Notes on the Notes – December 3, 2017
This week’s theme:
This week’s scripture readings:
Isaiah 64:1-3a, 8-9 Mark 13:24-37
This week’s music:
“In the Bleak Midwinter” (VU #55)
“In the bleak mid-winter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak mid-winter, long ago.
Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign;
In the bleak mid-winter a stable place sufficed the Lord God almighty, Jesus Christ.
Enough for him whom cherubim worship night and day,
A breast full of milk, and a manger full of hay.
Enough for him whom angels fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.
What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man, I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give him – give my heart.”
Christina Rossetti imaginatively placed the holy birth not in warm Bethlehem, but in her chillier and snow-bound native England. It was written before 1872 in response to a request from the magazine Scribner’s Monthly for a Christmas poem. It was published posthumously in Rossetti’s Poetic Works in 1904. The poem became a Christmas carol after it appeared in The English Hymnal in 1906 with a setting by Gustav Holst. Rossetti’s closing verse places the singer at the manger, with the reminder to give the most valuable gift of all – “give my heart.”
Hear the Gloucester Cathedral choir at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRobryliBLQ
Watch Julie Andrews from her 1987 television special at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3dcNEec40I
Watch and listen to a beautiful version on trumpet, violin and harp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8WGlhJKlGo
“Light a Candle Bright and Tall”
Each week, following the lighting of the Advent candle, we will be singing a verse from David Wood’s Advent hymn (2012). The melody is DIX, composed by William Chatterton Dix ca. 1858, and more commonly known as the tune for the hymn “As With Gladness, Men of Old,” which can be found at #81 in Voices United.
“People of God in Expectation Wait”
“People of God, in expectation wait
For Christ to come and fears alleviate.
Hasten to us, O God, we humbly pray,
Ushering in your promised realm’s new day.
A time for hungry people to be fed,
Giving their souls God’s word, their bodies bread.
A day of healing and of building up,
Sharing around the table God’s own cup.
Arise, God’s people! Do not hesitate!
It does no good to only sit and wait.
Help now to bring about God’s will, God’s right.
Greet the new day, the blessed day of light!”
This Advent hymn was written by John R. Haas of Riceton Pastoral Charge in Gray, Saskatchewan, in 1989. We will be using the tune ELLERS, which was composed by Edward John Hopkins in 1869 and is more commonly known as the tune for the hymn “Saviour, Again to Your Dear Name,” (VU #426).
“Come, Jesus, Prince of Peace”
“Come, O come, Emmanuel, come to us and stay.
Come, O come, Emmanuel, could this be the day?
Jesus, Prince of Peace, hope of all the earth;
Come, O come, Emmanuel, we await Your birth.
Come, O come, Emmanuel, joy of heaven come down.
Come, O come, Emmanuel, King without a crown.
Jesus, Prince of Peace, come to guide our way;
Come, O come, Emmanuel, live in us today.
Come, O come, Emmanuel, branch of Jesse’s tree.
Come, O come, Emmanuel, set Your children free.
Jesus, Prince of Peace, gentle as a dove;
Come, O come, Emmanuel, messenger of love.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!
Come, O come, Emmanuel, we await Your birth.”
This beautiful song is by Diane Hannibal. It has been arranged by Brad Nix (2011).
“Carol for Advent”
“Amid the winter’s cold embrace,
Clothed in a shroud of white,
An anxious world in silence waits through the dark of night.
As the lonely song of a dove echoes across the sky above,
We can feel the moment is near;
Soon the Child of Peace will appear.
What child is this the world awaits with quiet expectation?
When will He come, the promised one,
To bring us peace and salvation?
Raise, raise your prayers on high,
Prepare His way, the time is nigh.
Come, come Emmanuel, O Child of Love and Peace.
The air grows colder, the light grows dim,
Darkening the sky above.
But soon the chill of the winter wind will warm with God’s gift of love.
And a star will brighten the sky,
Songs of joy will echo on high!
We will know the moment is here;
The Child of Love and Peace will appear.”
Carol for Advent is a haunting anthem incorporating one of the most beloved of all Advent carols, What Child is This? It was written by Don Besig and Nancy Price (1991).
“May the Spirit of the Christ Child”
“May the Spirit of the Christ Child show us how in love to live
For the joy and peace of Christmas is for us to share and give.
May the story of God’s coming, God with us – Emmanuel,
Fill the world with light of Christmas as in awe we do God’s will.”
Our offering response for the season of Advent uses the familiar melody of ODE TO JOY.
“Christmas Lord’s Prayer”
“Our Father in heaven, all praise to your name.
Your kingdom in heaven, on earth be the same.
By mortals and angels, come, Lord reign alone;
Oh, hear us and bless us, from heaven’s high throne.
The bread that we yearn for provide us each day;
As we forgive others, our sins take away;
In times of temptation, to lead us be near;
From evil deliver your children most dear.
For yours is the kingdom, o’er all things you reign,
And yours is the power, all things you maintain.
To you be the glory, resounding again
From all of creation, forever. Amen.”
Our Christmas Lord’s Prayer uses one of the melodies for “Away in a Manger” (VU #6). The author of the lyrics is unknown.
Hear the melody on acoustic guitar at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H61T9VvBdVE
“Once in Royal David’s City” (VU #62)
“Once in royal David’s city stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her baby in a manger for his bed.
Mary was that mother mild, Jesus Christ her little child.
He came down to earth from heaven who, with God, is over all,
And his shelter was a stable, and his cradle was a stall.
There among the poor and lowly lived on earth our Saviour holy.
For he is our lifelong pattern; daily, when on earth he grew,
He was tempted, scorned, rejected, tears and smiles like us he knew.
Thus he feels for all our sadness, and he shares in all our gladness.
And our eyes at last shall see him, through his own redeeming love;
For that child who seemed so helpless is our Lord in heaven above;
And he leads his children on to the place where he is gone.”
“Once In Royal David’s City” is a Christmas carol originally written as a poem by Cecil Frances Alexander. The carol was first published in 1848 in Miss Cecil Humphreys’ “Hymns for little Children.” A year later, the English organist Henry John Gauntlett discovered the poem and set it to music. Since 1919, the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at the King’s College Chapel Cambridge has begun its Christmas Eve service, with Dr Arthur Henry Mann’s arrangement of “Once in Royal David’s City” as the processional hymn. Mann was organist at King’s between 1876–1929. In his arrangement, the first verse is sung by a boy chorister of the Choir of King’s Chapel as a solo. The second verse is sung by the choir, and the congregation joins in the third verse. Excluding the first verse, the hymn is accompanied by the organ. Hear the choir at King’s College Cambridge:
See Jonathan and Charlotte in Royal Albert Hall at: https://youtu.be/YYOqV3zdG10
“Saviour, dwell with us that we may go forth, your light to be.
Send us out, good news to sing; hope, peace, joy, and love to bring.
God incarnate, with us dwell. Come, O come, Emmanuel.
Come, Lord Jesus, don’t delay; shine your hope through us this day.
Saviour, dwell with us that we may go forth, your light to be.”
Our benediction response for Advent will be sung to the tune of “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing.”