cesar Franck was a Belgian-French Romantic composer and organist who was the chief figure in a movement to give French music an emotional engagement, technical solidity, and seriousness comparable to that of German composers. He showed unmistakable musical gifts that enabled him to enter the Liège conservatory at the age of eight, and his progress as a pianist was so astonishing that in 1834 his father took him on tour and a year later dispatched him to Paris, where he worked with the Bohemian composer Anton Reicha, then professor at the Paris Conservatory. In 1836 the whole family, including the younger son Joseph, who played the violin, moved to Paris, and in 1837 César Franck entered the Paris Conservatory. Within a year he had won a Grand Prix d’Honneur by a feat of transposition in the sight-reading test, and this honor was followed by a first prize for fugue (1840) and second prize for organ (1841). Although the boy should now normally have prepared to compete for the Prix de Rome, a prize offered yearly in Paris for study in Rome, his father was determined on a virtuoso’s career for him and his violinist brother, with whom he gave concerts, and therefore removed him prematurely from the conservatory.

In order to please his father and earn much-needed money, Franck gave concerts, the programs of which were largely devoted to performing his own showy fantasias and operatic potpourris, popular at that time. After 1840, when he turned his attention increasingly to the organ, his compositions became noticeably more serious. Only when he had finally asserted himself against what amounted to the unscrupulous exploitation of his gifts by his father could he achieve maturity and peace of mind.

Opening Voluntary: “Melody” Richard Purvis (1913-1994)

Richard Purvis was an American organist, composer, conductor and teacher. He began playing the organ publicly at the age of 14 in churches and in the Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. In addition to recitals and church services, Purvis played nightly recitals broadcast on the 7-rank style "E" Wurlitzer organ at the Chapel of the Chimes over local radio station KRE. His stage name was Don Irving and his theme song was “I'll Take an Option on You”.

He was admired as one of the finest organ improvisateurs in the U.S. In an era when so-called "romantic" music was out of favor with most composers, and atonal, serial music was considered the hallmark of serious composition, he was not afraid to write tuneful, accessible, richly colored, and even whimsical compositions that possessed commercial viability. He is especially remembered for his expressive recordings of the organ classics and his own lighter compositions for the instrument.

Closing Voluntary: “Invention #3 Joseph Callaerts (1830-1901)

Joseph Callaerts was born in 1830 in Antwerp, and spent nearly all of his life in that city. He started learning music when he was a boy, singing in Antwerp's choir of the Cathedral of Our Lady. As a young man, he studied the organ with Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens at the Brussels Royal Conservatoire, and he won the first prize in organ at that institution in 1856. Starting in 1850, Callaerts served as the organist at the Jesuit College in Antwerp. In 1855 he became the organist at Antwerp Cathedral and in 1863 he became carillonneur of the city of Antwerp. From 1867 on, he taught organ and harmony at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, which had its name changed to the Royal Flemish Conservatoire in 1898. He also gave expert advice in the building of several organs.

Hymn of the Day: “All Are Welcome” (ELW 641)
Text: Marty Haugen (1950)
Tune: TWO OAKS, Marty Haugen

This hymn by Marty Haugen was "an attempt to write a text that reflects the welcome to table fellowship that Jesus offered unconditionally to everyone." The five stanzas of the hymn as it now appears were "redacted down" from the thirteen stanzas Haugen originally created with the intention that they would "somewhat model the four-fold rite of gathering-word-meal-sending." Haugen says that "the hymn was originally intended to be a gift to the St. Thomas Becket Catholic Community in Eagan, Minnesota, where my former pastor and his congregation were about to dedicate their new church. At the request of my editor, the hymn was dedicated to his uncle and aunt” - "Dedicated to Gene and Peggy Figliulo at the request of Michael A. Cymbala.”

"For quite a while the tune KINGSFOLD was considered for the text, but the length of the final verses (and the need for the 'all are welcome’ refrain) dictated a new tune." Haugen's new tune was called TWO OAKS, which "was the name the Figliulos gave to their home in Michigan because the home faces two large and beautiful oak trees. TWO OAKS is constructed in four sets of two-phrase groups, each 2 + 2 until the last one, which by its extension to five measures (now without the pickups) emphasizes "all are welcome."

Opening Voluntary: “Te ofrecemos” Jeffrey Honoré (1956)

The composer, Jeffrey Honoré, started out teaching high school choral music in Ripon, Wisconsin. Since 1984, he has worked full time as a pastoral musician, serving Catholic parishes in Milwaukee and Phoenix. “Te ofrecemos” is a Spanish hymn.

Offertory: from Thirty-five Miniatures for Organ, #5 Flor Peeters (1903-1986)

Flor Peters was the son of a church organist. He was a pupil of Dupre and Tournemire and attended the Lemmens Institute where he won highest honors in organ playing. In 1925 he became professor at the Institute, and organist at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mechelen. In 1931 he became professor at the Royal Flemish Conservatory in Antwerp. Since then he has won international recognition having concertized in Belgium, Holland, France, England, Italy, Switzer-land, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Czechoslovakia, Canada, South America and in more than fifty cities in the United States.

His compositions include an organ method, various collections and recital pieces, and work for church use. His "Thirty-Five Miniatures" is perhaps his most popular collection of organ compositions. His masses have been generally accepted as among the best musical settings of our times, while his "Te Deum" and "Jubilate Deo" have become recognized as classic favorites for festival use.

Closing Voluntary: “Laudes Domini (When Morning Gilds the Skies)” Robert Lind (1940)

Robert Lind studied at North Park College and the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, majoring in organ, composition, and music theory. At the age of 20, he worked with his mentor, Leo Sowerby, and became his assistant at the Cathedral of St. James, Chicago. He succeeded him as Organist-Choirmaster at the cathedral two years later. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era, Mr. Lind entered the publishing world, while continuing to serve various churches in the Chicago area.

Joseph Barnby (1838-1896) composed the tune, LAUDES DOMINI (“When Morning Gilds the Skies”) for this anonymous German text, a litany of praise to Christ, translated by Edward Caswall (1814- 1878). Tune and text were published together in the 1868 Appendix to Hymns Ancient and Modern and they have been inseparable ever since. The tune's Latin title, which means "the praises of the Lord," is derived from the litany refrain “may Jesus Christ be praised”.

Caswall's translations of Latin hymns from the Roman Breviary and other sources have a wider circulation in modern hymnals than those of any other translator. This is owing to his general faithfulness to the originals, and the purity of his rhythm, the latter feature specially adapting his hymns to music, and for congregational purposes. His original compositions, although marked by considerable poetical ability, are not extensive in their use, their doctrinal teaching being against their general adoption outside the Roman communion.

Hymn of the Day: ACS1093 In a Deep, Unbounded Darkness
Text: Anonymous, China; tr. Francis P. Jones, (1890–1975); adapt. Mary Louise Bringle, (1953)
Tune: DIVINUM MYSTERIUM, Plainsong mode V, 13th cent.

This text that originated as the theme song for a Bible study institute in China is a meditation on the eternal nature of God. Like the hymn “Of the Father’s love begotten,” with which this tune is often paired, we begin in the time before creation when God claimed us. After praising God’s steadfastness in stanza two, our joy overflows at the incarnation in stanza three. Finally, stanza four returns us to the realm of eternity, joining together the beginning and final chapters of the Bible by connecting references to stories from Genesis and Exodus with the wedding feast of the Lamb in Revelation.

Hymn of the Day: ACS 985
Text: Ray Makeever (1943)
Tune: LET US ENTER IN, Ray Makeever

Ray Makeever wrote three musical settings of holy communion in the early 1980s when he was working at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in south Minneapolis. He credits that congregation with supporting him in this productive vocation of church composer/musician. This song sounds like a gathering song and may be used as one, but it was intended to be a sending song, with its ringing invitation to “enter in” to our broken world. In this entering, we understand ourselves as one of the “long line of people in need,” and are also confident that we enter into “a hope we can share.”

Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706) was a composer from Nuremberg in the Middle Baroque period. He wrote sacred and secular music, and was a highly regarded organist and teacher. He knew the older generation of the Bach family and taught J.S. Bach's uncle. Pachelbel is particularly noted for contributing to the development of the Chorale Prelude and the Fugue, though his Canon in D is his most well-known piece today. Today's Toccata demonstrates typical characteristics of sounding somewhat freely improvised and flashy. Von Himmel hoch...(from high heaven to earth I come) is a Chorale Prelude where the long-noted melody is in the pedal part, surrounded by ornamented counterpoint in the manuals.

Hymn of the Day: “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” ELW 588
Text: Frederick W. Faber, 1814–1863, alt.
Tune: LORD, REVIVE US, North American, 19th cent.

Frederick Faber, born in Yorkshire, England, was one of a number of English clergy who converted from the Anglican Church to Roman Catholicism in the Romantic era of hymnody in the 19th century.

Faber was born an Anglican and reared a strict Calvinist. After attending Oxford, he took orders as an Anglican priest and began his ministry as a rector. Influenced by his friend John Henry Newman who converted from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism in 1845, Faber also converted to Catholicism that same year.

Both Newman and Faber were influenced by the rituals and tradition of Rome. Faber formed a community in Birmingham called “Brothers of the Will of God.” Newman joined the Oratory, an order of secular priests established in 1564 by St. Philip Neri in Rome, and Faber eventually followed him there. Hymnologist Albert Bailey noted, “Father Faber was the moving and guiding spirit [of the Oratory] as long as he lived, a great preacher and a man of charming personality.”

Drawing inspiration from the hymns of John Newton, William Cowper and the Wesleys during his Anglican youth, he recognized that Roman Catholics lacked a tradition of more recent metrical hymnody in English. He took it upon himself to remedy this. By the time he died, he had contributed 150 hymns, all composed after his conversion to Roman Catholicism.

“There’s a wideness in God’s mercy” originally had eight stanzas and appeared under the title “Come to Jesus” in Faber’s Oratory Hymns (1854). In a later collection, the hymn expanded to 13 stanzas, beginning with “Souls of men, why will ye scatter/ Like a crowd of frightened sheep?” That version was included in a posthumous collection, Hymns Selected from F. W. Faber (1867).

LORD, REVIVE Us is an anonymous nineteenth-century American tune first used with John Newton's hymn "Savior, visit thy plantation" at #51 in Joseph Hillman's The Revivalist: A Collection of Choice Revival Hymns and Tunes, Original and Selected (New York, 1868). The last line of Newton's fifth and last stanza (in Olney Hymns, #51) was "To revive thy work afresh." It was printed as stanza 4 in The Revival ist. The last line of Newton's second stanza was "Help can only come from thee." Though it was not printed in The Revivalist, somebody seems to have known it and put the two lines together to construct the refrain, "Lord, revive us, All our help must come from thee." The name of the tune was born. The tune seems to be related to HOLY MANNA though it is not pentatonic.

Hymn of the Day: “The Play of the Godhead” ACS 946
Text: Mary Louise Bringle (1953)
Tune: PERICHORESIS William P. Rowan (1951)

Mary Louise Bringle, professor of philosophy and religious studies at Brevard College (North Carolina), was inspired to compose hymn texts after attending the Hymn Writer’s Workshop in Boston sponsored by The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada in 2000. She left the workshop with composer William Rowan’s words of encouragement and a collection of his compositions — eighteen “hymns without words”. That year, she penned “The Play of the Godhead,” a Trinitarian hymn that she originally paired with Rowan’s PERICHORESIS, a tune having the same name as the theological concept that inspired Bringle’s text.

The mystery of the Trinity—God, Three in One—is a concept that may need to be danced rather than explained. It’s a three-person dance—or maybe four, if we are included. The text uses images of mist, flowing water, crystals of ice, nourishing taproot, growing shoot, and ripe fruit, natural analogies for the Trinity that have historically been found wanting. Mary Louise Bringle says that the three repeating phrases of music in the middle of the song made her first think of the dance of the Trinity.

Offertory Anthem: “When Silence Filled the Formless Night,” Richard Shephard (1949-2021)

Richard Shephard was a British composer, educator, and Director of Development and Chamberlain of York Minster. He was acclaimed as one of the most significant composers of church music of his time. Today’s anthem is based on his original hymn tune (Huttons Ambo) with a text by Mary Holtby.

When silence filled the formless night
And worlds unmade in darkness waited,
God spoke the word and gave us light,
And loved what he created.

Beyond the ancient writer's art
The word affirms our primal story:
How love illuminates the heart
As heav'n declares his glory.

His voice still speaks through clouded years,
Past prisons of our own devising,
And still to shadowed lives appears
The brightness of his rising.

He comes in Pentecostal flame,
In tongues unloosed, in bondage broken;
to all united by his name
The word of life is spoken.

Let there be light and hearts be stirred
to know in Christ their sun ascending;
In our beginning is the word,
and in the word our ending.

Opening Voluntary: “Nicea” Robert Buckley Farlee (1950)

The tune NICAEA is named after the Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325) at which church leaders began to formulate the doctrine of the Trinity to oppose the heresies of Arius. NICAEA is one of the finest tunes composed by John B. Dykes and the only one of his many tunes that resembles the style of the Lutheran chorale – its similarity to WACHET AUF is noted by various scholars. Dykes wrote NICAEA as a setting for Reginald Heber’s text, and ever since their first publication together in Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861), the text and tune have been virtually inseparable.

Robert Buckley Farlee is Associate Pastor and Director of Music at Christ Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.

Closing Voluntary: Prelude in G Major, BWV 541, J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

One of the most sparkling organ works by Johann Sebastian Bach, the Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 541, was probably originally written around the middle of Bach's formative period in Weimar, 1708-1717, but revised in Leipzig sometime after 1740. The Prelude is an ebullient affair, a joyful stream of 16th-notes punctuated by repeated chords.

Hymn of the Day: “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord” ELW 395
Text: German hymn, 15th cent., st. 1; Martin Luther, 1483–1546, sts. 2–3; tr. composite
Tune: Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott

From an eleventh-century Latin antiphon for the Vigil of Pentecost, "Veni Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corde fideliu”, came the fifteenth-century single-stanza German Leise "Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott." Martin Luther, in a hyperbolic mode around the dinner table, said the Holy Spirit wrote it, both text and music. He slightly altered the work of the Holy Spirit and then added two more stanzas. The three appeared in 1524 in the Erfurt Enchiridion and Walter' Geistliche Gesangbüchlein. The translation in Evangelical Lutheran Worship is a composite. With only slight alterations it takes over the version from Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), which with variations was taken from The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), which in turn was based on Catherine Winkworth's translation in Lyra Germanica, first series (1855).

This is one of the finest hymns from the Lutheran heritage, a potent chorale that summarizes many of the Holy Spirit's attributes - love, brightness, light, guide, teacher, fire, comfort - and spins out graphic petitions from them. It appropriately initiates the Pentecost, Holy Spirit section of this hymn collection.

The tune is equally potent. Ulrich Leupold viewed it as "a simplified version of the rather melismatic plainchant melody of the German" Leise (not the melody of the Latin antiphon, which was not used). Whatever small arranging Luther or Johann Walter may have done here, what we get is a skillful congregational adaptation "of older materials.”

Offertory Anthem: “Lift Up Your Heads” William Matthias (1934-1992)

William Mathias’s ebullient, joyful choral writing, drawing on a variety of musical traditions, is immediately accessible and likeable while demonstrating an architectural sophistication that brings it into the top rank of twentieth-century liturgical music. He had a particular flair for brilliance, drama and display, which made his music highly suited to ceremonial and festive occasions; present too in his music is a sense of Celtic mysticism and deep spirituality which enhances these works.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates,
and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors,
And the king of glory shall come in.
Who is this king of glory? The Lord strong and mighty
The Lord mighty in battle.

Opening Voluntary: Prelude in G Minor, Marcel Dupre (1886-1971)

Dupré's most often heard and recorded compositions tend to be from the earlier part of his career. During this time he wrote the Three Preludes and Fugues, Op. 7 (1914), with the First and Third Preludes (in particular the G minor with its phenomenally fast tempo and its pedal chords) being pronounced unplayable by no less a figure than Widor. Such, indeed, is these preludes' level of complexity that Dupré was the only organist able to play them in public for years.

In many ways Dupré may be viewed as a Paganini of the organ. Being a virtuoso of the highest order, he contributed extensively to the development of technique (both in his organ music and in his pedagogical works) although, like Paganini, his music is largely unknown to musicians other than those who play the instrument for which the music was written. A fair and objective critique of his output should take into account the fact that, occasionally, the emphasis on virtuosity and technique can be detrimental to the musical content and substance. Nevertheless, his more successful works combine this virtuosity with a high degree of musical integrity.

Closing Voluntary: “Sonne der Gerechtigkeit,” David Schack (1947)

The tune, SONNE DER GERECHTIGKEIT, was originally the tune to a fifteenth-century folk song, "Der reich Mann war geritten aus," and it was adopted by the Bohemian Brethren for 1566 hymnal, Kirchengeseng. The tune is thus a contrafactum, changed from the folk/court use to church use. The title is the German incipit for the chorale most commonly associated with the tune.

David Schaak studied at Valparaiso University and Indiana University. Five different publishers have published his many choral and organ compositions and his liturgical works have found wide acclaim through appearance in three major Lutheran hymnals. He has been honored by guest appearances at several regional and national conferences of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians.

Hymn of the Day: “I Come with Joy” ELW 482
Text: Brian A. Wren (1936)
Tune: DOVE OF PEACE, W. Walker, Southern Harmony, 1835

“I come with joy” was written in 1968 by Brian Wren, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, who is renowned for the expansive imagery in his hymns. In this spritely song, befitting the Easter season, we come together as one, gathered by the Spirit of the Risen Christ. The emphasis in the hymn on the oneness of the community fits well with today’s selection from John.

— Gail Ramshaw

Offertory Anthem: “The Waters of Life” James Biery (1956)

James Biery holds degrees in church music and organ from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He has served as Director of Music at cathedrals in Hartford, Connecticut, and St. Paul, Minnesota. Currently he is Minister of Music and Organist at Grosse Pointe Memorial Church in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan.

The Father’s voice calls us above the waters,
The glory of the Son shines on us,
The love of the Spirit fills us with life.

Opening Voluntary "Halton Holgate” David Thorne (1950)

HALTON HOLGATE (also called SHARON) is a version of a psalm tune originally composed by William Boyce (1710-1779) and published circa 1765 in his Collection of Melodies.

