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Notes on the Notes – April 27, 2014

This week’s music:

“This is the Day” (MV #122)

“This is the day that God has made; we will rejoice and be glad!  Singing hallelu, we will rejoice and be glad!”

This praise chorus by Bruce Harding (2003) is based on Psalm 118:24.   The word “Alleluia,” “Hallelujah” or any of it’s variations comes to us from Hebrew, and it means “praise Yahweh.” Traditionally, it has been seen as the chief term of praise of the choirs of angels, as they worship around the throne of God in Heaven. It is, therefore, a term of great joy, and often used during the season of Easter.

“Sing Praise to God, Who Reigns Above” (VU #216)

“Sing praise to God, who reigns above, the God of all creation, the God of power, the God of love, the God of our salvation; with healing balm my soul is filled, and every faithless murmur stilled:  to God all praise and glory!

What God’s almighty power hath made, God’s gracious mercy keepeth:  by morning glow or evening shade God’s watchful eye ne’er sleepeth; within the shelter of God’s might, lo! all is just and all is right:  to God all praise and glory!

Our God is never far away, but through all grief distressing, an ever-present help and stay, our peace, and joy, and blessing;  as with a mother’s tender hand, God gently leads the chosen band:  to God all praise and glory!

Thus all my gladsome way along, I sing aloud thy praises that all may hear the grateful song my voice unwearied raises.  Be joyful in your God, my heart!  Both soul and body take your part:  to God all praise and glory!”

Johann Jakob Schutz was a civil and canon lawyer living in Frankfurt, Germany.  This “Hymn of Thanksgiving” is based upon Deuteronomy 32:2, and was written in 1675.  The translation by Frances Elizabeth Cox was published in Hymns from the Germans in 1864.  The tune comes from Kirchengesang (1566), a Bohemian Brethren hymnal, and had been sung for at least a century before Schutz wrote his text to this metre.

Hear the hymn at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Aj6Q3yIyMQ

“Sing Your Praise to God Eternal” (VU #244)

“Sing your praise to God eternal, sing your praise to God the Son, sing your praise to God the Spirit, living and forever One.  God has made us, God has blessed us, God has called us to be true.  God rules over all creation, daily making all things new.

Join the praise of every creature, sing with singing birds at dawn; when the stars shine forth at nightfall, hear their heavenly antiphon.  Praise God for the light of summer, autumn glories, winter snows, for the coming of the springtime and the life of all that grows.

Praise God on our days of gladness for the summons to rejoice; praise God in our times of sadness for the calm, consoling voice.  God our Maker, strong and loving, Christ our Saviour, Leader, Lord, living God, Creator Sprit, be your holy name adored!”

This hymn, by R.B.Y. Scott, was first published in The Hymn Book in 1971.  The tune, ARFON, is derived from a Welsh folksong dating from at least the 18th century with possible French origins.

Robert Balgarnie Young Scott was a clergyman of the United Church of Canada and an Old Testament scholar.   Born in Toronto (1899), the son of John McPherson Scott (a Presbyterian minister), he was a graduate of Knox College, University of Toronto and the University of Toronto. He was ordained in the United Church of Canada in 1926.

He started teaching at Vancouver’s Union College in 1928. In 1931, he moved to Montreal where he was a professor of Old Testament language and literature at the United Theological College of Montréal. From 1948 until 1955, he taught Old Testament at McGill University. In 1947, he became the first Dean of the Faculty of Divinity at McGill University. He was a member of the World Council of Churches from 1949 to 1955.  In 1955, he was appointed the Danforth Professor of Religion in the new Department of Religion at Princeton University. He was chairman of the department from 1963 to 1965. He retired in 1968.

He is noted for his staunch support for the social gospel ethos of the United Church, both at Princeton and at home in Canada.   He died on November 1, 1987 in Toronto.

“Joy Returns in the Morning”

“My child, I see your sadness.  I know the pain you bear.  I walked the road of suffering and in your grief I share.  I was despised, rejected, afflicted with shame and despair.  Yet, all your sorrows I’ve carried to the cross and laid them there. 

And joy returns in the morning, the tears of sadness and pain from the night fade away.  And joy returns in the morning as the sun breaks through the darkness with hope for a brand new day.

I am the God who fed the many thousands, the God who calmed the raging sea, the God who formed you and knows your, so place your trust in Me.

And joy returns in the morning, the darkest tomb welcomes life as the stone rolls away.  And joy returns in the morning with the hope of new beginnings and promise for each new day. 

And joy returns in the morning, all thoughts of fear and dismay are erased with God’s love.  And joy returns in the morning.  As the sun shines through the sadness, reflecting the face of God.”

This week’s anthem by Judith Snowdon (2000) was inspired by Psalm 30:5. Composer Judith Snowdon was born in England but completed her formal music education in Canada. A recipient of ARCTs from The Royal Conservatory of Music in both Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy, she completed her formal composition studies at Canadian Mennonite University (Bachelor of Church Music) and the University of Winnipeg (Gold Medalist – Bachelor of Arts). An award winning composer and accomplished church musician, Judith also managed a successful private studio for over twenty years and currently teaches piano at The Chocolate River Conservatory in Dieppe, NB. Judith also works part-time for the Mennonite Central Committee and serves as organist/choir director at McKees Mills United Church in New Brunswick where she lives.

“Sing Your Joy” (VU #253)

“Sing your joy, proclaim God’s glory!  Rise and sing, the morning has come!  Bless our God and praise all creation; song of the earth, and light from heaven:  God is alive! Hallelujah!

All the earth is filled with rejoicing, light and life, the wonder of God!  Christ has triumphed!  Risen forever!  Joy of our hearts, and hope of our dreaming:  God is alive!  Hallelujah!

May we learn to become your kingdom, may we be your kindness and truth!  Love is our calling, gift of your presence; children of God, and spirit of Jesus:  God is alive!  Hallelujah!

Light our way, O God of the living, may we learn to see with new eyes!  Jesus the Lord, our power and promise; light for the blind, and food for the hungry:  God is alive!  Hallelujah!

This hymn was written by David Haas in 1987.  David resides in Eagan, Minnesota, where he is director of The Emmaus Center for Music, Prayer and Ministry and serves as campus minister at Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul, Minnesota where he also directs the CDH Liturgical Choir.   Highly regarded as a liturgical music composer, he has produced more than 45 collections of original music. His liturgical works are sung and prayed throughout the world and appear in hymnals of many Christian denominations and in many languages.  “Sing Your Joy” was first published in the Catholic Book of Worship III.

“Hallelujah” (MV #32)

“Halle, hallelujah, halle, hallelu, halle, hallelujah, Hallelujah!”

This chorus was written by Julian Pattison in 2003.  We will be using it as our benediction response.  Julian Pattison is a pianist/keyboardist in the vicinity of Vancouver, B.C. and found his passion for music at an early age.

Julian Pattison Within the past twenty years, Julian has emerged as a resource person to congregations and special events within the United Church of Canada. During that time, he has been involved both as a music leader and as a consultant for local, regional and national events; he has worked with musicians such as George (Geordie) Roberts, Janet Warren, Bryn Nixon, Linnea Good, Brian Tate, Bruce Harding, Christopher Giffen, Josh McHan, Gord Oaks, and Ron Klusmeier.
Julian’s compositions are quickly making their way across Canada, and several of these tunes have been included in the Seasons of the Spirit curriculum as well as More Voices, the supplement to the United Church hymnary.  Source:  Eaglewing Music 
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