Baltimore Sun article :
Highlandtown ax-throwing venue and bar gets OK from liquor board
Baltimore Sun article :
Highlandtown ax-throwing venue and bar gets OK from liquor board
I came across this by Cranach, and it was irresistible. We had six children in eight years, so I know how Jesus feels.
Drug companies have been busy pushing opioids and doctors think that every pain should be treated with narcotics. When I fractured my foot, Urgent Care offered me Oxycontin. I said ibuprofen was sufficient.
In the nineteenth century patent medicines were full of unadmitted ingredients, contributing to a massive problem with drug addiction.
Therefore, on that same Frederick News page of June 1,1895, I noticed this ad, I was suspicious:
Sure enough, a quick Internet search revealed what was calming the babies so quickly: morphine.
In researching old newspapers for genealogical and historical purposes, my eye sometimes alights upon articles too good not to share. This one is from the Frederick News of June 1, 1895.
A comment diagnosed this condition:
Ichthyosis vulgaris is an inherited skin condition that occurs when your skin doesn’t shed its dead skin cells. This causes dry, dead skin cells to accumulate in patches on the surface of your skin. It’s also known as “fish scale disease” because the dead skin accumulates in a similar pattern to a fish’s scales.
The majority of cases are mild and confined to specific areas of the body. However, some cases are severe and cover large areas of the body, including the abdomen, back, arms, and legs.
Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen
Mount Calvary Church
A Roman Catholic Congregation of
The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter
Missa de S. Maria Magdalena, Willan
Christ is made the sure foundation
In heavenly love abiding
O worship the King, all glorious above
Vinea mea electa, Johann Michael Haydn
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Giaches de Wert
Christ is made the sure foundation was translated by the great Anglican hymnologist John Mason Neale (1818-1866) from the Latin hymn Angularis fundamentum. Christ is the cornerstone of the Church; insofar as we are aligned to Him, we are made into a unity, a temple where God is praised. We ask for His blessings that we may praise Him forever.
The hymn is based on Ephesians 2:20-22: “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”
And on I Peter 2:4-7: “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.’
Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,
‘The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.’”
Christ is made the sure Foundation,
Christ the Head and Cornerstone,
Chosen of the Lord and precious,
Binding all the Church in one;
Holy Zion’s help forever,
And her confidence alone.
All that dedicated city,
dearly loved of God on high,
in exultant jubilation
pours perpetual melody;
God the One in Three adoring
in glad hymns eternally.
To this temple, where we call Thee,
Come, O Lord of Hosts, today:
With Thy wonted loving-kindness
Hear Thy people as they pray;
And Thy fullest benediction
Shed within its walls alway.
Here vouchsafe to all Thy servants
What they ask of Thee to gain,
What they gain from Thee forever
With the blessed to retain,
And hereafter in Thy glory
Evermore with Thee to reign.
Here is a parish (RC? Anglican?) singing it.
Here is the Latin hymn which Neale translated-paraphrased:
lapis Christus missus est,
qui parietum compage
in utroque nectitur,
quem Sion sancta suscepit,
in quo credens permanet.
Omnis illa Deo sacra
et dilecta civitas,
plena modulis in laude
et canore jubilo,
trinum Deum unicumque
cum fervore prædicat.
Hoc in templo, summe Deus,
et clementi bonitate
precum vota suscipe;
hic infunde jugiter.
Hic promereantur omnes
et adepta possidere
cum sanctis perenniter,
translati in requiem.
Here is the Gregorian chant for this Latin hymn.
The son of an Anglican clergyman, James Mason Neale (1818-1866) intended to follow the same path. Hymn scholar Leon Litvack notes, “Neale entered Cambridge as an Evangelical, but emerged an Anglo-Catholic.” Fascinated by the tracts of the Oxford Movement, he became intensely interested in the medieval church. The result was an interest in a “high church” in contrast to an “evangelical” perspective that influenced developments in liturgy and architecture as well as hymn singing.
Neale was a student of worship in the early church and one of the first to translate ancient Greek and Latin texts into metrical English for singing. American hymnologist William Reynolds notes that “His strong attachment to the old Breviary hymns [of the medieval church] caused him to urge the omission of the Protestant hymns from the Anglican service in favor of translations of medieval hymns.”