With over 30 years as a Cathedral Organist, David Thorne is also widely recognized as a composer and arranger. His church service music exhibits strong melodic writing and a harmonic strength which are of wide appeal to both choirs and congregations alike, eminently singable and sensitive to the liturgy. His anthems and arrangements reflect a similar style enhancing the nature of the text.

Closing Voluntary: “Christ Has Arisen, Alleluia” (Mfurahini, haleluya) Emanuel Vogt (1925-2007)

“Christ Has Arisen, Alleluia” (Mfurahini, haleluya) comes to us from African Lutheranism. The tune appeared in a compilation of a number of African songs in Set Free (1993). Many were folk tunes to which Christian Swahili texts were later added. In their original form these tunes were sung with uninhibited improvisation. Consequently the form in which these songs appear in print represents only one of several possibilities.

The German composer Emanuel Vogt studied harmonium, piano, organ, trombone and harmony, and sang in a choir. He worked as a church organist and music teacher in Windsbach.

As part of his compositional work, numerous works for organ, wind players, choirs and mixed ensembles were created. His contact with the Windsbach boys' choir under Hans Thamm and his successor Karl-Friedrich Beringer led to numerous performances of his compositions and releases on records and CDs. In addition, he was a member of a team of composers for the Breitkopf & Härtel publishing house in Wiesbaden, who published the four-volume organ book In Ewigkeit Dich loben.

Hymn of the Day: “We Know That Christ Is Raised” ELW 449
Text: John B. Geyer (1932)
Tune: ENGLEBERG Charles V. Stanford (1852-1924)

The author, John B. Geyer, writes:

“We Know That Christ Is Raised" was written in 1967, when I was tutor at Cheshunt College, Cambridge, U.K At that time a good deal of work was going on 'round the corner (involving a number of American research students) producing living cells ("the baby in the test tube"). The hymn attempted to illustrate the Christian doctrine of baptism in relation to those experiments.

The text was first published in the British Methodist supplementary hymnal Hymns and Songs (1969) but has since been altered in various other hymnals, including the Psalter Hymnal. The controlling thought comes from Romans 6:3-5, in which Paul teaches that in baptism we are united with Christ in his resurrection–that is the basis for our new life. Like 269, this song ends each stanza with a note of praise–in this case with an "alleluia" refrain line.

John B. Geyer is an Old Testament scholar who has written widely in his field. He wrote a commentary on The Wisdom of Solomon (1973) as well as a number of hymns that were first published in various British supplementary hymnals. Educated at Queen's College, Cambridge, and Mansfield College, Oxford, he also studied Old Testament under Gerhard von Rad in Heidelberg. In 1959 Geyer was ordained in the Congregational Union of Scotland. He served as a chaplain at the University of St. Andrews, pastor of Drumchapel Congregational Church in Glasgow, Scotland, and a college tutor. In 1969 Geyer became minister in the (now) United Reformed Church in Little Baddow. Since 1980 he has served as pastor at Weoley Hill, Birmingham, and as chaplain at the University of Birmingham, England.

Charles V. Stanford composed ENGELBERG as a setting for William W. How's "For All the Saints." The tune was published in the 1904 edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern with no less than six different musical settings. It is clearly a fine congregational hymn.

A distinguished composer and teacher of composition, Stanford began his musical career at an early age. Before the age of ten he had composed several pieces and given piano recitals of works by Handel and Bach. He studied at Queen's College, Cambridge, England, as well as in Leipzig and Berlin. At the age of twenty-one he was asked to become organist at the famous Trinity College, Cambridge. At that time he also began a prestigious career in conducting, which included appearances with the London Bach Choir from 1885 to 1902, and he traveled widely in England, Europe, and the United States. His teaching career was equally impressive. Stanford taught composition at both the Royal College of Music and Cambridge University; among his students were Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst. He was knighted in 1902. Stanford wrote over two hundred compositions in nearly all musical genres, including symphonies, operas, chamber music, and songs. Most notable in his church music are several complete services, anthems, and unison hymn tunes.

Offertory Anthem: “Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands,” JS Bach

CHRIST LAG IN TODESBANDEN is an adaptation of a medieval chant used for "Victimae Paschali laudes" (the same chant is the source for CHRIST IST ERSTANDEN). The tune's arrangement is credited to Johann Walther (1496-1570), in whose 1524 Geystliche Gesangk Buchleyn it was first published. But it is possible that Luther also had a hand in its arrangement.

Walther was one of the great early influences in Lutheran church music. At first he seemed destined to be primarily a court musician. A singer in the choir of the Elector of Saxony in the Torgau court in 1521, he became the court's music director in 1525. After the court orchestra was disbanded in 1530 and reconstituted by the town, Walther became cantor at the local school in 1534 and directed the music in several churches. He served the Elector of Saxony at the Dresden court from 1548 to 1554 and then retired in Torgau.

Walther met Martin Luther in 1525 and lived with him for three weeks to help in the preparation of Luther's German Mass. In 1524 Walther published the first edition of a collection of German hymns, Geystliche gesangk Buchleyn. This collection and several later hymnals compiled by Walther went through many later editions and made a permanent impact on Lutheran hymnody.

One of the earliest and best-known Lutheran chorales, CHRIST LAG IN TODESBANDEN is a magnificent tune in rounded bar form (AABA) with vigor and lightness characteristic of Easter carols. Many organ compositions are based on this tune; Johann S. Bach incorporated it extensively in his cantatas 4 and 158. The chorale is introduced by Bach’s organ chorale prelude.

Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands
for our offenses given;
but now at God’s right hand he stands
and brings us life from heaven.
Therefore let us joyful be
and sing to God right thankfully
loud songs of alleluia! Alleluia!

Opening Voluntary: Noël Nouvelle, Michael Bedford (1949)

Most often found paired with the text “Now the green blade rises,” NOEL NOUVELLE is also sung to “Sing we now of Christmas.” If you are familiar with this tune as a French Christmas carol, you are not alone as this tune has been associated with this carol text since the 17th century. In1928 it was repurposed with the Easter text written by John Macleod Cambell Crum.

Michael Bedford, a full-time church musician since 1973, currently serves as organist/choirmaster of St. John's Episcopal Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he plays the organ and supervises a full graded choir program including three singing choirs, one handbell choir and a chamber ensemble. He has held similar positions in Texas and Colorado.

Closing Voluntary: “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice and Sing”, Healey Willan (1880–1968)

It is always a pleasure to play a piece by Healey Willan. His harmonies are full and resonant and the settings, whether quiet and introspective or sonorous and vibrant, are always moving.

James Healey Willan was born on October 12, 1880, in Balham, Surrey, England. He had a wide experience as a composer of a full-length opera, a symphonic work, countless organ and choral works, as a music educator, a choral director, and a church musician. He played his first service at the age of eleven in 1891 and his last service on Christmas Eve, 1967, just two months before he died on February 16, 1968.

Having served churches in England, Willan left for Canada in 1913 to serve as organist and choirmaster at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Toronto as well as head of the Theory Department at the Toronto Conservatory of Music. In 1921, he accepted the position of organist-choirmaster at St. Mary Magdalene Church, an Anglo-Catholic parish in Toronto, where he was to remain for the rest of his life. During his tenure there, Willan also accepted in 1938 the position of Professor in the Music Faculty at the University of Toronto.

Most of his hymn-based motets and organ preludes came into existence after his retirement from the University of Toronto in 1950, the most prolific compositional period of his life. Willan is probably best known for his sacred and liturgical music, especially that written for St. Mary Magdalene Church. His anthems, hymns, motets, mass settings, and carol settings contributed to his reputation as the “dean of Canadian composers.”

This organ piece is based on the well-known hymn “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice and Sing,” tune name Gelobt sei Gott, by Melchior Vulpius (1570-1615). Full and festive, the basic structure is that of a short introduction followed by the phrases of the tune alternating with interludes and offering a richness of harmonic beauty typical of Willan’s compositions.

Hymn of the Day: “Here, O Lord, Your Servants Gather” ELW 530
Text: Tokuo Yamaguchi (1900–1995); tr. Everett M. Stowe (1897-1997)
Tune: TOKYO, Japanese Gagaku mode; Isao Koizumi (1907–1992)

Tokuo Yamaguchi was a Methodist pastor in Sawara, Tanimura, Fujieda, and Asahikawa, following his graduation with a theology degree from Aoyama Gakuin University in 1924. His longest term of service was as pastor of the United Church of Christ in Toyohashi in the Aichi Prefecture (1937-1979). He translated The Journal of John Wesley into Japanese in 1961 and was honored by the Christian Literature Society of Japan in 1983 for his translation work.

The tune TOKYO is based on the ancient Japanese Gagaku mode of musical composition. Gagaku is the name for all traditional Japanese court music, much of it dating back to the eighth century, with previous roots in Chinese music. Composed by Isao Koizumi for Yamaguchi's text, TOKYO was first published in the English-language Japanese hymnal Hymns of the Church (1963). A writer and translator of books and articles on church music, Koizumi has also composed and arranged hymn tunes. He is considered a leading figure in modern Japanese hymnody.

Offertory Anthem: “Christ Is Our Cornerstone,” Phillip Stopford (1977)

The Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois of Ireland commissioned Phillip Stopford to compose an anthem on this foundational text. The result is a rousing piece with some unexpected and arresting harmonic progressions.

Philip W J Stopford is an English organist and composer best known for his choral works. Stopford began his musical career as a chorister at Westminster Abbey from 1986 to 1990, during which time he also took up the piano, organ and violin. Later he studied for a Bachelor of Arts in music at the University of Oxford, where from 1996 to 1999 he also served as organ scholar at Keble College. Stopford is known for his contemporary a cappella and accompanied settings of traditional Latin and English prayers and hymns.

Christ is our cornerstone,
on him alone we build;
with his true saints alone
the courts of heav’n are filled.
On his great love our hopes we place
of present grace and joys above.

Here may we gain from heav’n
the grace which we implore,
and may that grace, once giv’n,
be with us evermore
until that day when all the blest
to endless rest are called away.

Oh, then, with hymns of praise
these hallowed courts shall ring;
our voices we will raise
the Three in One to sing
and thus proclaim in joyful song,
both loud and long, that glorious name.

Opening Voluntary: “Lord, Enthroned in Heavenly Splendor,” Kristina Langlois (1956)

Dr. Kristina Langlois has been the Director of Music and Worship at Westwood Lutheran Church in St. Louis Park, MN, since 2000, and Organist there since 1993. She administers an extensive choral and instrumental music program within the context of liturgical worship.

Closing Voluntary: “Truro,” Michael Bedford (1949)

Michael Bedford, a full-time church musician since 1973, currently serves as organist/choirmaster of St. John's Episcopal Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he plays the organ and supervises a full graded choir program including three singing choirs, one handbell choir and a chamber ensemble. He has held similar positions in Texas and Colorado.

TRURO is an anonymous tune, first published in Thomas Williams's Psalmodia Evangelica, as a setting for Isaac Watts' "Now to the Lord a noble song." The tune is named for an ancient city in Cornwall, England, famous for its cathedral and for its pottery. The entire tune is influenced by George F. Handel's style and bears relationship to similar tunes.

Hymn of the Day: “Savior, like a Shepherd Lead Us” ELW 789
Text: attr. Dorothy A. Thrupp, 1779-1847
Tune: BRADBURY, William B. Bradbury, 1816-1868

The text of "Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us" first appeared in Hymns for the Young, 1840, which was edited by Dorothy Ann Thrupp. Although no author's name appears with the text, it is thought that Thrupp wrote it, since she often published hymns anonymously, under the pseudonym "Iota," or simply using her initials.

The tune we sing today was written by William Bradbury expressly for this text and appeared in his Sunday School collection, Oriola, 1859. Bradbury was a protege of the great music educator, Lowell Mason. Bradbury sang in Mason's Bowdoin Street Church choir and Boston Academy of Music as a youth, and later started similar church and school music programs in New York where he served as organist at First Baptist Church. Beyond his work as an educator and church musician, Bradbury studied composition in Europe, founded the Bradbury Piano Company with his brother, and edited a number of music books. Bradbury is probably most famous for writing the music to "Jesus Loves Me."

It's interesting that "Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us" was originally intended for children. In fact, many classic hymns like "Morning Has Broken" and "All Things Bright and Beautiful" were originally written for youth. Certainly this proves that educating our children and creating lasting music need not be mutually exclusive goals.

Offertory Anthem: “The 23rd Psalm” Bobby McFerrin (1950)

Bobby McFerrin has blurred the distinction between pop music and fine art. His exploration of uncharted vocal territory inspired a whole new generation of a cappella singers and the beatbox movement. McFerrin’s calling has always been to connect people through the unlimited possibilities of music. His original paraphrase of this text produces a very contemporary perspective on the well-known words of assurance.

The Lord is my Shepard, I have all I need,
She makes me lie down in green meadows,
Beside the still waters, She will lead.

She restores my soul, She rights my wrongs,
She leads me in a path of good things,
And fills my heart with songs.

Even though I walk, through a dark and dreary land,
There is nothing that can shake me,
She has said She won't forsake me,
I'm in her hand.

She sets a table before me, in the presence of my foes,
She anoints my head with oil,
And my cup overflows.

Surely, surely goodness and kindness will follow me,
All the days of my life,
And I will live in her house,
Forever, forever and ever.

Glory be to our Mother, and Daughter,
And to the Holy of Holies,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
World, without end. Amen

Opening Voluntary: “Fantasy on St. Columba,” Kenneth Leighton (1929-1988)

“Fantasy on St. Columba” is based on the Irish tune ST COLUMBA (The King of Love My Shepherd Is). In this setting a decorated version of the tune is heard in canon, beginning calmly before growing in intensity. Remarkably, this simple, flowing melody is surrounded and almost swallowed up in piercing, tortured harmonies, arriving at the end with a sense of resolution that is rather reassuring in today’s world.

As a treble chorister from 1938, many of Kenneth Leighton’s formative musical experiences were accompanied by the 1905 Abbott and Smith organ of Wakefield Cathedral, in the West Yorkshire city where he was born and educated. Leighton repeatedly praised the importance of his time in the choir stalls throughout his life, stating ‘My whole background is choral church music. I think one’s early background is terribly important’ and ‘[...] my career as a Cathedral chorister left some of the most vivid impressions in my mind of that time of life [...] what a marvelous musical training.’ Given this musical upbringing that left such a mark, it was perhaps inevitable that Leighton would go on to write a great deal of choral music, mostly liturgical, as well as works for the organ, although initially, the organ was not an instrument for which Leighton felt particularly compelled to write, or even with which he felt particularly comfortable, turning to it only in his mid-thirties. He was most concerned overall with the instrument’s architectural possibilities, at various times lamenting how the lack of clarity in the organ bothered him. As late as 1979 in a published interview, Leighton stated how he ‘[...] found the organ frustrating, there’s very little good music to play on it anyway apart from Bach’. While it seemed to present a significant challenge for him to overcome, however, his solo organ music constitutes a significant part of his output as a whole. Indeed in the same 1979 article he also goes on to say how ‘[...] I’ve found writing for the organ very exciting recently and I’ve kept on at it’. I’m glad he did!

Closing Voluntary: “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice and Sing”, Healey Willan (1880–1968)

It is always a pleasure to play a piece by Healey Willan. His harmonies are full and resonant and the settings, whether quiet and introspective or sonorous and vibrant, are always moving.

James Healey Willan was born on October 12, 1880, in Balham, Surrey, England. He had a wide experience as a composer of a full-length opera, a symphonic work, countless organ and choral works, as a music educator, a choral director, and a church musician. He played his first service at the age of eleven in 1891 and his last service on Christmas Eve, 1967, just two months before he died on February 16, 1968.

Having served churches in England, Willan left for Canada in 1913 to serve as organist and choirmaster at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Toronto as well as head of the Theory Department at the Toronto Conservatory of Music. In 1921, he accepted the position of organist-choirmaster at St. Mary Magdalene Church, an Anglo-Catholic parish in Toronto, where he was to remain for the rest of his life. During his tenure there, Willan also accepted in 1938 the position of Professor in the Music Faculty at the University of Toronto.

Most of his hymn-based motets and organ preludes came into existence after his retirement from the University of Toronto in 1950, the most prolific compositional period of his life. Willan is probably best known for his sacred and liturgical music, especially that written for St. Mary Magdalene Church. His anthems, hymns, motets, mass settings, and carol settings contributed to his reputation as the “dean of Canadian composers.”

This organ piece is based on the well-known hymn “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice and Sing,” tune name Gelobt sei Gott, by Melchior Vulpius (1570-1615). Full and festive, the basic structure is that of a short introduction followed by the phrases of the tune alternating with interludes and offering a richness of harmonic beauty typical of Willan’s compositions.

Hymn of the Day: “We Who Once Were Dead” ELW 495
Text: Muus Jacobse (1909-1972) tr. composit
Tune: MIDDEN IN DE DOOD Rik Veelenturf (1936)

Muus Jacobse wrote this Dutch hymn text in 1961. It was first published in 102 Gezangen (The Hague, 1964). In brief and poignant phrases, the hymn poses life and light in Christ against death and night. Then it moves to an overlay of eucharistic images - Christ received in bread and wine and our sharing in Christ's death and rising.

Muus Jacobse is the pen name for the Dutch poet Klaas Hanzen Heeroma. He studied Dutch literature with Albert Verway at Leiden. Before World War II he was part of a group called "Young Protestants." He taught in Wassenaar from 1936 to 1937. During the War he wrote poems, metrical psalms, and hymns. From 1947 to 1948 he was one of the editors of the Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal. He went to Indonesia in 1949 to teach at the University of Djakarta, and from 1953 until his death he taught at the State University of Groningen.

Rik Veelenturf (1936) wrote this tune in 1960 for White Thursday, the name for Maundy Thursday in Holland ("witte donderdag"). Each of its five measures is a phrase. Like the text, they are structured as 2 + 2 + 1, in which five pulses alternate with six, propelling each stanza to its final line. The final lines serve as points of telos. Taken together they form a summation. The tune underlines both the telos and the summary.

Henricus Joseph Veelenturf was born in Holland and joined the Society of Jesus in 1955. Between 1960 and 1966 he was part of the "Werk-groep Volkstaallitur-gie," introducing the Dutch liturgy to Roman Catholic parishes in Holland. In 1967, when he married, he started a liturgical center in Amsterdam. Displeased with what he saw as a retrogressive Catholic Church in Holland, he left the center and joined a community group. He became a teacher in the social academy in Amsterdam.

