Notes on the Notes – October 13, 2013
“As Those of Old Their First-fruits Brought” (VU #518) – We open our worship today with this Thanksgiving hymn, from Ten New Stewardship Hymns (1961) by Frank von Christierson. The tune, FOREST GREEN, is a traditional English folk tune arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams for the English Hymnal (1906).
“As those of old their first-fruits brought of vineyard, flock, and field to God, the giver of all good, the source of bounteous yield; so we today our first-fruits bring: the wealth of this good land, of farm and market, shop and home, of mind and heart and hand.
A world in need now summons us to labour, love, and give, to make our life an offering to God, that all may live. The church of Christ is calling us to make the dream come true: a world redeemed, by Christ-like love, all life in Christ made new.
With gratitude and humble trust we bring our best to you, not just to serve your cause, but share your love with neighbours too. O God, who gave yourself to us in Jesus Christ, your song, help us to give ourselves each day until life’s work is done.”
“We Plough the Fields” (VU#520) – “All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above; we thank you, God, O holy God, for all your love…”
To hear the song go to:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZbxK2akmIQ
This well-known harvest hymn might appear to come from the English countryside, but it has rather different origins. It is the “Peasant’s Song” from a sketch by Matthias Claudius in Paul Erdmann’s Fest (Hamburg, 1782), depicting a harvest thanksgiving in a North German farmhouse. It was based upon a peasants’ song which he heard sung at the home of one of the farmers. Claudius was for some time an atheist, but later renewed his Christian faith. At the time of writing this hymn he was editor of the local paper in Hesse Darmstadt, where he was also a Commissioner of Agriculture. The hymn was originally seventeen verses long, each followed by a refrain, and was translated into English by Miss Jane Montgomery Campbell. This translation, though not very literal, does preserve the spirit of the original. It first appeared in Rev Charles S Bere’s A Garland of Songs (1861) and subsequently in the Appendix (1868) to Hymns Ancient and Modern.
The tune WIR PFLUGEN (Dresden), by J A P Schülz, first appeared in Hoppenstedt’s Lieder für Volksschulen (Hanover, 1800) where it was set to Claudius’s hymn (by now shortened to six verses). Schültz (1747-1800) was Kapellmeister first to Prince Henry of Prussia (1780-87) and then subsequently at the Court of Copenhagen (1787-95). Schültz’s health was permanently damaged trying to save the music library when the Danish Royal Palace was burned down in 1795. The tune first appeared in England associated with the current words in The Bible Class Magazine (November 1854) and was arranged and harmonized by Rev J B Dykes for the first edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern (1868).
“Make a Joyful Noise – Psalm 100″ (VU #820) – Both the tune and text of this upbeat, joyful psalm are from Stickpeople (1992) by the Vancouver composer Linnea Good. The tune was arranged by David Kai of Gloucester, Ontario.
“Make a joyful noise all the earth! Worship your God with gladness. Make a joyful noise all the earth! Come to this place with a song!”
To hear the song go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88a-8OXGYk4
“Lord, Prepare Me to Be a Sanctuary” (MV #18) – This song of preparation for prayer was written by John W. Thompson and Randy Scruggs in 1982. The 1970s and 1980s featured a revolution in the style of music that was used within the Church. Prior to this time, hymns were the norm and new songs were seldom added to a church service. As the free spirits of the sixties became members of churches, there was a desire to worship with music that was familiar to them. Much of this music took on the form of simple, repeated choruses that were high in emotional content. Among the most popular songs from this time period is “Sanctuary,” which was written by John W. Thompson and Randy Scruggs. The lyrics of “Sanctuary” are a simple request for God to purify oneself. In addition to calling on God, it is implied that one must take some step to be purified. The end result is that a person will be a living sanctuary for God. This powerful song has impacted people for nearly thirty years, and it is sure to continue on this path for years to come. To listen to this song go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LiTy7ndOzw
“Gathered in Love” – This preparation and response to prayer is written by Sr. Suzanne Toolan and first published in Canticles and Gathering Prayers (1979).
“You are the One who gathers us, loving compassionate God.”
“Bless the Lord” (MV#46) – This song, based on Psalm 103, was “accidentally” written by a youth group praise band in 1994. To read the full story, go to http://www.spiritandsong.com/articles/14195. To hear the song go to, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1iMlNH8VG4
“Grateful for the life you give us, thankful for your Holy Son, joyful in your Spirit flowing over all, O God of Love. Grateful for the Bread of Heaven, thankful for your Holy Word, joyful in your mercy flowing, we will praise you.”
This song of thankfulness is by Tom Tomaszek (2003), author, composer, educator and liturgical musician. His ministry began with teaching English at a public high school while serving as a parish musician and catechist. Those experiences led to 14 years of service to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s youth ministry office. Later, Tom served as the director of the Artists and Repertoire at OCP. He holds a master’s in theological studies from St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, and a master’s in education from the University of Wisconsin.
Please join us at 10:15 a.m. for a pre-service sing-along of the following favorites: “He’s Got the Whole World,” “I’ve Got the Joy,” “Jesus Bids Us Shine,” and “This Little Light of Mine.”