A feast of music for St Francis’ Day

St FrancisThis Sunday is the festival of our naming saint, St Francis. Always a joyous occasion, it will be celebrated at a combined service starting at 09h00, with a scrumptious breakfast to follow.

Leading the singing will be the St Francis Singers, with a choice of hymns and music to suit the occasion. We’ll start off with that great celebratory hymn, “All people that on earth do dwell”, to the Old Hundredth tune set by Vaughan Williams. This is a marvellous collaboration of voices, organ and trumpet, composed for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.trumpet

The Gloria is a modern setting that we have been singing in the 09h30 service for some time . It’s got a real swing to it and is a joyful expression of our faith.

The Gradual hymn that leads us to the Gospel reading is “Brother sun and sister moon”, composed by Donovan for the 1972 movie of the same name, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, which is, of course, about St Francis.

For the Offertory hymn, we have chosen “Lord, bring the day to pass”, a hymn from the new Ancient and Modern hymnbook. Composed by Ian Masson Fraser (b 1917), the words long for a time when we attain our destiny and nature lives in harmony. The second verse asks for forgiveness for our careless use of our natural resources, while the third asks for the ability to harness creation’s powers for peace.

During Communion, St Francis Singers will lead us in two pieces: “In the distant dawn of time” by Peter Rose, and “All things bright and beautiful” by the famous John Rutter.St Francis Choir Dec 2013

Finally, the service will draw to a glorious close with St Francis’s famous hymn from the 12th century, “All creatures of our God and King”, to that magnificent tune, Lasst uns erfreuen (let us rejoice).

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