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Notes on the Notes – October 15, 2017

This week’s theme:  Who do we worship?

This week’s scripture readings:

Exodus 32:1-14    Matthew 22:1-14

This week’s music:

“I Need Thee Every Hour” (VU #671)

“I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.

I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;I need thee
Every hour I need Thee;
Oh, bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their pow’r when Thou art nigh.

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is vain.

I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.”

The author for “I Need Thee Every Hour,” Annie Sherwood Hawks, wrote over 400 hymns in her lifetime. Born in Hoosick, New York on May 28, 1835, Hawks had a love for writing poetry, and her poems were published in local newspapers while she was still in her youth.

In the History of Hymns series on the Mormon Channel, “I Need Thee Every Hour” was analyzed to discover its origins. Below is an excerpt:

Annie Hawks was the mother of three children when the hymn for which she is best known was written. Annie later wrote, “I remember well the morning when in the midst of the daily cares of my home, I was so filled with the sense of the nearness of the Master, that wondering how one could live without him either in joy or pain, these words ‘I Need Thee Every Hour’ were ushered into my mind. The hymn was wafted out to the world on the wings of love and joy, rather than under the stress of great personal sorrow. It was not until long years after when the shadow of a great loss fell over my way that I understood something of the comforting in the words I have been permitted to write.”

When Hawks moved to Brooklyn with her husband, Charles Hawks, at age 24, she met a pastor named Dr. Robert S. Lowry. An accomplished composer, Lowry praised Hawks’s writing and commented, “If you’ll write the words, I’ll write the music.”

Hanson Place Baptist Church was where the two came in contact, and Dr. Lowry seemed to be the perfect composer to collaborate with Hawks. He wrote 500 gospel songs and contributed the music and even some of the lyrics to “I Need Thee Every Hour.” Dr. Lowry had no particular method for writing music and said of his talent, “My brain is a sort of spinning machine, I think, for there is music running through it all the time.”

Hear a traditional a capella version of the hymn at:  https://youtu.be/ZkgiDDO-fOg

Hear Fernando Ortega sing the hymn at:  https://youtu.be/tZIMDcgrF-Q

Hear Ella Fitzgerald’s classic version at:  https://youtu.be/zMlbfgSG9O0

Hear a contemporary version of the classic hymn mixed with rap at:  https://youtu.be/eC58RdoNUmk

“Praise to the Lord the Almighty” (VU #220)

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, who rules all creation;
O my soul, praise him, at all times your health and salvation.Praise to the Lord
Come, all who hear; brothers and sisters draw near;
Joining in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, above all things so mightily reigning,
Keeping us safe at his side, and so gently sustaining.
Have you not seen how all you needed has been
Met by God’s gracious ordaining?

Praise to the Lord who will prosper our work and defend us,
Surely his goodness and mercy will daily attend us;
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
Who out of love will befriend us.

Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him!
All that has life and breath come now with praises before him!
Let the Amen sound from God’s people again;
Gladly with praise we adore him.”

Joachim Neander rebelled against his family’s piety, but was converted at age twenty at St. Martin’s Church in his native city of Bremen.  This hymn was written in 1680, the year of his death at age thirty from tuberculosis.  The text is based on Psalm 103: 1-6 and Psalm 150 and is a joyful, truimphant expression of praise to God for his sovereign care over his creation and for his people. The tune, LOBE DEN HERREN is an adaptation by Neander of an anonymous German chorale tune first published in 1665.  In our hymn book, an effort has been made to modernize the words and make them more inclusive.

See the hymn sung with original English text at Westminster Abby in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s 60th anniversary of her coronation.


“How Deep the Peace” (MV #95)
Linnea Good’s life journey is an example of how faith can empower a person to become something bigger and more beautiful than they ever could have imagined. The eldest daughter of an accountant and a librarian, her early start on a music career was as a children’s animator at the local church in New Brunswick. She was 12 years old then and has hardly looked back since in her quest to create music that is memorable, faithful and socially relevant. Linnea Good used the poetry of Lynn Bauman as the lyrics for this short response (2004). It is based on Psalm 32.

“How deep the peace, the confidence, of those whose wrongs are forgiven.
How deep the peace, the confidence, of those whose hearts are healed.”

 Deep Peace

“The Wedding Banquet”

“I cannot come.
I cannot come to the banquet,
Don’t trouble me now.
I have married a wife.
I have bought me a cow.
I have fields and commitments
That cost a pretty sum.
Pray, hold me excused,
I cannot come.

A certain man held a feast on his fine estate in town.
He laid a festive table and he wore a wedding gown.
He sent invitations to his neighbors far and wideToo-Busy
But when the meal was ready, each of them replied:

The master rose up in anger, called his servants by name, said:
“Go into the town, fetch the blind and the lame,
Fetch the peasant and the pauper for this I have willed,
My banquet must be crowded, and my table must be filled.