Offertory Anthem: “Day of Arising,” Carl Schalk

Carl Schalk has woven together an unforgettable new tune with a text from Susan Palo Cherwien's hymn collection, O Blessed Spring. The text compares the story of Jesus appearing to the disciples on the roadway with our own lives and how Christ is revealed to us through the breaking of bread. “Day of Arising” began as a commission for the 1996 Synod Assembly by the Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The theme text for the Synod was the Road to Emmaus story (Luke 24:13-35), which serves as the backbone of Cherwien’s text. The text first was written for the tune BUNNESAN (“Morning Has Broken”), which set both the shorter five-syllable lines as well as the fourth- and eighth-line rhyming pattern (

However, a few years after the song was first sung, William and Nancy Raabe commissioned composer Carl Schalk to write a new tune for the text. Perhaps best known for his fine collaborations with Jaroslav Vajda (e.g., “Now the Silence” and “God of the Sparrow”), Schalk’s ensuing tune RAABE deftly underscores the resurrection theme of the text with its ascending melody line. Schalk’s unusually fine sense of melody has created another strong melodic possibility for Cherwien’s text.

Day of arising, Christ on the roadway, unknown companion walks with his own.
When they invite him, as fades the first day, and bread is broken, Christ is made known.

When we are walking, doubtful and dreading, blinded by sadness, slowness of heart, yet Christ walks with us, ever awaiting our invitation: Stay, do not part.

Lo, I am with you, Jesus has spoken. This is Christ's promise, this is Christ's sign: when the church gathers, when bread is broken, there Christ is with us in bread and wine.

Christ, our companion, hope for the journey, bread of compassion, open our eyes. Grant us your vision, set all hearts burning that all creation with you may rise.

Opening Voluntary: “At the Lamb’s High Feast” John Ferguson (1941)

Today’s Voluntary is the second movement of “Partita on ‘At the Lamb’s High Feast.’ ” It is based on the hymn tune SONNE DER GERECHTIGKEIT which has eight stanzas. Each movement reflects one of the 8 hymn stanzas.

John Ferguson is is an American organist, teacher, and composer. His name is often associated with hymnody and the words "hymn festival." He frequently is invited to design and lead such events, both in local congregations and at gatherings of organists, choral conductors, and church musicians. His festivals are ecumenical experiences drawing upon the treasures of Christian song from many centuries, traditions, and styles.

Closing Voluntary: “Dance: Gaudeamus Pariter,” Mary Beth Bennett (1954)

Today’s Closing Voluntary is a setting of the hymn tune Gaudeamus Pariter, by Johann Roh (1487-1547), which is often paired with the text “Come Ye Faithful Raise the Strain.” It is a sturdy and jubilant tune which well expresses the text’s joy. Some may remember last Sunday’s Closing Voluntary which was based on another tune often paired with this text. Johann Roh was a native of Bohemia. Roh was his name in Bohemian, but when he wrote in Latin he called himself Cornu, and when he wrote in German, he called himself Horn.

Mary Beth Bennett is a recognized performer, improviser and composer living in historic Richmond, Virginia. She serves on the adjunct music faculty of the University of Richmond, and is Director of Music Ministries at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Gloucester, Virginia.. She has previously held various positions in Washington, D.C., including at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Hymn of the Day: “We Walk by Faith” ELW 635
Text: Henry Alford (1810-1871)
Tune: SHANTY, Marty Haugen (1950)

Henry Alford included this hymn in his Psalms and Hymns and his Year of Praise. He wrote it for the commemoration of St. Thomas the Apostle. Not surprisingly it begins with 2 Corinthians 5:7 ("We walk by faith, not by sight) and then quotes from the account of Jesus and Thomas in John 20:19-29. But the hymn is about us, not only about Thomas -about our Emmaus walk and our meeting with the resurrected Lord in water, word, bread, and wine.

Henry Alford was the son of a rector; his mother died when he was born and he committed himself to the work God gave him to do when he was sixteen. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, was ordained and first served as a curate with his father, became a vicar and married, and in 1857 was made dean of Canterbury Cathedral, where he founded a choral oratorio society. Though he wrote keyboard and vocal music, played the organ, and painted, he was a parish priest and a Greek scholar who taught and preached well; wrote eighteen hymns; and wrote or edited forty-eight books.

Shanti" is Sanskrit for "shalom" ("peace") and also the middle name of Marty Hagen's daughter. Haugen wrote the tune a century and a half after the hymn was written, but it makes a good fit. It was recorded and included in his Mass of Creation and also in Gather (1998).

Marty Haugen is a prolific liturgical composer with many songs included in hymnals across the liturgical spectrum of North American hymnals and beyond, with many songs translated into different languages. He was raised in the American Lutheran Church, received a BA in psychology from Luther College, yet found his first position as a church musician in a Roman Catholic parish at a time when the Roman Catholic Church was undergoing profound liturgical and musical changes after Vatican II. Finding a vocation in that parish to provide accessible songs for worship, he continued to compose and to study, receiving an MA in pastoral studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul Minnesota. A number of liturgical settings were prepared for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and more than 400 of his compositions are available from several publishers, especially GIA Publications, who also produced some 30 recordings of his songs. He is composer-in-residence at Mayflower Community Congregational Church in Minneapolis and continues to compose and travel to speak and teach at worship events around the world.

Offertory Anthem: “A Song to the Lamb” John Abdenour (1962)

The canticle Dignus est agnus seems to have its origins in American Lutheranism in the late 19th century. It appeared in several service books beginning with the General Synod’s Church Book of 1868. It appears on p. 122 of The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) without music. Earlier books prescribed its use as an option for the main canticle in Matins and Vespers (in place of the Te Deum or Magnificat). Later books suggested it as an alternative song of praise in the Common Service (in place of the Gloria in Excelsis).

The text of this canticle has been reworked into a new canticle, This Is the Feast of Victory / Worthy Is Christ, by poet John W. Arthur. It first appeared as an anthem for choir, Festival Canticle: Worthy Is Christ with music by Richard W. Hillert, and made its first appearance in a hymnal in Lutheran Book of Worship as an alternative to the Gloria in Excelsis in the Divine Service.

John Abdenour sang as a boy in the choir of St. Paul's Cathedral in Detroit and began organ study at the cathedral. He subsequently received degrees in Organ Performance and American History from Oberlin College. After studying law at the University of Michigan and after pursuing a brief career as an attorney, he returned to his first love, sacred music. He undertook further study of Anglican choral training in 1996, when he spent a month in St Albans, singing with and studying the Choir of St Albans Cathedral, then directed by Barry Rose. John is the Director of Music at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fairfied, CT. He is a member of the Association of Anglican Musicians and has served as Dean of the Fairfield-West Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and has served as a faculty member of the Bridgeport AGO Pipe Organ Encounter

REFRAIN: Splendor and honor and sovreign power
are yours by right, O Lord our God,

For you created everything that is,
all things took form according to you will.

And yours by right, O Lamb that was slain,
for with your blood you have redeemed for God,
From every nation, people, tribe, and tongue,
a countless priestly host to serve our God.

And to the one who sits upon the throne,
Christ the Lamb, be worship, dominion,
splendor and praise,
For ages past and ages yet to come.

Closing Voluntary: St. John Damascene (Come Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain), Noel Rawsthorne (1929-2019)

Eighth-century Greek poet John of Damascus ( c. 675 - c. 754) is especially known for his writing of six canons for the major festivals of the church year. (A canon is a form of Greek hymnody based on biblical canticles consisting of nine odes, each with six to nine stanzas.) His "Golden Canon" is the source of Easter hymns. Written around 750 and inspired by the Song of Moses in Exodus 15, this text is John's first ode from the canon for the Sunday after Easter.

All canons in the Greek church demonstrated how Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in Christ's resurrection. The first ode of each canon was based on the Passover event and on Exodus 15 as the metaphor for Christ's delivery of his people from the slavery of sin and death (seen more clearly at 390). That metaphor lies behind stanza 1. Stanza 2 uses images of spring and sunshine as metaphors for the new life and light of Christ. Stanza 3 concludes the text with an Easter doxology.

Organist for many years at Liverpool Cathedral, Noel Rawsthorne emerged as one of the finest organists of his generation, and maintained a non-stop global career as a top-flight concert artist. He proved no less adept as a composer: his numerous introits, carols, chants, anthems, hymn tunes, responses, and imaginative descants, often written for special occasions, have long retained their place in the repertoire.

Hymn of the Day: “Ah, Holy Jesus” ELW 349
Text: Johann Heermann, 1585–1647; tr. Robert Bridges, 1844-1930
Tune: HERZLIEBSTER JESU, Johann Crüger, 1598–1662

Like "My song is love unknown", this hymn locates the guilt at our feet: "it was denied thee; I crucified thee." Then it turns to adoration for God's graciousness in spite of our "treason." Also like "My song is love unknown," one poet has stimulated another. Here, however, the interplay has more players and reaches between languages and cultures. It starts with the Latin Liber Meditationum, often ascribed to Augustine (354-430) but possibly by Jean de Fécamp (d. 1078). It was the basis for a German hymn of fifteen stanzas in sapphic poetic meter (11 11 115) by Johann Heermann. He attributed the Latin original to Augustine. Robert Bridges kept Heermann's meter, but instead of a translation wrote an English paraphrase in five stanzas, including it in his Yattendon Hymnal (1899). He attributed the Latin version to Anselm of Canterbury (c. 1033-1109). The precise attribution of the original Latin is not as telling as the relation or perceived relation of these writers to the text and the influence from the Latin to the German to the English. Evangelical Lutheran Worship follows Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) in using Bridges's five stanzas and keeping the Elizabethan English. The version here also makes slight modifications for inclusivity.

Johann Herman was a fine hymn writer, overshadowed in his time only by Paul Gerhardt. Both cxperienced the Thirty Years' War and suffering. Heermann was born to a poor furrier and his wife in the little Polish town of Rauder near Wolau in Lower Silesia, the only one of five children to survive. On Ascension Day in 1611 he began to work as a deacon at the church in Köben near Fraustadt, and on St. Martin's Day of the same year he was appointed the pastor there. The nearby town of Fraustadt is where the plague struck in 1613. Then trouble followed trouble: Heermann lost almost everything he owned and was almost killed, but in these times this hymn and forty-eight others by him were published in Devoti Musica Cordis. He intended them, as his title said, for "house and heart," not for public worship. His hymn publications continued in 1636 with hymns on the gospel readings for Sundays and festivals. In 1656, nine years after his death, his poetical works were published.

Robert Bridges was born in England, studied at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London. He became a doctor in London, planning to retire at the age of forty and to spend the rest of his life writing poetry. Lung disease forced him to retire in 1881, a little earlier than he had anticipated. When he married Mary Monica Waterhouse, they moved to Yattendon. There with his wife and his friend Harry Ellis Wooldridge, he edited the Yattendon Hymnal. In 1913 he was made poet laureate.

The Yattendon Hymnal is an extraordinarily fine compilation of one hundred hymns, of which just over forty are by Bridges. We know the book today primarily for its fine texts, but his first concern (stated in the preface) was as a precentor (director), providing the best possible music for his village church choir. Having found fine tunes, he discovered there were no words for them. So he wrote the words, about which he cared deeply. The book was large, printed elegantly, cleanly, and with much white space. Each hymn was in four parts and took up two pages. Several people could gather around it and read it easily. It was a book for choirs, not congregations.

His work was part of the same thing we and every age grapple with: whether hymn singing and church music are about something more significant than trivial pursuits.

HERZLIEBSTER JESU, named for this text, first appeared in Johann Crüger's Newes vollkömliches Gesangbuch Augsburgischer Confession (1640). Here, as for the text, the influences were broad. The tune seems to have its roots in a melody from the Genevan Psalter for Psalm 23 and in another melody by Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630), who was one of the cantors in Leipzig at the St. Thomas Church prior to J. S. Bach. The melodic explosion up an octave in the last two measures --Mary Oyer calls it a "desperate cry”-emphasizes all the five-syllable final lines. The three middle ones are the most critical: "I crucified thee," "God interceded," and "for my salvation." The tune is typical of its time, a seventeenth-century smoothing out of the more rugged edges of sixteenth-century chorale tunes. It parallels the more introspective texts of authors like Heermann and Gerhardt in this period.

Offertory Anthem: “The Mild Mother” Robert Convery (1954)

This anonymous text is a reflection on the anguish felt by Mary at the crucifixion, her sorrow and grief emulated by the music.

Robert Convery is among the handful of composers today writing effectively for the voice. His music is expressed in a distinctly personal tone of lyricism, rhythmic vitality, a keen harmonic sense, and transparent textures. He holds degrees from The Curtis Institute of Music, Westminster Choir College and The Juilliard School where he received his doctorate. His teachers have been Ned Rorem, David Diamond, Richard Hundley, Gian Carlo Menotti, and Vincent Persichetti.

Jesus Christ’s mild mother stood,
and beheld her son against the cross,
that He was nailed on.

The son hung, the mother stood,
and beheld her child’s blood,
how it of His wounds ran.

Closing Voluntary: “Meditation on ‘Were You There’” Charles Callahan (1951)

An African American spiritual that probably predates the Civil War, "Were You There" was first published in William Barton's Old Plantation Hymns (1899). The spiritual's earlier roots include a white spiritual known in Tennessee as "Have you heard how they crucified my Lord?" Additional stanzas are available from oral and written tradition.

The melody is a slow and sustained mournful moan in a major key. Charles Callahan’s organ setting sends us out today in a contemplative mood as we anticipate the Three Days.

Charles Callahan is an American composer, organist, and teacher. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, his graduate degrees are from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

Hymn of the Day: “To Christ Belong, in Christ Behold” ACS 958
Text: Susan R. Briehl, b. 1952
Tune: WONDERS, Robert Buckley Farlee (1950)

Christ Church Lutheran, Minneapolis, commissioned this text from Pastor Susan Briehl for its one-hundredth anniversary. This centennial is reflected in the text itself: “To Christ belong, in Christ behold God’s wonders still unfold,” and “fruit one hundredfold.” The desire was for a text that proclaimed the paschal mystery of baptism without alleluias so that it could be sung during Lent. The music was crafted by Pastor Robert Farlee, a prominent composer and former editor at Augsburg Fortress, but also cantor at Christ Church. This hymn represents an exemplary collaboration between poet and composer.

Offertory Anthem: Wondrous Love, Carson Cooman (1982)

Carson Cooman has composed a setting of this well known tune from Southern Harmony which is at the same time rustic with a hint of the Celtic influence that's prevalent in the hills of Appalachia.

Carson Cooman is an American composer with a catalogue of works in many forms ranging from solo instrumental pieces to operas, and from orchestral works to hymn tunes. He is in continual demand for new commissions, and his music has been performed on all six inhabited continents. Over 130 new works have been composed for him by composers from around the world, and his performances of the work of contemporary composers can be heard on a number of CD recordings. Cooman is also a writer on musical subjects, producing articles and reviews frequently for a number of international publications. He serves as an active consultant on music business matters to composers and performing organizations.

What wondrous love is this,
O my soul! O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this
that caused the Lord of bliss
to bear the dreadful curse,
for my soul, for my soul,
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

When I was sinking down,
sinking down, sinking down;
when I was sinking down, sinking down;
when I was sinking down,
beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside his crown
for my soul, for my soul.
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul.

to God and to the Lamb,
I will sing, I will sing.
to God and to the Lamb, I will sing.
to God and to the Lamb,
who is the great I AM,
while millions join the theme,
I will sing, I will sing.
While millions join the theme,
I will sing!

Opening and Closing Voluntaries: Martyrdom, Emma Lou Diemer (1927) and Robert Buckley Farlee (1950)

Both the Opening and Closing Voluntaries are based on the hymn tune MARTYRDOM, which was originally an eighteenth-century Scottish folk melody used for the ballad "Helen of Kirkconnel." Hugh Wilson (1766-1824) adapted MARTYRDOM into a hymn tune in duple meter around 1800. A triple-meter version of the tune was first published by Robert A. Smith in his Sacred Music (1825), a year after Wilson's death. A legal dispute concerning who was the actual composer of MARTYRDOM arose and was settled in favor of Wilson. However, Smith's triple-meter arrangement is the one chosen most often. The tune's title presumably refers to the martyred Scottish Covenantor James Fenwick, whose last name is also the name of the town where Wilson lived. Consequently, in Scotland this tune has always had melancholy associations.

Emma Lou Diemer is a native of Kansas City, MO. She received her composition degrees from Yale and Eastman. Her music has been published since 1957 and ranges from hymns and songs to large chamber and orchestral works.

Robert Buckley Farlee is Associate Pastor and Director of Music at Christ Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.

Hymn of the Day: “Amazing Grace” ELW 779
Text: John Newton (1725–1807)
Tune: NEW BRITAIN, W. Walker, Southern Harmony (1835); Edwin O. Excell (1851-1921)

Making his way through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation in Book I of Olney Hymns (1779), John Newton got to hymn #41, titled it "Faith's Review and Expectation," and cited 1 Chronicles 17:16-17: "Then King David went in and Sat before the LORD, and said, 'Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my houe that you have brought me thus far? And even this was a small thing in your sight O God; you have also spoken of your servant's house for a great while to come You regard me as someone of high rank, O LORD God! " That evoked "Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound!)." Here again is Newton's "sweet sound" as in "How sweet the name of Jesus sounds", but even more the astonishment at grace: "You regard me as someone of high rank, O Lord." That astonishment accounts in part for the many translations, adaptations, and the widely ubiquitous spread of this hymn, but, paradoxically, the spread has made it so commonplace and so related to a general miasma of niceness that the shock of Newton's awareness is often lost, Our nervousness about Newton's word "wretch" points to the loss and to our attempts to shield ourselves from the shock, though a look at Newton's biography or plumbing the depths of one's own being or just encountering the daily news makes "wretch" the right word. The meaning is deeper, however. The issue is the "wretched" human state that Paul is wrestling with in Romans 7:24, where the law of sin and death requires rescue. Paul's "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord" is Newton's "amazing grace," and the distance from wretch to high rank expresses the incredulity.

Newton wrote six stanzas. Evangelical Lutheran Worship, like most hymnals prints the first four. The fifth stanza, though often joined to this hymn, is not by Newton. It is an anonymous "traveling refrain" that was first appended as stanza 10 to nine stanzas of "Jerusalem, my happy home." By the end of the ninetend century it seems to have been used as the final stanza for "Amazing grace."

