Notes on the Notes – April 18, 2021

Sunday Before Earth Day

This week’s music:

“All Things Bright and Beautiful” (VU #291)

“All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
In love, God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,Robin
Each little bird that sings,
God made their glowing colours,
God made their tiny wings.

All things bright and beautiful,…   

The purple-headed mountains,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning that brightens up the sky.

All things bright and beautiful,… 

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden:
God made them every one.

All things bright and beautiful,…

The rocky mountain splendour,
The lone wolf’s haunting call,
The great lakes and the prairies,
The forest in the fall;

All things bright and beautiful,…

God gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God our maker,
Who has made all things well.

All things bright and beautiful,…”

This classic text, from Cecil Frances Alexander’s Hymns for Little Children (1846), is based on the phrase “Maker of heaven and earth” in the Apostles’ Creed. The new words for verse four are particularly apt in the Canadian context. The tune, ROYAL OAK, is an English traditional melody associated with the restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660. The arrangement in Voices United is by Martin Shaw (1915). The editors of Voices United also changed the words slightly in the interest of inclusivity.

Sing along at:

“It’s a Song of Praise to the Maker” (MV #30)


“It’s a song of praise to the Maker, the thrush sings high in the tree.
It’s a song of praise to the Maker, the gray whale sings in the sea,

And by the Spirit you and I can join our voice to the holy cry
And sing, sing, sing to the Maker too.

It’s a call of life to the Giver when waves and waterfalls roar.
It’s a call of life to the Giver when high tides break on the shore,

And by the Spirit…

It’s a hymn of love to the Lover; the bumblebees hum along.
It’s a hymn of love to the Lover, the summer breeze joins the song,
And by the Spirit…

It’s the chorus of all creation; it’s sung by all living things.
It’s the chorus of all creation; a song the universe sings,
And by the spirit…”

Ruth Duck and Ron Klusmeier collaborated on this song, which is based on Psalm 148. Ruth uses the Psalm as inspiration for this hymn, which encourages us to join with all creation to “sing, sing, sing to the Maker too.” It is a psalm which resounds with praise to the Lord God Almighty – the Creator of Heaven and the Earth. As the work of His hands, it is only right and proper that all of heaven and earth praise the Lord.

“I See a New Heaven” (VU #713)

“I see a new heaven, I see a new earth as the old one will pass away,
Where the fountain of life flows and without price goes to all people who abide in the land.

There, there on the banks of a river bright and free,
Yielding her fruit, firm in her root,
The Tree of Life will be.

There, there where death dies and our lives are born again,new heaven
Body and soul, struggling but whole
Life flowers after the rain.

There, there where the darkness brings visions from above.
There where the night, bearing new light,
Reveals the promise of love.

There, there where we work with the love of healing hands.
Labour we must, true to our trust
To build a promised new land.

I see a new heaven…”

The text of this hymn by Carolyn McDade is based on Revelation 21. It was written in 1979.

See the song sung in worship at Strathroy United Church at:


“Remember when our earth was green and gently fell the rain,
When rivers sang their sweetest songs, renewing earth again?

Remember when the forests walked on mountain and on plain,
And shared with us their living breath, our planet to sustain?

Remember when we closed our minds and watched earth slowly die,
When science talked of climate change and we the truth denied?

Today we have a chance to change our act of heart and mind,
A chance to live in harmony, with earth and humankind.

Today we offer open hands and cradle earth with care;
We choose to live sustainably, abundant life to share.

To share a plentitude of grace with those who live on less,
To walk in wisdom in this world, and tread with gentleness.”

This week’s anthem was written by Helen Wiltshire.  It will be sung to the tune, AMAZING GRACE.

“In the Bulb There is a Flower” (VU #703)

“In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be;
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

butterflyThere’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;
There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future; what it holds, a mystery.
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity,
In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity.
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory.
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.”

Natalie Sleeth composed “Hymn of Promise” as a choral anthem and later adapted it to congregational singing (1986).  The anthem is dedicated to her husband, Donald Sleeth, a Methodist pastor and professor of homilectics, who was diagnosed with cancer not long after it was written.  The message of hope and trust in God continues to resonate.

Sing along at:




Categories: Notes on the Notes, Worship
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