1062 Autumnwood Dr, Winnipeg, MB R2J 1C7  (204) 256-8792

Notes on the Notes – December 24, 2017 Morning Service

This week’s theme:

Advent 4 – Love

This week’s scripture readings:

2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16    Luke 1:26-38

This week’s music:

“O Little Town of Bethlehem” (VU #64)

“O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.bethlehem

For Christ is born of Mary; and gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars, together proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King, and peace to all on earth.o little town

How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts the blessed gift of heaven.
No ear may hear his coming; but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in.

O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in; be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel.”

The text for “O Little Town of Bethlehem” was written by Phillips Brooks (1835–1893), an Episcopal priest, Rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Philadelphia. He was inspired by visiting the Palestinian city of Bethlehem in 1865. Three years later, he wrote the poem for his church and his organist, Lewis Redner, added the music. Redner’s tune, simply titled ST. LOUIS, is the tune used most often for this carol in the United States and Canada, but it may also be sung to the tune FOREST GREEN instead.

See Sarah McLachlan sing this carol at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyPMDD8fGeA

“Light a Candle, Bright and Tall”

This fourth Sunday of Advent uses the following refrain:

advent 4

“Light a candle, bright and tall for the Love which knows no end.  
Love that comes to one and all. Fear and hatred to upend.
Shine within our hearts today.
Come, O Love, to us, we pray.”

“Angels, from the Realms of Glory” (VU #36)

“Angels, from the realms of glory, wing your flight o’er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation’s story, now proclaim Messiah’s birth:
Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn King.

Shepherds in the field abiding, watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with us is now residing, yonder shines the infant Light:Apparition-to-the-Shepherds
Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn King.

Sages, leave your contemplations; brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great desire of nations; ye have seen his natal star:
Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn King.

Saints before the altar bending, watching long in hope and fear,
Suddenly the Lord, descending, in his temple shall appear:
Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn King.”

‘Angels From the Realms of Glory’ began as a poem rather than a song. Lyricist James Montgomery said he felt inspired to write the words to it quickly on December 24, 1816 after reading the Bible’s account of the first Christmas. The words flowed easily as Montgomery reflected on the angels’ announcement of Jesus Christ’s birth. That evening (Christmas Eve), he published the words as a poem in the newspaper he owned in London, England, The Sheffield Iris.

Much later, in 1867, composer and organist Henry Smart set Montgomery’s words to music that he had previously written for a song he called ‘REGENT SQUARE’ (named after Regent Square Presbyterian Church in London, England) and named the new song ‘Angels From the Realms of Glory’.

See the hymn played on Pipe Organ at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTrJONTyGJc

Hear a contemporary version of the carol by Paul Baloche at:  https://youtu.be/bjyvuf4ZFcY

“An Advent Gospel”

“There’s a great alleluia comin’ to the world!
The angels gonna shout and sing, “Glory, glory!”
There’s a great alleluia comin’ to the world,
The music of the King of kings.

It’s the music of hope, the carol of peace,
The anthem of joy and the song of love.
There’s a great alleluia comin’ to the world,
The music of the King of kings.

Angels Singing Glory to God - Karen Jordan

Angels Singing Glory to God
– Karen Jordan

It’s the hope of the nations, the horn of salvation,
The music of the King of love.
It’s a joyous creation, a grand celebration,
The song of the angels above!

There’s a sound in the distance, a beautiful song.
It rings through the valley with melody strong!
Prepare every voice and tune every heart.
Make straight every life; let celebrations start.

Go! Sing it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere.
Go! Sing it on the mountain,
The music of the King of kings.

There’s a great alleluia comin; to the world,
The music of the King of kings!”

This celebratory anthem was written with words by Michael Barrett and music by Lloyd Larson (2008).

“Gentle Mary Laid Her Child”

“Gentle Mary laid her Child lowly in a manger;
There He lay, the undefiled, to the world a stranger:
Such a Babe in such a place, can He be the Savior?manger
Ask the saved of all the race who have found His favour.

Angels sang about His birth; wise men sought and found Him;
Heaven’s star shone brightly forth, glory all around Him;
Shepherds saw the wondrous sight, heard the angels singing;
All the plains were lit that night, all the hills were ringing.

Gentle Mary laid her Child lowly in a manger;
He is still the undefiled, but no more a stranger;
Son of God, of humble birth, beautiful the story;
Praise His name in all the earth, hail the King of glory!”

The text of this hymn is by Joseph Simpson Cook (1859-1933). The tune is more familiar as the tune for the carol “Good King Wenceslas.” It is a melody from the 14th century that has been arranged by Ernest MacMillan.

“He Will Be the Love”

“To the world, a Child will come.
To the world, a Son will be given,
And a great light will shine in the darkness.
To the world, a Child will come.
To the world a Son will be given,
And our hearts will never be the same.three words

He will be the love we have longed for.
He will be the love we have needed.
To a world that has no hope,
To a world that has no peace,
He will be the face of the Father,
He will be the hands of God above.
To a world that’s lost in night,
He will be the Light;
He will be the Love.

When we know the Child, the Christ,
When our hearts are open to Jesus,
Then His great light will shine through our spirits.
We will show the world His love.
We will give the world a taste of heaven,
And the world will never be the same.

He will be the love…”

This beautifully haunting anthem was written by Ruth Elain Schram (2011).

“Carols of the Angels”

“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 th’angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark!  the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King.”

Angels we have heard on high sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply echo back their joyous strains.
Gloria in excelsis Deo,
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

The first Noel, the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay-
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, noel!  Noel, noel!  Born is the King of Israel!
Noel, noel!  Noel, noel!  Born is the King of Israel!

Hail the Heav’n-born Prince of Peace!  Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings, ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by, born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.
Hark!  the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King.”
Glory to the newborn King.”

This medley of Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Angels We Have Heard on High and The First Noel was arranged by Camp Kirkland in 2001.

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

From “A Charlie Brown Christmas:”  https://youtu.be/wTu00FCLgPs?list=RDwTu00FCLgPs

Many years ago shepherds in the hills of southern France had a Christmas Eve  custom of calling to one another, singing “Gloria in Excelsis Deo,” each from his own hillside.  The traditional tune that the shepherds used may have been from a late Medieval Latin chorale. It became the magnificent chorus of “Angels We Have Heard on High.”

See the boys choir Liberia perform at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7MTjm6UYYA

See Pentatonix sing the carol at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAMzAIH12yc

The text of the carol, The First Noel, likely dates from the 17th century or earlier.  It was published in 1823 in a book of old English carols.  The tune, a traditional West Country melody, may be a fragment of an older English carol melody.

Watch Celtic Woman at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Bts7ndhPw4

Watch Jacki Evancho at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cm6yI1OrbzM

 blessingAlso, join us at 7:30 p.m. for our Christmas Eve family service, with candle-light communion and the music of The Praise Team!

Categories: Notes on the Notes