Sometimes called AMAZING GRACE because of its close association now with this hymn, the tune, NEW BRITAIN (which is also known by many other names), is a hardy pentatonic shape-note tune. It was first joined to "Amazing grace" in William Walker’s The Southern Harmony (New Haven, 1835), but the tune appeared earlier with different names and different texts in other books, the earliest in slightly different versions as ST. MARY'S and GALLAHER. Edwin O. Excel in his Coronation Hymns (1910) standardized the tune to the form we now have in Evangelical Lutheran Worship.

Edwin Othello Excell was born in Ohio, the son of a German Reformed pastor.

He worked as a bricklayer and construction worker, loved to sing, began to conduct singing schools, and in the 1870s was converted in a Methodist revival where he was leading the music. He studied at normal schools-nineteenth-century teacher training institutions. After moving to Chicago in 1883, Excell became a Sunday school leader, helped found the International Sunday School Lessons, began his own publishing company, wrote over two thousand tunes, and edited almost ninety hymn collections.

Offertory Anthem: Flocks in Pastures Green Abiding, J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

Flocks in Pastures Green Abiding is a melody (also known as Sheep May Safely Graze) from Bach's Hunting Cantata BWV 208, written in 1713 and later arranged by Stanley Roper for organ and choir. Today the flutes add a delightful dimension. Many thanks to Carole Smith and Suzanne Tsitsibellis for their flute playing!

Flocks in pastures green abiding, safely with their shepherd rest. Cooled by waters gently gliding.
With the food of life he feeds them, to the fold He gently leads them, there to dwell forever blest.

Opening Voluntary: Aus de Tiefe (Forty Days and Forty Nights), June Dixon

The melody, AUS DE TIEFE (also called HEINLEIN) was published as a setting for Christoph Schwamlein's text based on Psalm 130, "Aus der Tiefe rufe ich" ("Out of the Depths I Cry"). In that songbook the tune was attributed to "M. H.," initials that are generally accepted to refer to Martin Herbst (1654-1681). Herbst was educated in theology and philosophy at the universities of Altdorf and Jena. In 1680 he became rector of the gymnasium (high school) and pastor of St. Andrew Church in Eisleben. The following year he died of the plague

June Dixon is an Australian church organist, composer and teacher.

Closing Voluntary: Southwell, J. Bert Carlson (1937-2017)

The tune, SOUTHWELL is found in many hymnals and most often paired with the text “Lord Jesus, think on me,” by Synesius of Cyrene, Bishop of Ptolemais. The tune was composed by William Daman (1540-1591), a foreign composer resident in England. There are a few conflicting reports on his origins, but contemporary London records describe him as an Italian from Lucca, Italy who arrived in England circa 1566 as a servant of Sir Thomas Sackville. In 1576 he became a recorder player at the Court of Elizabeth I.

Pastor Carlson ministered to many congregations for over 50 years in NJ, PA and IN. He was also an accomplished musician and published composer.

Hymn of the Day: “As the Deer Runs to the River” ELW 331
Text: Herman G. Stuempfle Jr. (1923- 2007)
Music: JULION, David Hurd, (1950)

This is one of the fine hymns that Lutheran pastor, seminary professor, and finally seminary president Herman Stuempfle wrote during his retirement. The hymn sets us next to the woman at the well, thirsting for living water, and the second stanza celebrates today’s first reading from Exodus 17. The reference in the fourth stanza to desert places is particularly appropriate for Lenten song.
 — Gail Ramshaw

David Hurd was a boy soprano at St. Gabriel's Church in Hollis, Long Island, New York. Educated at Oberlin College and the University of North Carolina, he has been professor of church music and organist at General Theological Seminary in New York since 1976. In 1985 he also became director of music for All Saints Episcopal Church, New York. Hurd is an outstanding recitalist and improvisor and a composer of organ, choral, and instrumental music.

Offertory Anthem: “Hide Not Thou Thy Face From Us” Richard Farrant (1530- 1580)

Richard Farrant, English composer, choirmaster, and theatrical producer, who established the original Blackfriars Theatre, home to the outstanding children’s companies of the Elizabethan era. Farrant was a gentleman of the Chapel Royal until 1564, when he was appointed organist and choirmaster to St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. This post entailed the annual presentation of a play before the queen, which led to the creation of the Children of Windsor, a boys' theatrical company formed from members of the choir. Farrant’s skill at directing the Children of Windsor led to his appointment in 1576 as deputy of William Hunnis, director of the Children of the Chapel. From that point until his death in 1580, Farrant directed productions for both companies, sometimes combining the two. Eager to offer performances outside the court, Farrant leased a portion of the defunct Blackfriars priory and converted it into the Blackfriars Theatre in 1576. In addition to his theatrical successes, Farrant was a respected musician and composer. He served as the queen’s organist and wrote music for the plays, as well as anthems and a service.

Hide not thou thy face from us, O Lord,
and cast not off thy servant in thy displeasure;
for we confess our sins unto thee
and hide not our unrighteousness.
For thy mercy's sake,
deliver us from all our sins.

Opening Voluntary: “Sarabande on ‘Rockingham’” Rosalie Bonighton (1946-2011)

Bonighton's music was influenced by plainchant, British and Celtic folk song, but she was equally interested in the extended harmonic tensions of late German Romanticism, multi-rhythms, jazz harmonies and syncopated effects. When composing music, the functional requirements of a piece of music heavily influenced Bonighton's choice of style, compositional techniques, structure, performing resources and level of performance difficulty. Bonighton also experimented frequently with the use of jazz elements for the performance medium of pipe organ. In addition to her activity as a composer, Bonighton worked as a school organist, a parish organist/music director, and a piano accompanist.

Closing Voluntary: “Allegro Pomposo,” Thomas Roseingrave (1688-1766)

Irish organist and composer who began his musical studies under the tutelage of his father, Daniel Roseingrave, organist of Gloucester, Winchester, Salisbury, St. Patrick's and Christ Church cathedrals. He studied in Italy, where he knew both Scarlattis. After settling in London in 1717, he popularized Domenico Scarlatti's music in England and later made a famous edition (1739) of 42 of his sonatas. Among Roseingrave’s compositions were extra numbers for Domenico Scarlatti's opera Narciso.

Hymn of the Day: “This Is the Spirit’s Entry Now” ELW 448
Text: Thomas E. Herbranson (1933-2009)
Tune: LAND OF REST, North American traditional

In 1970 Thomas E. Herbranson wrote a master's thesis at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, titled "Christ and the Sacraments in the Hymnal Authorized by the Lutheran Churches Cooperating in the Commission on the Liturgy and Hymnal." From ten years' experience as a parish pastor he had become convinced of the importance of the hymnal for parishioners. He proposed to study "only the words" in the Service Book and Hymnal (1958). He divided his study into three parts- baptism, communion, and the person and work of Christ. At the end of the part on baptism he appended this hymn. His attempt was to “bring together in a hymn the biblical themes of baptism: The Spirit, the physical element and the Word of institution in stanza one; new birth and the Redemption theme in stanza two; the life-long growth theme in stanza three; and praise to God for the Spirit's washing throughout our lives as well as the specific event at which the hymn is sung.” 

The hymn was published in Contemporary Worship 4: Hymns for Baptism and Communion (1972) and then in Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), #195, with alterations Herbranson approved. Evangelical Lutheran Worship made other modifications, but left it essentially as Lutheran Book of Worship had it.

This "originally pentatonic tune” was paired with "O land of rest, for thee I sigh!" in the 1836 Appendix of Samuel Wakefield's shape-note tune book called The Christian Harp (Pittsburgh, 1832). As we have it, the tune is hexatonic but only slightly so: the fourth degree of the scale is used twice, once as a passing tone at measure 5 and once in a more accented fashion four notes from the end. The seventh degree is not present (E in this key that is otherwise F major), which gives the tune an open, rustic flavor. Herbranson linked his hymn with John Dahle's tune LUTHER SEMINARY. In Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) it was paired with a more pensive tune by Leo Sowerby called PERRY. In Evangelical Lutheran Worship it gets a third tune. More than the first two, LAND OF REST highlights the motion and physicality of the text. If one finds such things significant, it also has a compound background beat whose three can be seen as reflecting or underscoring the trinitarian Three in whose name the church baptizes.

Offertory Anthem: "You God Are My Light" Scott Perkins 

Connecticut native Scott Perkins enjoys a multifaceted career as an international prize-winning composer of vocal music, an award-winning scholar, and a dynamic educator. His “beautifully crafted” (American Record Guide) and “tightly composed” (Choral Journal) compositions have been called “dramatic” and “colorful” (The Washington Post), and “perfectly orchestrated” and “haunting” (The Washington Times). He has been commissioned by organizations ranging from the Washington National Opera to the American Guild of Organists, and his work has been performed throughout North America and Europe. He has been an invited guest lecturer on his music and research at Harvard University, The Hartt School, Boston University, and the University of the Pacific. Scott’s recent and current projects have been extended works that support and illuminate the words of living authors on themes of social justice, environmentalism, and mental health. 

You, God, are my light and my salvation; who shall I fear?
You are the strength of my life: of whom shall I be afraid?

One thing I ask of you, O God: that I may dwell in your house all the days of my life to behold your beauty, and to seek you in your temple.

Teach me your way, O God. Hear me when I cry unto you: have mercy upon me and answer me. 
For in the time of trouble you will hide m in your dwelling; you will lift me high upon a rock.

Opening Voluntary: “At the Rivers of Babylon” (from Sixty-Six Chorale Improvisations) Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933)  

The German composer Sigfrid Karg-Elert's real name was Karg, the 'Elert' having been added early in his career at the suggestion of his concert-agent. He studied at Leipzig Conservatoire, served for a time as professor at Magdeburg Conservatoire, and was appointed in 1919 to Leipzig Conservatoire, where he taught piano, theory and composition. Though his earliest ambitions lay in the direction of composition, his chief distinction during his student days, and for some years after, was as a pianist of unusual brilliance. Some meetings with Grieg turned his ambitions once more towards composition, and the result has been a very large output in a great variety of forms - over 100 songs, sonatas for violin, pianoforte, etc., many sets of pieces for pianoforte, a symphony, string quartet, and much music for organ, etc. He was one of the principal German composers for organ of his generation. 

His early works reflect the influence of composers such as Claude Debussy, Aleksandr Scriabin, and Arnold Schoenberg, but he later developed an original style that melded chromaticism and expanded harmonies with Renaissance and Baroque polyphony. Among his best-known works are the 33 stylistic studies for harmonium, based on works of composers ranging from Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina to Schoenberg; for the organ he wrote the Sixty-Six Chorale Improvisations (1908–10) and 20 Chorale Preludes and Postludes (1912). A virtuoso organist, Karg-Elert also performed on the Kunstharmonium (a type of harmonium—larger than the standard size—that was popular in Germany in the early 20th century).

Closing Voluntary: “Allegro molto from Sonata #6 in D Minor,” Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

The organ music of Felix Mendelssohn represents an approach gesturing not towards the future but towards the glorious past of German composition and the work of J.S. Bach in particular. (Liszt once called him “Bach reborn.”) The stark dissimilarity in compositional approach between Mendelssohn and Liszt was heralded by the coolness of their personal relationship, manifested for instance at a soirée when Mendelssohn drew a picture of Liszt playing the former’s music with five hammers, rather than fingers, on each hand. (This somewhat childish action is perhaps understandable given Liszt’s description of preceding events: “The truth of the matter is that I only played his Concerto in G minor from the manuscript, and as I found several of the passages rather simple and not broad enough…I changed them to suit my own ideas.”) Inherently conservative in character, Mendelssohn formed a profound aversion to the iconoclastic work of Liszt and kindred spirits such as Berlioz, of whose work Mendelssohn remarked: “one ought to wash one’s hands after handling one of his scores.” Mendelssohn was undoubtedly a Romantic composer, but his Romanticism was often of the Biedermeier kind; he was capable of composing dramatic and inventive works such as the Hebrides Overture, yet his individual musical poetry emerged perhaps most strongly in miniatures such as the Songs without Words for piano and in those works (e.g. the Quartet in F minor) wherein he recaptured the youthful genius that had burst forth so forcefully in the Octet and Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture.

Mendelssohn’s posthumous reputation in the country of his birth suffered from Wagner’s pen (this time through the faintest of praise rather than vitriol) and, in due course, the Nazi regime’s efforts to expunge his name from musical history. In England, where Mendelssohn had made a strong impression on musical life over the course of ten visits, his stock remained considerably higher. Mendelssohn enjoyed particular success with his organ recitals in the late 1830s and early 1840s, leading the publishers Coventry and Hollier to commission a set of six “voluntaries” from him in 1844. The planned voluntaries soon became Mendelssohn’s six Organ Sonatas Op 65, with the term sonata here implying the Bachian sense of the term—i.e. suites of varied pieces which are played instrumentally, as opposed to sung cantatas—rather than works exhibiting classical sonata form. The Organ Sonata No 6 in D minor (1845) demonstrates Mendelssohn’s consummate craftsmanship and mastery of organ texture in a set of variations upon the Lutheran Bach chorale Vater unser im Himmelreich (BWV416). Following a five-part harmonisation of the Chorale, which pervades the sonata as a whole, Mendelssohn presents four variations of increasing brilliance before a restatement of the Chorale. Today’s Closing Voluntary is the final variation. The sonata concludes with a substantial fugue and the finale in D major, whose quiet religiosity symbolises the completion of a journey from stern Lutheranism to an essentially English brand of sentiment. In this work and its companion sonatas, Mendelssohn revitalised the then-moribund European organ tradition, spurred English organ-builders to new heights, and, through his particular blend of chorale, counterpoint and domestic spirituality, substantially augmented the organ repertoire for the first time since Bach. Musing on his passion for structural innovation, Liszt once remarked that “new wine demands new bottles”; Mendelssohn here demonstrates the continued potency of an older brew.

Hymn of the Day: “When We Are Tested” ACS 922
Text: Ruth Duck (1947)
Tune: SLANE, Irish traditional

A prayer based on the temptation of Christ, this text set to a traditional Irish tune calls to mind whole Bible stories with single words or short phrases: “wrestle” in Genesis 32, “bread” and “stone” in Matthew 7, “food that sustains” in Exodus 16, and “by night and by day” in Exodus 13, thereby situating the struggle to be faithful within the biblical narrative. From that struggle the hymn calls upon God who nourishes, lifts, teaches, and holds us.

Ruth Duck is a United Church of Christ pastor, professor, feminist, practical theologian, and hymn writer.

Offertory Anthem: “I’m So Glad” R. Nathaniel Dett (1882- 1943), BBV arr.

Robert Nathaniel Dett was a Black Canadian-American composer, organist, pianist, choral director, and music professor. Born and raised in Canada until the age of 11, he moved to the United States with his family and had most of his professional education and career there. During his lifetime he was a leading Black composer, known for his use of African-American folk songs and spirituals as the basis for choral and piano compositions in the 19th century Romantic style of Classical music. “I’m So Glad” is one of these choral compositions, originally part of his collection for the Hampton Singers.

Dett's most important work began in 1913 at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia. He trained the choir at that traditionally African-American school to a new level of musical excellence. His 40-voice Hampton Singers performed at Carnegie Hall in January 1914. Dett rose to the position of director of the Music Department at Hampton in 1926, the first black to hold that job. That same year, Oberlin Conservatory awarded Dett an honorary Doctor of Music degree, another first for an African American. On December 17, 1926, the 80-voice Hampton Choir assumed national prominence as it performed by invitation at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The unaccompanied program contained Dett's trademark mix of repertoire--early English music, works from the Russian liturgy, Christmas carols, and arrangements of spirituals.

In 1930 the choir achieved another milestone as it embarked on a European tour under the auspices of George Foster Peabody, a philanthropic patron of the arts and Hampton Institute trustee. En route to New York, the group sang for President Herbert Hoover on the White House lawn. The choir of 40 select voices went on to impress audiences during its six-week tour of seven countries.

After earning his master's degree in 1932, Dett resigned from Hampton and moved to Rochester, New York. He died in 1943 while serving as choral advisor for the United Services Organization and touring with a women's choir in Battle Creek, Michigan. In 1973 his piano works were collected and published as a volume.

Dett's most enduring musical legacy survives in his numerous arrangements of folksongs and spirituals, most written for the Hampton Choir.

I'm so glad trouble don't last alway.
[Refrain:] Oh, my Lord, oh, my Lord, what shall I do?
Make more room, Lord in my heart for Thee. [Refrain]

Opening Voluntary: “Troubled Water” Margaret Bonds (1913-1972)

Margaret Bonds was an American composer, pianist, arranger, and teacher. One of the first Black composers and performers to gain recognition in the United States, she is best remembered today for her popular arrangements of African-American spirituals and frequent collaborations with Langston Hughes. As a composer well acquainted with the greats of the Harlem Renaissance and schooled in Western composition at Juilliard, Margaret Bonds binds these elements of her background in Troubled Water (1967). The piece takes its cue from the Classical sonata form and uses the spiritual ‘Wade in the Water’ for the primary theme.

Closing Voluntary: “Toccata on GREAT DAY” Adolphus Hailstork (1941)

Adolphus Hailstork (actually Adolphus Cunningham Hailstork III) has always been aware of what he calls his dual cultural heritage: born in Rochester, NY, and raised in Albany, the son of a chef, he received his primary musical education in the Episcopal Cathedral of All Saints and was introduced to the classical tradition, including of course, his fellow Episcopalian Samuel Barber, and other contemporary Americans. As he says below, he was insulated from the developing civil rights movement in his earlier education. His B.A. in music, from Howard University (1963) and his initial postgraduate study at the Manhattan School (1964–1966, where he was taught by David Diamond, one of the leading lights of the mid-century American symphonists, and Vittorio Giannini, who remained a tonality-based composer in an academic world heavily dominated by serialism and other non-tonal compositional processes) and a nine-week study course with Nadia Boulanger in France, sound idyllic, in a way, shelters from the storm and stress of American Culture.

But a reckoning came, as he says, when he got out of the army (he served in West Germany) in 1968. And while the story of that development is fascinating, the richness and breadth of the musical influences make Hailstork’s music exciting. There are the mid-century symphonists and the eventful, forward push of that style, devoid of excessive rhetoric, but also Episcopalian music, spirituals, stories from black history, references to iconic musicians like Still, and more. Hailstork’s eminence and the quality of his music deserve more time on America’s and the world’s concert stages.

Hymn of the Day: “Dazzling Presence on the Mountain” ACS 917
Text: Paul E. Hoffman (1956)
Tune: WAVERLY, Karen E. Black (1960)

The text and music of this hymn were written for a Transfiguration hymn festival at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, in 2014. The text gives us an expanded understanding of Christ’s mountaintop experience for believers in our own day. Becoming dwellings for justice, mercy, and compassion in the world can bring transfiguration to the earth and all living creatures. The stately melody written by Karen Black, professor of music and college organist at Wartburg, musically draws us up and down the mountain.