Though an ordained Anglican priest, Neale was unable to serve a parish due to his health. He was appointed as a warden of a home for indigent old men, but was not permitted to serve as a priest because he had alienated the hierarchy of the Anglican Church due to his independent spirit regarding his beliefs and rigorous devotional practices. His minimal caretaker duties, however, allowed Neale time to pursue his scholarly studies.
Henry Thomas Smart composed REGENT SQUARE for the Horatius Bonar doxology “Glory be to God the Father.” The tune was first published in the English Presbyterian Church’s Psalms and Hymns for Divine Worship (1867), of which Smart was music editor. Because the text editor of that hymnal, James Hamilton, was minister of the Regent Square Church, the “Presbyterian cathedral” of London, the tune was given this title.
Henry Thomas Smart (26 October 1813 – 6 July 1879) was an English organist and composer. He was born in London, a nephew of the conductor Sir George Smart and son of a music publisher, orchestra director and accomplished violinist (also called Henry Smart). He was educated at Highgate School and then studied for the law, but soon gave this up for music.
In 1831 Smart became organist of Blackburn parish church, where he wrote his first important work, an anthem; then of St Giles-without-Cripplegate; St Luke’s, Old Street; and finally of St Pancras New Church, in 1864, which last post he held at the time of his death, less than a month after receiving a government pension of £100 per annum. Smart was also skilled as a mechanic, and designed several organs.
Though highly rated as a composer by his English contemporaries, Smart is now largely forgotten, save for his hymn tune Regent Square, which retains considerable popularity, and which is commonly performed with the words “Christ is Made the Sure Foundation”, “Light’s Abode, Celestial Salem”, or “Angels from the Realms of Glory”. His many compositions for the organ (some of which have been occasionally revived in recent years) were described as “effective and melodious, if not strikingly original” by the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, which also praised his part songs. A cantata by him, The Bride of Dunkerron was written for the Birmingham Festival of 1864; another cantata was a version of the play King René’s Daughter (1871). The oratorio Jacob was created for Glasgow in 1873; and his opera Bertha was produced with some success at the Haymarket in 1855.
In heavenly love abiding was written by Anna Letitia Waring. Abide is key word in Scripture: “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” Jesus Himself is obedient to His Father and keeps the Commandments that the Father has given Him, and in that way Jesus abides in His Father’s love. The Father’s will was that the Son should become man and die for us, trusting in the Father to raise Him from the dead. We likewise trust in Jesus in the storms of life. The hymn then refers to Psalm 23, The Lord is my shepherd. Even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, Jesus walks with us, especially as we receive Him in the Eucharist, and we know that he will lead us to the green pastures of heaven.
1 In heavenly love abiding,
no change my heart shall fear;
and safe is such confiding,
for nothing changes here:
the storm may roar without me,
my heart may low be laid;
but God is round about me,
and can I be dismayed?
2 Wherever he may guide me,
no want shall turn me back;
my Shepherd is beside me,
and nothing can I lack:
his wisdom ever waketh,
his sight is never dim,
he knows the way he taketh,
and I will walk with him.
3 Green pastures are before me,
which yet I have not seen;
bright skies will soon be o’er me,
where darkest clouds have been;
my hope I cannot measure,
my path to life is free;
my Saviour has my treasure,
and he will walk with me.
Anna Letitia Waring (or Anna Laetitia Waring) (19 April 1823 – 10 May 1910) was a Welsh poet and hymn-writer. She was born at Plas-y-Felin, Neath, third of the seven children of Elijah Waring (1787-1857) and his wife, Deborah. Her family were Quakers, but she became an Anglican and was baptized into the Church of England in 1842, at St Martin Church, Winnall, Winchester. Several members of her family had literary interests. She learned Hebrew in order to study the Old Testament in the original.
In 1850, Anna published her first work, Hymns and Meditations. This was to be reprinted and extended many times. Additional Hymns (1858) was integrated into later editions of Hymns and Meditations.
Anna was pious, reserved, and given to “good works”. Anna became involved in philanthropic work, particularly as a supporter of the Discharged Prisoners’ Aid Society. According to her friend Mary S. Talbot, Waring “visited in the prisons of Bridewell, and at Horfield, Bristol, for many years. To one who spoke to her of the painfulness of such work she answered, ‘It is like watching by a filthy gutter to pick out a jewel here and there, as the foul stream flows by.'” Waring died unmarried at her home in Clifton, Bristol on 10 May 1910.
