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Notes on the Notes – January 5, 2014

This week’s theme: A light-bulb moment – I’m a Christian

This week’s scripture readings: Ephesians 1:11-14, John 1:14-17


This week’s music:

“A Light is Gleaming” (VU #82)

“A light is gleaming, spreading its arms throughout the night, living in the light.

Come share its gladness, God’s radiant love is burning bright, living in the light…”

This song was first published in 1992 in Stickpeople, a collection of songs by the Canadian composer Linnea Good.


“As With Gladness Men of Old” (VU #81)

“As with gladness men of old did the guiding star behold, as with joy they hailed its light, leading onward, beaming bright, so, most gracious Lord, may we evermore your splendor see….”

William Dix, an insurance adjustor and amateur hymnwriter, wrote this song in 1858 after hearing the Epiphany Gospel.  The text is based upon Matthew 2:9-11 and Dix first published it in his own collection called Hymns of Love and Joy.   W.H. Monk adapted the tune from a 19th-century German choral specifically for this text and published it in the first edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861).  Dix himself regretted the use of his text with this tune, written in his honor, but over time it has proved to be a good match.

Hear the hymn played on pipe organ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97wIbDRAJwU

“Come, Follow That Star”

“There’s a star in the east and we must follow, come follow that star.  Sent from heaven above, He will change the world with His love!  We must find Him, we must follow that star…”

The anthem this week is written by Don Besig and Nancy Price and incorporates both a new melody and part of the familiar carol tune “We Three Kings.”  The anthem was written in 1991.

 “When Heaven’s Bright With Mystery” (VU #93)

“When heaven’s bright with mystery and stars still lead an unknown way, when love still lights a gentle path where courts of power can hold no sway, there with the Magi, let us kneel, our gifts to share, God’s world to heal.”

We will be using the fourth verse of this hymn as our offering response.   The words for this hymn were written by Rob Johns, a United Church minister in Winnipeg, as a submission for Voices United.  The words are set to THE SUSSEX CAROL, which is a folk tune that was collected in Sussex in 1904 and which is often referred to by it’s first line “On Christmas night all Christians sing.”  It is one of over thirty-five folk songs adapted and arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams for the English hymnal (1906).  To see the original carol go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cmfCq8iKgY

“In the Darkness Shines the Splendour” (VU #92)

“In the darkness shines the splendor of the World who took our flesh, welcoming, in love’s surrender, death’s dark shadow at his crèche.  Bearing every human story, World made flesh reveals his glory.

Light of nations, veiled in history, born of woman’s flesh and blood, calling to the depths of mystery restless hearts that seek the good.  Healing every human story, Word made flesh reveals his glory.

Broken bread, sustaining us in sorrow, wine poured out to toast our joy; exodus and new tomorrow, life’s full promise to enjoy!  Gladdening every human story, Word made flesh reveals his glory.

All God’s people, sing in jubilation of the birth that sets us free, telling of the revelation:  Jesus, God’s epiphany.  Celebrate the human story!  Word made flesh reveals our glory.”

Bernadette Gasslein’s new hymn is set to the familiar tune IRBY, which is the tune for “Once in Royal David’s City,” composed by Henry John Gauntlett.   The hymn was published in 1994 in the Canadian Catholic book of Worship III.  

“Go Now in Peace” (MV #211) – This commissioning and prayer for guidance was originally written in Spanish (“Vayan en paz”) by Pedro Rubalcava in 2002.  It was arranged by Peter Kolar, also in 2002.

“Go now in peace, guided by the light of Christ, so you may be nourished by the Word of Life.”


Categories: Music Programs, Sunday Bulletin and Announcements, Worship