God be in my head

The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
September 30, 2018

Quick - name a prayer you can say from memory.

might answer "The Lord's Prayer," or perhaps a table grace, or "Now I lay me down to sleep." Would you like to commit another meaningful prayer from the Anglican tradition to memory? Today's anthem text is an old English prayer that is easy to memorize and well worth the effort.

"God be in my head" comes from the Sarum Primer, a collection of prayers and worship resources first developed in Salisbury, England, during the 13th century. "Sarum" is the abbreviation for the Latin word for Salisbury. The collection was used throughout Britain, as well as parts of continental Europe. 

Singing is a proven aid to memorization. When we sing a text repeatedly, it is embedded deeply in our memory. "God be in my head" has been set to music by many composers; over 150 choral settings are currently in print. Our Cathedral Choir will sing a setting  composed by John Rutter (b. 1945), the best known living English composer of choral music.

Listen to this recording conducted by the composer: God be in my head

When we sing in church or listen to sacred music, we have the opportunity to internalize the words of worship, scripture, and tradition. Recalling these words can offer healing, comfort, and strength throughout our faith journeys. Think about the words we say and sing, and consider committing your favorites to memory. 

The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
September 30, 2018
Hymns: 518, 509, 679, 635, 282, 347
Service Music: New Plainsong, David Hurd
Psalm: St. Martin's Psalter, Thomas Pavlechko
Anthem: "God be in my head," John Rutter
Music for Handbells: "O Worship the King," arr. Patricia Sanders Cota
Organ music: 
Prelude in G Major  -William Harris
Processional in G Major  -John Stanley


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