NYLAND, named for a province in Finland, is a folk melody from Kuortane, South Ostrobothnia, Finland. In fact, the tune is also known as KUORTANE. NYLAND was first published with a hymn text in an appendix to the 1909 edition of the Finnish Suomen Evankelis Luterilaisen Kirken Koraalikirja. It gained popularity in the English-speaking world after David Evans’s use of it in the British Church Hymnary of 1927 as a setting for Anna 1. Waring’s text “In Heavenly Love Abiding.”
David Evans was an important leader in Welsh church music. Educated at Arnold College, Swansea, and at University College, Cardiff, he received a doctorate in music from Oxford University. His longest professional post was as professor of music at University College in Cardiff (1903-1939), where he organized a large music department. He was also a well-known and respected judge at Welsh hymn-singing festivals and a composer of many orchestral and choral works, anthems, service music, and hymn tunes.
NYLAND is a modified rounded bar-form tune (AA’BA’) with a wide-ranging melodic contour and a fine harmonization for part singing.
O worship the King, all glorious above was written by Sir Robert Grant (1735-1838).
In 1835 Robert Grant wrote a text that helps us see the creation story in a new light. His meditation on the creation theme of Psalm 104 consists of six verses that parallel the six days of creation. Grant focuses on how creation is a testimony to God’s “measureless might.” The fourth and fifth verse we celebrate God’s saving grace to his creation. When God took that seventh day of rest, he was not signaling an end. He continued to bless His creation, even those as feeble and frail as us. In the last verse, Grant points to Christ as the ultimate reconciler of a broken, but still beautiful creation. The last rhyme end/Friend, emphasizes that the purpose (telos-end) of our creation was that we should in the end (forever) forever enjoy the friendship of God in Christ.
O worship the King all glorious above,
O gratefully sing His power and His love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.
O tell of His might, O sing of His grace,
Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space.
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
And dark is His path on the wings of the storm.
The earth with its store of wonders untold,
Almighty, Thy power hath founded of old;
Hath stablished it fast by a changeless decree,
And round it hath cast, like a mantle, the sea.
Thy bountiful care what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.
Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;
Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend!
Here is the tune for the organ, for the piano and women’s choir, for hand bells, for two violins, for women’s choir and drums and stuff, for praise band, for acoustic guitar, for piano and cello, for euphonium and piano, with handbells AND ballerina, for trombone and drums, on the harmonium.
Sir Robert Grant was the second son of Mr. Charles Grant, sometime Member of Parliament for Inverness, and a Director of the East India Company, was born in 1785, and educated at Cambridge, where he graduated in 1806. The Grants were members of the Clapham set, an Evangelical group in the Church of England. Called to the English Bar in 1807, he became Member of Parliament for Inverness in 1826; in that position, through his persistent efforts a bill was eventually passed which emancipated England’s Jews.
He became a Privy Councillor in 1831; and Governor of Bombay, 1834, where he had opportunity to put his social concerns into practice, for the poverty and spiritual condition of the common people were appalling. He died at Dapoorie, in Western India, July 9, 1838. As a hymn writer of great merit he is well and favorably known. His hymns, “O worship the King”; “Saviour, when in dust to Thee”; and “When gathering clouds around I view,” are widely used in all English-speaking countries. Some of those which are less known are marked by the same graceful versification and deep and tender feeling. The best of his hymns were contributed to the Christian Observer, 1806-1815, under the signature of “E—y, D. R.”; and to Elliott’s Psalms & Hymns, Brighton, 1835. In the Psalms & Hymns those which were taken from the Christian Observer were rewritten by the author. The year following his death his brother, Lord Glenelg, gathered 12 of his hymns and poems together, and published them.
Joseph Martin Kraus
The tune is LYONS, composed by Joseph Martin Kraus (20 June 1756 – 15 December 1792), a composer in the classical era who was born in Miltenberg am Main, Germany. He moved to Sweden at age 21, and died at the age of 36 in Stockholm. He is sometimes referred to as “the Swedish Mozart”, and had a life span which was very similar to that of Mozart’s.
Christus factus est pro nobis obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis. Propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum et dedit illi nomen, quod est super omne nomen.
Christ became obedient for us unto death, even death on the cross. Therefore God exalted Him and gave Him a name which is above all names.
