• Service music

    Music for Trinity 23 (November 4, 2018)

    The Collect for this Sunday speaks of God as our refuge, an image referenced in our opening hymn, Charles Wesley’s “Jesus, Lover of my soul.” Originally titled “On Temptation” — since sin and temptation are the foes from which the believer is most urgently seeking refuge — this hymn was first published in 1740, about two years after Wesley’s conversion experience. The words of the opening lines were sometimes regarded as too intimate for public worship, so, in the nineteenth century, some hymnal editors altered the text to describe God’s love less vividly. Our sermon hymn, “O God of earth and altar,” with its prophetic text by G. K. Chesterton, first…

  • Service music

    Music for All Saints Day (November 1, 2018)

    Our opening hymn in this service is “For all the saints,” one of the most popular hymns written by Ralph Vaughan Williams. (His work on the editing of the The English Hymnal, published in 1906, was discussed in an article I wrote that was published in Touchstone in November/December 2017.) The Offertory proper for this feast day is from the deuterocanonical book of Wisdom 3:1-2a, 3b. “The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die; but they are in peace.” The Latin rendering of this text has been set to music by many composers:…

  • Service music

    Music for SS. Simon & Jude (Trinity 22, October 28, 2018)

    This year, the 22nd Sunday after Trinity falls on the feast-day of St. Simon and St. Jude. The Collect for the day: “O ALMIGHTY God, who hast built thy Church upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the head corner-stone; Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their doctrine, that we may be made an holy temple acceptable unto thee; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” Our Offertory Anthem on this Sunday is “Blessed are those that be undefiled,” a setting of the first six verses of Psalm 119 by Thomas Tallis (1505-1585). The Communion Motet for this Sunday is…