Monthly Archives: September 2015

In Our Music This Sunday

 download (1)“What a Friend We Have in Jesus” 

Hymn 403 

Are any among you suffering? They should pray.  James 5:13

Joseph Scriven watched in shock as the body of his fiancée was pulled from the lake.  Their wedding had been planned for the next day.  Reeling from the tragedy, he immigrated to Canada from Dublin, leaving his mother behind.  Ten years later, in 1855, he received word that his mother was facing a crisis.  Joseph wrote the poem  “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and sent it to her.

Meanwhile, Joseph fell in love again.  But tragedy struck a second time when his bride became ill and died before their wedding could take place.  To escape his sorrow, Joseph poured himself into ministry, doing charity work and preaching.

Many years later a friend, sitting with Joseph when he was ill, was very impressed when he ran across his poems. As a result of this visit, almost 30 years after his letter of comfort to his mother, Joseph’s poems were published in a book called Hymns and Other Verses. Soon thereafter, noted musician Charles Converse set music to one of those poems: “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”  The tune, Converse, has also been called Friendship.

After Joseph Scriven’s death, the citizens of Port Hope, Ontario, where he gave so much of himself, erected a monument to his life. The sad and obscure life of one man resulted in  many lives being uplifted, both in his own time, and even today whenever the beautiful and comforting words of “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” are sung.

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!

Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bear, 

All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!

 

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

 

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

 

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Our Music This Sunday

crosby“Blessed Assurance”

Hymn 341

Therefore, my friends… let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean…and our bodies washed with pure water. 

Hebrews 10:19a, 22

 

Usually, a hymn writer writes a poem and then it is set to music. In the case of “Blessed Assurance,” the tune came first.  Here’s how it happened.

Blind from the age of 6, Fanny Crosby was visiting her friend Phoebe Knapp when Knapp played a new melody she had just composed. She asked Crosby, “What do you think the tune says?” Crosby replied, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.” The resulting hymn has become one of the most beloved of all time.

Crosby is best-known as a writer of Sunday-school songs and gospel hymns.  “Safe in the arms of Jesus” was her own favorite, but some others you may recognize are “Sweet Hour of Prayer,” “To God be the Glory,” and “I Am Thine, O Lord” (which you will also hear in Sunday’s anthem).

Phoebe Palmer Knapp was a wealthy Christian, organist, and social activist who believed that Christianity should aid the poor and foster reform. She gave large sums of money for the poor, and worked to enlist social and political leaders in her causes. Her other passion was music, and she wrote over 500 hymn tunes, the most familiar being ASSURANCE.

 

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

 

Refrain:  This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.

 

Perfect submission, perfect delight! Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
(refrain)

 

Perfect submission, all is at rest! I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above, filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
(refrain)

 

Trivia note: Fanny Crosby was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing over 8,000 hymns and gospel songs. Because some publishers were hesitant to have so many hymns by one person in their hymnals, Crosby used nearly 200 different pseudonyms during her career.

 

 

 

 

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Our music this Sunday

“Take Up Your Cross, the Savior Said” (Hymn 393)

score & cross“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and  take up their cross and follow me.Mark 8:34

In Sunday’s gospel from Mark, Jesus is telling his disciples how hard it will be to follow him.  This hymn, based on that passage, tells us that despite the weight, the shame, the danger of following him, Christ’s strength will lead us to abundant life.

Found in the “Life in Christ” section of The Presbyterian Hymnal, this was the only hymn written by Charles Everest.  The poem, written when he was only 19, comes from his Visions of Death, and Other Poems, published in 1833.  The text of the hymn differs greatly from his original poem; the most widely known form of the text is that in Hymns Ancient & Modern, where it appeared in 1861.  It is distinctive because it was one of only two hymns by American authors to appear in that significant British collection.

The tune is named BOURBON, referring not to whiskey, but the aristocratic French family whose descendants included Henry IV, Phillip V, and Charles III.  The strong pentatonic (five-pitch) folk melody enhances the evangelical thrust of the text.  It is attributed to Freeman Lewis (1780-1859), a surveyor and school teacher, who wrote music on the side.

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It’s not too late to join a Christ Presbyterian Church

Music Ensemble!

Sanctuary Choir         Age 14 & up                         Wednesday evenings, 7:30 to 8:45     starts Sept 9

Handbell Choir          6th grade & up                    Tuesday evenings, 7:30 to 8:45           starts Sept 15

Children’s Choir        K – 6th grade                       Sunday mornings, 9:35 to 9:55           starts Sept 20

Chime Choir                Ages 9 to 99!                       2 Sundays/month, 12:15 to 12:45       starts Sept 27

Make music to the Lord with instruments and the sound of singing. 

Psalm 98:5

 

 

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Our Music This Sunday

tongues

 

“O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing”

 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

                                              Mark 7:37

After his conversion in 1738, Charles Wesley’s life changed, and he gained victory over both his temper and his unfortunate drinking habit.  He also began to spread the news of what had happened to him, writing 6500 hymn texts.  New vitality came into Charles’ public preaching; he discontinued the practice of reading his sermons, and began preaching extemporaneously.  He found a fruitful arena for ministry at the infamous Newgate Prison, and allowed himself to be locked up with condemned men on nights before their executions, that he might comfort and witness to them during their final hours.

As the first anniversary of his conversion approached, Charles wrote an eighteen-stanza hymn describing his praise to the Lord.  The seventh stanza began “O for a thousand tongues to sing,” inspired by a statement he had once heard: “Had I a thousand tongues, I would praise him with them all.”  Beginning with a 1767 hymnbook, that stanza was made the first, and when John Wesley compiled his Collection of Hymns in 1780, he chose this for the first hymn in the book.  Congregations today usually sing stanzas seven, eight, nine, and ten of Charles’ original.  Other hymns by Charles Wesley include “Christ the Lord is Risen Today,” “Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”

 

Carl Gotthelf Glaser, whose hymn tune Azmon is used with this hymn, was born in Germany, where he received musical training, and became a teacher of voice, violin and piano. Glaser also composed choral music and was a well-known conductor.

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Join a Christ Presbyterian Church Music Ensemble!

Make music to the Lord with instruments and the sound of singing.   Psalm 98:5

Sanctuary Choir ~ Age 14 & up ~ Wednesday evenings, 7:30 to 8:45 starts Sept 9

Handbell Choir ~ 6th grade & up  ~ Tuesday evenings, 7:30 to 8:45 starts Sept 15

Children’s Choir ~ K – 6th grade ~ Sunday mornings, 9:35 to 9:55 starts Sept 20

Chime Choir ~ Ages 9 to 99! ~ Sundays, 12:15 to 12:45 twice a month

 

 

 

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