1062 Autumnwood Dr, Winnipeg, MB R2J 1C7  (204) 256-8792

Notes on the Notes – November 27, 2016

This week’s theme:

Advent 1 – Follow the Star

What is it to Hope today?

This week’s scripture readings:

Isaiah 2:1-5                     Romans 13:11-14

Pre-Service Carols (starting at 10:20 a.m.)

“O Little Town of Bethlehem” (VU #64)

“O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary; and gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars, together proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King, and peace to all on earth.o little town

How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts the blessed gift of heaven.
No ear may hear his coming; but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in.

O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in; be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel.”

The text for “O Little Town of Bethlehem” was written by Phillips Brooks (1835–1893), an Episcopal priest, Rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Philadelphia. He was inspired by visiting the Palestinian city of Bethlehem in 1865. Three years later, he wrote the poem for his church and his organist, Lewis Redner, added the music. Redner’s tune, simply titled ST. LOUIS, is the tune used most often for this carol in the United States and Canada, but it may also be sung to the tune FOREST GREEN instead.

See Sarah McLachlan sing this carol at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyPMDD8fGeA

“Good Christian Friends, Rejoice” (VU #35)

“Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice!
Give ye heed to what we say:  News!  News!  Jesus Christ is born today.
Ox and ass before him bow, and he is in the manger now.
Christ is born today!  Christ is born today!

Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice!
Now ye hear of endless bliss: Joy! Joy! Jesus Christ was born for this!
He hath opened heaven’s door, and we are blest forevermore.
Christ was born for this! Christ was born for this!

Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice!
Now ye need not fear the grave: Peace! Peace! Jesus Christ was born to save!
Calls you one and calls you all to gain his everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save!”

This hymn was translated by John Mason Neale from a 14th-century carol, written in German and Latin, and was included in his Carols for Christmas-tide (1853).  The text has been revised to make it more inclusive and thus more useable in contemporary worship, although the original translation remains more popular outside of the church.

Hear the melody on piano and fiddle at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBL4ZACPyEE

Hear a Celtic band play the tune at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=69DGHaSbixs

Hear the King’s Singers in the original Latin/German at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4VU6dgb5CM

This week’s music:

“Give us Hope”

“Give us hope for the world, while we’re waiting,
Give us hope for ourselves, we pray,
Give us hope for your love and your healing,
Give us hope for a brand new day.

Light a candle, light a candle,
Light a candle while we wait and pray.
Light a candle, light a candle,
Light a candle of God’s hope.”

We will be using one verse of this advent song each week during the lighting of the Advent candles.  It was written by E. Richards and the women at the Gabriel Dumont Correctional Training Residence in Saskatoon for Sunday evening worship services.  The words It is set to the tune GIVE ME OIL.

“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” (VU #1)

“O come, O come, Emmanuel” is a well-known Advent hymn. While it is most commonly known by that English title, it is in fact a translation of the original Latin, “Veni, Veni, Emmanuel.”     The hymn is a metrical paraphrase of the O Antiphons, a series of plainchant antiphons attached to the Magnificat at Vespers over the final days before Christmas.

This week we will be singing the following verses, which speak most directly to Jesus’ lineage.

“O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel that mourns in lowly exile here until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, great God of might, who to your tribes on Sinai’s height in ancient times once gave the law in cloud, and majesty, and awe.

O come, O Rod of Jesse’s stem, from every foe deliver them that trust your mighty power to save, and give them victory o’er the grave.

O come, O Key of David, come, and open wide our heavenly home; make safe the way that leads on high, and close the path to misery.”

 Hear the song by Selah to scenes from The Nativity at:

See The Piano Guys with scenes from the life of Jesus at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tP9U42m2wsI 

“The First Nowell” (VU #91) 

“The first Nowell the angel did say was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields where they lay a-keeping their sheep on a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Nowell, Nowell, born is the King of Israel.

They looked up and saw a star, shining in the east, beyond them far;
And to the earth it gave great light, and so it continued both day and night.
Nowell, Nowell, born is the King of Israel.

And by the light of that same star three wise men came from country far;
To seek for a king was their intent, and to follow the star wherever it went.
Nowell, Nowell, born is the King of Israel.

This star drew nigh to the northwest; o’er Bethlehem it took its rest,
And there it did both stop and stay, right over the place where Jesus lay.
Nowell, Nowell, born is the King of Israel.

Then entered in those wise men three, full reverently upon their knee,
And offered there in his presence their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Nowell, Nowell, born is the King of Israel.

Then let us all with one accord sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
That hath made heaven and earth of nought, and with his blood our life hath bought.
Nowell, Nowell, born is the King of Israel.”

This traditional text likely dates from the 17th century or earlier.  It was published in 1823 in a book of old English carols.  The tune, a traditional West Country melody, may be a fragment of an older English carol melody.  To learn more about the history of the carol, go to: http://angels.about.com/od/AngelSongs/p/The-First-Noel-Christmas-Song.htm

Hear Lady Antebellum at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVtNXp56kiQ

Hear Nat King Cole at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0S7yz2jTq0

“Seekers of Light”

“Hope of the world, Light everlasting,
Jesus, the brightest and best,
Son of the Dawn, You are our Vision,
You are the Heart of our quest.

Drawn by the Flame, led by a star,
You are our Lamp in the night.
Eyes full of hope, warmed by a Promise,
We are the seekers of Light.

Joy of the world, glory of heaven,
Beacon of hope burning bright.
Spark of true love, Fire of creation,
Draw us to live in Your light.

Drawn by the Flame…

Lord of our lives, lead through the darkness;
Let us burn bright for Your name.
Shine through us, Lord. Make us Your candle.
Consume us now with Your flame.

Drawn by the Flame…”

This beautiful advent anthem was written by Joseph M. Martin and David Angerman (1996).

“Lovely Star in the Sky” (VU #94)

“Lovely star in the sky, banishing the night,
Shine down and hallow us, light our dark path.
Star shining in the east, be our true guide;
Lead us to worship him, worship the Child.”

We will be using the first verse of this hymn as our offering response during Advent.  It is an example of a 19th-century English hymn (“Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning”) taken by missionaries to the East where it was paraphrased for use in worship and later translated back into English in its new form.  The translation is by Marion Kim of Seoul, Korea, and James Minchin, an Anglican priest in Australia.   We will be using the melody from VU #624 (“Give to Us Laughter”).

“When heaven’s bright with mystery” (VU #93)

“When heaven’s bright with mystery and science searches nature’s art,
When all creation years for peace and hope sinks deep in human hearts,
Appear to us, O Holy Light, lift from our eyes the shades of night.

When Herod barters power and lives and Rachel’s weeping fills the night,
When suffering’s mask marks every face, and Love’s a refugee in flight,
Reveal to us your word of grace and make us witness to your peace.

When fragile faith, like desert wind, blows dry and empty, hope erased,
When withered grass and fading flower proclaim again our day’s brief space,
Breathe on the clay of our despair and work a new creation there.

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.”

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

“Will You come and see the light?” (VU #96)

“Will you come and see the light from the stable door?
It is shining newly bright, though it shone before.
It will be your guiding star, it will show you who you are,
Will you hide, or decide to meet the light?”

Brian Wren has called upon his experience working for Third World aid and development projects to write the words for this hymn in 1989.  He chose the Scottish folk tune KELVINGROVE as the setting for his text.

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Categories: Notes on the Notes