Category : Liturgy, Music, Worship

Yesterday’s Morning Worship from Christ Saint Paul’s Yonges Island South Carolina

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry

More Music for Epiphany 2019–Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning [Thrupp]

Words: Bishop Reginald Heber
Tune: ‘Epiphany’ – Joseph Thrupp

Posted in Epiphany, Liturgy, Music, Worship

(Guardian) London Mayor Khan urges PM Johnson to close places of worship as Covid cases surge

Places of worship in the capital should shut immediately because of the risks of Covid infection, Sadiq Khan has said, amid signs that churches, mosques and synagogues are already closing their doors.

In a letter to the prime minister setting out his reasons for declaring a major incident in London, the mayor urged Boris Johnson to order places of worship to close, among other measures to tackle the crisis.

Under the lockdown restrictions, places of worship in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are permitted to remain open. The Scottish government has ordered them closed.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Music for Epiphany–Jacob Handl (1550–1591): Omnes de Saba venient

Lyrics:

All they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense;
and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord. Alleluia.
The Kings of Tharsis and of the isles shall give Him presents;
the Kings of Arabia and Sheba shall bring gifts. Alleluia.

Posted in Epiphany, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Christmas–Handel: Messiah, For unto us a child is born

Enjoy it all from the London Symphony Orchestra.

Posted in Christmas, Liturgy, Music, Worship

The story behind the Longfellow poem that became a Hymn–I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, A Carol for the Despairing

Like we do every year, my parents took my brother and me to see “A Christmas Carol” on stage to get everyone into the Christmas spirit (which is no small feat at the end of November). The story is familiar and heartwarming, but the song they ended their production with struck me: “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” Set to music a few decades later, this poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was written over Christmas of either 1863 or 1864, in the middle of the bloodiest war in American history.

The carol is not cotton candy; it is a beating heart, laid bare in seven stanzas with simple language. At the second-to-last verse, I noticed dimly that I had begun to cry; by the end of the song, my face was wet with tears.

“And in despair I bowed my head;
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said;
‘For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!’”

It isn’t quite right to call this a cynic’s carol, but in this verse it is a desperate and bitter one. It’s a carol from a man who has had the nature of the world uncovered before him. It’s one of the only carols that still rings true to me in 2018.

Like all good poets, with “Christmas Bells” Longfellow reached out across almost 155 years of history to take my hand.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Christmas, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Military / Armed Forces

More Music For Christmas-O Magnum Mysterium [T. L. de Victoria (1549-1611)] from Holy Trinity Coventry

Listen to it all. A reminder of the English translation of the words:

O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear
Christ the Lord.
Alleluia!

Posted in Christmas, England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Another Charles Wesley Hymn for the New Year

A Charles Wesley Hymn for New Years Day

Wisdom ascribe, and might and praise
To God, who lengthens out our days,
Who spares us yet another year,
And lets us see His goodness here;
Happy, and wise, the time redeem,
And live, my friends, and die to Him.

2 How often when His arm was bared,
Hath He our sinful Israel spared !
Let them alone, His mercy cried,
And turn’d the vengeful bolt aside,
Indulged another kind reprieve,
And strangely suffer’d us to live.

3 Laid to the root with conscious awe,
But now the threatening axe we saw,
We saw when Jesus stepp’d between,
To part the punishment and sin,
He pleaded for the blood-bought race,
And God vouchsafed a longer space!

4 Still in the doubtful balance weigh’d
We trembled, while the remnant pray’d:
The Father heard His Spirit groan,
And answer’d mild, It is My Son |
He let the prayer of faith prevail,
And mercy turn’d the hovering scale.

5 Merciful God, how shall we raise
Our hearts to pay Thee all Thy praise!
Our hearts shall beat for Thee alone,
Our lives shall make Thy goodness known,
Our souls and bodies shall be Thine,
A living sacrifice Divine.

6 I, and my house, will serve the Lord,
Led by the Spirit and the word;
We plight our faith, assembled here,
To serve our God the ensuing year;
And vow, when time shall be no more,
Through all eternity to adore.

–Charles Wesley as found in The Poetical Works Of John And Charles Wesley, Vol. VI,Ed. G. Osborn (London: Wesleyan-Methodist Conference Office, 1870), pp. 9-10

Posted in Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship

A Charles Wesley Hymn for New Years Day

Found there:

1. All praise to the Lord, Whose trumpet we hear,
Which speaks in his word, The festival year:
The loud proclamation Of freedom from thrall,
And gospel-salvation is publish’d to all.

2. The year of release Even now is begun,
And pardon, and peace, With Jesus sent down;
Eternal redemption Thro’ him we obtain,
And present exemption, From passion and pain.

3 Ye spirits enslav’d Your liberty claim,
Believe, and be sav’d, Thro’ Jesus’s Name;
That infinite Lover Of sinners embrace,
And gladly recover His forfeited grace.

