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Notes on the Notes – November 4, 2012

“Praise to God, Your Praises Show” (VU # 875) – This paraphrase of Psalm 150 was published by Henry Francis Lyte in his “Spirit of the Psalms” (1834).  The music is credited to Robert Williams, a blind musician, reputed to have an exceptional memory for tunes, who made his living as a basket maker in Mynydd Ithel, Llanfechell, Anglesey.  It is not known whether this tune is his own composition or a Welsh folk melody he wrote down.

 “Wherever You May Go” (MV#216)  – This hymn by composer David Kai (1996) quotes directly from our scripture lesson for today from the first chapter of the book of Ruth.   David Kai grew up in Toronto attending the Centennial-Japanese United Church. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto, the Humber College music program where he specialized in arranging and composing, and The Centre for Christian Studies. Commissioned as a diaconal minister in 1987, David has served in pastoral charges in Birtle, Manitoba and Orleans, Ontario; he is currently a diaconal minister at Pickering Village United Church in Ajax, Ontario just east of Toronto.  David has written hymn tunes and arrangements in collaboration with authors and composers such as Brian Wren, Ruth Duck, Linnea Good, Neil Lemke, Jeeva Sam and Doreen Lankshear-Smith. He was a member the United Church’s Hymn and Worship Resource Committee that produced Voices United, and also provided music for the Bible Quest curriculum.

 “Love One Another” – This anthem, written by Natalee Sleeth, is based on the passage of Mark, where the disciples asked Jesus which commandment is the more important of all.   “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”  (Mark 12:29-31)

“Today We all Are Called to Be Disciples” (VU #507) – The text combines confession of human misdeeds with a call to Christian commitment and action in stewardship of the earth.  This hymn was written for a stewardship campaign around the theme “Called to Be Disciples” conducted by the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1986.  The music is an English folk tune arranged by Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan, of Gilbert and Sullivan fame.  Sullivan also wrote a number of choral works including “The Prodigal Son,” “The Light of the World” and “The Golden Legend” (all late 1800s).   He also used this tune in his “Church Hymns” as a setting for “It came upon the midnight clear.”    

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