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Notes on the Notes – April 3, 2016

This week’s theme:

Why the Christian church exists at all

This week’s scripture reading:

Acts 5:27-32

This week’s music:

“Now the Green Blade Rises” (VU #186)

“Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,
Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again, like wheat arising green.

In the grave they laid him, love by hatred slain,
Thinking that he would never wake again,
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen;green blade
Love is come again, like wheat arising green.

Forth he came at Easter, like the risen grain,
He that for three days in the grave had lain;
Raised from the dead, my living Lord is seen;
Love is come again, like wheat arising green.

When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain,
Your touch can call us back to life again,
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been;
Love is come again, like wheat arising green.”

John M.C. Crum, an English priest who was canon of Canterbury for fifteen years, wrote this Easter carol for the French Christmas tune associated with “Noel Nouvelet.”  It was published in The Oxford Book of Carols in 1928.

Hear the Smoke Fairies sing this hymn at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7uhbiUs6eY

Hear Laura Wright at:  https://youtu.be/g-5Bi2jM40E

“We thank you God, for Sunday”

“We thank you, God, for Sunday,
The day when Christ arose,
The day of praise and meeting,
Of blessing and repose.
Each day, each hour is sacred;
You guide us all the way.
We praise you most for Sunday,
Our resurrection day.

The first day of creation
When naught had come to be,
Your Holy Spirit brooded
Upon the formless sea.
And then you split the silence
And spoke: “Let there be light!”
Before the dusk of evening
You made both day and night.

This first day as we gather
We seek new life, new birth:
The eighth day of creation
When you renew the earth.
Remold your yearning people;
Reshape our shattered clay;
So may we rise each morning
To resurrection day.”

The words for this hymn were written by Ruth Duck in 1996.  She says, “Ironically, the first draft of We Thank You, God, for Sunday was written on a high mountain peak in the Green River area of the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming.  On this beautiful sunlit August Sunday, I thought of Christians worshiping around the world, and found myself thanking God for the church’s day of resurrection and praise.”

The words are set to the melody, MUNICH, first published in 1693.

Hear the hymn tune played on the organ at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w30Q6jDKNZE

“Come, People of the Risen King”

“Come people of the risen King who delight to bring Him praise.
Come all and tune your hearts to sing to the Morning Star of grace.
From the shifting shadows of the earth we will lift our eyes to Him
Where steady arms of mercy reach to gather children in.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Let every tongue rejoice!
One heart, one voice, O church of Christ, rejoice!

Come those whose joy is morning sun and those weeping through the night.
Come those who tell of battles won and those struggling in the night.
For His perfect love will never change and His mercies never cease,
But follow us through all our days with the certain hope of peace.


Come, young and old from every land, men and women of the faith.
Come, those with full or empty hands, find the riches of His grace,
Over all the world His people sing, shore to shore we hear them call
The truth that cries through every age,
“Our God is all in all!”


Keith and Kristyn Getty occupy a unique space in the world of music today as preeminent modern hymn writers. In re-inventing the traditional hymn form, they have created a distinguished catalogue of songs teaching Christian doctrine and crossing genres by connecting the world of traditional and classical composition with contemporary and globally-accessible melodies.  These modern hymns are rooted in the traditions of Celtic and English hymnody handed down to the Northern Ireland-born couple and long-time writing partner, Stuart Townend.   This week’s anthem arrangement of “Come, People of the Risen King” is by David Angerman.

“Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Give Thanks” (VU #179)

“Hallelujah, hallelujah. Give thanks to the risen Christ.
Hallelujah, hallelujah. Give praise to God’s name.

Jesus is Lord of all the earth,
Firstborn of all creation.

Spread the good news o’er all the earth:
Jesus has died and is risen.

We have been crucified with Christ,
Now we shall live forever.

Come let us praise the living God,
Joyfully sing to our Saviour.

The text of this hymn is a series of paraphrases from the letters of Paul.  The words and music are by Donald Fishel (1971).   Darryl Nixon created this arrangement for publication in the United Church hymn supplement Songs for a Gospel People (1987), with the descant being composed by Betty Pulkingham.

See the hymn sung in a worship service at Strathroy United Church at:  https://youtu.be/0GWSdq8GVG8

 “Go to the World” (VU #420)

“Go to the world! Go into all the earth.
Go preach the cross where Christ renews life’s worth,
Baptizing as the sign of our rebirth.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Go to the world! Go into every place.
Go live the Word of God’s redeeming grace.
Go seek God’s presence in each time and space.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Go to the world! Go struggle, bless and pray;
The nights of tears give way to joyous day.
As servant Church, you follow Christ’s own way.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Go to the world! Go as the ones I send,
For I am with you ’til the age shall end,
When all the hosts of glory cry ‘Amen!’
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”

Hymn writer Sylvia Dunstan wrote the text for this hymn in 1985. It is based on Matthew 28:19-20. The tune, SINE NOMINE, was composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1906. It is also known as the tune for the hymn “For All the Saints” (VU #705).  Hear the hymn played on pipe organ at:  https://youtu.be/qoO-7M_bXAw


Categories: Notes on the Notes