Music, Services, Worship

E-Hymnsing – a virtual sing-along! for Sunday 5 July 2015

E-hymnsingHello everyone!

Music plays an important part at St Francis – and nowhere more so than in our worship services. Our hymns and songs are chosen each week to reflect the readings from the lectionary, especially the Gospel reading. This means that the words are chosen to help you worship more meaningfully.

However, I am often aware that you may not know the tunes of all the hymns, and that this can impede your enjoyment of the singing. Many people appreciate the words – but would also like to refer to them again.

I’m therefore introducing a virtual hymn practice in which anyone who has an internet connection can participate. I’ll try my best to do this every week, but there may be weeks in which I’m too rushed with other work to do so.

I’ll post the virtual practice to the website, http://www.stfrancisparkview.com, and to our Facebook page, http://www.facebook/stfrancisevents. The practice will include the words and, if possible, a recording or Youtube version of the music. I’ll also send out notification via email of when I have posted it.
I do hope this will help you enjoy and appreciate our worship at St Francis even more than you already do!

Happy singing!
Ruth Coggin
Director of Music
St Francis Anglican Parish

notes2Sunday 5 July 2015

The Gospel readings for this Sunday are about Jesus sending out the twelve disciples, so our choice of music is focused on that theme.

We open both the services with a rousing hymn, “All nations of the world”. The tune is Darwall’s 148th, which should be well known to everyone. In case you don’t know it, there is a good recording (sung to “Ye holy angels bright”) at the this Youtube link. Note the reference to creation in verse 2. We should sing it at a good pace with plenty of enthusiasm:

All nations of the world
be joyful in the Lord:
with willing hands your Master serve with one accord:
in ceaseless praise
with heart and voice in him rejoice through all your days.

Be sure the Lord is God,
creation’s source and spring:
in him alone we live, to him our lives we bring.
From days of old
he feeds his flock and guides the wanderers to his fold.

In gladness go your way:
approach his courts with song
in thankfulness to him to whom all things belong.
His name adore:
his gracious mercy, truth and love for evermore.

The second hymn, the Gradual, introduces the Gospel reading. It’s “Father, hear the prayer we offer”, which is a plea for strength and guidance in difficult times. It is in preparation for the first part of Sunday’s Gospel reading, in which Jesus says: “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honour.”

The tune is “Sussex”, an English traditional melody adapted by Ralph Vaughan Williams, a composer who did a great deal to record and make English folk tunes well known. If you want to listen to the tune, it’s played here. Here are the words:

Father, hear the prayer we offer:
not for ease that prayer shall be,
but for strength that we may ever
live our lives courageously.

Not for ever in green pastures
do we ask our way to be;
but the steep and rugged pathway
may we tread rejoicingly.

Not for ever by still waters
would we idly rest and stay;
but would smite the living fountains
from the rocks along our way.

Be our strength in hours of weakness,
in our wanderings be our guide;
through endeavour, failure, danger,
Father, be thou at our side.

The Offertory hymn is very definitely in response to the call of Jesus to his disciples. “Christ is the one who calls” is written by Timothy Dudley-Smith, one of the most popular of modern hymn writers. He was born in 1926, which makes him a youthful 89 years of age! A former bishop of the Church of England, he is a prolific writer of hymns and has an OBE for his services in doing so. Here are the words:

Christ is the one who calls,
the one who loved and came,
to whom by right it falls
to bear the highest name:
and still today
our hearts are stirred
to hear his word
and walk his way.

Christ is the one who seeks,
to whom our souls are known.
The word of love he speaks
can wake a heart of stone;
for at that sound
the blind can see,
the slave is free,
the lost are found.

Christ is the one who died
forsaken and betrayed;
who, mocked and crucified,
the price of pardon paid.
Our dying Lord,
what grief and loss,
what bitter cross,
our souls restored!

Christ is the one who rose
in glory from the grave,
to share his life with those
whom once he died to save.
He drew death’s sting
and broke its chains,
who lives and reigns,
our risen King.

Christ is the one who sends,
his story to declare;
who calls his servants friends
and gives them news to share.
His truth proclaim
in all the earth,
his matchless worth
and saving name.

The tune is the beautiful “Love unknown”, usually sung to the hymn “My song is love unknown”, by John Nicholson Ireland. Listen to it here, sung by the incomparable King’s College Choir.

Our recessional hymn is “Tell all the world of Jesus”, a fitting way of ending the services:

Tell all the world of Jesus,
our Saviour, Lord and King;
and let the whole creation
of his salvation sing:
proclaim his glorious greatness
in nature and in grace;
Creator and Redeemer,
the Lord of time and space.

Tell all the world of Jesus,
that everyone may find
the joy of his forgiveness —
true peace of heart and mind:
proclaim his perfect goodness,
his deep, unfailing care;
his love so rich in mercy,
a love beyond compare.

Tell all the world of Jesus,
that everyone may know
of his almighty triumph
defeating every foe:
proclaim his coming glory,
when sin is overthrown
and he shall reign in splendour —
the King upon his throne!

The tune is “Thornbury”, sung here at a good pace.

For the 09h30 service, we will also have three communion hymns. The first is about prayer, while the second is another hymn about calling. I love the third hymn, whose words are such an appropriate way to end the Eucharist: “Go peaceful, in gentleness”.

The three hymns are:

Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,
uttered or unexpressed;
the motion of a hidden fire
that trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the simplest form of speech
that infant lips can try,
prayer the sublimest strains that reach
the Majesty on high.

Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath,
the Christian’s native air,
his watchword at the gates of death:
he enters heaven with prayer.

Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice,
returning from his ways;
while angels in their songs rejoice,
and cry, ‘Behold, he prays!

The saints in prayer appear as one,
in word and deed and mind;
while with the Father and the Son
sweet fellowship they find.

Nor prayer is made on earth alone:
the Holy Spirit pleads,
and Jesus on the eternal throne
for sinners intercedes.

O Thou by whom we come to God,
the Life, the Truth, the Way,
the path of prayer thyself hast trod:
Lord, teach us how to pray!
___________________________________________

I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin
my hand will save.
I, who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them.
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them.
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of wind and flame,
I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them.
My hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide
till their hearts be satisfied.
I will give my life to them.
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

_____________________________________________

Go peaceful, in gentleness
through the violence of these days.
Give freely, show tenderness
in all your ways.
God speed you, God lead you,
and keep you wrapped around his heart:
may you be known by love.

Through darkness, in troubled times,
let holiness be your aim.
Seek wisdom, let faithfulness
burn like a flame.
God speed you, God lead you,
and keep you wrapped around his heart:
may you be known by love.

Be righteous, speak truthfully
in a world of greed and lies.
Show kindness, see everyone
through heaven’s eyes.
God hold you, enfold you,
and keep you wrapped around his heart:
may you be known by love,
may you be known by love.

Blessings and good things
Ruth

About Ruth Coggin

Personal reflections by Ruth. Also the creator of Quo Vadis Connect, for individually crafted knitted garments. Specially made for you to your requirements. Enquire via email to ruth@quo-vadis.co.za

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