Showing posts from November, 2018

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 …