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Notes on the Notes – November 1, 2015

This Week’s Theme:all saints day (800x774)

        All Saints’ Sunday, Communion

This Week’s Scripture:

Isaiah 25:6-9,   Revelation 21:1-6a

This Week’s Music:

“I See a New Heaven” (VU #713)

“I see a new heaven, I see a new earth as the old one will pass away,
Where the fountain of life flows and without price goes to all people who abide in the land.

There, there on the banks of a river bright and free,
Yielding her fruit, firm in her root,
The Tree of Life will be.

There, there where death dies and our lives are born again,new heaven
Body and soul, struggling but whole
Life flowers after the rain.

There, there where the darkness brings visions from above.
There where the night, bearing new light,
Reveals the promise of love.

There, there where we work with the love of healing hands.
Labour we must, true to our trust
To build a promised new land.”

The text of this hymn by Carolyn McDade is based on Revelation 21.   It was written in 1979.   Read her story at:  http://www.carolynmcdademusic.com/bio.html

See the song sung in worship at Strathroy United Church at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzVejfBb3SA

“For the Faithful Who Have Answered” (VU #707)

“For the faithful who have answered when they heard your call to serve,
For the many ways you led them testing will and stretching nerve,
For their work and for their witness as they strove against the odds,
For their courage and obedience we give thanks and praise, O God.

Many eyes have glimpsed the promise, many hearts have yearned to see.communion_of_saints
Many ears have heard you calling us to greater liberty.
Some have fallen in the struggle, others still are fighting on.
You are not ashamed to own us. We give thanks and praise, O God.

For this cloud of faithful witness, for the common life we share,
For the work of peace and justice, for the gospel that we bear,
For the vision that our homeland is your love – deep, high, and broad –
For the different roads we travel we give thanks and praise, O God.”

In commissioning a hymn for the fiftieth anniversary of women’s ordination in 1986, the United Church of Canada specified that the text should concentrate on all peoples’ faithful response to God’s call. Sylvia Dunstan based her hymn on Hebrews 11 and 12. It is set to the tune, OMNI DIE, which appears to have come from a Trier Gesanbuch of 1695.

“Give Thanks for Life” (VU #706)

“Give thanks for life, the measure of our days,
Mortal, we pass through beauty that decays,
Yet sing to God our hope, our love, our praise,
Hallelujah, hallelujah!

Give thanks for those who made their life a light
Caught from the Christ-flame, bursting through the night,
Who touched the truth, who burned for what is right,
Hallelujah, hallelujah!

And for our own, our living and our dead,
Thanks for the love by which our life is fed,
A love not changed by time or death or dread,
Hallelujah, hallelujah!

Give thanks for hope, that life the wheat, the grain
Lying in darkness does its life retain
In resurrection to grow green again,
Hallelujah, hallelujah!”

Shirley Erena Murray wrote this hymn in 1986 as a celebration for someone who has lived a long and full life, but it is also suitable for a celebration such as All Saints Sunday, where we celebrate lives of faith.   The melody used is SINE NOMINE, more commonly known as the tune for the hymn “For All the Saints,” by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1806).

Hear an arrangement for wind ensemble at:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5_JipOkEnc 

“Saints Today, Saints of Old”

“There are those who by their living, by their caring, by their giving
Draw us nearer, ever nearer to the love of God.

There are those who by their boldness, standing fast against life’s coldness,
Draw us nearer, ever nearer to the love of God.

Saints today, saints of old,known to all by stories told
Draw us nearer, ever nearer to the perfect love of God.

There are those whose tender nature, touching gently all God’s creatures,
Draw us nearer, ever nearer to the love of God.

There are those whose pain and dying, through their faith in God relying,
Draw us nearer, ever nearer to the love of God.

There are those whose pain and dying, through their faith in God relying,
Draw us nearer, ever nearer to the love of God.

There are those who freedom cherished, by their love of justice perished
Draw us nearer, ever nearer to the love God.

There are those whose words empow’r us, nurture, strengthen, and inspire us
To draw nearer, ever nearer to the love of God.”

This week’s anthem was written by John D. Horman in 1995.  Through his lyrics, he encourages us to consider the many and varied journeys of faith that we encounter as examples of ways to become closer to God.

“O God, You Gave Your Servant John” (VU #718)

O God, you gave your servant John a vision of the world to come:
A radiant city filled with light, where you with us will make your home,
Where neither grief nor pain shall dwell, since former things have passed away,
And where they need no sun nor moon, Your glory lights eternal day.

Our cities wear great shrouds of pain, beneath our gleaming towers of wealth
The homeless crouch in rain and snow, the poor cry out for strength and health.
Youth’s hope is dimmed by ignorance; unwilling, workers idled stand,
Indifference walks unheeding by as hunger stretches out its hand.

Come, Lord, make real John’s vision fair; come, dwell with us, make all things new;
We try in vain to save our world unless our help shall come from you.
Come, strengthen us to live in love; bid hatred, greed, injustice cease.
Your glory all the light we need, let all our cities shine forth peace.”

This hymn, written in 1988 by Joy Patterson, speaks of the suffering created in city life by human indifference.  She refers to the new heaven and new earth seen by John, which is written about in the Book of Revelation, and entreats God to give us the strength to work toward that kingdom on earth.   The tune is an arrangement by Carlton R. Young of the Scottish fold song “Ye banks and braes o’ Bonnie Doon.” 

Hear the melody on hammered dulcimer at:  https://youtu.be/_OULTaFB7LE?list=PLKt1cT-e2prOiuL2FRnj3FUcll_sOam52

heaven-on-earth

Categories: Notes on the Notes