Notes on the Notes – December 7
– Advent 2/Communion/White Gift Sunday
This week’s readings: Isaiah 40-1-11,
2 Peter 3:8-15a, Mark 1:1-8
This week’s music:
“Down to Earth, as a Dove” (VU #42)
“Down to earth, as a dove, came to dwell holy love;
Jesus Christ from above bringing great salvation meant for every nation.
This is love come to light, now is fear put to flight.
God defeats darkest night, giving for our sorrows hope of new tomorrows.
Christ the Lord comes to feed hungry souls in their need;
In the house there is bread: Jesus in a stable, in the church a table.
Let us sing, sing, sing,
Dance and spring, spring, spring,
Christ is here, ever near!
Gloria in excelsis.”
The tune THEODORIC (PERSONENT HODIE) is a 14th century Latin carol. It was published in Piae Cantiones (1582) with the Latin text “Personent hodie.” Fred Kaan wrote the words in 1968 and this carol was first seen in the Hymn Book published by the United Church of Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada in 1971.
A jazz arrangement of this melody can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-3JYpJg5gw8
“Travel On, Travel On” (VU #647)
“Travel on, travel on, there’s a spirit that is growing, the spirit grows like flowers night and day.
Travel on, travel on, with the spirit that is growing, the spirit will be with us all the way.
Travel on, travel on, with the flower that is growing, the spirit will be with us all the way.”
This week we continue on with verse two of this hymn by Sydney Carter.
“Bless Now, O God, the Journey” (VU 633)
“Bless now, O God, the journey that all your people make,
The path through noise and silence, the way of give and take.
The trail is found in desert and winds the mountain round,
Then leads beside still waters, the road where faith is found.
Bless sojourners and pilgrims who share this winding way,
Whose hope burns through the terrors, whose love sustains the day.
We yearn for holy freedom while often we are bound.
Together we are seeking the road where faith is found.
Divine Eternal Lover, you meet us on the road.
We wait for lands of promise where milk and honey flow.
But waiting not for places, you meet us all around.
Our covenant is written on roads, as faith is found.”
This hymn is from Sylvia Dunstun’s first collection In Search of Hope and Grace (1991). The melody, THORNBURY was composed by Basil Harwood, an English organist and composer of church music in 1864. We also use the same tune for the hymns “Your Hand, O God, Has Guided” (VU #274) and “To Abraham and Sarah” (VU #634).
Hear the melody on pipe organ at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hPE3L4WBJU0
“On Jordan’s Bank” (VU #20)
On Jordan’s bank, the Baptist’s cry announces that the Lamb is nigh;
Awake and hearken, for he brings glad tidings of the King of Kings.
Then cleansed be every life from sin; make straight the way for God within;
And let each heart prpare a home where such a mighty guest may come.
In you, we find abundant life, our refuge in the midst of strife;
Without your grace we waste away, like flowers that wither and decay.
Stretch forth your hand, our health restore, and help us rise to fall no more.
O let your face upon us shine, and fill the world with love divine.
All praise to you, eternal Son, whose advent has our freedom won;
And praise to God whom we adore, with Holy Spirit evermore.”
Charles Coffin, rector of the University of Paris, wrote this Advent hymn in Latin and published it in his Hymni Sacri (1736). A century later, John Chandler translated it for inclusion in his Hymns of the Primitive Church (1827). The 17th-century German melody (1690) was brought to England by John Wesley. It was arranged by W.H. Harvergal in 1864. Hal Hopson added a descant in 1979.
“I Wish I was an Angel on the Tree”
“Oh, I wish I was an angel on the tree.
Oh, I wish I was an angel on the tree.
I’d give every girl and boy
Lots of Christmas peace and joy.
Oh, I wish I was an angel on the tree.”
In honour of White Gift Sunday, the children from Bible Adventures will be sharing this song with us.
“Bread for the Journey” (MV 202)
“Bread for the journey, food for the way. Cup of God’s blessing, tomorrow, today.”
This communion refrain was written by Bruce Harding in 2000.
“Following a Star”
“Following a star so bright, came the Wise Men three that night, on their journey toward the light, bringing gifts to Jesus.
To a stable forth they sped, to a lowly manger bed, by the star light were they led, bringing gifts to Jesus.
May we, too, bring gifts so fine to our Saviour so divine. All we have, both yours and mine, offer now to Jesus.”
This week’s Joyful Noise anthem is by Michael Bedford (2009). It retells the story of the Wise Men and reminds us that, today, we can still bring our gifts to Jesus.
“Peace is a Candle” – This week we will be using the second verse of Linnea Good’s “Hope is a Candle” as our candle-lighting response.
“On this second Sunday of advent the candle of peace will glow alongside our candle of hope… two flickering flames, summing up the prayers of so many at this time of advent, as we hope for peace in our world. The cynic and even perhaps the realist would say it is a far off dream. We sing of peace in our carols- gentle music, caressing our deepest longings. Perhaps we even allow ourselves to imagine just what a peaceful world would look and feel like. It fits in with the cosiness of Christmas, and is packed away with the decorations and festive lights. But as we look on the candle burning brightly we must do more than dream or yearn for a better more peaceful world. Following the baby born in the manger, implicates us in striving after that peace. God does not work alone although sometimes he works in spite of us; as the carol says in spite of ‘our gusts of rage and our greed’. May we join with Him at this Advent time, seeking to make a difference in our world, not in a far off future but where we are now.” (Source: http://www.lifeandwork.org/features/features/view/46–hope-is-a-candle–moderator-s-advent-reflections)
“Peace is a candle on our journey.
Peace is the giving and the gift.
Over the frozen lakes of winter,
This whispering flame of Peace we’ll lift.
For we are a people of a Story,
Of stars that sing and Love that cries.
And though these nights are getting longer,
The path is lit before our eyes.”