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Notes on the Notes – October 6, 2013

This week’s reading: 2 Timothy 1: 1-14

This week’s music:

“All Who Hunger”  (VU #460) –  Born in 1955, Sylvia Dunstan attributes her love of song to her grandparents, who kept song alive in the family and entrusted Sylvia’s formal musical education to one of the nuns at the local convent. Sylvia began writing songs in the early seventies and soon after met Sister Miriam Theresa Winter, who encouraged her to write songs based on Scripture. Sylvia eventually realized that her talents did not lay with the music and concentrated instead on the lyrics.    In 1980, she was ordained by the Hamilton Conference of the United Church of Canada. During her career she served as a minister, a prison chaplain, and editor of a Canadian worship resource journal, Gathering.

In the summer of 1990 she was invited to lead the annual conference of the Hymn Society in the U.S. and Canada in a session exploring her hymnody.  She became acquainted with the American folk hymns in William Walker’s Southern Harmony (1835) at this conference.   She wrote “All Who Hunger” for the tune HOLY MANNA, composed in 1825 by William Moore.  The arrangement used in Voices United is by David Kai, a member of the Hymn and Worship Resource Committee which compiled Voices United.

Sylvia Dunstan died on July 25, 1993, almost four months after being diagnosed with liver cancer. She left behind a ministry that combined a compassionate concern for the needy and distraught with a consuming love of liturgy.  –http://www.giamusic.com/bios/

“All who hunger, gather gladly, holy manna is our bread.  Come from wilderness and wandering.  Here, in truth, we will be fed. 

You that yearn for days of fullness, all around us is our food.  Taste and see the grace eternal.  Taste and see that God is good…”

We learn from this hymn the nature of the meal and how important it is for all who share it. Those who partake in this meal “yearn for days of fullness” (stanza one), are “never strangers” (stanza two), and will find that “Jesus Christ is living bread” (stanza three).   This is not a memorial hymn that recalls Christ’s suffering, but a joyful hymn of community to be shared at the table.  As the writer notes in stanza three, “Blest are those who from this table live their days in gratitude.”

To hear the tune go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBktKbgTm_g

“Here, O My Lord, I See You Face to Face” (VU #459) – Horatius Bonar wrote this hymn for a communion service at his brother’s church in Greenock, Scotland.   In it he has written of the assurance of forgiveness that one finds when he gathers with the church of God for worship.  This hymn is sung to the tune,  ST. AGNES (LANGRAN).

“Here, O my Lord, I see you face to face; Here would I touch and handle things unseen, Here grasp with firmer hand th’eternal grace, And all my weariness upon you lean.

Here would I feed upon the bread of God, Here drink with you the royal wine of heav’n; Here would I lay aside each earthly load, Here taste afresh the calm of sin forgiven.

This is the hour of banquet and of song; This is the heav’nly table for me spread: Here let me feast, and, feasting, still prolong The fellowship of living wine and bread…”

To learn more about this hymn, visit http://www.gbod.org/lead-your-church/history-of-hymns/resource/history-of-hymns-here-o-my-lord-i-see-thee

To hear the melody, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIp29uZKmyw

“One Bread, One Body” (VU #467) – John B. Foley is a theologian, musician, and Jesuit priest who has written new music for the Catholic liturgy.  This hymn is based on I Corinthians 10:16-17 and speaks of the unity of the people of God.   Hear the song at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6xIdDYiA9A

“One bread, one body, one Lord of all,

One cup of blessing which we bless;

And we, though many, throughout the earth,

We are one body in this one Lord.”

 “Sing Out Your Song, Christians of the World” – Today’s anthem, by Don Besig and Nancy Price was written in 1985.  Besig combines original music with one verse of the classic hymn “In Christ There is No East or West” with the tune ST. PETER.

“Though we come from different places, though we speak in different ways,  so many creeds and different races, so many questions we must face.

But these things must not divide us.  We know our purpose is the same.  For we have chosen Christ to guide us; we are united in His name.

So sing out your song, Christians of the world.  Lift up your voices and let them be heard, for the gospel of peace is the message we bring.

Rejoice in our Saviour and King!” 

 “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” –  (The Hymn Book #84)  Gospel music has its roots in both African music and traditional Anglican hymns, and often includes clapping, refrains or chants. One of the most famous American spirituals, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” is a traditional gospel song which some sources believe to have been penned by Obie Philpot.  It was first published in 1927 in Spirituals Triumphant, Old and New. The hymn quickly became a popular song, beloved for its simple message and swaying, easy tune.  The hymn’s message teaches us to put our trust in God, who knows and cares for all creatures on His great, green earth. The song has been adapted and revised many times in the last 90 years.

Read and listen to biblical connections of this song at:  http://www.urbanfaith.com/2011/03/who-wrote-hes-got-the-whole-world-in-his-hands.html/

Listen to the song sung by:

Raffi – children’s folk singer – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-QS-Xr_vGw

Laurie London – first artist to record the song – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bbYFgf_pQc

Country singer Tanya Tucker – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guyrERfsCB8

Country singer Loretta Lynn – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCSPH9FVAnY

Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEH7jyt1eoo

Bobby McFerrin – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGgSmNBb2Ns

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