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Notes on the Notes – December 20, 2020

Advent 4

Love Born in the Wilderness

This week’s music:

“We Light This Candle”

“We light this candle for Love.
Await the new life within.
May our hearts now live each day,
So Love can find a way,
So Love can find a way.”

Our Advent candle-lighting song was written by Pat Mayberry (2016) and arranged by David Kai (2016).

“O Come, All Ye Faithful” (VU #60)

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him, born the King of angels;
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above;
Glory to God in the highest;
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing:
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

The original four verses of “O Come All Ye Faithful” were discovered in an eighteenth century Jacobean manuscript with John Francis Wade’s signature.  At one time historians believed that Wade had simply discovered an ancient hymn by an unknown author, possibly St. Bonaventura, a thirteenth century Italian scholar.  Further examination, however, has led many to believe that Wade wrote both the words and music of this hymn himself.  The lyrics are a celebration of the birth of Jesus.

Hear Carrie Underwood sing the carol at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8oc1ovRsnk

See Pentatonix’s interpretation of the carol at:  https://youtu.be/Mj7Pr42rliI

See the carol in worship at Westminster Abbey:  https://youtu.be/l1wHyMR_SCA

Hear Frank Sinatra sing the carol at:  https://youtu.be/NczzSYC-s10

“Advent Prayer”

“Breathe into this moment of love
With courage to let go, daring to dream.
For the days are surely coming when we’ll rise –
Strong together once again in love.”

Our Advent prayer response was written by Nancy Chegus (2015).

“Jesus Came Bringing us Hope” (MV #33)

Jesus came bringing us hope…,

Jesus came bringing us peace…,

Jesus came bringing us joy…,

Jesus came bringing us love…,

Hallelujah forever more!

The words and music for this song come from a traditional Cameroon song. It was arranged for inclusion in More Voices in 2007.

“She Walked in the Summer”

“She walked in the summer through the heat on the hill.
She hurried as one who went with a will.
She danced in the sunlight when the day was done.
Her heart knew no evening who carried the sun.

Fresh as a flower at the first ray of dawn,
She came to her cousin whose morning was gone.
There leaped a little child in the ancient womb,
And there leaped a little hope in every ancient tomb.

Hail, little sister, who heralds the spring.
Hail, brave mother, of whom prophets sing.
Hail to the moment beneath your breast.
May all generations call you blessed.

When you walk in the summer through the heat on the hill,
When you’re wound with the wind and one with Her will,
Be brave with the burden you are blessed to bear,
For it’s Christ that you carry everywhere, everywhere, everywhere.”

This song is a thought-provoking narration of the the encounter between Mary and her older cousin Elizabeth, when Elizabeth is pregnant with John the Baptist and Mary is carrying Jesus. The music is simple, arising from the folk song revival in the late 1960s. Sister Miriam Therese Winter wrote the song in 1968 for the feast of the Visitation, then celebrated in the summer. The text was altered for more inclusive language and re-published in Woman Prayer, Woman Song (1987).

“This is Love”

“Heaven’s splendour left behind,
The King of glory born to die.
God and man to reconcile.
You came to offer up your life.

This is love, this is love.
Incarnate King, begotten Son.
This is love, this is love.
You choose to make your home in us.

Worship fell that holy night.
Angel voices filled the sky.
Lowly shepherds raise their eyes.
Following the star so bright.

This is love, this is love.
Incarnate King, begotten Son.
This is love, this love.
You choose to make your home in us.

Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set thy people free.
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in thee.

This is love…”

The arrangement of this week’s anthem by Dan Galbraith is based on the recording from the Paul Baloche album “Christmas Worship Live.”

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (VU #48)

Hark! the herald angels sing Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth and mercy mild,  God and sinners reconciled:
Joyful all ye nations rise,  Join the triumph of the skies,
With the angelic host proclaim,  Christ is born in Bethlehem:
Hark! the herald angels sing  Glory to the newborn King.

Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold him come, offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the God-head see; hail, the incarnate deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark!  The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!

Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by, born that we no more may die;
Born to raise us from the earth, born to give us second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King!

The carol we now know as “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” did not start life as such, and required at least four people to bring it to its current form. Charles Wesley wrote the original words as a Christmas Day hymn and first published it in 1739, with ten four-line verses, rather than the longer eight-line verses with refrain which we have now.

The tune was composed by Felix Mendelssohn for his Festgesang, Op. 68.  It was scored for male voices with brass accompaniment, for the Gutenberg Festival in 1840 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the invention of the printing press.  It was adapted into a hymn tune by William Hayman Cummings in 1856.

Hear Frank Sinatra sing at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GWFdFqLKZ4

See the carol sung at King’s College Cambridge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_iLXNSIaYc

“God, Dismiss Us With Your Blessing”

“God, dismiss us with your blessing;
Fill our hearts with joy and peace;
Let us each, your love possessing,
Triumph in redeeming grace;
O refresh us, O refresh us,
Travelling through the wilderness.”

The words for our benediction response were written by John Fawcett in 1773. We will be using the tune REGENT SQUARE, which is the tune for the Christmas carol, “Angels, from the Realms of Glory” (VU #36).

Categories: Notes on the Notes