Monday, January 25, 2016

January 31, 2016

Each week, you may find information here about the music in the traditional worship services at First United Methodist Church in Lewisville, Texas.  Some of this information is original; much of it is "borrowed" from other sources such as Wikipedia, GBOD, and hymnary.org.  It is my hope that this information will enhance your understanding and enrich your worship experience.  

About the Organ Music:

O Gott, du frommer Gott – Flor Peeters
Johann Heerman (1585-1657), son of a furrier, was the fifth but only surviving child of his parents. During a severe illness in his childhood, his mother vowed that if he recovered she would educate him for the ministry, even though she had to beg the necessary money. He was appointed diaconus of Koben, a small town on the Oder, in 1611, and was promoted to the pastorate there.  Much of Heermann's life was spent amid the distressing scenes of the Thirty Years' War; and by his own ill health and his domestic trials he was trained to write his beautiful hymns of “Cross and Consolation." Between 1629 and 1634, Koben was plundered four times by the Lichtenstein dragoons and the rough hordes under Wallenstein sent into Silesia by the King of Austria in order to bring about the Counter-Reformation and restore the Roman Catholic faith and practice; while in 1616 the town was devastated by fire, and in 1631 by pestilence. In these troublous years Heermann several times lost all his moveables; once he had to keep away from Koben for seventeen weeks; twice he was nearly sabred; and once, while crossing the Oder in a frail boat loaded almost to sinking, he heard the bullets of the pursuing soldiers whistle just over his head. He bore all with courage and patience.  After 1623 he suffered from an affliction of the throat, which compelled him to cease preaching in 1634. 
As a hymnwriter, Heermann ranks with the best of his century.  He began writing Latin poems about 1605 and was recognized for his poetry at Brieg in 1608. He represents the transition from the objective standpoint of the hymnwriters of the Reformation period to the more subjective and experimental school that followed him. His hymns are distinguished by depth and tenderness of feeling; by firm faith and confidence in face of trial; by deep love to Christ, and humble submission to the will of God.In his House and Heart Music some of his finest hymns are in the section entitled "Songs of Tears. In the time of the persecution and distress of pious Christians."
Oh God, you righteous god you source of good gifts,
without whom nothing exists that does exist, from whom we have everything :
give me a healthy body and grant that in such a body
there may remain an inviolate soul and a pure conscience.

Grant that I may do diligently what it is my duty to do,
as your command guides me in my position.
Grant that I may do it promptly, at the time when I should,
and when I do it, then grant that it may turn out well!

Help me, so that I may always say what I can stand by,
let no useless word come from my mouth,
and when in my office I should and must speak,
then give my words force and weight without causing vexation.

If there is danger, then let me not despair,
give me heroic courage, help me to bear my cross !
Grant that I may overcome my enemies with gentleness.
And if I need counsel may I find good counsel.

Let me with everyone live in peace and friendship,
as far as is Christian. If you want to give me anything to do with
wealth, property and money, then give this also,
that nothing may be mixed up with any goods that are unjust.

If in this world I have to live my life longer,
through many a bitter step  press on to old age,
then give me patience. From sin and shame protect me,
so that I may bear with honour my grey hair

At my end let me depart relying on Christ's death,
take my soul to you to your joys in heaven,
bestow a little space on my body, a grave by my parents,
so that it may have peace by their side.

On that day when you will awaken the dead,
then stretch out your hand to my grave,
let me hear your voice, and awaken my body
and lead it beautiful and transformed to the multitude of your chosen people!

Flor Peeters (1903-1986) was an important Belgian composer, organist and teacher.  When sixteen years old, he began his studies at the Lemmens Institute in Mechelen (since moved to Leuven), which was named after the nineteenth-century organist Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens.  In 1923 he became an organ teacher at the Institute; simultaneously he acquired the position of chief organist at the St. Rumbold's Cathedral in Mechelen, which he held for most of the rest of his life;  As an organist and pedagogue, Peeters enjoyed great renown, giving concerts and liturgical masterclasses all over the world. He also made recordings of sixteenth-, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century organ music; some of these have been reissued in recent years on compact disc. Most of his own pieces (he wrote well over 100) were for organ, for choir, or for both. Peeters was created a baron by King Baudouin of Belgium in 1971.

