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Notes on the Notes – June 11, 2017

This week’s theme:

Trinity Sunday

This week’s scripture readings:

Psalm 8             Matthew  28:16-20

This week’s music:

“Praise Our Maker” (VU #316)

Praise our Maker, peoples of one family;trinity_sunday
God is love, God is love!
Praise our Maker, peoples of one family;
God is love, God is love!

Love our Saviour, followers of Jesus;
God is love, God is love!
Love our Saviour, followers of Jesus;
God is love, God is love!

Care for others, children of the Spirit;
God is love, God is love!
Care for others, children of the Spirit;
God is love, God is love!”

This hymn was adapted by Gerald Hobbs, who also added a third verse for inclusion in Songs for a Gospel People (1987) – the original lyrics being “Praise Him, Praise Him, all ye little children.”  The hymn tune PRAISE HIM was arranged by Carey Bonner for the Sunday School Hymnary (1905).    The arrangement used in Voices United was written by Toronto composer Ruth Watson Henderson (1995).

“Holy, Holy, Holy” (VU #315)

“Holy, holy, holy! Lord God almighty;
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
Which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee;
Though the eye made blind by sin thy glory may not see,
Only thou art holy; there is none beside thee;
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!”

The words for this hymn are based on Revelations 4:8-11 and were written by Reginald Herber for use on Trinity Sunday.  It was first published in 1826.  The tune, NICAEA was composed by the Reverend John B. Dykes (1861).  It is named for the Council of Nicaea (325) where the doctrine of the Trinity, known as the Nicene Creed, was formulated.  The descant was composed for The Hymn Book (1971) by Godfrey Hewitt, organist and choirmaster at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa from 1931 to 1980.

Hear the hymn at:  https://youtu.be/ln-km29p7Io

  “Sing Your Praise to God Eternal” (VU #244)

“Sing your praise to God eternal, sing your praise to God the Son,
Sing your praise to God the Spirit, living and forever One.
God has made us, God has blessed us, God has called us to be true.
God rules over all creation, daily making all things new.

Join the praise of every creature, sing with singing birds at dawn;
When the stars shine forth at nightfall, hear their heavenly antiphon.
Praise God for the light of summer, autumn glories, winter snows,
For the coming of the springtime and the life of all that grows.

Praise God on our days of gladness for the summons to rejoice;
Praise God in our times of sadness for the calm, consoling voice.
God our Maker, strong and loving, Christ our Saviour, Leader, Lord,
Living God, Creator Spirit, be your holy name adored!”

This hymn, by R.B.Y. Scott, was first published in The Hymn Book in 1971.  The tune, ARFON, is derived from a Welsh folksong dating from at least the 18th century with possible French origins.

Robert Balgarnie Young Scott was a clergyman of the United Church of Canada and an Old Testament scholar.   Born in Toronto (1899), the son of John McPherson Scott (a Presbyterian minister), he was a graduate of Knox College, University of Toronto and the University of Toronto. He was ordained in the United Church of Canada in 1926.

He started teaching at Vancouver’s Union College in 1928. In 1931, he moved to Montreal where he was a professor of Old Testament language and literature at the United Theological College of Montreal.  From 1948 until 1955, he taught Old Testament at McGill University.  In 1947, he became the first Dean of the Faculty of Divinity at McGill University. He was a member of the World Council of Churches from 1949 to 1955.  In 1955, he was appointed the Danforth Professor of Religion in the new Department of Religion at Princeton University.  He was chairman of the department from 1963 to 1965. He retired in 1968.

He is noted for his staunch support for the social gospel ethos of the United Church, both at Princeton and at home in Canada.   He died on November 1, 1987 in Toronto.

Hear the hymn sung in worship at Trinity United Church in PEI (the hymn occurs at minute 17, but feel free to enjoy “visiting” another church – love the choir gowns!) https://youtu.be/LQSKmuNJGBw

“Nothing is Lost on the Breath of God”

“Nothing is lost on the breath of God, nothing is lost forever,
God’s breath is love, and that love will remain, holding the world forever.
feather too light, no hair too fine, no flower too brief in its glory,
no drop in the ocean, no dust in the air, but is counted and told in God’s story.

Nothing is lost to the eyes of God, nothing is lost forever,
God sees with love, and that love will remain, holding the world forever.
No journey too far, no distance too great, no valley of darkness too blinding;
no creature too humble, no child too small for God to be seeking and finding.

Nothing is lost to the heart of God, nothing is lost for ever;
God’s heart is love, and that love will remain, holding the world forever.
No impulse of love, no office of care, no moment of life in its fullness;
no beginning too late, no ending too soon, but is gathered and known in its goodness.

New Zealand hymn writer, Colin Gibson, wrote the words and music for this hymn in 1994. The comforting words speak of the unending love of God through all time and space.

Hear an a capella version of the song at:  https://youtu.be/2_vrpMrQ–0

“Praise God, From Whom all Blessings Flow” (VU #541)

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise God, all creatures high and low;
Give thanks to God in love made known;
Creator, Word and Spirit, One.  Amen”

This doxology, the closing stanza of “Morning and Evening Hymns,” was written by Thomas Ken while he was chaplain at Winchester College, and was probably in use by 1674.  It was first published in 1695.   The words were slightly altered by the United Church of Canada in the interest of inclusivity.

The tune, OLD 100TH, was composed or adapted by Louis Bourgeois and published in the enlarged edition of the Genevan Psalter of 1551, where it was set to Psalm 134.

Hear an acapella version at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbjpG0SeXYU

Hear a contemporary Christian version with the David Crowder Band at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SHl_BmTqfk

“It Moves in Creation”

“It moves in creation and flows through our lives,
The Spirit that joins us, the vision that thrives.
A yearning for justice, a questing for peace
Reveal God’s reflection, when hope is increased.

For God has many faces,
Far more than we can see,
And where we meet the sacred,
We touch eternity.

The earth is our garden to tend and sustain;
A gift to be treasured, a sacred domain.
For we are God’s children, the daughters and sons,
Whose work is to nurture what God has begun.

For God…
The hungry, the desperate, the grieving, the lost,
Show God’s face in suff’ring and bearing its cost.
Yet we are connected, a part of the whole
And what harms the lowest, on all takes a toll.
For God…
A gesture of kindness or loving embrace,
A word of encouragement offered with grace
Our patient endurance or comforting deed,
Are quietly holy and soulfully feed.

For God…

The words and music for this new hymn are by A. Baer (2010).  The arrangement we are using today is by S. Porter.   Allan Baer says, The lyrics to this song originated with the intention of addressing one of the more difficult concepts in Christianity – the trinity. New Testament writers struggled to explain the link connecting God, Jesus and the mysterious presence called the Spirit which remained with the disciples after the death of Jesus. How could they be different yet the same? Yet God is all about connection – the apostle Paul calls God the one in whom we all “move and have our being”. We expect God to be omnipotent, but it is rather in God’s omnipresent nature that the sacred is more readily found. So what is sacred? The answer is often revealed in the action of creating: in the world that God has created (and is still creating); in fostering healthy relationships; and in the help we offer to the weakest among us. The God that appears to us can have many “faces”, none of which exclusively shows the fullness of what God is. But one characteristic is common to all those “faces” – love. A love for humanity right down to the last individual, a love for what God has created, a love for peace and justice, and a love that lasts forever. And when we care for both God’s world and for each other, we reflect that love..”  (Source:  http://www.crossroadsunited.ca/spirit/)


Categories: Notes on the Notes