Offertory Anthem: "You God Are My Light" Scott Perkins

Connecticut native Scott Perkins enjoys a multifaceted career as an international prize-winning composer of vocal music, an award-winning scholar, and a dynamic educator. His “beautifully crafted” (American Record Guide) and “tightly composed” (Choral Journal) compositions have been called “dramatic” and “colorful” (The Washington Post), and “perfectly orchestrated” and “haunting” (The Washington Times). He has been commissioned by organizations ranging from the Washington National Opera to the American Guild of Organists, and his work has been performed throughout North America and Europe. He has been an invited guest lecturer on his music and research at Harvard University, The Hartt School, Boston University, and the University of the Pacific. Scott’s recent and current projects have been extended works that support and illuminate the words of living authors on themes of social justice, environmentalism, and mental health.

You, God, are my light and my salvation; who shall I fear?
You are the strength of my life: of whom shall I be afraid?
One thing I ask of you, O God: that I may dwell in your house all the days of my life to behold your beauty, and to seek you in your temple.
Teach me your way, O God. Hear me when I cry unto you: have mercy upon me and answer me.
For in the time of trouble you will hide m in your dwelling; you will lift me high upon a rock.

Opening Voluntary: “Many and Great, O God, Are Your Works” Robert Buckley Farlee

The Voluntary today is Robert Buckley Farlee’s setting of the Native American melody, DAKOTA. This song, which is also known as the “Dakota Hymn,” was sung by thirty-eight Dakota prisoners of war as they were led to execution at Mankato, Minnesota, on December 26, 1862. This song was first published in the Dakota Indian Hymnal (1916).

Closing Voluntary: “Christ Is the World’s Light” J. Bert Carlson

This hymn tune, CHRISTE SANCTORUM, with an unusual meter, comes from the Paris Antiphoner (1681), a collection of music for Latin hymns. It’s accompanying text, “Christ is the world’s light,” was written at the request of the hymnal committee for a text to accompany the tune CHRISTE SANCTORUM for the British Methodist hymnal, Hymns and Songs.

This setting is by Pastor J. Bert Carlson, who ministered to many congregations for over 50 years in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indiana. He was also an accomplished musician and published composer.

Hymn of the Day: “Oh, That the Lord Would Guide My Ways” ELW 772
Text: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748, alt.
Music: EVAN, William H. Havergal, 1793-1870

“Oh, that the Lord would guide my ways” (ELW 772) is most appropriate for the day. The hymn is a prayer that God will give us the will and the ability to live according to God’s ways, which are called “a delightful road.” “Statutes” is one of the synonyms for commandments that occurs in our translation of the psalms. Isaac Watts wrote this hymn as a versification of part of Psalm 119, the psalm for this day. Watts is called the father of English hymnody. Although many in his church asserted that the only songs Christians could sing in worship were the psalms straight from the Bible, Watts wrote over six hundred hymns and psalm paraphrases that have become classic staples in Christian worship around the world.
— Gail Ramshaw

Offertory Anthem: “The People Who Walk in Darkness,” Pepper Choplin (1957)

Pepper Choplin 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 diverse musical background, Choplin incorporates varied styles such as folk, Gospel, classical, and jazz.

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; now lift up your eyes, see the glory of the Lord, and all flesh shall see it together. Those who lived in a land of deep darkness - on them, a light has shined.” (Isaiah 9:2)

Opening Voluntary: “Adoration” Florence B. Price (1887-1953)

In 2009 a dusty treasure was uncovered during the renovation of a dilapidated home in St. Anne, Illinois. Workers discovered boxes containing music by Florence B. Price previously considered lost, including two violin concertos and her fourth symphony. Although the quality of her compositions was recognized during her lifetime, her works were not widely heard. Writing to Serge Koussevitzky, the conductor of the Boston Symphony, she plainly addressed the prejudice that stunted her career, “I have two handicaps – those of sex and race. I am a woman; and I have some Negro blood in my veins.” Now, 70 years later, the labor of activists, scholars, and performers has changed the musical landscape of the United States, and Price’s music is frequently heard in orchestra halls across the nation.

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Price studied organ and piano at the New England Conservatory of Music, one of the only music institutions of the time that admitted Black students. She taught music at Black-serving institutions in the South after graduating. In 1912 she married and moved back to Little Rock. However, her hometown was not safe, and threats of racial violence compelled the family to flee to Chicago in 1927. Inspired by the culturally rich Black community in Chicago, Price renewed her study of music at the American Conservatory and the Chicago Musical College.

In 1932, she won the Wanamaker competition with her Symphony in E Minor, thus gaining national recognition. She is best known as a song composer, however, including her arrangement of the spiritual “My Soul’s been Anchored in de Lord” and a setting of Langston Hughes’ poem “Songs to the Dark Virgin.” Marian Anderson frequently sang her works and adopted Price’s arrangement of “My Soul’s been Anchored in de Lord” as a personal signature, often ending recitals with that spiritual. Price’s compositions combine a romantic vocabulary with African and African American musical traditions such as call and response and Juba dance rhythm patterns.

Published in 1951, Adoration was initially written as a short piece for organ in ABA form intended for use in church. It has proven attractive for arrangers, including Jim Gray, who has orchestrated it for solo violin and string orchestra.

Closing Voluntary “Tango for Organ on DOWN AMPNEY,” Mark Sedio (1954)

DOWN AMPNEY is the tune name for the hymn "Come Down, O Love Divine". It is named for the English birthplace of the tune's composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams. The Minneapolis organist and composer, Mark Sedio, gives it a subtle tango inflection in his arrangement for the organ. He currently serves as Cantor at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis where his responsibilities are varied: organist, choirmaster, resident composer, worship planner and educator. He is also on the music staff of Luther Seminary in St. Paul. Sedio has served as a clinician and lecturer in the areas of worship, liturgy, adult and children's choirs, hymnody and psalmody, and cross-culture music.

Hymn of the Day: “There Is a Longing in Our Hearts” (ACS 1078)
Text: Anne Quigley (1955)
Music: LONGING, Anne Quigley

This hymn illustrates two sides of human longing for God: it yearns for God’s reign of healing, wholeness, justice, and freedom as it calls for God’s presence within suffering. The musical setting has a steady forward motion, as if to encourage its singers to have confidence in a God who hears and answers prayer. “There is a longing in our hearts” may function as a call to prayer or as the prayers of the worshiping assembly; it can also gather the assembly to worship or call it to confession.

Anne Quigley is a respected composer and liturgist whose music has been featured in the Decani Choral Music Series in England. She manages to balance her work in music composition and liturgy with her work as a full-time homemaker. Anne is a member of the St. Thomas More Group of composers.

Choir Anthem: “Siyahamba, We are marching for the Lord is our light” Thomas Vozzella, arr. (1963)

The South African song Siyahamba, We are marching for the Lord is our light, was sung by Black South Africans at marches protesting the apartheid years with a firm religious conviction that God would set them free. This faith was very much a part of their fervent singing. By telling this story, we honor the soul of a culture who cherishes personal and religious freedom.

Thomas R. Vozzella, is the newly appointed Director of Music-Organist at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri, a member of the Creator Magazine Editorial Board; of late, Dean of the Blackhills Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and served as the South Dakota Choral Directors Association R&S Chair for Community Choirs; Music and Worship.

Siyahamba kuklanyeni kwenkhos
We are marching for the Lord is our light.

Opening and Closing Voluntaries
Prelude and Fugue in E Minor, BVW 533, J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

This piece originates from the time when Bach was still in his twenties. He had just begun his first real job in Arnstadt. This position as a highly paid organist had fallen into his lap in 1703, after a brilliant performance when testing the new organ. But a couple of years later, it was actually criticism of his organ playing that was given as one of the reasons for letting him go. He was supposed to have used too many curious variations and strange notes in his chorale preludes. The church council believed that this confused the congregation.

In this concise Prelude and Fugue, we hear both sides of the coin. In the Prelude, there are short pedal solos, shaking tremolos for both hands, and series of full chords for keyboard and pedal simultaneously – all exciting musical elements which can also be used, if necessary, to test an organ’s sound and speed of response.

These elements return in the Fugue, which opens with a moving theme – first modestly and almost hesitantly, but later with increasing assurance. Towards the end, there is a passage where Bach makes the left hand stand out rather dissonantly against the right hand, in opposition to the rules of composition. This is precisely the sort of “frembde Thone” (strange notes) to which people later objected in Arnstadt. Here, we see a youthful and rather impetuous Bach. On the one hand, an excellent job application, and on the other a reason for dismissal.

Hymn of the Day: “Let Streams of Living Justice” ELW 710
Text: William Whitla (1934)
Tune: THAXTED, Gustav Holst (1874-1934)

William Whitla (b. 1934) wrote this hymn in 1989. It was published in Sing Justice! Do Justice! (1998), a collection of hymns that "grew out of a formal search for hymns on justice sponsored by the organizations Alternative for Simple Living and The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. It had four stanzas.

Evangelical Lutheran Worship, not the only hymnal to do so, prints three of the four by omitting the second. Whitla is "not very keen" on this move, which he views as "cutting out both the too incarnational and the too feminine images." Here is what he says about the hymn:

I wrote the hymn in 1989 just after the events in Tiananmen Square, and when the Mothers of the Disappeared in Argentina were bringing their campaign to the conscience of the world. At the same time, the religious and racial disputes in Ireland, Israel-Palestine, the Congo and other parts of Africa, and in Canada and many other countries over First Nation or Aboriginal rights all seemed impossible to solve. Unfortunately, similar events are still replayed, and only too-similar images in the Near East, Irag, Afghanistan, and now Somalia- not to mention the school shootings at home-recur and are now extended well beyond those earlier sad happenings. So I used some images from those events, especially in verse two, seen through echoes of the holocaust, to tell of the bad news before the Good News of verses three and four. Subsequent events only sharpened those images, alas. To me all of these parts are needed for a full expression of the biblical promises of hope and justice so long awaited, including the too-common images of both the child with the gun and the old ones dreaming for peace.

Here is stanza 2:

The dreaded disappearance of family and friend;
the torture and the silence- the fear that knows no end;
the mother with her candle, the child who holds a gun,
the old one nursing hatred- all seek release to come.
Each candle burns for freedom; each lights a tyrant's fall;
each flower placed for martyrs gives tongue to silenced call.

The tune, THAXTED, was originally set to the text "I vow to thee, my country" and then used for others. That it is a splendid melody is clear. Whether it is a congregational one is less clear. Like Parry's JERUSALEM (#711-for which Whitla has written "O dream of peace,") is the melody more orchestral than congregational, with problems of length, range and Anglophilia?

Offertory Anthem: “Create a Pure Heart in Me,” Susan Matsui

Susan Matsui began composing as a child. She plays fiddle, French horn, piano, and organ, and many medieval and folk instruments, both string and wind. She studied composition at Williams College with Dan Gutwein and at the Salzburg Mozarteum with Cesar Bresgan. She is the organist and music director at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, and a member of the American Guild of Organists. She is also a public school music teacher and a member of Woodbinde Medieval Band. She is continually composing and arranging music, often for use in her church, for both the adult and junior choirs. Her music is influenced by her nearly twenty years in Japan, as well as by medieval music, and by her formative years in an Episcopal church with an outstanding music program (Grace Episcopal Church in Nyack, NY). She has published 39 children’s books in Japan, among which are three songbooks, as well as scores of children's songs for children's magazines. She continues to write and publish for the Japanese children's book market.

The text is a paraphrase of Psalm 51.

Create a pure heart in me, O Lord.
Grant me a new and steadfast spirit.
Do not drive me away from thy presence,
or take thy Spirit from me.

Revive in me the joy of deliverance,
Grant me a steady soul to uphold me.
Open thou my lips, everlasting Lord,
that my mouth may sing thy praises.

Thou takest no delight in sacrifice,
nor hast thou any wish for whole offering.
My sacrifice, Lord, is a broken soul,
my offering, a contrite heart.

Opening Voluntary: “THAXTED” (Let Streams of Living Justice), Robert Buckley Farlee (1950)

As was noted above, “Thaxted” is a hymn tune by the English composer Gustav Holst, based on the stately theme from the middle section of the Jupiter movement of his orchestral suite The Planets. It was named after Thaxted, the English village where he lived much of his life. He adapted the theme in 1921 to fit the patriotic poem "I Vow to Thee, My Country" by Cecil Spring Rice but that was as a song with orchestra. It did not appear as a hymn-tune called "Thaxted" until his friend Ralph Vaughan Williams included it in Songs of Praise in 1926.

Robert Buckley Farlee is a graduate of Christ Seminary-Seminex, St. Louis, Missouri. He also serves on the worship editorial staff at Augsburg Fortress Publishers, and was deeply involved in the recent publication of Evangelical Lutheran Worship.

Closing Voluntary: “Now”, Michael Helman (1956)

Michael Helman is currently Director of Music/Organist at Faith Presbyterian Church in Cape Coral, Florida. He is an active composer of handbell, organ, and choral music with numerous pieces pieces in print.

Today’s Closing Voluntary uses the hymn tune, “Now” by Carl F. Schalk (1929 - 2021) He was professor of music at Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois, where he taught church music since 1965. Honored as a Fellow of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada in 1992, Schalk was editor of the Church Music journal (1966-1980), a member of the committee that prepared the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), and a widely published composer of church music.

Hymn of the Day: “Light Shone in Darkness” ELW 307
Text: Delores Dufner (1939)
Tune: LUX IN TENEBRIS, Mark Sedio (1954)

Here are two complementary views of this hymn. Its author, Delores Dufner, OSB had in mind a hymn of hope for morning prayer or other times. John 1:25, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it," stands behind the text, with the truth that "the world often looks darkest just before light breaks through.” The writer of the tune, Mark Sedio, says he "was taken by the rather declamatory character of the first two stanzas of Delores Dufner's fine text- -the first focusing on creation, the second on salvation, and the third morphing into a more eschatological forward-looking sense, all three ending curtly with the phrase ‘praise (prays) for the light. Amen!’” Sedio's view graciously carries forward Dufner's intent in ways Dufner herself may not have articulated and illustrates how a hymn moves outside its author.

Delores Dufner was born in North Dakota, attended a one-room country school, studied at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota (BA in music, 1960), became a Benedictine sister, continued her studies at DePaul University in Chicago (MA in liturgical music, 1973), and completed another degree at Notre Dame University, Notre Dame, Indiana (MA in liturgical studies, 1990). After teaching elementary school, piano, and organ, and serving as a church organist and choir director, she became liturgical coordinator for St. Benedict's Monastery in St. Joseph, director of the Office for Worship of the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota, liturgical music consultant for the Diocese of Ballarat in Victoria, Australia, and a member of the executive committee of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. Her longest lasting legacy, however, will probably be the fine hymns she has written. In 1994 Sing a New Church, a collection of forty-eight of her hymns, was published by OCP Publications, and in 2003 an anthology of seventy-nine more was published as The Glimmer of Glory in Song by GIA Publications. Nathan Mitchell, an unusually perceptive critic, suggests that "perhaps the greatest skill [Dufner] brings to her work is a sensitive ear for natural, unselfconscious speech that is also memorable. Her style is a vigorous modern English whose music and rhythms never seem forced, contrived, or cute."

Mark Sedio wrote the tune at the request of the Evangelical Lutheran Church America’s Renewing Worship hymnody editorial team. The text suggested to him “a style reminiscent of a Gaelic sea shanty with a dynamic climax on the downbeat of the fifth measure ('all, sings, longs'), ending with the snapping whip of the final phrase." Mark Sedio was born in Minnesota and graduated from Augsburg College in Minneapolis (BA in music, 1976) and the University of Iowa (MA in choral literature and conducting, 1979). He also attended St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota, and Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he played the organ for chapel services for twenty-five years. He was cantor at Mount Olive Lutheran Church and now is director of music at Central Lutheran Church, both in Minneapolis. A charter member of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians and an active member of the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, he is a fine improviser, service player, and clinician who has written hymn tunes, service music, anthems, and organ pieces, as well as articles about church music.

It is worth noting that Dufner and Sedio work and live not far from one another in Minnesota, but it is perhaps even more worthy of note that they come from different traditions (Roman Catholic and Lutheran) that have often been marked by separation from one another. The partnership here may serve as a reminder that, as virtually every hymnal in every one of the church's traditions demonstrates, in the hymnody and music of the church the distances that separate us very often disappear.

Offertory Anthem: “Rise, Shine,” Dale Wood (1934-2003)

Based on the hymn tune WOJTKIEWIECZ, which has become a standard in many congregations and is also today’s Sending Hymn. Dale began playing the organ in church at age 14. His hymns and canticles are found in the Lutheran Book of Worship, Worship II (a Roman Catholic hymnal), Seventh Day Adventist Hymnal, The Presbyterian Hymnal, The United Methodist Hymnal, the Agape Hymnal Supplement, the Moravian Book of Worship, the Chalice Hymnal, and several hymnal supplements.

Wood's musical activities were not limited to sacred music. While still a college student, he entertained as organist at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles and appeared on television shows produced in Hollywood. In 1975 he was employed by the Royal Viking Line to entertain passengers on a 70-day cruise of the South Pacific and Orient.

For many years Dale maintained his home and studio at The Sea Ranch, California, 115 miles north of San Francisco. It was here, amidst acres of redwood trees and gentle meadows on the rural and spectacular coastline of Northern California, that he composed most of his organ works, using a three-manual electronic theatre organ. Dale had a strong theatrical streak in him, and he maintained close ties with the American Theatre Organ Society. In his later years he collaborated with his partner, Ivan de la Garza, in designing the ATOS website.

In 1977 Dale and jazz pianist George Shearing created a volume of organ settings of early American folk hymns entitled Sacred Sounds from George Shearing. Over a period of 11 weeks Shearing had recorded a series of improvisations at the piano. After the tapes were transcribed to paper, Shearing visited Dale in his studio at The Sea Ranch. Dale spent hours at the organ making suggestions of registrations and textures, while Shearing with his critical ear listened for accuracy.