4. With joyfullest news Your prisons resound,
Your fetters are loose, Your souls are unbound:
Resume the possession For which ye were born,
From Satan’s oppression To heaven return.

Posted in Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Theology, Theology: Salvation (Soteriology)

Hark the Herald Angels Sing–the Original Lyrics from Charles Wesley

Hark, how all the welkin rings,
“Glory to the King of kings;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”

Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
Universal nature say,
“Christ the Lord is born to-day!”

Christ, by highest heav’n ador’d,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.

Veil’d in flesh, the Godhead see,
Hail th’ incarnate deity!
Pleas’d as man with men t’ appear
Jesus, our Immanuel here!

Hail, the heavenly Prince of Peace!
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.
Hail, the heavenly Prince of Peace!
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.

Mild He lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth;
Born to give them second birth.

Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conquering seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.

Now display thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to thine.

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface;
Stamp Thy image in its place.
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in thy love.

Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the life, the inner Man:
O! to all thyself impart,
Form’d in each believing heart.

Posted in Christmas, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship

The Coventry Carol for the Feast of the Holy Innocents

Lyrics:

Lullay, thou little tiny child
Sleep well, lully, lullay
And smile in dreaming, little one
Sleep well, lully, lullay
Oh sisters two, what may we do
To preserve on this day
This poor youngling for whom we sing
Sleep well, lully, lullay
Farewell, lully, lullay
Herod the king in his raging
Set forth upon this day
By his decree, no life spare thee
All children young to slay
All children young to slay
Then woe is me, poor child, for thee
And ever mourn and say
For thy parting, neither say nor sing
Farewell, lully, lullay
Farewell, lully, lullay
And when the stars fill darkened skies
In their far venture, stay
And smile as dreaming, little one
Farewell, lully, lullay
Dream now, lully, lullay

Posted in Christmas, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship

The Gloucester Cathedral Choir sings In the Bleak Midwinter for Christmas

Listen to it all.

Posted in Christmas, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Christmas–Det är en ros utsprungen- Jan Sandström

Michael Praetorius arr. Jan Sandström sung by Siglo de Oro

Lo, how a rose e’er blooming,
From tender stem hath sprung.
Of Jesse’s lineage coming,
As men of old have sung;
It came, a flow’ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night. [based on Isaiah 11:1]

Posted in Christmas, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Christmas– Rascal Flatts–Mary, Did You Know?

Lyrics:

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would calm the storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby
You kiss the face of God
Mary, did you know?
Mary, did you know?
Mary, did you know? Did you know?
Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?
Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?
Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?
The blind will see, the deaf will hear
The dead will live again
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak
The praises of the Lamb
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy
Is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you’re
Holding is the great, I Am
Mary, did you know? (Mary, did you know?)
Mary, did you know? (Mary, did you know?)
Mary, did you know? Oh

Posted in Christmas, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Christmas–O Magnum Mysterium – Morten Lauridsen

Lyrics:

O magnum mysterium, et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia viderent Dominum natum, jacentem in praesepio! Beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt portare Dominum Christum. Alleluia
O great mystery, and wonderful sacrament, that animals should see the new-born Lord, lying in a manger! Blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy to bear Christ the Lord. Alleluia!

Posted in Christmas, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Christmas–Jesus Christ the Apple Tree

Ever since I first heard it, my favorite Christmas song–KSH.

Lyrics–The tree of life my soul hath seen,
Laden with fruit, and always green:
The trees of nature fruitless be
Compared with Christ the apple tree.

His beauty doth all things excel:
By faith I know, but ne’er can tell
The glory which I now can see
In Jesus Christ the apple tree.

For happiness I long have sought,
And pleasure dearly I have bought:
I missed of all; but now I see
‘Tis found in Christ the apple tree.

I’m weary with my former toil,
Here I will sit and rest awhile:
Under the shadow I will be
of Jesus Christ the apple tree.

This fruit doth make my soul to thrive,
It keeps my dying faith alive;
Which makes my soul in haste to be
With Jesus Christ the apple tree.

Posted in Christmas, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Music for Christmas 2020–Yo-Yo Ma, Alison Krauss – The Wexford Carol

Lyrics:

Good people all, this Christmas time
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved son
With Mary holy we should pray
To God with love this Christmas Day
In Bethlehem upon that morn
There was a blessed Messiah born
Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep
To whom God’s angels did appear
Which put the shepherds in great fear
‘Prepare and go, ‘ the angels said
‘To Bethlehem, be not afraid
For there you’ll find, this happy morn
A princely babe, sweet Jesus born
With thankful heart and joyful mind
The shepherds went, this babe to find
And as God’s angel had foretold
They did our saviour Christ behold
Within a manger he was laid
And by his side the virgin maid
Attending on the Lord of life
Who came on earth to end all strife
Good people all, this Christmas time
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved Son
With Mary holy we should pray
To God with love this Christmas day
In Bethlehem upon that morn
There was a blessed Messiah born

Posted in Christmas, Liturgy, Music, Worship

(Wordwise Hymns) Robert Cottrill on the Hymn ‘Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending’

The connection with my earlier comments lies in the concept of mementos and individuals and past events. Though we expect our resurrection bodies will be perfected, and not carry the disabilities or scars of the past, the Lord Jesus Christ seems to be the exception to that. When He appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, He pointed to the wounds in His hands and feet as evidence that it was indeed He (Lk. 24:40).