Wo Gott zum Haus nicht gibt sein Gunst – J. C. Bach

Johann Kolrose (c.1487-1558) was a German poet, philologist, and pedagogue.  In 1528, he became director of the boys’ elementary school in Basel, and in 1530, he published a textbook for drama.  He wrote hymns texts for the Reformation. “Wo Gott zum Haus” was written in 1525 and published in Geistliche Lieder (1535).  It is a versified paraphrase of the Psalm 127.

If God will not the building bless, The builders’ toil is meaningless;
If God the city not maintain, The watchman waketh but in vain.

Oh, vain it is, ere dawn to rise, Or late to shut your weary eyes,
Or bread of sorrows to digest, For God shall give His lov’d ones rest.

Our children are God’s heritage, His gift to us, His goodly pledge;
As arrows in the hand of might, So is the youth in God’s own sight.

That man is happy and at ease, Who hath his quiver full of these;
They shall not fall to shame and woe, For God preserves them from their foe.

Praise God the Father and the Son And Holy Spirit, Three in One,
As ‘twas, is now, and so shall be, World without end, eternally!

Johann Sebastian Bach’s life was surrounded by Johann Christophs:  an uncle, a cousin, an older brother, and a son.  Here we have a chorale prelude by his 1st cousin once removed, who became the town organist in Eisenach in the year 1665 and court chamber musician there in 1700.  Prior to Johann Sebastian, Johann Christoph (1642-1703) would have been considered the most famous musician of the Bach family. His work is of the highest quality and, in some instances, has been improperly attributed to Johann Sebastian himself (e.g. the motet Ich lasse dich nicht). Johann Christoph composed choral works (motets and cantatas) and works for organ (preludes and fugues). Johann Sebastian described his cousin as "the great and expressive composer," and performed his works often as did Carl Philipp Emanuel.


About the Handbell Music:

Festivo! – Bob Burroughs

Bob Burroughs (b. 1937) is known primarily in music circles as a composer and arranger of church music. He is a graduate of Mars Hill College, holds a BME from Oklahoma Baptist University and a MCM with a double major in theory and composition from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and has been active in church music for 55 years. He was on the faculty of Samford University, Mercer University (Atlanta campus) and Palm Beach Atlantic University- as Composer-in-Residence and Associate Professor of Theory and Composition. He was the Director of the Church Music Department, Florida Baptist Convention, Jacksonville, Florida, until his retirement in 2001.  Burroughs has over 1,300 compositions published in the United States, and was awarded the Hines Sims Award by the Baptist Church Music Conference, June, 2007.

About the Choral Music:

One Faith, One Hope, One Lord – Craig Courtney

A native of Indiana, Craig Courtney received a Bachelors and a Masters degree in piano performance from the University of Cincinnati. He served on the faculty of the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, serving as piano teacher and accompanist for the woodwind and brass department. While serving in the music ministry of the Salzburg International Baptist Church, Courtney began composing sacred choral music. In 1985, his compositions came to the attention of John Ness Beck through the publication of his octavo, Thy Will Be Done, initiating a close working relationship between the two men which continued until Beck’s death in 1987. In making plans for the ongoing of Beckenhorst Press, Beck appointed Craig Courtney staff composer and editor. Courtney’s published works include more than two hundred choral octavos, nine vocal collections, two piano solo collections and six extended works for choir and orchestra. Courtney combines his background as pianist, cellist, vocal coach, accompanist and choral director to create works in his unique style.  

Dignified and thoughtful, this powerful affirmation of faith is harmonically rich and features beautiful choral writing, which thickens through the piece. The text is based on Ephesians 4:4-6, 13.

            One faith, one hope, one Lord, one church for which He died,
            One voice, one song, we lift in praise to Him who was and is and shall be evermore.

            There is one body, one spirit, as you were called to one hope.
            One Lord, baptism and faith, one God and Father of all, who is in you all.

            Though we be many people, diverse with various gifts,
            We are given to each other for the unity of faith,
            That we grow in the knowledge of the Son of God, in the fullness of Christ.

            One faith.  One hope.  One Lord.