When all the poor had assembled, there was still room to spare,
So the master demanded: “Go search ev’ry where,
To the highways and byways and force them to come in.
My table must be filled before the banquet can begin.

Now God has written a lesson for the rest of mankind;
If we’re slow in responding, He may leave us behind.
He’s preparing a banquet for that great and glorious day.
When the Lord and Master calls us, be certain not to say:   I cannot come.”

This week’s anthem is a retelling of the parable of the wedding feast from the gospel of Matthew.  It was written by American Medical Mission Sister Miriam Therese Winter and recorded by the Medical Mission Sisters on their album Joy is Like the Rain in 1966.

The Medical Mission Sisters are a religious congregation of women in the Roman Catholic Church founded in 1925 and dedicated to providing the poor of the world better access to health care.  The congregation grew out of the experiences of Dr. Anna Dengel of Austria. Dr. Dengel had served for several years as a medical missionary to the poor of what was then Northern India and today is the nation of Pakistan. She had experienced firsthand the unnecessary sickness and death of countless Muslim women and children, whose customs kept them cut off from medical care administered by male physicians.

After months of traveling to give talks about the conditions in India, and speaking with many members of the clergy, Dr. Dengel became convinced that only a group of Religious Sisters who had been professionally trained as physicians could reach these women, who were cut off from adequate medical care by cultural and religious traditions. Such a project, however, was contrary to canon law of the time, which prohibited members of religious institutes from practicing medicine.

Nevertheless, she drew up a Constitution for the Community she had in mind and wrote that the members were “to live for God…to dedicate themselves to the service of the sick for the love of God and …to be properly trained according to the knowledge and standards of the time in order to practice medicine in its full scope, to which the Sisters were to dedicate their lives.”

The North American headquarters for the Congregation came to be established in Philadelphia in 1964 when, like The Singing Nun (Soeur Sourire) had done a year earlier – the Sisters began singing their own homegrown brand of spiritually-themed folk music as an aide to the medical health and wellness they professed.

Word got round the music community, and a year later in 1965 one of the most prolific of these composers, Sister Miriam Therese Winter had composed what would become a Grammy-award-winning worldwide hit Joy is Like the Rain. Response was so strong to the song that other songs were written and a marathon eight-hour recording session was commissioned in Philadelphia in early 1966, at which this song was recorded along with dozens of others which would make up their first five albums.

Immediately after the session, the original Sisters – save Sister Miriam herself – were scattered by the four winds across the seven seas in their missions to God in order to bring their healing touch and their much needed medicine to the far corners of the developing world. In 1972 the sisters released the first music not recorded at the original session in an album entitled I Know a Secret.

The Sisters music is still an integral part of their healing mission, and new music is continuously being written and recorded for a new generation of music fans the world over.  (Source:  Wikipedia)

Hear the song as the soundtrack to a Lego video of the parable at:  https://youtu.be/eM2yO22rSE4

“Joyful, Joyful We Adore You” (VU #232)

“Joyful, joyful we adore you God of glory, life and love;
Hears unfold like flowers before you, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness, drive the gloom of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day.

All your works with joy surround you, earth and heaven reflect your rays,
Stars and angels sing around you, centre of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Chanting bird and flowing fountain, sound their praise eternally.

You are giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blest,
Well-spring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Source of grace and fount of blessing, let your light upon us shine;
Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals join the mighty chorus, which the morning stars began;
God’s own love is reigning o’er us, joining people hand in hand.
Ever singing march we onward, victors in the midst of strife;
Joyful music leads us sunward in the triumph son of life.”

This hymn of joy celebrates the constancy of God’s love for and in creation.  The words are not a translation of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” but were written in 1907 by Henry van Dyke as a gift to his host, James Garfield, president of Williams College, Massachusetts (and later president of the United States), while van Dyke was a guest preacher at the college.  The text was altered in the interest of inclusivity when it was published in Voices United.  Beethoven’s chorale theme from the final movement of his Symphony No. 9, Op. 125, was the tune which van Dyke had in mind when he wrote the text.  It had been arranged as a hymn tune in 1846 by Edward Hodges, an organist from Bristol.

Over the years, Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” has remained a political protest anthem and a celebration of music. The song has been widely used,  from demonstrators in Chile singing during demonstration against the Pinochet dictatorship, Chinese student broadcast at Tiananmen Square, to the concert conducted by Leonard Bernstein after the fall of the Berlin Wall and Daiku (Big Ninth) concerts in Japan every December.

Hear the hymn at the Royal Albert Hall in London:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMY3ivdNzwE

Hear Michael W. Smith sing they hymn at:  https://youtu.be/NHm_p7xj5uQ

Bonus Video:  Breathe by Jonny Diaz


Categories: Notes on the Notes