And later, when Thomas, who’d been absent at Christ’s first meeting with them, doubted their word, the Lord appeared and said to him, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing” (Jn. 20:27).

In his prophetic vision of the heavenly city, the Apostle John saw Jesus as “a Lamb as though it had been slain,” and he heard a huge assembly praising Him “saying with a loud voice: ‘“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!’” (Rev. 5:6, 12).

It appears from this that our Saviour will bear in His body for all eternity the marks of His passion. In a real sense they’re mementos of Calvary, reminders of what He did for us there. These tokens of His sacrifice will continue to fill us with gratitude and be reflected in our songs of praise, as we join in “the song of the Lamb” (Rev. 15:3). A stanza of Cennick’s revised hymn (not often used today) speaks of this. (See stanza six below.)

CH-6) The dear tokens of His passion
Still His dazzling body bears;
Cause of endless exultation
To His ransomed worshipers;
With what rapture, with what rapture,
Gaze we on those glorious scars!

Read it all.

Posted in Advent, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Theology

(ITV) Police apologise to minister after shutting down legal church service in Milton Keynes

Police have apologised to a church minister after officers interrupted a lawful service in Milton Keynes and told him he would be prosecuted for breaking Covid regulations.

Pastor Daniel Mateola normally preaches to a full church, but since communal worship is banned under Covid rules, his congregation gets support from online worship instead.

Services are filmed professionally and streamed online, but last Friday worship was interrupted by the police who said there were too many people present.

To avoid confrontation, the church sent their five musicians home but police said the film crew was too big and called seven more officers as back up.

Pastor Daniel said: “It was very challenging, very intimidating, at one point a little bit scary too. At one point I was thinking, what’s going on here?

Read it all.

Posted in England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Police/Fire, Religion & Culture

(Post-Gazette) In Greater Pittsburgh, Some churches scale back in-person worship amid COVID19 surge

When the first coronavirus wave hit in the spring, most churches shut down live worship at the peak of the Christian calendar, with Lent leading into Holy Week and Easter.

While many churches reopened to at least some in-person worship in the ensuing months, some are now scaling back those in-person activities with the recent resurgence in COVID-19. And that happens just as churches today usher in another season that normally draws some of the biggest worship attendance of the year — the start of the Advent season, the four-week period leading to Christmas.

That means that more worshipers will be listening at home to “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” rather than singing out the traditional opening hymn of the first Sunday of Advent in church. And other services marking the season also are going on line. Services like “the hanging of the green, that’s not happening,” said the Rev. Sheldon Sorge, general minister for the Pittsburgh Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), referring to ritual decorating of churches with Christmas symbols.

Several churches that had resumed live worship have gone back to online-only.

“Almost none of our churches are going to have a live Christmas Eve program,” he added. “Christmas Eve is typically a crowded service. It’s going to be difficult to do socially distancing.”

He added: “This is a hard decision. People don’t want to stop meeting.”

Read it all.

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Music For his Feast Day–Thomas Tallis: Spem In Alium

Lyrics:

I have never founded by hope on any other than Thee,
O God of Israel, Who shalt be angry, and yet be gracious,
and Who absolvest all the sins of mankind in tribulation.
Lord God, Creator of heaven and earth, be mindful of our lowliness.

Posted in Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Music for his Feast Day–Sing Joyfully, by William Byrd (1540-1623)

Lyrics:

Sing joyfully to God our strength; sing loud unto the God of Jacob!
Take the song, bring forth the timbrel, the pleasant harp, and the viol.
Blow the trumpet in the new moon, even in the time appointed, and at our feast day.
For this is a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.

Posted in Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship

A Prayer for the Feast Day of William Byrd, John Merbecke+Thomas Tallis

O God most glorious, whose praises art sung night and day by thy saints and angels in heaven: We offer thanks for William Byrd, John Merbecke and Thomas Tallis, whose music hath enriched the praise that thy Church offers thee here on earth. Grant, we pray thee, to all who are touched by the power of music such glimpses of eternity that we may be made ready to join thy saints in heaven and behold thy glory unveiled for evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Spirituality/Prayer

(WSJ) Some Churches Push Back Against Coronavirus Restrictions

Religious leaders in Europe and the U.S. are pushing back harder against coronavirus restrictions than during the pandemic’s first wave, invoking their right to religious freedom and arguing churches are safe.