Johann Michael Haydn (1707-1806) was an Austrian composer, the younger brother of Joseph Haydn. Michael Haydn, like his brother, was a chorister at St Stephen’s in Vienna. Shortly after leaving the choir-school, he was appointed Kapellmeister at Großwardein and later, in 1762, at Salzburg. The latter office he held for forty-three years, during which time he wrote over 360 compositions for the church and much instrumental music. He was an intimate friend of Mozart, who had a high opinion of his work, and the teacher of Carl Maria von Weber.
Haydn’s sacred choral works are generally regarded as his most important; his musical taste and skill showed themselves best in his church compositions and were already in his lifetime old-fashioned. Michael remained close to Joseph all of his life. Joseph regarded his brother’s music highly, to the point of feeling Michael’s religious works were superior to his own (possibly for their devotional intimacy, as opposed to Joseph’s monumental and majestic more secularized symphonic style
Here is a Hungarian performance.
Jerusalem, quæ occidis prophetas, et lapidas eos qui mittuntur ad te, quoties volui congregare filios tuos, quem admodum avis nidum suum sub pennis, et noluisti?
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Giaches de Wert (also Jacques/Jaches de Wert, Giaches de Vuert; 1535 – 6 May 1596) was a Franco-Flemish composer of the late Renaissance, active in Italy. Intimately connected with the progressive musical center of Ferrara, he was one of the leaders in developing the style of the late Renaissance madrigal.
The style of his sacred music varies from simple homophony, designed for absolute clarity of textual expression in conformance with the dictates of the Council of Trent, to motet settings similar in expressive intensity to his madrigals including passages of surprising chromaticism not unlike that of Gesualdo. This is particularly true in the 1581 collections: Ascendente Jesu, for example, contains colorful examples of text-painting such as he used in the works he was composing for the Ferrarese court at the time.
Here is his Egressus Jesus.
The Vineyard of the Lord, Lukas Cranach the Younger (1515-1586)
The Gospel for October 8 (Trinity XVII) is the parable of the Vineyard.
The first reading is from Isaiah 5:
Let me sing for my beloved
a love song concerning his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard
on a very fertile hill.
2 He digged it and cleared it of stones,
and planted it with choice vines;
he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
and hewed out a wine vat in it;
and he looked for it to yield grapes,
but it yielded wild grapes.
3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem
and men of Judah,
judge, I pray you, between me
and my vineyard.
4 What more was there to do for my vineyard,
that I have not done in it?
When I looked for it to yield grapes,
why did it yield wild grapes?
5 And now I will tell you
what I will do to my vineyard.
I will remove its hedge,
and it shall be devoured;
I will break down its wall,
and it shall be trampled down.
6 I will make it a waste;
it shall not be pruned or hoed,
and briers and thorns shall grow up;
I will also command the clouds
that they rain no rain upon it.
7 For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts
is the house of Israel,
and the men of Judah
are his pleasant planting;
and he looked for justice,
but behold, bloodshed;
but behold, a cry!
Psalm 80 continues the image:
8 You brought a vine out of Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it;
it took deep root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade,
the mighty cedars with its branches;
11 it sent out its branches to the sea,
and its shoots to the River.
12 Why then have you broken down its walls,
so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
13 The boar from the forest ravages it,
and all that move in the field feed on it.
14 Turn again, O God of hosts;
look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine,
15 the stock that your right hand planted.[b]
16 They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down;[c]
may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance.
17 But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
the one whom you made strong for yourself.
18 Then we will never turn back from you;
give us life, and we will call on your name.
And Jesus uses it in the Gospel (Matthew 21)
Hear another parable. There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country. 34 When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit; 35 and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them. 37 Afterward he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ 39 And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”
Cranach in 1582 painted the Protestant interpretation of this metaphor.
The painting once hung in Martin Luther’s parish church of St. Mary’s in Wittenberg. Cranach created this painting in memory of the Reformer Paul Eber, who lectured on theology in Wittenberg. Paul Eber, his wife, and and his thirteen children kneel on the right, The ones in white died in infancy.
It is riposte to a statement that Pope Leo X had made in response to Luther’s posting of his Ninety-five Theses. The pope excommunicated Luther, tossing him out of the Church, in Exsurge, Domine exclaiming famously, “The wild boar from the forest seeks to destroy the vineyard.”
The Lord’s Vineyard is defined as the central motif of the composition by a surrounding fence, which separates it from the landscape behind. A path divides this vineyard into two sections: Catholic left and Protestant right.