In recent years, Dale composed at the computer and was able to hear his work played back via MIDI, obviating the need for tedious proofreading. Most of his pieces were conceived with a three-manual organ in mind but are readily adaptable to smaller instruments. He gave general suggestions for registrations, but he always trusted in the performer's own imagination ("The printed music is just a blueprint, and it is the performer's job to complete the project," he liked to say). He used unusual techniques in several pieces, such as wedges in keys for pedal points. His hymn arrangements were not all easy. Many require a significant amount of finger substitution; several involve "bridging" (playing on two manuals simultaneously with one hand); and his pedal lines sometimes go to the top of the pedalboard.

Rise, shine, you people! Christ the Lord has entered
our human story; God in him is centered.
He comes to us, by death and sin surrounded,
with grace unbounded.

See how he sends the pow'rs of evil reeling;
he brings us freedom, light and life and healing.
All men and women, who by guilt are driven,
now are forgiven.

Come, celebrate; your banners high unfurling,
your songs and prayers against the darkness hurling.
To all the world go out and tell the story
of Jesus' glory.

Tell how the Father sent the Son to save us.
Tell of the Son, who life and freedom gave us.
Tell how the Spirit calls from ev'ry nation
God's new creation.

-Ronald A. Klug

Opening Voluntary: “Dix” (As With Gladness) Wayne L. Wold

Dix, as the son of poet John Ross Dix and named after Thomas Chatterton, would regularly write Christian poetry in his spare time. Dix wrote "As with Gladness Men of Old" on 6 January 1859 during a months-long recovery from an extended illness, unable to attend that morning's Epiphany service at church. As he read the Gospel of Matthew's account of Epiphany in The Bible, he was inspired and started to reflect on the text. He then started to write about his thoughts and did so for the whole day with the eventual result being "As with Gladness Men of Old”. Dix kept the text private until a year later when it was published in Hymns for Public Worship and Private Devotion, which was written for St Raphael's Church in Dix's hometown of Bristol. It was also added to the trial version of Hymns Ancient and Modern before being included in the original publication of that hymnal in 1861. Most hymn writers in the Church of England at the time were clergymen, so Dix, a layman and marine insurance agent living in Glasgow, Scotland, was delighted that his carol was included.[4] It was also self-published by Dix in his own Hymns of Joy and Love hymnal.

The editor of Hymns Ancient and Modern, William Henry Monk, adapted a tune by Stuttgart organist Conrad Kocher as the music for "As with Gladness Men of Old". Dix personally did not like the tune, which was ironic as it was later titled "Dix" as a tribute to him. Despite Dix's opinion of it, the tune became popular and is used for the majority of performances of the hymn. The same melody is also used in the hymn "For the Beauty of the Earth", an example of what is often considered to be a seasonal hymn melody given to a more general hymn text for use in Ordinary Time.

Closing Voluntary: “Prelude #5 on an Old Irish Church Melody” Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)

Sir Charles Stanford has been called the most important single factor in the renaissance of English music during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; indeed, even if one were to overlook Stanford's own vast catalog of compositions, it would be impossible to ignore the pronounced effect Stanford's nearly 40-year teaching career had on several generations of British composers. And Stanford was a prolific composer, completing seven symphonies, eight string quartets, nine operas, more than 300 songs, 30 large scale choral works and a large body of chamber music. He also composed a substantial number of works for the organ, as well as anthems and settings of the canticles for the Anglican Church. He wrote extensively on music including three volumes of memoirs and a popular text on composition. Today he is largely remembered for his songs and religious music as well as his influence on several generations of composition students at the Royal College of Music. These included Sir Arthur Bliss, Frank Bridge, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Rebecca Clarke, Ivor Gurney, Gustav Holst, Herbert Howells, John Ireland, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Charles Wood.

Hymn of the Day: “Hail to the Lord’s Anointed” ELW 311

This is James Montgomery's best psalm rendering. It is based on Psalm 72 and was written in eight stanzas for, and included in, a Christmas Ode which was sung at one of the Moravian settlements in the United Kingdom, Christmas, 1821. It was published in the following year in the Evangelical Magazine and entitled "Imitation of the 72d psalm (Tune: Culmstock)."

Psalm 72 is a well-known prophecy of the coming Messiah – foretelling the reign of the King and what the Kingdom of that Messiah will be like. But perhaps more than a prophecy, Psalm 72 is a prayer. In these verses the psalmist calls upon God to give justice and righteousness to the King, perhaps the newly crowned earthly king of Israel, but also the heavenly king. It is a cry for the deliverance of a broken people, for the realization of peace and light. James Montgomery’s hymn text from 1821 beautifully captures the essence of that prayer. Albert Bailey says, “His poem is more prayer than prophecy, or shall we say it is prophecy in large part unfulfilled but still capable of inspiring the Church to work for its fulfillment!” (Bailey, Gospel in Hymns). As we sing this beautiful hymn, we both declare our hope and our longing for the Kingdom of God, and for the coming of the one who will turn darkness to light, and whose “name to us is Love.”

Offertory Anthem: “Never Night Again,” Samuel Walter (1916-1987)

American organist and composer Samuel Walter studied at Boston University, Union Theological Seminary with Seth Bingham, and in France with Nadia Boulanger. He was music director at Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in New York City and taught on the faculty of Douglas College-Rutgers University, Boston University, and Union Theological Seminary.

The soft light from a stable door
Lies on the midnight lands.
The wiseman’s star burns ever more
Over all desert sands.

Unto all peoples of the earth
A little Child brought light,
And never in the darkest place
Can it be utter night.

No flickering torch, nor wavering fire,
But Light, the Life of all.
What ever clouds may veil the sky,
Never is night again.

Opening Voluntary: “Repton” (He Comes to Us), Robert J. Powell (1932)

Robert J. Powell is a prolific composer of organ and choral music, a celebrated church organist, and an accomplished choir director who used Parry’s hymn tune, Repton, in this organ prelude setting. Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918) is well known for the choral song, “Jerusalem.” Parry originally wrote the music for what became Repton as a contralto aria, 'Long since in Egypt's plenteous land' from his oratorio Judith. In 1924 George Gilbert Stocks, director of music at Repton School, set it to the text 'Dear Lord and Father of mankind' in a supplement of tunes for use in the school chapel. In the Lutheran hymnal we find this tune paired with the text “He Comes to Us as One Unknown” written by Timothy Dudley-Smith (1926), an English hymn writer and retired bishop of the Church of England.

Closing Voluntary: “Helft Min Gott’s Gute Preisen” (Come, let Us All with Fervor) J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

Bach’s Chorale Prelude “Helft Min Gott’s Gute Preisen” is cast in the atmosphere of joyous praise with a suggestion here and there of the sadness caused by the passing of the old year. The latter is marked by the use of chromatic color. The melody soars over all while we hear the other voices taking turns imitating the opening notes of the choral melody.

Hymn of the Day: “Down Galilee’s Slow Roadways” ACS 916
Tune: MERE’S TUNE, Hal H. Hopson, b. 1933
Text: Sylvia G. Dunstan, 1955–1993

A text by the late Sylvia Dunstan, a minister in the United Church of Canada, is combined with a tune by Hal Hopson, a prolific composer of church music. This hymn relates the story of Jesus’ baptism by John in the Jordan River, an event to which he came with the unassuming throngs of ordinary people (soldiers, scribes, and slaves) but which revealed him as the Son of God through a voice from heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit like a dove. Because we are joined to Jesus through our own baptism, God claims us also as beloved children.

Offertory Anthem: “Down to the River to Pray” Robert E. Lee, arr. (1951)

“Down to the River to Pray" is a traditional American song variously described as a Christian folk hymn, an African-American spiritual, an Appalachian song, and a Southern gospel song. The exact origin of the song is unknown. It was made famous in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Robert is an Alabama native and has been a church organist from age 16. With a BMusEd in organ performance from Samford University and a MEd in history from Mississippi College, Mr. Lee has worked as a choral director and history teacher. He has been active with college and professional musical theater groups and is currently the assistant organist at St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church in Louisville, KY.

As I went down to the river to pray,
Studyin' about that good old way,
And who shall wear the starry crown,
Good Lord, show me the way,
O sisters, let's go down,
Let's go down, come on down,
O sisters, let's go down,
Down to the river to pray.

As I went down to the river to pray,
Studyin' about that good old way,
And who shall wear the robe and crown,
Good Lord, show me the way,
O brothers, let's go down,
Let's go down, come on down,
O brothers, let's go down,
Down to the river to pray.

As I went down to the river to pray,
Studyin' about that good old way,
And who shall wear the robe and crown,
Good Lord, show me the way,
O fathers, let's go down,
Let's go down, come on down,
O fathers, let's go down,
Down to the river to pray.

As I went down to the river to pray,
Studyin' about that good old way,
And who shall wear the robe and crown,
Good Lord, show me the way,
O mothers, let's go down,
Let's go down, come on down,
O mothers, let's go down,
Down to the river to pray.

As I went down to the river to pray,
Studyin' about that good old way,
And who shall wear the starry crown,
Good Lord, show me the way,
O sinners, let's go down,
Let's go down, come on down,
O sinners, let's go down,
Down to the river to pray.

Opening Voluntary: “Caravan of the Three Kings” (We Three Kings) Richard Purvis (1913-1994)

Richard Purvis was an American organist, composer, conductor and teacher. He is especially remembered for his expressive recordings of the organ classics and his own lighter compositions for the instrument. After early studies in the piano and the organ he entered the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. During World War II, while serving as a bandmaster with the 28th Infantry Division, Richard Purvis was captured and held as a prisoner of war for six months. After the war an appointment to St Mark’s Lutheran Church took him back to his native city, and in 1947 he was appointed to Grace Cathedral, where he helped to form a cathedral school for boys, thus continuing the all-male choir tradition. Purvis’s long and distinguished career was marked by elegant service playing, conducting and composition. After his retirement in 1971 he continued to perform and compose.

Of his pieces today’s Voluntary is one of my favorites. It is easy to imagine the procession moving along, and the harmonic treatment of the familiar melody is full of character.

Closing Voluntary: “How Brightly Shines the Morning Star,” Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706)

The hymn text and tune name of the popular Epiphany hymn “How Brightly Shines the Morning Star” that Philipp Nicolai penned in 1597 and published two years later with his adaptation of a preexisting tune. To say it was a hit in Lutheran circles is an understatement! Nicolai’s original arrangement is still found, but the J.S. Bach version is much more popular today. Immediately, Nicolai’s version took off with German composers in cantatas and other vocal forms, notably Dietrich Buxtehude, Praetorius and Pachelbel. Johann Pachelbel was a German composer, organist, and teacher who brought the south German organ schools to their peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude and fugue have earned him a place among the most important composers.

Hymn of the Day: “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” ELW 620
Text: John Newton (1725-1807)
Text: ST. PETER, Alexander R. Reinagle (1799-1877)

John Newton wrote this hymn and published it in his Olney Hymns in 1779 under the title “The Name of Christ.” It was included in the first book of that collection, which was titled “On Select Texts of Scripture.” Song of Solomon 1:3 was the text on which this hymn in seven stanzas was based.

Two of the original seven stanzas are always included: the first (“How sweet the name…”) and the original fifth (“Jesus! My Shepherd, …”). The original fourth stanza (“By thee my prayers…”) is nearly always omitted in modern hymnals, except when all seven stanzas are included. Hymnals vary as to which of the remaining four stanzas are omitted.

The opening line of the original fifth stanza has been a problem for hymnal editors because of Newton's use of the word “Husband” (the original version was “Jesus! My Shepherd, Husband, Friend”). His word choice makes sense if viewed in light of the long tradition of reading Song of Solomon as an allegory for the love between Christ and the Church, His Bride. However, hymnal editors have generally found it awkward for congregational use, and have found a substitute word for “husband.” Common choices are “guardian” or “brother.”

The first stanzas of the hymn focus on the soothing power of the name of Jesus. The stanza beginning “Jesus, my shepherd, guardian, friend” is a list of some of Christ's other names. The remaining stanzas speak of the relationship between Christ and the Christian.

Alexander R. Reinagle, not to be confused with his uncle Alexander Reinagle (1756-1809) also a composer, was organist at the Church of St. Peter's in the East in London from 1822 to 1853. His tune ST. PETER was named for that church and was first published in Reinagle's Psalm Tunes for Voice and Piano Forte in 1830. He later harmonized it for Hymns Ancient and Modern in 1861.


Hymn of the Day: “I Am So Glad Each Christmas Eve” ELW 271
Text: Marie Wexelsen, (1832- 1911), tr. Peter A. Sveeggen, (1881-1959)
Tune: JEG ER SÅ GLAD Peder Knudsen, (1819-1863)

First printed with nine stanzas in the Ketil, en Julegave for de Smaa (Christiania,1860), this Norwegian Christmas hymn by Marie Wexelsen exudes a profound child-like simplicity without being childish. Its title was "Barnets Julesang" ("The child's Christmas song"). The author published her poem with the initials I. L. (Inger Lycke). Her full name was Inger Marie Lycke Wexelsen. The poem was first printed in a hymnal in Landstads reviderte salmebok(Oslo, 1926).  It was translated by Peter A. Sveeggen and included in The Concordia Hymnal (1932) with seven stanzas. The first began, "How glad I am each Christmas Eve.” Marie Wexelsen was the niece of Wilhelm A. Wexels, the great Danish-Norwegian preacher and hymn writer. Born on a farm in Ostre Toten, Norway, she began writing poetry when she was twenty. Later she worked as a teacher and published a few books for children. She stayed with her parents till they died. After that she lived in Christiania, Hamar, and Trondheim, where she died. She never married.

Peter Sveeggen was born in South Dakota and graduated from the University of Minnesota (MA, 1909). He taught at the University of Minnesota, at Decorah High School in Decorah, Iowa, at Ellsworth College in Iowa Falls, lowa, and at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, where from 1915 to 1952 he chaired the English department. 

The tune was composed by Peder Knudsen, the son of a parish singer at Viga in Gudbrandsdalen, Norway. As a youth he studied the violin and other instruments and came to the attention of Johann Behrens, a musician in Oslo who helped him get the post of choral director in Holmestrand. In 1854 he became civic music director and school music administrator in Kragerö. From 1859 until he died in 1863, he was the organist and choirmaster in Alesund. It was there that he wrote this melody.

Hymn of the Day: “Let Our Gladness Have No End” ELW 291
Text: Bohemian carol, 15th cen.
Tune: NARODIL SE KRISTUS PAN Bohemian carol, 15th cen.

This anonymous Bohemian carol probably dates from the fifteenth century. Tobias Zavorska included it in his Kancional (1602). The translator, like the author, is unknown. Recalling the story of the rose of Jesse and the Word made flesh, it rejoices with hallelujahs that cannot be delayed and interrupt the narrative after every line. A reflective refrain gives singers a chance to catch their breath.

The tune, like the text, also probably dates from the fifteenth century and is anonymous. It appeared with different texts in The Concordia Hymnal (1932) with "Be ye joyful" and the tune named BE YE JOYFUL and in The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) with "Christ the Lord to us is born." The tune is delightful, and the raised fourth (B natural) gives it a festive folk color.

Hymn of the Day: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” ELW 257
Text: Psalteriolum Cantionum Catholicarum, Köln, 1710; tr. composite
Tune: VENI, EMMANUEL, French Processional, 15th century

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is set to the tune VENI, EMMANUEL, adapted from the chant by Thomas Helmore. This haunting and pleading tune beautifully supports the words of longing found in the text, and compliments the sense of hope in the refrain.  

The text is based on a series of Antiphons (a short sentence sung or recited before or after a psalm or canticle) appointed for the last days of Advent. Each of these “O Antiphons” begin with “O” and describe the coming Savior using imagery from the Old Testament prophecies which foretold of Jesus’ coming, based on Isaiah’s prophecies. The antiphons refer to the different ancient titles given to the Messiah: O Sapientia (O Wisdom), O Adonai (O Lord), O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (O Key of David), O Oriens (O Dayspring), O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations), O Emmanuel (O With Us is God). These are powerful words for a powerful time of year. December 21st, the darkest day of the year, is when we pray for the morning star to come and enlighten us. Additionally, the first letters of the Latin titles (S.A.R.C.O.R.E.) taken backwards form the Latin phrase ero cras, tomorrow I will come.

Today, each verse of this beautiful hymn will be preceded by the “O” Antiphon chanted by the choir.

Choral Opening Voluntary  “O Come Redeemer of the Earth” Brian L. Hanson

Brian Hanson is Assistant Professor of History at Bethlehem College in Minneapolis.
He has a PhD in History from the University of St. Andrews. He is also a professional
musician and a published composer of choral anthems. He was the recipient of the 2009
John Ness Beck Foundation prize for his anthem, Jesus, Lover of My Soul

O Come, Redeemer of the earth,
and manifest Your virgin birth.
Let every age in wonder fall:
such birth befits the God of all.

Begotten of no human will
But of the Spirit, You are still
the Word of God in flesh arrayed,
The promised fruit to man displayed.  

O, Morning Star, come end our night.
Cast out our sin and shed Your light.
The darkness of our mortal state 
with endless beams illuminate!

All praise, eternal Son, above
whose advent shows Your matchless love, 
whom with the Father, we adore,
and Holy Ghost forevermore. Amen.

Anthem Following The Prayer Of The Day: “O Comfort Now My People” Thomas Pavlechko (1962) 

Based on the composer's own hymn-tune Eastern Sky. The text is a paraphrase of Isaiah
40:1-11. Delightfully mysterious and dark. 

Thom is currently on the staff of Christ the King Catholic Church, Highland/University
Park, Dallas, as director of music and principal organist, where he oversees the music
program of the 6,000-member parish, directs their two fully-professional choirs, the 12
voice Vigil Schola and the 26-voice Christ the King Singers. There are eight organists in
Pavlechko’s family, among them, his mother and great grandfather. He earned his music
degrees from the Dana School of Music of Youngstown State University and the
University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, both in his native Ohio.
Pavlechko has composed over 25 choral works, over 85 hymns, and over 1,000 Psalm
settings, including today’s setting of Psalm 80, all in print with nine publishers
throughout North America, the United Kingdom and Australia. Pavlechko is also co-
editor of the new Episcopal worship planning resource, Liturgical Music for the Revised
Common Lectionary with Church Publishing. 

O comfort, now my people, says the Lord, your God.
Speak gently to Jerusalem and cry now unto her.
Her warfare is accomplished, her penalty is paid.
A voice cries in the wilderness, “Prepare ye the way!”

So ev’ry valley shall be raised, all mountains, hills, made low,
As desert flow’rs rejoice and praise, and springs of water flow;
Uneven ground, a level field, rough lands become a plain.
The glory of the Lord revealed, God’s children see again.