Protests in France and Britain, where bans on communal worship are now in place, have brought governments to the negotiating table with religious leaders. The Catholic diocese of Brooklyn, one of the largest in the U.S., is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court against numerical limits on worshipers.

Church leaders were largely deferential during the spring lockdowns to curb the spread of Covid-19. Many are taking a different tack now, convinced churches shouldn’t be treated more strictly than secular activities.

“We have demonstrated, by our action, that places of worship and public worship can be made safe from Covid transmission,” wrote a group of British faith leaders to Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this month.

Read it all.

Posted in Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Religious Freedom / Persecution

(PD) Carl Trueman–The Impact of Psychological Man—and How to Respond

This means that we will be living in a day of small things for some time to come. The modern self is the result of a long and comprehensive revolution; it cannot be supplanted until an equally comprehensive revolution comes to take its place, and that will likely take many generations if it happens at all. In the meantime, Christians need to have modest goals, especially Christians involved in the public square. A world where orthodox Christianity is considered not just implausible but also immoral is a world that we will need to navigate in a manner perhaps not seen since the second century. Then, Christianity was a little-understood minority cult, suspected of entertaining values and patterns of behavior deemed subversive of the wider social good. Of course, we all know how that story developed. Sporadic local and later a few pan-imperial persecutions of the church gave way in the fourth century to the toleration and then the official adoption of Christianity as the religion of Rome. Historians and theologians debate to this day whether this final move was on balance good or bad for the church. That is not my interest here. My point is simply this: the church has been in a similar situation before and has not only survived but ultimately thrived.

And how, humanly speaking, did she do this? By all accounts it was by being faithful members of the church community and loyal subjects of the state, to the extent that loyalty to Christ and loyalty to Caesar were compatible. At times it was not possible to be both, and those were times of persecution. But it was not culture war so much as fidelity to the Christian community and, only when necessary, dissent from the decrees of Caesar that characterized her life and made her strong. She became attractive by being faithful to her message. It is my belief that only by modeling true community, oriented toward the transcendent, can the church show a rapidly destabilizing world of expressive individuals that there is something greater, more solid, and more lasting than the immediate satisfaction of personal desires.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in Anthropology, Apologetics, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

Theological Conversations with Kendall Harmon: The Rev. Canon Dr. Ashley Null

Take the time to enjoy the whole thing, especially the section on the four comfortable words and the theology of Thomas Cranmer.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, --Book of Common Prayer, Adult Education, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Theology

Food for Thought from the remembrance Sunday liturgy

‘Go forth into the world in peace; be of good courage; hold fast that which is good; render to no one evil for evil; strengthen the fainthearted; support the weak; help the afflicted; honour everyone; love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.’ (from the service for Remembrance Sunday SPCK)

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Military / Armed Forces

A Prayer for the American General Election from the ACNA BCP 2019

Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide and direct, we humbly pray, the minds of all those who are called to elect fit persons to serve in ositions of authority up for vote in today’s American General Election of 2020. Grant that in the exercise of our choice we may promote your glory, and the welfare of this nation. This we ask for the sake of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Book of Common Prayer, America/U.S.A., Politics in General, Spirituality/Prayer

Reminder–ACNA Task Force has issued a Call For Feedback On Traditional Language Liturgies

From here:

The Traditional Language Subcommittee of the Liturgy Task Force is seeking feedback on the proposed Book of Common Prayer 2019, Traditional Language Edition. We would especially like feedback relating to translation choices, as well as corrections to any typos or errors that might be found.

Please submit all feedback before December 27, 2020 to Jacob Hootman at liturgytaskforce@anglicanchurch.net.

To access the liturgies, visit the Traditional Language Liturgies page here.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Liturgy, Music, Worship

(Church Times) Dean of Sheffield resigns after coming under ‘tremendous pressure’

The dean of Sheffield, the Very Revd Peter Bradley, has announced his resignation, referring to the “tremendous pressure” he had been under in recent weeks, which, he said, had “seriously affected” his health.

Dean Bradley told the congregation of Sheffield Cathedral on Sunday: “It is with great regret that I tell you that I have resigned as Dean of Sheffield, with effect from 31 December 2020. I know this will come as a shock.

“You may be aware of the tremendous pressure I have been under over recent weeks, which has seriously affected my health. After prayerful reflection and conversations with people who know me well, including the Bishop, I have decided that the time has come for me to move on.”

The Dean has been under fire since the Cathedral Chapter announced in July that it would be disbanding the choir “to create a Music Department and Choir ready for the exciting future of the mixed urban community in which we live and work” — a decision which Dean Bradley defended (News, 24 July).

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry