Monthly Archives: January 2016

Hymns That Speak to Us

timothydudley-smThis Sunday we will sing “Not for Tongues of Heaven’s Angels,” written by another of my favorite hymn writers, Timothy Dudley-Smith.  Like Jane Parker Huber (see last week’s blog post) Dudley-Smith often provides new words to the tunes of familiar hymns.  I love what he says about hymns:

 

“Not all our hymn texts will be, or even should be, Rolls Royces; but they should all be decently roadworthy, and as true to Scripture, as free from blemish, as carefully constructed, as appealing to the imagination, heart, and will, and as user-friendly as we can make them.”

 

One of the most respected and widely-published contemporary English hymn-writers, Dudley-Smith has been writing hymn texts for more than 50 years. He has published 400 hymn texts and is represented in countless hymnals throughout the English-speaking world.  The text for “Not for Tongues of Heaven’s Angels” comes from I Corinthians 13, Paul’s famous treatise on love (our Epistle for Sunday).

The tune, BRIDEGROOM, may be more familiar to you as “Like the Murmur of the Dove’s Song.”  Peter Cutts has composed over 130 hymn tunes, 90 of which appear in print throughout the English-speaking world. BRIDGEGROOM, his best-known tune, appears in many hymnals. You’ll hear it also at Sunday’s prelude.

Not for tongues of heaven’s angels,  not for wisdom to discern,
not for faith that masters mountains, for this better gift we yearn:

may love be ours, O Lord.

Love is humble, love is gentle,  love is tender, true, and kind;
love is gracious, ever patient, generous of heart and mind: 

may love be ours, O Lord.

Never jealous, never selfish, love will not rejoice in wrong;
never boastful nor resentful, love believes and suffers long:

may love be ours, O Lord.

In the day this world is fading, faith and hope will play their part;
but when Christ is seen in glory, love shall reign in every heart:

may love be ours, O Lord.

 

easter

 

You are invited!

 Sing or play an instrument in this year’s Easter cantata

during the 11am worship on March 27.

Choir practice

Wednesdays starting February 3—8:00 ’til 8:45

 

Instrumental practice

Wednesday, March 23

 

Talk to Barbara at 703-346-3512 or email music@cpcfairfax.org.                                                                                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hymns That Speak to Us

easter

 You are invited!

 Sing or play an instrument in this year’s Easter cantata during the 11am worship on March 27.

CHOIR PRACTICES

Wednesdays starting February 3—8:00 ’til 8:45

INSTRUMENTAL PRACTICE

Wednesday, March 23-7:30 ’til 9:00

Talk to Barbara at 703-346-3512 or email music@cpcfairfax.org.

 

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Hymns That Speak to Us

This Sunday we will sing “Live into Hope,” written by one of my favorite janehymn writers, Jane Parker Huber.  It is one of eleven of her hymns in the Presbyterian Hymnal. She took the tunes of familiar hymns and provided them with new words to reflect inclusive language, peacemaking, social justice, and hope in Christ’s kingdom.

Huber was born in China, the daughter of Presbyterian missionaries, but grew up in Hanover, Ohio, where her father was Hanover College president for 29 years.  She married her childhood sweetheart who was founding pastor at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis. She served on several councils of the Presbyterian Church, including the United Presbyterian Women and the Committee for a New Hymnbook. She was named a Valiant Woman by Church Women United in their jubilee year.  She wrote 200 hymns.

The text for “Live into Hope” comes from Isaiah 61 and Luke 4, Sunday’s gospel. The tune, TRURO, may be more familiar to you as “Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates.”

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

Live into hope of captives freed,

    Of sight regained, the end of greed.

    The oppressed shall be the first to see

    The year of God’s own jubilee!

 

Live into hope the blind shall see

    With insight and with clarity,

    Removing shades of pride and fear —

    A vision of our God brought near.

 

Live into hope of liberty,

    The right to speak, the right to be,

    The right to have one’s daily bread,

    To hear God’s word and thus be fed.

 

Live into hope of captives freed

    From chains of fear or want or greed.

    God now proclaims our full release

    To faith and hope and joy and peace.

 

worship

 

 

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Performance or Worship?

 

With our Christmas cantata barely over, and Easter coming up soon, it seems appropriate to re-post this blog article from 2013.

Choir June 15 2014

“…with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.”  Colossians 3:16b

 

Performance: putting your best presentation forward to please the audience.
Worship: stripping away what you bring and seeing what God provides.

Performance: using your talent to entertain an audience.
Worship: using your gifts to share God’s word with others.

Performance: hyping up an audience, getting them thinking about what a great song they just heard.
Worship: preparing the audience, focusing them on the upcoming teaching on God’s word.

Performance: fireworks on stage.
Worship: fire in our hearts.

Performance: spotlight on the performer.
Worship: an inner light that can’t be hidden.

Performance: band of professionals.
Worship: body of Christ.

Performance: no empty chairs = success.
Worship: overflowing hearts on/off the stage = God showed up.

Performance: “Great job, guys…what’s on the schedule for next week?”
Worship: “I felt so close to you today, God…when do we get to do this again?”

 

(Adapted from “My view of the [church] stage” by Heather Cohick Cardy)

 

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