Lamb of God

The Twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost
November 18, 2018

During my sabbatical last summer, I spent time working on several musical composition projects. One of those was a mass setting for unison voices and handbells. Our Cantate and Laudate Choirs are premiering one movement of the mass setting - "Lamb of God" - at today's 10:30 Eucharist. Members of the Cantate Choir have also learned and memorized the handbell accompaniment. 
I started composing in elementary school, and it is one of my passions. I believe that it is important for children and adults to understand that our church's musical tradition continues to bloom and flourish as contemporary composers create new settings of both ancient and modern texts. In addition to singing the classics of the sacred repertoire, we seek to offer the best music of our own time to the glory of God. As a teacher and choral conductor, I encourage all of our children to develop their creative gifts. It's especially important …

Remembering the Armistice

The Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost
November 11, 2018

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Armistice marking the end of World War I - the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. We are joining with churches throughout the country and around the world in tolling our tower bells 21 tunes at 11:00 a.m. as we remember all who died in the "war to end all wars."

In the Church of England, the liturgical calendar designates today as "Remembrance Sunday." Although we have no such designation in the Episcopal Church, we are acknowledging the historical significance of this day through music.
Our communion anthem is "In Remembrance" by Canadian composer, Eleanor Daley (b. 1955).

This anthem is a movement from her Requiem (1993). Like many 20th and 21st century composers, Daley combines the traditional Latin prayers from the mass for the dead with settings of non-liturgical, poetic texts. Daley chose to set this anonymous poem, "Do not stand at my grave an…

Sing a Song of the Saints of God

All Saints' Sunday
November 4, 2018

I sing a song of the saints of God faithful and brave and true...
Today is All Saints' Sunday, and we will celebrate by singing several of the great hymns of faith appropriate for this day. One of those is an ever-popular and distinctly British children's hymn, "I sing a song of the saints of God."
Lesbia Scott (1898-1986) wrote a number of children's hymns during the 1920s. She was the wife of an Anglican priest and created hymns to assist in the religious education of her own children and those in the parishes her husband served. Her most famous hymn, "I sing a song," was included in The Hymnal 1940 and quickly became a part of the Episcopal Church's repertoire. The lighthearted tune, Grand Isle, was composed by John Henry Hopkins, a priest and musician who was a member of the 1940 hymnal committee. The hymn was retained in The Hymnal 1982, and it remains popular with children and adults. It was chosen as number …

Amazing Grace

The Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost
October 28, 2018

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.

We give thee but thine own

The Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost
October 21, 2018

Our stewardship theme continues this month and is reflected in our hymns and anthems. Today's offertory anthem is a setting of an English hymn text, "We give thee but thine own."

The anthem text was written by William Walsham How (1823-1897), a suffragan bishop in London. He became Bishop of Wakefield in the north of England in 1888. An interesting bit of trivia: How appears as a significant character in Bernard Pomerance's Broadwayplay, The Elephant Man

Bishop How wrote a number of hymns, five of which are included in The Hymnal 1982: 52, This day at thy creating word 252, Jesus, name of wondrous love! 254, You are the Christ, O Lord 287, For all the saints 632, O Christ, the Word Incarnate (which we will sing next Sunday)
"For all the saints," paired with a strong tune by Ralph Vaughan Williams, is his best known hymn. We will sing it on All Saints' Day (Nov. 1) and All Saints' Sunday (Nov. 4). For…

In all things give thanks

The Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost
October 14, 2018

During the month of October, we are focusing on the theme of stewardship. You will see this theme woven throughout the hymns and anthems selected this month.

At Trinity Cathedral, one way in which we highlight this theme is through the singing of a stewardship hymn every Sunday in October. Although many of our Episcopal hymns are related to Christian service, our hymnal doesn't contain a specific section on stewardship. Since The Hymnal 1982 was published, a number of new hymns have been written on this theme. I have enjoyed the opportunity to explore these new hymns and teach several of them to our congregation.

The hymn selected for this year is written by The Reverend Carl P. Daw, Jr.*: 

For the life that you have given,
for the love in Christ made known,
with these fruits of time and labor,
with these gifts that are your own:
here we offer, Lord, our praises;
heart and mind and strength we bring;
give us grace to love and serve you…

Make me a channel of your peace

The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
October 7, 2018

                                                                                                           Art:  St. Francis, Sue Betanzos,

This morning, we are singing several texts by St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), whose feast day was celebrated on October 4. Read a short biography of St. Francis or watch a video here: St. Francis of Assisi

Our entrance hymn, "All creatures of our God and King," is a translation of St. Francis' poem, "Canticle of Brother Sun." It celebrates the glory of God in creation, ending each stanza with a rousing "Alleluia."

The sequence hymn, "Lord, make us servants of your peace," is based on the famous "peace prayer" attributed to St. Francis.

Our Cantate Choral Academy choirs have been learning about St. Francis in recent weeks and are offering two additional settings of these texts. "The Canticle of Brother Sun" is a …