All humankind is grass and reeds, like flowers of the field;
They wither at the gentlest breeze, their feeble lives to yield.
Yet eyes are opened, ears unstopped, the lame leap like a deer,
And speechless tongues all sing for joy, the weak no longer fear.

For waters in the wild break forth, the desert flows with streams;
The burning sand becomes a pool, the thirsty ground a spring. 
Their highway is the holy way God’s chosen walk along.
The ransomed of the Lord return with gladness, joy and song.

Anthem Following The First Lesson: “There Is No Rose” Mark Sedio (1954) 

This is a new setting of a medieval text in which a rose represents the Virgin Mary. The
text was found in a manuscript roll of carols copied out in the early 15th century,
and now found in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. 

Mark Sedio serves as Cantor at Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis. In
addition he has held teaching positions both at Augsburg University and Luther Seminary.
Sedio is an active recitalist, clinician, conductor and composer, having presented hymn
festivals and workshops throughout North America and Europe. Over 125 of his
compositions for organ, piano, choral and instrumental ensembles are available from a
number of publishers. A number of his hymn tunes, texts and harmonization appear in
various denominational hymnals and supplements. A love of foreign language acquisition
and linguistics combined with interest in folk music and styles has led to a keen interest
in global church music.

There is no rose of such virtue
As is the rose that bare Jesu:

For in this rose contained was
Heaven and earth in little space:
Res miranda (a marvelous thing)

By that rose we may well see
That he is God in person three:
Pares forma (Of equal form)

The angels sung the shepherds to:
“Gaudeamus. Gloria in excelsis Deo"
(Let us rejoice! Glory to God on high!)

Leave we all this worldly mirth
And follow we this joyful birth:
Transeamus (Let us go across)

Anthem Following The Second Lesson: “Lo! He Comes, An Infant Stranger” Simon Mold (1957) 

This text is by Richard Mant (1776 – 1848), an English churchman who became a bishop in Ireland. He was a prolific writer, his major work being a History of the Church of Ireland. His prose works were numerous, and although now somewhat obsolete, they were useful and popular in their day.

Simon Mold was born in Buxton, UK, and following success as a treble soloist in the north west of England became a chorister at Peterborough Cathedral under the legendary Dr. Stanley Vann. After reading English Language and Medieval Literature at Durham University, where he was a cathedral choral scholar, Simon embarked upon a teaching career principally in the south of England, and sang in several cathedral choirs. Upon retirement from teaching he joined Leicester Cathedral Choir just in time to take part in the memorable Richard III Reinterment ceremonies in 2015. His interest in composition began at Peterborough where he directed a performance of one of his own choral pieces in the cathedral while still a boy chorister, and subsequently Simon’s music has been widely published, performed, recorded and broadcast. Simon has additionally been a regular contributor to various musical and literary magazines, and has written widely on diverse aspects of music, language and literature. A verse collection, Poetry of the Peak, was published in 2019. 

Lo! He comes, an infant stranger, Of a lowly mother born,
Swathed and cradled in a manger, Of His pristine glory shorn!
Lo! He comes, the great Creator, Calling all the world to own Him,
the Judge and Lord of nature, Seated on His Father's throne!

Lo! He comes, constrained to borrow shelter from yon stabled shed;
He who shall, through years of sorrow Have not where to lay His head!
Lo! He comes, all grief expelling From the hearts that Him receive!
He to each with Him a dwelling In His Father's house will give.

Man of human flesh partaking, Offspring of the Virgin's womb,
Who, the hopeless wand'rer seeking, Deigned in lowly guise to come!
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Praise to Christ, incarnate word!
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Praise, O Praise ye Him, the living Lord!

Offertory Anthem: “Unexpected and Mysterious” Robert Buckley Farlee (1950)

We are called to ponder mystery and await the coming Christ.” With these words, Jeannette Lindholm (1961) begins the
final stanza of her Advent hymn “Unexpected and Mysterious.”  The words offer invitation and challenge. What does it
mean to ponder mystery? How do the hymns we sing serve as one way to embrace the unexpected mystery of God come
among us in Jesus? The fact that Lindholm took up the art of hymn writing is less of a mystery. Music and hymns
surrounded her throughout her childhood in Minnesota. Her mother and grandmother played the piano. “I grew up singing
hymns, she said. This nurturing in music was accompanied by an early love of poetry, culminating in doctoral studies in
women in literature. Lindholm’s interest in the topic and the Bible can be seen in “Unexpected and Mysterious,” written in
1996, early in her career. At the center of this hymn is the story of Mary and Elizabeth as recorded in Luke. Lindholm has
always been drawn to this story for the way the two women relate to one another. “Elizabeth embodies so much grace to
Mary,” she said. “They embodied grace for each other.” When we consider Mary and song, it makes perfect sense to think
first of her song, the Magnificat. But, Lindholm noted, “Mary does not sing this song until after her encounter with
Elizabeth.” We wonder if Elizabeth’s affirmation encouraged Mary in her song.

Robert Buckley Farlee is a graduate of Christ Seminary-Seminex, St. Louis, Missouri. He also serves on the worship
editorial staff at Augsburg Fortress Publishers, and was deeply involved in the recent publication of Evangelical Lutheran

Unexpected and mysterious
is the gentle word of grace.
Everloving and sustaining
is the peace of God's embrace.
If we falter in our courage
and we doubt what we have known,
God is faithful to console us
as a mother tends her own.

In a momentary meeting
of eternity and time,
Mary learned that she would carry
both the mortal and divine.
Then she learned of God's compassion,
of Elizabeth's great joy,
and she ran to greet the woman
who would recognize her boy.

We are called to ponder myst'ry
and await the coming Christ,
to embody God's compassion
for each fragile human life.
God is with us in our longing
to bring healing to the earth,
while we watch with joy and wonder
for the promised Savior's birth.

Text: Jeannette M. Lindholm, b. 1961
Text © 2002 Jeannette M. Lindholm, admin. Augsburg Fortress.

Communion Anthem  “Song of the Advents” Russell Schulz-Widmar (1944) 

This is a new setting of a hymn text by Godfrey Thring (1823-1903). Thring wrote many hymns and published several hymnals, including Hymns Congregational (1866), Hymns and Sacred Lyrics (1874), and the respect­ed A Church of England Hymn Book Adapted to the Daily Services of the Church. The text has passed into numerous hymn-books in Great Britain and America, and is one of the most widely used of Thring's compositions. In the American Baptist Praise Book, 1871, it is given in an abridged form, beginning with stanza iii., "Jesus comes to souls rejoicing." The text is slightly modified throughout.

Russell Schulz-Widmar is a composer, author, and conductor, and a former Professor of Liturgical Music at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. For much of his career he lived in Austin, Texas and upon retirement he has divided his time between Berlin, Germany and Dallas, Texas. 

Jesus came, adored by angels,
came with peace from realms on high;
Jesus came for our redemption,
lowly came on earth to die:
Alleluia, alleluia!
came in deep humility.

Jesus comes again in mercy,
when our hearts are bowed with care;
Jesus comes again in answer
to our earnest heartfelt prayer;
Alleluia, alleluia!
comes to save us from despair.

Jesus comes to hearts rejoicing,
bringing news of sins forgiven;
Jesus comes in sounds of gladness,
leading souls redeemed to heaven;
Alleluia, alleluia!
now the gate of death is riven.

4 Jesus comes on clouds triumphant,
when the heavens shall pass away;
Jesus comes again in glory;
let us then our homage pay:
Alleluia, alleluia!
till the dawn of endless day.

Closing Voluntary: "Toccata on 'Veni Emmanuel'" Adolphus Hailstork (1941)

Adolphus Hailstork is an American composer and educator. His works blend musical ideas from both the African American and European traditions. He is currently working on his Fourth Symphony, and A KNEE ON A NECK (tribute to George Floyd) for chorus and orchestra.

Hymn of the Day "Awake, Awake, and Greet the New Morn” ELW 242
Text: Marty Haugen (1950)
Tune: REJOICE, REJOICE, Marty Haugen

Marty Haugen the author of this hymn and composer of its tune, explains how they were written. "In 1982," he says, "my family decided to exchange 'non-material' gifts for Christmas. I drew the name of my aunt, Marie Smedsrud (whose husband, Gordon, was at that time campus pastor at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa). 'Awake, Awake' was written as my gift to her that Christmas." Haugen originally wrote it "as a Christmas hymn... but, as there is more room in our repertoire for Advent carols than Christmas carols, it soon was changed." In 1983 it was published as a Christmas anthem entitled "Rejoice, Rejoice." In Worship- Third Edition (1986) it became an Advent hymn, a call to wake up and greet the dawning of a new day. The opening words were changed to "Awake! Awake," and the third line of the first stanza was changed from "now he is born" to "soon he is born."

Marty Haugen is a prolific liturgical composer with many songs included in hymnals across the liturgical spectrum of North American hymnals and beyond, with many songs translated into different languages. He was raised in the American Lutheran Church, received a BA in psychology from Luther College, yet found his first position as a church musician in a Roman Catholic parish at a time when the Roman Catholic Church was undergoing profound liturgical and musical changes after Vatican II. Finding a vocation in that parish to provide accessible songs for worship, he continued to compose and to study, receiving an MA in pastoral studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul Minnesota. A number of liturgical settings were prepared for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and more than 400 of his compositions are available from several publishers, especially GIA Publications, who also produced some 30 recordings of his songs. He is composer-in-residence at Mayflower Community Congregational Church in Minneapolis and continues to compose and travel to speak and teach at worship events around the world

The tune “Awake, Awake” was intended to be a variation upon traditional carols that can be sung on either organ or guitar. It takes its title from the original anthem that Haugen wrote. It propels the text's wake-up calls by its sprightly opening leaps, from which the rest of the tune evolves.

Offertory Anthem: “Prepare the Way, O Zion” Robert Lau (1943)

Robert Lau has composed a choral setting of the Swedish hymn tune, “Bereden väg för Herran” with its dancing tune, a text calling for the highway to be made straight and offering peace, freedom, justice, truth and love.

Prepare the way, O Zion,
your Christ is drawing near!
Let every hill and valley
a level way appear.
Greet One who comes in glory,
foretold in sacred story.

O blest is Christ who came
in God’s most holy name.

He brings God’s rule, O Zion;
he comes from heaven above.
His rule is peace and freedom,
and justice, truth, and love.
Lift high your praise resounding,
for grace and joy abounding. [Refrain]

Fling wide your gates, O Zion;
your Savior’s rule embrace,
and tidings of salvation
proclaim in every place.
All lands will bow rejoicing,
their adoration voicing. [Refrain]

Opening Voluntary: “Meditation on ‘St. Thomas,’ (Lo, He Comes)” Charles Callahan (1951)

Charles Callahan is a native of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Callahan is well-known as an award-winning composer, organist, choral conductor, pianist, and teacher. He is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, Pa., and The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC.

Closing Voluntary: “Consolation” (The King Shall Come) David N. Johnson (1922-1987)

CONSOLATION is a folk tune that has some resemblance to the traditional English tune for "Old King Cole." The tune appeared anonymously as MORNING SONG in Part II of John Wyeth’s Repository of Sacred Music (1813). In 1816 it was credited to "Mr. Dean," which some scholars believe was a misprinted reference to Elkanah K. Dare, a composer who contributed more than a dozen tunes to Wyeth's Repository. In the original harmonization the melody was in the tenor. To keep everyone on their toes, the tune is also known as KENTUCKY HARMONY, its title in Ananias Davisson's Kentucky Harmony (1816), where it was paired with the text "Once More, My Soul, the Rising Day."

David N. Johnson was an American organist, composer, educator, choral clinician, and lecturer. He studied organ and composition at Curtis Institute of Music. Johnson's Trumpet Tune in D (1962) is the opening and closing theme for the weekly radio show With Heart and Voice. Johnson's Trumpet Tune in D was also the first of two processionals used for the 1971 wedding of Tricia Nixon.

Hymn of the Day: “Comfort, Comfort Now My People” ELW 256
Text: John Olearius (1611-1684), tr. Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878)
Tune: FREU DICH SEHR or GENEVAN 42, Claude Goudimel (1505-1572), Louis Bourgeois (1510-1561)

Born into a family of Lutheran theologians, Olearius received his education at the University of Wittenberg and later taught theology there. He was ordained a Lutheran pastor and appointed court preacher to Duke August of Sachsen-Weissenfels in Halle and later to Duke Johann Adolph in Weissenfels. Olearius wrote a commentary on the entire Bible, published various devotional books, and produced a translation of the Imitatio Christi by Thomas a Kempis. In the history of church music Olearius is mainly remembered for his hymn collection, the Geistliche Singe-Kunst, which was widely used in Lutheran churches.

It was one of the largest and most important German hymn-books of the 17th century. The first edition contained 302 hymns by Olearius himself, and marked "D. J. O." They may best be described as useful, being for times and seasons previously unprovided for, and filling up many gaps in the various sections of the German hymn-books. They are mostly short, many of only two verses, simple and easy of comprehension, often happy in expression and engaging, as is today’s Hymn of the Day, and embodying in a concise form the leading ideas of the season or subject. Many were speedily adopted into German hymn-books, and a considerable number are still in use.

The music of Claude Goudimel was first published in Paris, and by 1551 he was composing harmonizations for some Genevan psalm tunes, initially for use by both Roman Catholics and Protestants.

In both his early and later years Louis Bourgeois wrote French songs to entertain the rich, but in the history of church music he is known especially for his contribution to the Genevan Psalter.

Louis Bourgeois composed or adapted this tune for Psalm 42 for the Genevan psalter. The 1564 harmonization by Claude Goudimel originally placed the melody in the tenor. An alternate harmonization with descants by Johann Crüger can be found in the Psalter Hymnal.

Organists will find preludes to this tune under GENEVAN 42 in Dutch works or under FREU DICH SEHR in German works.

Offertory Anthem: “In Night’s Dim Shadows” Robert Lehman (1960)

This is a beautiful strophic setting of the Advent text by Charles Coffin (1676-1749). Robert Lehman is an American conductor, organist, harpsichordist and composer. He has served on the staff of several distinguished churches, including the Washington National Cathedral (of which he is a Fellow), the Princeton University Chapel, and Saint Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, New York City.

In night’s dim shadows lying,
Our limbs fast lock’d in sleep,
to thee, with faithful sighing,
Our souls their vigil keep.

Desire of every nation,
Hear, Lord, our piteous cry;
Thou Word, the world’s salvation,
Uplift us where we lie.

Lord, be thine Advent hasten’d,
Lest sin thy people mar;
The gates which Adam fasten’d —
The gates of heav’n, unbar.

Son, to thine endless merit,
Redeemer, Saviour, Friend,
With Sire and Holy Spirit
Be praises without end. Amen.

Opening Voluntary: “Freu dich sehr, O miene Seele” Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933)

Sigfrid Karg-Elert was a German composer in the early twentieth century, best known for his compositions for pipe organ and reed organ. His 66 Chorale Improvisations for organ, Op. 65, were composed between 1906 and 1908, and first published in six volumes in 1909. The composition was dedicated to "the great organist Alexandre Guilmant". Today’s Opening Voluntary,“Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele,” ("Comfort, Comfort Ye”) Opus 65, No. 5, is from the series. It is a succinct piece in a lilting 3/4 meter marked “Alla Sarabanda” and a good example of Karg-Elert’s text-painting abilities, which are extensive and never timid. In this piece, he is rather quiet and reflective. Notable composers who influenced his work include Johann Sebastian Bach, Edvard Grieg (a personal friend and mentor), Claude Debussy, Alexander Scriabin and Arnold Schoenberg.

Closing Voluntary “Besancon” (People Look East), Wayne L. Wold (1954)

This engaging carol, published in 52 hymnals with various texts, is a French traditional tune, harmonized by Martin Shaw (1875-1958).

Wayne Wold is professor and College organist at Hood College. He is an active composer, author, performer, church musician and clinician, and serves as the director of Music Ministry at First Lutheran Church in Ellicott City, Maryland.

He is also editor and frequent author of a monthly column entitled “Musicians on the Side” in the journal The American Organist. He served on the editorial committee for the hymnal Evangelical Lutheran Worship.

Hymn of the Day: #902, "Come Now, O God"
Text: David Bjorlin, (1984)
Tune: LOST IN THE NIGHT Finnish Folk Tune

The tune lost in the night was David Bjorlin’s inspiration for this Advent hymn of lamentation. Referencing Isaiah 7:10-17, Isaiah 64:1-9, and Matthew 1:18-25, this text was published as part of Bjorlin’s collected poetry, Protest of Praise, of which he says, “True praise is always a protest against all that curses or denigrates the Creator’s world.” In “Come, now, O God,” we can name and make ours the messianic expectations of the Old Testament prophets. They remind us that true protest is, at its core, the courage to envision the world not as it is, but as it can be.

Offertory Anthem: “Thou Shalt Know Him When He Comes”, Mark Sirett (1952)

Mark Sirett is one of Canada’s leading choral composers, fully versed in the craft of choral writing and always bringing something original to his compositions and arrangements. His award-winning works have been performed, recorded and broadcast by leading ensembles worldwide, including Chanticleer, VocalEssence and Elora Singers.

Thou shalt know him when he comes,
Not by any din of drums,
Nor his manners, nor his airs,
Nor by any thing he wears.

Thou shalt know him when he comes,
Not by a crown nor by a gown,
But his coming known shall be,
By the holy harmony
Which his coming makes in thee.
Thou shalt know him when he comes.

Amen. Amen.

Opening Voluntary: “Nun komm , der Heiden Heiland” and CLOSING VOLUNTARY “Wachet Auf” Paul Manz (1919-2009)

Paul Otto Manz was an American composer for choir and organ. As a performer, Manz was most famous for his celebrated hymn festivals. Instead of playing traditional organ recitals, Manz would generally lead a "festival" of hymns from the organ, in which he introduced each hymn with one of his famously creative organ improvisations based on the hymn tune in question. The congregation would then sing the hymn with his accompaniment. Many volumes of these neo-Baroque chorale prelude improvisations have been written out and published and are among his most famous organ works, played by church organists throughout the world. Today’s Voluntaries are two of those improvisations.