On the left side, the vineyard has withered from neglect and mismanagement. The pope, cardinals, bishops, priests and monks are hard at work … ripping out the vines and throwing rocks into the well. They are destroying the Good News of Jesus Christ with their false doctrines of the worship of Mary and the saints, purgatory, penance, indulgence, etc. They have ripped out the true salvation story contained in the words and person of Jesus Christ, who is the Vine to whom we are connected by faith. The monks are getting drunk and pulling up the vines.
But on the Protestant right, the vineyard is flourishing under Lutheran cultivation. Twelve reformers associated with Wittenberg, ranging from Martin Luther (d. 1546) to the young Matthias Flacius Illyricus (d. 1575), clear the land and prune and irrigate the new, healthy plants.
Luther in his black doctoral gown with a rake and other Reformers take care of the plants by watering them and pulling out the weeds. John Bugenhagen, Luther’s confessor and a contributor to the Augsburg Confession is in the center wearing a light-colored robe as he tills the soil.
Phillip Melanchthon, author of the Augsburg Confession, is drawing the pure waters of the Scriptures (ad fontes).
In the foreground a procession of clerics, lead by the pope, has stepped beyond the fenced area to meet with Christ and the apostles. The Pope seems to be offering Jesus money to gain admission to heaven, and Jesus is refusing it. Perhaps it is an allusion to Tetzel’s (alleged ) couplet “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul out of purgatory springs” (Sobald der Pfennig im Kasten klingt, die Selle aus dem Fegfeuer springt), which he is supposed to have used to preach the sale of indulgences which would release souls from Purgatory.
Jesus, like the owner of the Vineyard, is carrying a bag with money with which he will pay the true workers in the vineyard, i. e., the Reformers.
This is the frame and epitaph.
“Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
Mount Calvary Church
A Roman Catholic Congregation of
The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter
In Christ, there is no east or west
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy
Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
In Christ, there is no east or west is by John Oxenham (1852—1941). Oxenham opposes Rudyard Kipling’s sentiment: “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet” from Barrack-Room Ballads, and Other Verses (1892). Paul in Galatians 3:28 proclaimed: ‘There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ.’” Mount Calvary was the leading Episcopal church in Baltimore in its mission to African-American, It welcomed all as members, and sponsored two missions in Baltimore, St. Mary the Virgin and St. Katherine. St Mary the Virgin was the most prominent African-American Episcopal church in the United States, and had more communicants than Mount Calvary. Mount Calvary sponsored the first African- American seminarian at the General Theological Seminary. The Catholic vision of Mount Calvary has always included all races.
1 In Christ there is no East or West,
In Him no South or North;
But one great fellowship of love
Throughout the whole wide earth.
2 In Him shall true hearts everywhere
Their high communion find;
His service is the golden cord
Close binding all mankind.
3 Join hands, then, brothers of the faith,
Whate’er your race may be!
Who serves my Father as a son
Is surely kin to me.
4 In Christ now meet both East and West,
In Him meet South and North;
All Christly souls are one in Him
Throughout the whole wide earth.
Here is St. John’s, Detroit.
John Oxenham (William Arthur Dunkerley)
William Arthur Dunkerley (12 November 1852 – 23 January 1941) was a prolific English journalist, novelist and poet. He was born in Manchester, spent a short time after his marriage in America before moving to Ealing, west London, where he served as deacon and teacher at the Ealing Congregational Church from the 1880s, and he then moved to Worthing in Sussex in 1922, where he became the town’s mayor.
He wrote under his own name, and also as John Oxenham for his poetry, hymn-writing, and novels. His poetry includes Bees in Amber: a little book of thoughtful verse (1913) which became a bestseller. He also wrote the poem Greatheart. He used another pseudonym, Julian Ross, for journalism. Dunkerley was a major contributor to Jerome K. Jerome’s The Idler magazine.
He had two sons and four daughters, of whom the eldest, and eldest child, Elsie Jeanette, became well known as a children’s writer, particularly through her Abbey Series of girls’ school stories. Another daughter, Erica, also used the Oxenham pen-name. The elder son, Roderic Dunkerley, had several titles published under his own name.
Harry T. Burleigh (1866—1949).
It was named for the rector of St. George’s Episcopal Church in New York City, Elmer M. McKee, where Burleigh was the baritone soloist for over 50 years.
