Our Music This Sunday

Ascension Sunday 

and our call to discipleship

 

The lessons this Sunday point to Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit to the disciples.  After he “opened their minds to understand the scriptures…and blessed them… he was lifted up,  and a cloud took him out of their sight.”  (Luke 24:50-51)

 

And from the book of Acts, Paul tells the apostles (from the Greek for “send forth”), what Jesus had instructed: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8)

 

Our hymn of praise for the opening of worship is “Alleluia! Sing to Jesus.” The “alleluias” that begin each stanza create a joyful tone for the entire hymn. As we sing, we acclaim the glory of Christ now that the work of redemption is finished (stanza 1); we are reminded that Christ has ascended but is always present with his people by his Spirit (stanza 2); we petition Christ to hear the cry of sinners and be our Intercessor (stanza 3); and we celebrate Christ as both human and divine (stanza 4).

 

Alleluia! Sing to Jesus;  his the scepter, his the throne;
Alleluia! his the triumph, his the victory alone!
Hark! The songs of peaceful Zion thunder like a mighty flood:
“Jesus out of every nation has redeemed us by his blood.”

 

Alleluia! Not as orphans are we left in sorrow now;
Alleluia! he is near us; faith believes nor questions how.
Though the cloud from sight received him, when the forty days were o’er,
shall our hearts forget his promise: “I am with you evermore”?

 

Alleluia! Bread of angels, here on earth our food, our stay;
Alleluia! here the sinful flee to you from day to day.
Intercessor, friend of sinners, earth’s redeemer, hear our plea
where the songs of all the sinless sweep across the crystal sea.

 

Alleluia! King eternal, Lord omnipotent we own;
Alleluia! born of Mary, earth your footstool, heaven your throne.
As within the veil you entered, robed in flesh, our great high priest;
here on earth both priest and victim in the eucharistic feast.

 

These words were written in 1866 by William Chatterton Dix.  Dix made many valuable contributions to hymnody; most of his best-known hymns are in common use in America.

One of the most loved Welsh tunes,  Hyfrydol (Welsh for “tuneful” or “pleasant”) was composed by Rowland Hugh Prichard when he was only nineteen. Prichard was an amateur musician, but he had a good singing voice and was a cantor, someone who helps facilitate worship.  Hyfrydol was published with about forty of his other tunes in his 1844 children’s hymnal The Singers’ Friend.

 

More music for Sunday

Lindsey Smith will play trombone: “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”

Colin & Geoff McLean will sing “Teach Me Your Ways, O Lord.”

 

 

 

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