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Notes on the Notes – February 17, 2013

Lent 2013  began on Wednesday, February 13 and ends on Saturday, March 30

Lent 1 – Theme:  What does it mean to have it all?  Have nothing?

Readings:  Psalm 91, Romans 10:8b-13, Luke 4:1-13

This week’s music:

“Throughout These Lenten Days and Nights” (VU #108) – Despite its penitential tone, this hymn evokes faith and courage through its solid text and powerful, familiar tune.  James Gertmenian, the pastor of a Congregational church in Connecticut, submitted this hymn for Lent and Holy Week to the January 1993 issue of NewSong, a newsletter which encouraged the writing of new congregational hymns. The tune, WINCEHSTER NEW,  will be familiar to many as it is also the tune for the Advent hymn “On Jordan’s Bank.”

“Just as I am, Lord” – Today’s anthem by Don Besig and Nancy Price,  opens with the words “Through all the trials which life sends my way, through all the troubles I face each day;  shadows and clouds may bring doubt and fear, but Lord, I know You are near.”  It continues on in the theme of God the Comforter and Sustainer of all.   The anthem also fittingly incorporates the hymn “Just as I Am.”  Although disabled at age thirty, Charlotte Elliott, writer of the words for “Just as I Am,” continued a long career of writing and editing.   This text was published in her Invalid’s Hymn Book (1836).   After her death, a file was found containing a thousand letters of thanks for this hymn.  Her brother, Henry Venn Elliott, later commented that she had ministered to more people through this hymn than he had in the entire course of his ministry.

“On Eagle’s Wings” – (VU #808) – This hymn is the sung text of Psalm 91 and has long been a favorite at WPUC.  Michael Joncas, composer, is an assistant professor of Theology at the University of St. Thoman in St. Paul Minnesota.  This song was originally written as a vocal solo (1979) and was arranged as a hymn for The United Methodist Hymnal (1989).   Listen to this song at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rRea9qnjK4

“O God, Whose Boundless Love Has Won” (VU #348) – Our offering response for Lent this year is the seventh verse of the hymn “O Love, How Deep.”  This hymn text is from a 15th-century manuscript found in Karlsruhe, Germany.  It was translated and first published in 1854.   The tune is from a 15th-century Trier manuscript and was published in 1582 in a collection of medieval sacred and secular songs.

“O Jesus, I Have Promised” (VU #120) – The words for this well-known and intensely personal hymn were written by John Ernest Bode (1866).  Bode was a scholar of Oxford and rector of parishes in Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire.  He wrote this hymn to be sung at the service of confirmation for his daughter and two songs.    The tune, DAY OF REST, was composed by J.W. Elliott in 1862 for another set of words and was published with these lyrics in 1875.

“Turn Our Worship Into Witness” (VU #457) – Our benediction response for Lent is taken from the second verse of the communion hymn “As We Gather at Your Table,”  the text of which was written by  Carl P. Daw in 1990.  The tune, BEACH SPRING, is from The Sacred Harp (1844), one of the most widely-used tune books found in the southern region of the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries.   Due to its convenient metre and ease of singing, it is also one of the most repeated tunes in Voices United, officially occuring 4 times, but able to be sung with over 20 other hymns as well.

For a thought-provoking look at the 40 days of Lent watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5bfxGNMY9c.

Categories: Notes on the Notes