About the Hymns:

Christ for the World We Sing

Samuel Wolcott (1813-1886) was born at South Windsor, Connecticut, and educated at Yale College and Andover Theological Seminary. From 1840 to 1842, he was a missionary in Syria. On his return to America, he was successively pastor of several Congregational congregations. He was Secretary of the Ohio Home Missionary Society for some time.  His hymn-writing began late in life, but has extended to more than 200 hymns, many of which are still in manuscript.  On Feb. 7, 1869, Wolcott attended a meeting of the Young Men’s Christian Association of Ohio.  The pulpit at the church where the meeting was held was inscribed, “Christ for the World, and the World for Christ.”  On the way home, Wolcott composed the hymn, “Christ for the World We Sing”. 

Take Time to Be Holy

“Take Time to Be Holy” was written by William Longstaff (1822-1894) in 1882.  Longstaff, an English businessman, had often meditated on 1 Peter 1:16, “Be ye holy, for I am holy”, and considered it to be the heart of the gospel.  Upon hearing Dr. Griffith John, a missionary from China, speak and use the phrase, “Take time and be holy”, he was inspired to write this hymn.  Longstaff showed the hymn to Ira Sankey, who in turn passed it on to American songwriter George C. Stebbins (1846-1945) to set in 1882. Stebbins laid it aside and did not recall it until an evangelistic meeting in India, during which the theme of holiness was explored. Stebbins recalled Longstaff’s hymn and set it to music for the revival. He sent his tune “HOLINESS” to Sankey, who published the hymn in New Songs and Sacred Solos (1888).

God of Grace and God of Glory

“God of grace and God of glory” was written in 1930 by Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969) for the dedication of the famous Riverside Church in New York City.   Fosdick was granted degrees from Colgate University and Union Theological Seminary. He was ordained in 1903 to ministry in the Baptist Church and became pastor of First Baptist Church, Montclair, N.J.   Fosdick served as a chaplain during World War I and then was pastor of First Presbyterian Church in New York City. From this congregation he was called to pastor Park Avenue Baptist Church, which was renamed Riverside Church.

“God of grace and God of glory” was written while the United States was in the throes of the Great Depression between the two World Wars. Fosdick was a champion of the social gospel, a movement that recognized the plight of the poor, especially in the urban Northeast during the Industrial Revolution.   UM Hymnal editor Carlton Young has noted: “Fosdick’s stirring radio sermons, books, and public pronouncements established Riverside as a forum for the critique of the same wealth and privilege whose gifts had made possible the building of the church.  Under his leadership Riverside Church was interdenominational, interracial, without a creed, and, astonishingly for Baptists, required no specific mode of baptism. At the center of Fosdick’s ministry was urban social ministry.”   Fosdick was perhaps the most vocal proponent of the social gospel of his time—a position that brought both wide acclaim and broad disdain. 


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

January 24, 2016

Each week, you may find information here about the music in the traditional worship services at First United Methodist Church in Lewisville, Texas.  Some of this information is original; much of it is "borrowed" from other sources such as Wikipedia, GBOD, and hymnary.org.  It is my hope that this information will enhance your understanding and enrich your worship experience.  

About the Organ Music:

Shepherd Me, O God – Jeffrey Honore

Marty Haugen (b. 1950) was raised in the American Lutheran Church (ALC) in Minnesota, and also writes contemporary hymns and liturgies for the Lutheran church despite being a member the United Church of Christ. Despite being a non-Catholic, his music has found favor in the both liberal Roman Catholic and Protestant congregations. Haugen holds a B.A. degree in psychology from Luther College and an M.A. degree in Pastoral Studies from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. For the past 25 years Haugen has pursued a career as a liturgical composer and workshop presenter.

His best-known works are two Lutheran liturgies, "Holden Evening Prayer" and "Now the Feast and Celebration", and settings of the Catholic mass, the most widely-know being the Mass of Creation. He has also composed dozens of other works, including liturgy settings, choral arrangements, sacred songs, and hymns, including "Here in this Place (Gather Us In)", "Canticle of the Sun", "We Are Many Parts", "We Remember", and "Shepherd Me, O God," as well as several psalm settings and paraphrases.

“Shepherd Me, O God” is a responsorial which is used in alternatum with the reading or chanting of Psalm 23 from the Psalter.

Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants,
beyond my fears, from death into life
.

Jeffrey Honoré has served as a choir director in churches of many different denominations and worked as an organist, trombonist and voice teacher. He is the liturgical music director of St. Matthias Parish in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and directs the archdiocesan choir. Jeffrey received the Vatican II Award for Distinguished Service in 1999.