Hym of the Day: “Holy God, Holy and Glorious” ELW 637
Text: Susan R. Briehl (1952)
Tune: NELSON, Robert Buckley Farlee (1950)

In 1993 Paul Nelson was appointed director for worship in the Division for Congregational Ministries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He died
on October 28, 2000, after a lengthy disease for which he received a blood and bone marrow transplant. Susan Briehl wrote this hymn text two or three weeks
before he died. Here is how she describes it:

I wrote "Holy God, holy and glorious" not as a hymn text, but as a gift to our friend Paul Nelson as he grew mysteriously weaker and weaker. A theologian of the cross to the end, Paul proclaimed Christ to me and to many in his dying, just as he had in his living. Later, when he invited me to pray the intercessions at his funeral I drew images from this poem for the prayers. Because it was not intended as a hymn I am especially grateful to Robert Buckley Farlee, who was willing to work with this odd meter. The hymn sings what Martin Luther called a theology of the cross. God's glory and majesty are hidden under their opposites. The eternal Word becomes frail flesh in Jesus in whose life, suffering, death, and resurrection we behold God. God's strength is revealed in weakness, God's beauty in what humans despise, God's wisdom in foolishness, and God's life in death.

Organ Voluntaries  “Nun danket alle Gott” Jeffrey Honoré (1956) and Toccata “Nu la oss takke Gud” Egil Hovland (1924-2013)

For the Voluntaries today I offer two contrasting settings of the tune “Now Thank We All Our God.”  The German hymn text was written by Martin Rinkart in 1636 as a table grace for his family. Johann Crüger, published the melody in the 1647 edition of his Praxis pietatis melica. Catherine Winkworth translated the hymn into English.

Jeffrey Honoré has placed Cruger’s melody, delicately ornamented, over a gentle, quiet accompaniment, creating a reflective setting that is very peaceful.  Honoré graduated magna cum laude with a degree in music from the University of Wisconsin. He taught high school choral music in Ripon, Wisconsin. Since 1984, he has worked full time as a pastoral musician in the Catholic tradition, serving parishes in Milwaukee and Phoenix. He also has been the director of the Milwaukee Archdiocesan Choir since the mid-1990s. He remains active in handbell, choral, and organ writing, mainly for the church.

In this exuberant toccata by Norwegian composer Egil Hovland, the hymn tune sounds out in canon between the top notes of rapid finger figurations and the bass notes of the pedal.

Hovland (1924-2013) was born in Råde. He studied at the Oslo conservatory with Arild Sandvold and Bjarne Brustad, in Copenhagen with Vagn Holmboe, at Tanglewood with Aaron Copland, and in Florence with Luigi Dallapiccola. He was the organist and choir leader in Fredrikstad from 1949 until his death. His many works include two symphonies, a concerto for trumpet and strings, Music for Ten Instruments, a set of variations for two pianos, and a lament for orchestra. His sacred works include a Norwegian Te Deum, a Gloria, a Magnificat, and numerous works for organ. He was one of the most noted church composers of Norway.

Offertory Anthem  “Welcome Table” Mark Hayes

This is a setting of the African American spiritual "I’m a-Goin'-a Eat at the Welcome Table” arranged by Mark Hayes. Even though this song sings of feasting at the Lord’s table, it is not about the sacramental table alone. We sing this song in hope of the time when, “some of these days,” all will be welcomed to the feast of the Lord at both earthly and heavenly tables.

I'm a-goin'-a eat at the welcome table,
I'm a-goin'-a eat at the welcome table,
some of these days.

I'm a-goin'-a feast on milk and honey,
I'm a-goin'-a feast on milk and honey,
some of these days.

I'm a-goin'-a wade 'cross Jordan's river,
I'm a-goin'-a wade 'cross Jordan's river,
some of these days.

Hymn of the Day: “When Our World Is Rent by Violence” ACS 1052
Text: David Bjorlin (1984)
Tune: FORTUNATUS NEW Carl F. Schalk, (1929-2021)

The music of lament is not always slow and mournful. Sometimes it can be agitated and despairing. Hymnwriter David Bjorlin, a pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church, gives us a text in the great tradition of sung lament that goes back to the Psalms. The painful naming of afflictions that beset our world is joined to prayers for justice and relief. The musical urgency of Carl Schalk’s sturdy hymn tune gives strong voice to this plea for justice, mercy, and peace.

Opening Voluntary “Chant de Paix” Jean Langlais (1907-1991) 

Jean Langlais was a blind French composer of modern classical music, organist, and improviser. He was born in La Fontenelle, a small village near Mont St Michel, France. He became blind when he was only two years old, and was sent to study at the National Institute for the Young Blind in Paris, where he began to study the organ. From there, he progressed to the Paris Conservatoire, obtaining prizes in organ, which he studied with Marcel Dupré, composition, which he studied with Paul Dukas, and improvisation, which he studied with André Marchal.

After graduating, he returned to the National Institute for the Young Blind to teach, and also taught at the Schola Cantorum from 1961 to 1976. However, it was as an organist that he made his name, following in the steps of César Franck and Charles Tournemire as Organist Titulaire at the Basilica of Sainte Clotilde in Paris in 1945, a post in which he remained until 1987. He was much in demand as a concert organist, and toured widely across Europe and the United States.

Outside music, Langlais was a colorful and charismatic character, for many years living with both his first wife and his mistress (later to become his second wife), and fathering a child at the age of 73.

Langlais died in Paris aged 84, and was survived by his second wife Marie-Louise Jaquet-Langlais.

Offertory Anthem “Lost in the Night” Hal H. Hopson. 

This anthem is based on a Finnish folk tune most often paired with this text which appears in 8 hymnals. This is a haunting hymn of longing for morning to come and vanquish the dark night's despair. It comes from the Scandinavian Lutheran heritage through Lutheran Book of Worship (1978). The basis of the hymn is a Finnish love song. The last line can be translated "Are you coming soon?" It can be found in The Covenant Hymnal (1996) at #769 with an English translation that begins "Hide not your face." No other tune in Evangelical Lutheran Worship starts like this one, with an upward minor sixth--which, when coupled to this text, helps to explain the haunting quality.

Hal H. Hopson (1933) is a prolific composer, arranger, clinician, teacher and promoter of congregational song, with more than 1300 published works, especially of hymn and psalm arrangements, choir anthems, and creative ideas for choral and organ music in worship.

Lost in the night do the people yet languish 
Longing for morning the darkness to vanquish, 
Plaintively sighing with hearts full of anguish, 
Will not day come soon? Will not day come soon? 

Must we be vainly awaiting the morrow? 
Shall those who have light no light let us borrow, 
Giving no heed to our burden of sorrow? 
Will you help us soon? Will you help us soon? 

Sorrowing wand’rers, in darkness yet dwelling, 
Dawned has the day of a radiance excelling, 
Death’s deepest shadows forever dispelling. 
Christ is coming soon! Christ is coming soon! 

Light o’er the land of the needy is beaming; 
Rivers of life through its deserts are streaming, 
Bringing all peoples a Savior redeeming. 
Come and save us soon! Come and save us soon!

— Tr. Olav Lee (1859-1943) alt.

Closing Voluntary: “LAUDES DOMINI” (When Morning Gilds the Skies) Robert A. Hobby (1962)

Robert Hobby is an organist, choir director, clinician and composer based in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Hymn of the Day: “For All the Saints,” ELW 422
Text: William W. How (1823-1807)
Tune: SINE NOMINE, Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958).

Ralph Vaughan Williams composed SINE NOMINE for this text and published it in the English Hymnal in 1906. Vaughan Williams wrote two harmonizations- one for unison stanzas and one for choral stanzas. The tune's title means "without name" and follows the Renaissance tradition of naming certain compositions "Sine Nomine" if they were not settings for preexisting tunes.

Equipped with a "walking" bass, SINE NOMINE is a glorious marching tune for this great text. Many consider this tune to be among the finest of twentieth-century hymn tunes. Allowing the "alleluia" phrase to enter before our expectation of it is a typical and very effective Vaughan Williams touch.

"For All the Saints" is considered to be William W. How's finest hymn text. Originally in eleven stanzas, it was published in Earl Nelson's Hymns for Saints' Days (1864) with the heading, "Saints' Day Hymn.

Offertory Anthem: “REQUIEM,” Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)

Puccini wrote this short Requiem – actually the setting of the antiphon to the Introit of the Mass for the Dead – as a commission for the publisher Giulio Ricordi for the fourth anniversary of the death of Giuseppe Verdi (1905).

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

Opening Voluntary: “Den Store Hvide Flok,“ John Ferguson (1941)

DEN STORE HVIDE FLOK (also known as BEHOLD A HOST and GREAT WHITE HOST) is a seventeenth-century Norwegian folk tune from Heddal that Ludvig Lineman published in his Aeldre og nyere norske fjeldmelodier (Oslo, 1853). The harmonization in the hymnal is from Edvard Grieg's Opus 30, #10, for male chorus.

John Ferguson is an American organist, teacher and composer. He became the Elliot & Klara Stockdahl Johnson professor of organ and church music at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, and later became the conductor of the St. Olaf Cantorei

Closing Voluntary: “Vineyard Haven” ("Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart”), Robert J. Powell (1932)

Today we can indulge ourselves when singing E. H. Plumptre’s text "Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart" to the familiar tune, MARION, with its appealing melodic contour and an effective refrain line, followed by Robert J. Powell’s stately organ setting of another one of our great twentieth-century hymn tunes, VINYARD HAVEN, composed by Richard Dirksen in 1974 for the text "Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart" as a processional choral anthem for the installation of Presiding Bishop John Maury Allin at the Washington (D.C.) Cathedral, also known as the National Cathedral. VINEYARD HAVEN was first published as a hymn tune in Ecumenical Praise. Dirksen wrote that the quality of rejoicing was intended to foreshadow the raising of "such 'Hosannas' forever in [God's] presence and with the company of heaven in the life eternal." The tune is named after the town on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, where the Very Reverend Francis B. Sayre, Jr., who was then Dean of Washington Cathedral, had his permanent home.

Robert J. Powell earned his Bachelor of Music in Organ and Composition from Louisiana State University in 1954 and his Master of Sacred Music from Union Theological Seminary School of Sacred Music, New York in 1958. He holds Certificates of Fellow (FAGO) and Choirmaster (ChM) from the American Guild of Organists and is a member of American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers( ASCAP). He has received the Standard Music Award from ASCAP for the last 35 years.

MOTET #3: Jesu, Meine Freude, BWV 227, Johann Sebastain Bach

All of Bach’s six authenticated motets were written between 1723 and 1727 for St Thomas’ Church, Leipzig, where Bach was appointed as director of music in 1723. During this period, Bach composed most of his cantatas, and it seems likely that for ordinary Sunday services he used existing motets from the seventeenth century tradition, reserving his own motet compositions for special occasions.
Four of his six motets were written for the funeral services of prominent members of the St Thomas’ congregation. Jesu, Meine Freude (BWV 227), the longest, most musically complex and earliest of the six, was written in 1723 for the funeral of Johanna Maria Käsin, the wife of Leipzig’s postmaster. It is a beautifully constructed motet, one of the few works by Bach for five-part mixed choir. Unique in its complex symmetrical structure juxtaposing hymn text and Bible text, the motet has been regarded as one of Bach's greatest achievements in the genre. Musicologist and Bach scholar Christoph Wolff suggested that the motet may have been composed for education in both choral singing and theology. It was the first of his motets to be recorded, in 1927.

Motet BWV 227 Jesu Meine Freude

1. Jesu, meine Freude
Jesus, priceless treasure
My heart’s delight,
Jesus, my joy,
Ah how long, ah how long
Must my heart be fearful,
Longing for you.
Lamb of God, my bridegroom,
Besides you there is on earth
Nothing else dearer to me.

3. Unter deinem Schirmen
Beneath your protection
I am free from the raging
Of all enemies.
Let Satan nose around,
Let the enemy be exasperated,
Jesus stands by me.
Lightnings flash and thunders crash,
Even though sin and hell terrify,
Jesus will protect me.

4. Denn das Gesetz
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death
(Romans 8:2)

7. Weg mit alle Schätzen
Away with all treasures!
You are my delight,
Jesus, my desire!
Away with all vain honors,
I do not want to hear of you,
Remain unknown to me!
Sorrow, need, the cross, shame, and death,
However much I must suffer
That will never separate me from Jesus.

8. So aber Christus in euch ist
But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of
righteousness (Romans 8:10).

9. Gute Nacht, o Wesen
Good night, earthly existence.
What the world has to offer
Does not please me at all.
Good night, you sins.
Stay far away,
Come no more into the Light!
Good night, arrogance and show!
To everything about you, sinful existence,
I say good night.

11. Weicht, ihr Trauergeister
Be gone, you spirits of sorrow,
For my Lord of gladness,
Jesus, enters in.
For those who love God
Even their grief
Must become pure delight.
Here I may have scorn and derision,
Nonetheless, even in suffering you remain
Jesus, priceless treasure.

-Gordon Lathrop

Closing Voluntary: “Ein feste Burg” Flor Peeters (1903-1986)

Flor Peeters is, at least among church musicians, the most famous Belgian composer of the 20th century. The most salient feature of his style is its abundant optimism. Influenced by Gregorian chant, Belgian folk music and classical forms, Peeters created music with bright tonalities, enhanced by added notes, that is part of a fabric that freely alternates rhythmically active counterpoint with more introspective lyrical passages. He wrote many kinds of liturgical music including Masses, latin motets, and English anthems.

Hymn of the Day: “Lord Jesus, think on me” (ELW 599)
Text: Synaceus of Cyrene
Tune: SOUTHWELL, William Damen (1540-1591)

This text was written in the early fifth century by Synesius, who lived in Cyrene, North Africa (present-day Libya), during a time that his city was suffering from war and natural disasters. The first stanza, pleading for forgiveness, sounds as if the tax collector could sing it, and later stanzas refer in metaphoric ways to the chaos of Synesius’ society. 

— Gail Ramshaw

Damon was a foreign composer resident in England. He arrived around 1566 as a servant of Sir Thomas Sackville. In 1576 he became a recorder player at the Court of Elizabeth I. He was described as having been born in "Luke" and "Lewklande" and, on the assumption that these names refer to Luik or Liège, it has been inferred that he was a Walloon. However contemporary London records describe him as an Italian and a later reference refers to him having been born in "Luke in Italy", i.e. Lucca. His unanglicised name may have been Gulielmo (or Gulielmus) Damano.

Offertory Anthem: “Though All the World Below” Robert Lehman 

The tune, Captain Kidd, takes its name from a ballad about the notorious pirate. A somewhat related tune called HONOR TO THE HILLS was published in The Christian Harmony in 1805. It was first published under the name “Captain Kidd” in 1818.  Further versions appear in shape note tune books, including The Southern Harmony in 1835.

Through all the world below, 
God is seen all around; 
Search hills and valleys through, 
There he's found. 
The growing of the corn, 
The lily and the thorn, 
The pleasant and forlorn, 
All declare God is there, 
In the meadows dressed in green, 
There he's seen.

See springs of water rise, 
Fountains flow, rivers run; 
The mist below the skies 
Hides the sun; 
Then down the rain doth pour 
The ocean it doth roar, 
And dash against the shore, 
All to praise, in their lays, 
That God that ne'er declines 
His designs.

The sun, to my surprise, 
Speaks of God as he flies: 
The comets in their blaze Give him praise; 
The shining of the stars 
The moon as it appears, 
His sacred name declares; 
See them shine, all divine! 
The shades in silence prove 
God's above.

Opening Voluntary: “Prelude” Henry Sumsion (1899-1995) 

Herbert Whitton Sumsion CBE was an English musician who was organist of Gloucester Cathedral from 1928 to 1967. Through his leadership role with the Three Choirs Festival, Sumsion maintained close associations with major figures in England's 20th-century musical renaissance, including Edward Elgar, Herbert Howells, Gerald Finzi, and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Although Sumsion is known primarily as a cathedral musician, his professional career spanned more than 60 years and encompassed composing, conducting, performing, accompanying, and teaching. His compositions include works for choir and organ, as well as lesser-known chamber and orchestral works.

Closing Voluntary: “Now Let Us All Loudly” Heely Willan

This is a setting of the hymn tune “Now Let Us All Loudly,” (Nun preiset alle) by Matthäus Apelles von Löwenstern.  Löwenstern’s hymns, thirty in all, are of very varied worth, many being written in imitation of antique verse forms, and on the mottoes of the princes under whom he had served. In the original editions they were accompanied with melodies by himself. When or where they were first published (cir. 1644) is not clear.

Hymn of the Day: “There Is a Longing in Our Hearts” (ACS 1078)
Text: Anne Quigley, b. 1955
Tune: Anne Quigley

This hymn illustrates two sides of human longing for God: it yearns for God’s reign of healing, wholeness, justice, and freedom as it calls for God’s presence within suffering. The musical setting has a steady forward motion, as if to encourage its singers to have confidence in a God who hears and answers prayer. “There is a longing in our hearts” may function as a call to prayer or as the prayers of the worshiping assembly; it can also gather the assembly to worship or call it to confession.

Opening Voluntary: “Pastorale,” Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933)

Sigfrid Karg-Elert regarded himself as an outsider. Notable influences in his work include composers Johann Sebastian Bach (he often used the BACH motif in Bach's honor), Edvard Grieg, Claude Debussy, Max Reger, Alexander Scriabin, and early Arnold Schoenberg. In general terms, his musical style can be characterized as being late-romantic with impressionistic and expressionistic tendencies. His profound knowledge of music theory allowed him to stretch the limits of traditional harmony without losing tonal coherence.

Choir Anthem: “Jesus Is Calling” Aaron David Miller

Aaron David Miller is noted for his highly imaginative and creative style, found in his performances, improvisations and compositions. In this piece, he brings to life this much loved text with integrity and beauty.

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, calling for you and for me; see, on the portals he's waiting and watching, watching for you and for me.

Refrain: Come home, come home; you who are weary come home; earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, calling, O sinner, come home!

2 Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading, pleading for you and for me? Why should we linger and heed not his mercies, mercies for you and for me? [Refrain]

3 Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing, passing from you and from me; shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming, coming for you and for me. [Refrain]

4 O for the wonderful love he has promised, promised for you and for me! Though we have sinned, he has mercy and pardon, pardon for you and for me. [Refrain]

— Will Thompson (1847-1909)

Closing Voluntary: “What God Ordains Is Always Good,” Paul Manz (1919-2009)

Paul Manz long served the church as recitalist, composer, teacher and leader in worship. He was Cantor Emeritus at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saint Luke, Chicago, Illinois; as well as Cantor Emeritus of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was the director of the newly established Paul Manz Institute of Church Music, and was Professor Emeritus of Church Music at Christ Seminary Seminex at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. His musical compositions are internationally known. His organ works are extensively used in worship services, recitals and in teaching.