Come Now, O Prince of Peace

The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
July 21, 2019

As we continue to explore hymns from the Wonder, Love, and Praise hymnal supplement this summer, we'll travel through music to South Korea singing "Come now, O Prince of Peace" (O-so-so). 

Geon-yong Lee, born in 1947 in North Korea, wrote both the words and the hauntingly beautiful hymn tune. The English paraphrase was written by Marion Pope.

After the Korean War, Lee's family moved to Seoul, South Korea. He studied music in Germany, then returned to South Korea, where he works as a university professor and church musician. Lee serves as the choirmaster of the Anglican Cathedral in Seoul. He was also the editor of the Korean Anglican hymnal.

In 2018, Lee was awarded the Thomas Cranmer Award for Worship for his outstanding contribution to Korean language Christian worship music. The award was presented by the Archbishop of Canterbury. 

Prayers for reconciliation and peace resonate with the concerns of daily life in Korea. This …

With My Face to the Rising Sun

The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
July 14, 2019

When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun, 
O Lord, have mercy on me.

Which way is east? If you're in a traditional church building like Trinity Cathedral, it's easy to tell. It is an ancient tradition for Christian churches to be aligned on an east-west axis, so that the people face an altar at the east end - the direction of the sunrise, a reminder of the resurrection. This architectural practice was common in Anglican churches until around 1800. 

The spiritual "Let us break bread together on our knees" (Hymn 325) is unique in that it speaks to the experiences of slaves who attended liturgical worship. It is thought that this song may have its roots in South Carolina where many slaves attended Episcopal services. The Anglican practice of kneeling to receive communion while facing east is described in this hymn. The closing phrase, "Lord, have mercy on me," is the text of the Kyrie eleison. It is also …

Ransomed, Healed, Restored, Forgiven

The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost July 7, 2019
Some of you may have been following the #Hymnal1982Bracket voting on Twitter in recent weeks. Today's entrance hymn was one of the favorites highlighted in that contest: "Praise, my soul, the King of heaven." The hymn is a paraphrase of Psalm 103 by poet Henry Francis Lyte - author of another well-known hymn, "Abide with me." It first appeared in an Episcopal hymnal in 1874, and it has been included in every Episcopal hymnal since.

The tune, Lauda anima, was composed specifically for this text by John Goss (1800-1880) an English composer, organist, and teacher. Goss studied with Thomas Attwood at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. (Attwood was a pupil of Mozart, and his gift for composing memorable melodies was certainly passed down to his students.) In addition to this hymn, Goss is well known for his anthems, including "See Amid the Winter's Snow" and "O Saviour of the World." 

The arrangemen…

Will You Come and Follow Me

The Third Sunday after Pentecost
June 30, 2019

During the summer months, we will be singing a number of hymns from Wonder, Love, and Praise, an authorized supplement to The Hymnal 1982 that was published in 1997. The editor of Wonder, Love, and Praise, John L. Hooker, composed the musical setting of today's communion hymn, "Will you come and follow me." The text comes from the Iona Community, a Christian ecumenical community based in Scotland working for peace and social justice, rebuilding of community and the renewal of worship.

In this text, Hooker connected with what he describes as "a very personal invitation to commitment, risk, and self-disclosure." His musical setting, composed in 1988, has the character of an art song, with a tempo that is "slow and dreamy."

Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don't know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown?
Will you let my Name be known?
Will you let my life…

Summer at Trinity Cathedral

The Second Sunday after Pentecost
June 23, 2019

Summer has finally arrived, and the church year enters  the "green season" of Sundays after Pentecost. Since our Cathedral Choir takes a well deserved break during the summer months, choral leadership is provided by members of our Trinity Cathedral Schola Cantorum during June and August and by our Summer Choir during July.

To mark each change in seasons, our service music changes. During the summer months, we will sing the tuneful, accessible mass setting by Robert Powell (b. 1932). A native Mississippian, Powell is an organist and choir director who has published over 300 works for organ, choir, voice, handbells, and instrumental ensembles. Known for his practical approach to composition, his music is easily learned by choirs and congregations. His Mass in F was composed in 1975 for use by his congregation at Christ Church, Greenville, South Carolina. The setting, selected for inclusion in The Hymnal 1982, is noted for its access…

We Praise Thee, O God

The First Sunday after Pentecost: Trinity Sunday June 16, 2019
Today is Trinity Sunday, our "feast of title" and the traditional end of the program year (and the Cathedral Choir year) at Trinity Cathedral. 
This is the Sunday to sing many of the great hymns in praise of the Holy Trinity. The entrance hymn, "God of hope and joy and wonder," is the newest example. It was written ten years ago for our cathedral by Nebraska hymn poet, Rae E. Whitney. The author of over 500 hymns, Whitney's work is found in the hymnals of most denominations and is celebrated around the world. It is sung to the classic English tune, Westminster Abbey.
Our final hymn is the beloved "Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!" Sung to the stately, soaring tune, Nicaea, this hymn includes a classic soprano descant by David McK. Williams (1887-1978), a composer who grew up in Denver and later served from 1920-1947 as organist/choirmaster at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in New Y…