Il Pastor Fido – G. F. Handel

Georg Friederich Handel (1685-1759) became a musician and composer despite objections from his father, who wanted him to become a lawyer. Handel studied music with Zachau, organist at the Halle Cathedral, and became an accomplished violinist and keyboard performer. He traveled and studied in Italy for some time and then settled permanently in England in 1713. Although he wrote a large number of instrumental works, he is known mainly for his Italian operas, oratorios (including “Messiah”, 1741), various anthems for church and royal festivities, and organ concertos, which he interpolated into his oratorio performances. He composed only three hymn tunes, one of which still appears in some modern hymnals. A number of hymnal editors, including Lowell Mason, took themes from some of Handel's oratorios and turned them into hymn tunes.

Il pastor fido (The Faithful Shepherd) is an opera seria in three acts by George Frideric Handel. It was set to a libretto by Giacomo Rossi based on the famed and widely familiar pastoral poem of the same name by Giovanni Battista Guarini. It had its first performance on 22 November 1712 at the Queen's Theatre in the Haymarket, London.  The German-born Handel, after spending some of his early career composing operas and other pieces in Italy, settled in London, where in 1711 he had brought Italian opera for the first time with his opera Rinaldo. A tremendous success, Rinaldo created a craze in London for Italian opera seria, a form focused overwhelmingly on solo arias for the star virtuoso singers. Rinaldo, a "magic" opera featuring enchantments, sorceresses and scenic ingenuity, was followed by Il Pastor Fido, a shorter and simpler opera, which was not a success with London audiences at its first performances. The substantial revision of 1734, with the famed castrato Carestini, was much more successful, and the subsequent revival the same year featured dances by celebrated French ballerina Marie Sallé and her troupe, with specially composed music by Handel.

Trumpet Tune in C – Henry Purcell

Henry Purcell (1659-1695), was an English composer. Although incorporating Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, Purcell's legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music. He is generally considered to be one of the greatest English composers; no other native-born English composer approached his fame until Edward Elgar.  As the son of a musician at Court, a chorister at the Chapel Royal, and the holder of continuing royal appointments until his death, Purcell worked in Westminster for three different Kings over twenty-five years. In addition to his royal duties Purcell also devoted much of his talent to writing operas, or rather musical dramas, and incidental stage music.  He also wrote chamber music in the form of harpsichord suites and trio sonatas, and became involved with the growing London public concert scene. One of the most important musical developments in Restoration London was the gradual establishment of regular public concerts.  The writing of incidental theater music was not to regarded as embarrassing or beneath Purcell’s dignity as Organist of Westminster Abbey. He was in the very midst of a tradition that not only permitted but actually encouraged well-known church musicians to provide lighter music for the theatre and opera.  Purcell contributed to every genre of music known in his day with true distinction. His anthems rank with the great music of the church; there are fine orchestral movements in his works for the theatre; his fantasies and sonatas and keyboard works contributed much to chamber music of his time; his one true opera, Dido and Aeneas, is an enduring masterpiece, and his other dramatic works (sometimes called operas) contain significant music; Purcell's songs are characterized by a great sensitivity to text. His reputation was so strong that a popular wedding processional was incorrectly attributed to Purcell for many years. The Trumpet Voluntary and Trumpet Tune were, in fact, written for harpsichord around 1700 by a British composer named Jeremiah Clarke.


A cibell, alternatively spelled cebell, is a gavotte-like musical piece in duple metre, predominantly heard in Baroque music. It is named after the chorus praising the goddess Cybele in Jean Baptiste Lully's Atys. Later cibells have been written either for voice or a variety of instruments, such as the trumpet or harpsichord. A typical example is Henry Purcell's Cebell for trumpet, strings and basso continuo in C major, which is frequently played as a trumpet tune for organ.


About the Choral Music:

Psalm 23 – Howard Goodall
Howard Goodall (b. 1958) is an award-winning composer of choral music, stage musicals, film and TV scores, is well known as a TV and radio broadcaster, and from 2007-11 was England’s first ever National Ambassador for Singing, leading a program (Sing Up) to improve the provision of group singing for all primary-age children. His best-known TV & Film themes & scores include Blackadder, The Gathering Storm, The Borrowers, Red Dwarf, Q.I., Mr Bean, Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie, Mr Bean’s Holiday, Island Parish and The Vicar of Dibley. His score for the HBO film Into the Storm won him the Primetime EMMY award for Original Dramatic Score in 2009. In the theatre his musicals, from The Hired Man with Melvyn Bragg in 1984 to Love Story in 2010, have been performed in the West End and throughout world, winning many international awards.
His music has been commissioned to mark national ceremonies and memorials and his choral works, Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd and Love divine are featured on several platinum-selling CDs. His Eternal Light: A Requiem won  a Classical BRIT Award for Composer of the Year. In November 2011 Howard conducted the première in Westminster Abbey of his Every Purpose Under the Heaven: The King James Bible Oratorio, to mark the 400th anniversary of its publication. In June 2012 his Rigaudon formed part of the New Water Music that accompanied Queen Elizabeth II on her Diamond Jubilee Regatta.
For the past 15 years Howard has written and presented his own TV documentary series on the theory and history of music. For these he has been honored with a BAFTA, an RTS Judges’ Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Education in Broadcasting and over a dozen other international broadcast awards. He is recipient of the Sir Charles Grove/Making Music Prize for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, the Naomi Sargant Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education in Broadcasting, the MIA/Classic fm Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music Education and in January 2011, he was appointed CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours for services to music education.
Many of you may recognize his setting of Psalm 23, as it was used to the opening and closing credits of The Vicar of Dibly.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,
he maketh me to lie down in green pastues.
            He leadeth me beside the still waters.

            Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
            I will fear no evil for you are with me, you will comfort me.

            Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
            And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


About the Hymns:

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

“Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” was published in 1887 with music by Anthony J. Showalter and lyrics by Showalter and Elisha Hoffman.  Elisha Hoffman (1839-1929) after graduating from Union Seminary in Pennsylvania was ordained in 1868. As a minister he was appointed to the circuit in Napoleon, Ohio in 1872. He worked with the Evangelical Association's publishing arm in Cleveland for eleven years. He served in many chapels and churches in Cleveland and in Grafton in the 1880s, among them Bethel Home for Sailors and Seamen, Chestnut Ridge Union Chapel, Grace Congregational Church and Rockport Congregational Church. In his lifetime he wrote more than 2,000 gospel songs including "Leaning on the everlasting arms" (1894). The fifty song books he edited include Pentecostal Hymns No. 1 and The Evergreen, 1873.

Anthony J. Showalter received letters from two friends who had lost their wives about the same time. He wrote back to express his sympathy, and included a verse of Scripture: “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27 KJV). As he thought about that text, he wrote the music and refrain to this hymn. He asked Elisha Hoffman to write the stanzas. The hymn was first published in 1887 in The Glad Evangel for Revival, Camp, and Evangelistic Meetings, for which Showalter was an editor.  The text has three stanzas and a refrain. The theme of the text is the peace that comes from knowing that God will protect us, and how that knowledge removes our fears.

The King of Love My Shepherd Is

The King of Love My Shepherd Is” is an Anthony G. Petti (1932-1985) adaption of the 1868 Sir Henry W. Baker (1821-1877) paraphrase of Psalm 23. Baker took Holy Orders in the Church of England in 1844. He was closely associated with hymnody in the Church. Besides writing, translating, and composing a number of hymns, his most notable role was as Ed­it­or-in-Chief of the first edition of Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern (1861) which sold over 60 million copies.  “The King of Love My Shepherd Is” has proven to be his most enduring work. It is said that as he lay dying his final words were those of the 3rd stanza: "Perverse and foolish, oft I strayed, but yet in love he sought me; and on his shoulder gently laid, and home, rejoicing, brought me." It is sung to the tune: St. Columba, a traditional Irish melody.

Be Thou My Vision
"Be Thou My Vision" (Old Irish: Rop tú mo baile or Rob tú mo bhoile) is a traditional hymn from Ireland. The most well known English version, with some minor variations, was translated by Eleanor Hull and published in 1912. In 1919, the lyrics were set to the tune of the Irish folk tune "Slane", to which the song is sung to this day, both in English and Irish. The song dates from at least the eighth century, though the text dates to the sixth-century.

The original Old Irish text, "Rop tú mo Baile" is often attributed to Saint Dallán Forgaill in the 6th century. Eochaid Mac Colla (c. 530 – 598), better known as Saint Dallan or Dallán Forgaill (Old Irish: Dallán Forchella; Latin: Dallanus Forcellius), was an early Christian Irish poet whose writings include the "Amra Choluim Chille" ("Elegy of Saint Columba") and "Rop Tú Mo Baile" ("Be Thou My Vision").  Saint Dallan was Chief Ollam of Ireland (similar to poet laureate), as well as a scholar of Latin scriptural learning. He helped to reform the Bardic Order at the Convention of Drumceat.  He reputedly wrote Amra Choluim Chille, which he completed shortly after the death of Saint Columba in 597, because Columba had successfully saved poets from expulsion from Ireland at the assembly of Druim Cett in 575. The “Amra Choluim Chille,” is the earliest Irish poem that can be dated.

"Rop tú mo Baile" had been a part of Irish monastic tradition for centuries before its setting to music. It was translated from Old Irish into English by Mary Elizabeth Byrne in Ériu (the journal of the School of Irish Learning), in 1905. The English text was first versified by Eleanor Hull, in 1912, and is now the most common text used.



Friday, January 15, 2016

January 17, 2016

Each week, you may find information here about the music in the traditional worship services at First United Methodist Church in Lewisville, Texas.  Some of this information is original; much of it is "borrowed" from other sources such as Wikipedia, GBOD, and hymnary.org.  It is my hope that this information will enhance your understanding and enrich your worship experience.  

About the Organ Music:

Jesus Christus, unser Heiland – J. C. Bach
The model for "Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, der von uns den Gotteszorn wandt" (Jesus Christ, our Savior, who turned God's wrath away from us) is a late 14th-century hymn relating to the Eucharist by Jan of Jenštejn, archbishop of Prague. The 14th-century hymn, in content comparable to the 13th century Lauda Sion Salvatorem, exists in two versions with ten stanzas: the first eight verses of the Latin version ("Jesus Christus, nostra salus", Jesus Christ, our salvation) form an acrostic on JOHANNES, while another version, in Czech, was also spread by the Hussite Unity of the Brethren.
Luther wrote hymns to have the congregation actively participate in church services and to strengthen his theological concepts. In Lent of 1524 Luther was explaining his views on Eucharist in a series of sermons.  "Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, der von uns den Gotteszorn wandt", probably written around the same time, contained many ideas he had been developing in these sermons, taking the older Eucharistic hymn as a model: he kept the meter, the number of stanzas and the first line of "Jesus Christus nostra salus", but shaped the content to reflect his own theology.
In Luther's time "Jesus Christus nostra salus" was attributed to the church reformer Jan Hus (a "Johannes" like Jenštejn). Luther saw Hus as a precursor and martyr. Early prints of "Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, der von uns den Gotteszorn wandt" came under the header "Das Lied S. Johannes Hus gebessert" (The song of St. Johannes Hus improved).  Luther presented the hymn with several variants of the melody that had been associated with "Jesus Christus nostra salus" for over a century.  The earliest extant copy of "Jesus Christus nostra salus" (text and melody) is found in southern Bohemia, 1410. The earliest extant prints of Luther's hymn (both editions of the Erfurt Enchiridion and Johann Walter's choral hymnal Eyn geystlich Gesangk Buchleyn) originated in 1524
            Christ Jesus, our Redeemer born, who from us did God’s anger turn,
            Through His sufferings sore and main, did help us all out of hell-pain.

            That we never should forget it, gave He us His flesh, to eat it,
            Hid in poor bread, gift divine, and, to drink, His blood in the wine.

            Who will draw near to that table must take heed, all he is able.
            Who unworthy thither goes, thence death instead of life he knows.

            God the Father praise thou duly, that He thee would feed so truly,
            And for ill deeds by thee done up unto death has given His son.

            Have this faith, and do not waver. ‘Tis a fool for every craver
            Who, his heart with sin opprest, can no more for its anguish rest.

            Such kindness and such grace to get, seeks a heart with agony great.
            Is it well with thee? Take care, lest at last thou shouldst evil fare.

            He doth say, come hither, o ye poor, that I may pity show ye.
            No physician the whole man will, He makes a mockery of his skill.

            Hadst thou any claim to proffer, why for thee then should I suffer?
            This table is not for thee, if thou wilt set thine own self free.

            If such faith thy heart possesses, and the same thy mouth confesses,
            Fit guest then thou art indeed, and so the food thy soul will feed.

            But bear fruit, or lose thy labour; take thou heed thou love they neighbour;
            That thou food to him mayst be, as thy God makes Himself to thee.

Johann Sebastian Bach’s life was surrounded by Johann Christophs:  an uncle, a cousin, an older brother, and a son.  Here we have a chorale prelude by his 1st cousin once removed, who became the town organist in Eisenach in the year 1665 and court chamber musician there in 1700.  Prior to Johann Sebastian, Johann Christoph (1642-1703) would have been considered the most famous musician of the Bach family. His work is of the highest quality and, in some instances, has been improperly attributed to Johann Sebastian himself (e.g. the motet Ich lasse dich nicht). Johann Christoph composed choral works (motets and cantatas) and works for organ (preludes and fugues). Johann Sebastian described his cousin as "the great and expressive composer," and performed his works often as did Carl Philipp Emanuel.
Vorspiel über “Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn u” – Johann Kittel
J. C. Wetzel, i. 46, and ii. 404, relates what seems rather an apocryphal story regarding the origin of this hymn.  Johann Rosenmüller (c.1619-1684), while music director at Leipzig, had been guilty of improper practices with some of his scholars. He was thrown into prison, but having made his escape, went to Hamburg. Thence he sent a petition for restoration to the Elector Johann Georg at Dresden, and to support his petition enclosed this hymn, which Johann Georg Albinus (1624-1679) had written for him, along with a melody by Rosenmuller. If correct, this would mean it was written around 1655.   The earliest hymn-book in which it is found is Luppius's Andachtig Singender Christen Mund, Wesel., 1692.  It is a beautiful hymn of Penitence, in 7 stanzas of 8 lines.
O Lord, do not punish me in your anger, nor chastise me in your ferocity.
Have mercy upon me, Lord, for I am weak.
Lord, heal me, for my bones are terrified,
my soul is very terrified. So, Lord, how long?
Johann Christian Kittel (1732-1809) was a German organist, composer, and teacher. He was one of the last students of Johann Sebastian Bach.  He considered himself to be "grounded in the principles of Bach" and aimed "to awaken, maintain and heighten feelings of devotion in the hearts of his hearers by means of music". His teaching and composition fulfilled this aim by a restriction to simple forms which were best suited to liturgical use. He wrote some large-scale organ works such as double chorale variations based on Bach's examples, though he was influenced by the contemporary galant style, with a strong emphasis on melody.
Horns – Anonymous
Anonymous is the most prolific composer in the history of music, having written music in every genre and for every instrument.  Many people have speculated about the true identity of Anonymous.  Some suggest Anonymous was a woman and that she was unable to affix her name to her compositions if she wished to have them played and published.  I would suggest, rather, that Anonymous is the pen name of Doctor Who (b. 1063?), for only extensive travel in space and time explains the appearance of Anonymous’ music in all nations and eras of history. The Doctor was born on the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous, to a Gallifreyan father and a human mother. He studied law, art, architecture, cybernetics, pharmacology, history, thermodynamics, and engineering at the Prydonian Academy. He also studied tap dancing and voice with Australian opera singer Nellie Melba.  The Doctor was friends with composer Giacomo Puccini and was with him when he died in Brussels in 1924.  There is clear evidence that Doctor Who played the organ and guitar.  After the Sixth Doctor repaired his TARDIS' chameleon circuit, it took on the form of an organ for some time.  The Seventh Doctor had an organ from St Christopher's Church in his control room, and the Tenth Doctor increased the volume of Southwark Cathedral's organ with his sonic screwdriver before improvising on it.  Therefore, it would not be surprising to learn that he composed, also.


This particular work by Anonymous is from the 18th century in England and features figures imitating the sound of hunting horns.











About the Choral Music:

Bless the Lord, O My Soul – Glenn Burleigh

Glenn Burleigh (1949-2007) was born into a family of ministers in Guthrie, Okla., Burleigh grew up to be a renowned pianist, conductor and clinician, as well as composer. His music has been performed on every continent in venues ranging from churches to classical concert stages.  His "Alpha Mass" and "Lamentation and Celebration," (dedicated to the victims and survivors of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing) were recorded by the Choral Arts Society of Racine, Wisconsin.  One of Burleigh's many gifts was his ability to take disparate styles of music such as classical, blues, gospel and jazz, and bring them together.  Burleigh operated his own publishing company in Oklahoma City assisted by his brother, Kenneth. In addition, he served as Director of Music for the National Baptist Congress for five years and as Composer-in-Residence for the Ambassadors’ Concert Choir of Oklahoma City from 1984-2000.  He was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 2014.
“Bless the Lord, O My Soul” was written in 1993, and the text is based on Psalm 103.
            Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me blessed be His Holy name.
            He’ll forgive all our iniquities.  He will heal our diseases.
            He’ll redeem us and renew our strength if we bless the Lord.

            I will bless the Lord at all times and His praises shall continually be in my mouth.
            I will praise his name at all times.  Bless the Lord O my soul.


About the Hymns:

For the Healing of the Nations

During the 1960s and 1970s, four English-language hymn writers emerged on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean who were the leaders of the “hymnic explosion.” Fred Pratt Green (1903-2000), Timothy Dudley-Smith (b. 1926) and Brian Wren (b. 1936) all were born in Great Britain.   Unlike the other three, Fred Kaan (b. 1929), though ordained in the United Reformed Church and serving in England, is a native of Haarlem, The Netherlands.   These writers, along with their counterparts from the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, brought the language and theological vision of hymnody out of the earlier Victorian era into the late 20th century. In many cases, their work continues to enrich 21st-century congregational song.

After serving congregations in England, Kaan served as minister-secretary of the International Congregational Council in Geneva, Switzerland and the executive secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.  He
returned to England in 1978 as a moderator of the Western Midlands Conference of the United Reformed Church. From 1986-1989 he returned to parish ministry in the United Reformed Church.

Kaan’s linguistic ability, ecumenical service and fervent concern for the powerless are apparent in his hymns, numbering more than 200.  Collections of his hymns appear in this country as The Hymn Texts of Fred Kaan (1985), Planting Trees and Sowing Seeds (1989) and The Only Earth We Know (1999). He was elected Fellow of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada in 2001. His hymns have been translated into more than 15 languages.

In 1985, Dr. Kaan reflected on “For the healing of the nations,” saying, “Of all the hymns I have written, this is the text that has been more widely reprinted and incorporated in major hymnbooks than any other. It was first used in 1965 in a worship service at the Pilgrim Church, Plymouth, to mark Human Rights Day. Subsequently, it has been used on many official occasions, such as the 25th anniversary of the United Nations organization.”

Dr. Kaan reminds us to care for a world where we are inter-dependant and to use our political will, global influence and natural resources for the good of all humanity in seeking justice and “abundant living” for all.Alleluia!

Happy the Home when God is There

Henry Ware (1793-1843) was the son of a Unitarian minister who was a professor at Harvard College. Ware studied theology at Harvard and became minister of the Second Unitarian Society, in Boston, in 1817. After a ministry of twelve years, he made a foreign tour, and on his return was elected "Parkman Professor of Pulpit Eloquence and Pastoral Theology" at Harvard College. His collected works in four volumes were published after his death by the Rev. Chandler Robbins.  “Happy the Home when God is There” was published in Selection of Hymns and Poetry for Use of Infants and Juvenile Schools and Families, third edition, 1846.

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

“Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” was written by the 18th century pastor and hymnist Robert Robinson. Robert Robinson (1735-1790) was eight years old at the time of his father's death. He was a very bright, headstrong boy who became increasingly more difficult for his mother to handle. When Robert turned 14, she sent him to London for an apprenticeship with a barber. Robert proceeded to get into even more trouble, taking on a life of drinking and gambling. 
At 17, Robert and some of his drinking buddies decided to attend an evangelistic meeting, with a plan to make fun of the proceedings. When George Whitfield began to preach, Robert felt as if the sermon was just for him. He did not respond to the altar call that night, but the words of the evangelist would haunt him for the next three years.  On Dec. 10, 1755, at age 20, Robert finally yielded his life to Christ, and very soon thereafter answered a call to the ministry. Three years later, as he was preparing to preach a sermon at the Calvinist Methodist Chapel in Norfolk, England, Robert wrote “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” to complement his sermon. The music for the hymn was composed by Asahel Nettleton in 1813.

The lyrics, which dwell on the theme of divine grace, are based on 1 Samuel 7:12, in which the prophet Samuel raises a stone as a monument, saying, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us". The English transliteration of the name Samuel gives to the stone is Ebenezer, meaning Stone of Help. The unusual word "Ebenezer" commonly appears in hymnal presentations of the lyrics.