Notes on the Notes – December 15, 2013
This week’s readings: Isaiah 35:1-10, Matthew 11:2-11
This week’s music:
Join us at 10:15 a.m. before the service for the following carols:
“There’s a Voice in the Wilderness” (VU #18) –
There’s a voice in the wilderness crying, a call from the ways untrod:
Prepare in the desert a highway, a highway for our God!
The valleys shall be exalted, the lofty hills brought low:
make straight all the crooked places where God, our God, may go!
This hymn commemorates the union in 1925 of the Canadian Congregational and Methodist churches with a large portion of the Canadian Presbyterian churches to form the United Church of Canada. The author, James Lewis Milligan, a journalist and lay Methodist preacher, was the director of public relations for the uniting churches between 1922 and 1925. Henry Hugh Bancroft, organist and choirmaster of All Saints’ Cathedral (Anglican) in Edmonton, composed the music for Milligan’s text.
“Angels we have heard on high sweetly singing o’er the plains, and the mountains in reply, echoing their joyous strains. Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Shepherds, why this jubilee? Why your joyous strains prolong? What the gladsome tidings be which inspire your heavenly song?…”
The original carol “Les anges dans nos campagnes” may date from the 18th century. As with many traditional carols, the author and composer of this anonymous French carol are unknown. It was first published in 1855, and gained great popularity in the first part of the 20th century.
Enjoy hearing this carol performed by:
Contemporary Christian artists “3rd Day” at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K17zGHFrKU
Andrea Bocelli at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THg8Yes6zec
Christmas with 32 fingers and 8 thumbs novelty video by “The Piano Guys” at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n543eKIdbUI
A capella group “Pentatonix” at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hE_znX9HQp8
Contemporary Christian artist Chris Tomlin at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_kw8Aem_8Q
“Good Christian Friends, Rejoice” (VU #35) –
“Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice! Give ye heed to what we say: News! News! Jesus Christ is born today. Ox and ass before him bow, and he is in the manger now. Christ is born today!…”
This hymn was translated by John Mason Neale from a 14th-century carol, written in German and Latin, and was included in his Carols for Christmas-tide (1853). The text has been revised to make it more inclusive and thus more useable in contemporary worship, although the original translation remains more popular outside of the church.
Hear the melody on piano and fiddle at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBL4ZACPyEE
“In the Desert” (VU #881) –
“When the king shall come again, all his power revealing, splendor shall announce his reign, life and joy and healing; earth no longer in decay, hope no more frustrated; this is God’s redemption day longingly awaited.
In the desert trees take root, fresh from God’s creation; plants and flowers and sweetest fruit join the celebration; rivers spring up from the earth, barren lands adorning; valleys, this is your new birth; mountains, greet the morning…”
This song is a paraphrase of Isaiah 35. It was written in 1975 by Christopher Idle, a parish priest and member of the Jubilate Hymns group, which prepared independent collections of psalms and carols published in England. This week, we will be using the tune from the popular carol, “Good King Wenceslas.”
“The King is Coming Soon” – This anthem by Jon Paige encourages all of creation to prepare for the coming of the King.
“Let the angels sing. Let the bells in heaven ring, for the King is coming soon. Let the stars on high lend their glory to the sky, for the King is coming soon. Ev’ry valley shout for joy. Let every mountain ring. Let the rivers clap their hands in praise. Let the nations of the world rejoice and sing everlasting songs of joy for the King is coming soon.”
“Joy to the world! the Lord is come; let earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing.
Joy to the earth! the Saviour reigns; let all their songs employ, while field and floods, rocks, hills and plains repeat the sounding joy.
No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground: he comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found.
He rules the earth with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of his righteousness and wonders of his love.”
This text is a paraphrase of Psalm 88:4-9. It was written by Isaac Watts and first published in his Psalms of David in 1719. The tune, ANTIOCH, often attributed to George Frideric Handel, is in fact derived from an English tune known as COMFORT published in the early 1830s. Lowell Mason brought the tune to the United States where he arranged it for his Occasional Psalm and Hymn Tunes (1836) and identified it as a melody by Handel.
Enjoy this carol sung by:
Faith Hill at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-8i_N-thek
Boys’ choir “Libera” at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IH8A86FLs0
David Archuleta and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4CSJvzGai4
Pat Boone brings back the memories at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxq1L7FGhbM
The Gaithers in South Africa at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ri303F7tVE