With the aid of a scholarship (obtained with the help of Frances MacDowell, the mother of composer Edward MacDowell), Burleigh at the age of 26 was accepted to the prestigious National Conservatory of Music in New York, eventually playing double bass in the Conservatory’s orchestra. Though at first the Conservatory denied Burleigh entrance, citing low grades, Mrs. MacDowell (the registrar) insisted that he try his entrance exam again. Days later, he received a scholarship. To help support himself there, Burleigh worked for Mrs. MacDowell as a handyman, cleaning and working on anything she needed. Reputedly, Burleigh, who later became known worldwide for his excellent baritone voice, sang spirituals while cleaning the Conservatory’s halls, which drew the attention of the conservatory’s director, Czech composer Antonín Dvořák, who asked Burleigh to sing for him. Burleigh said: “I sang our Negro songs for him very often, and before he wrote his own themes, he filled himself with the spirit of the old Spirituals.” Dvořák said: “In the negro melodies of America I discover all that is needed for a great and noble school of music.”
From what he called “Negro melodies” and Native American music, Dvořák took up the Pentatonic scale, which appears in some places in his Symphony “From the New World” and at the beginning of each movement of the “American” String Quartet. In the Symphony, a flute theme resembles the spiritual Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, which may well be among those Burleigh sang to Dvořák, and which may have been written by a Black (African-American, by descent) Native American (by legal status) Choctaw freedman, Wallis Willis.
In 1922, another student of Dvořák, William Arms Fisher, wrote the spiritual-like song “Goin’ Home” based on an English horn melody from the second movement (Largo) of the Symphony. No evidence seems to exist that the song existed before 1922, or the melody before the Symphony (1893), although both are disputed. In 1893 Burleigh assisted Dvořák in copying out instrumental parts for the symphony.
The following year, Burleigh sang in Dvořák’s arrangement of Pennsylvania native Stephen C. Foster’s classic Old Folks at Home. He graduated in 1896, and later served on the conservatory’s faculty.
In the late 1890s, he also began to publish his own arrangements of art songs. About 1898 he began to compose his own songs and by the late 1910s, Burleigh was one of America’s best-known composers of art songs. Beginning around 1910, Burleigh also worked editing music for G. Ricordi, an Italian music publisher with offices in New York.
Burleigh published several versions of the Negro spiritual “Deep River” in 1916 and 1917, and he quickly became known for his arrangements of spirituals for voice and piano; one of his arrangements in Common Metre is the hymn tune “McKee”, used with John Oxenham’s hymn “In Christ There Is No East or West”. His arrangements helped to make spirituals a popular genre for concert singers, and within a few years, many notable singers performed Burleigh’s arrangements.
Burleigh’s art song arrangements of the spiritual and other sentimental songs were so popular during the late 1910s and 1920s, that almost no vocal recitalist gave a concert in a major city without occasionally singing them. John McCormack sang a number of Burleigh’s songs in concert, including “Little Mother of Mine” (1917), “Dear Old Pal of Mine” (1918), “Under a Blazing Star” (1918), and “In the Great Somewhere” (1919). In many ways, the popularity of Burleigh’s settings contributed to an explosion of popularity for the genre during the 1920s. He also set some poems by Walt Whitman to music, and also published songs for piano and violin. (Wikipedia)
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy was written by Frederick Faber (1814—1863). He was born an Anglican and reared a strict Calvinist. After attending Oxford, he took orders as an Anglican priest and began his ministry as a rector. Influenced by his friend John Henry Newman (1801—1890) who converted from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism in 1845, Faber also converted to Catholicism that same year.
1 There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,
Like the wideness of the sea:
There’s a kindness in His justice,
Which is more than liberty.
2 There is welcome for the sinner,
And more graces for the good;
There is mercy with the Saviour;
There is healing in His blood.
3 For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of man’s mind;
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.
4 If our love were but more simple,
We should take Him at His Word;
And our lives would be all sunshine
In the presence of our Lord.
Frederick Faber was born in 1814 at Calverley, then within the Parish of Calverley in the West Riding of Yorkshire, where his grandfather, Thomas Faber, was the vicar. His father served the local bishop of the Church of England as his secretary.
Faber attended grammar school at Bishop Auckland in County Durham for a short time, but a large portion of his boyhood was spent in Westmorland. He afterwards attended the Harrow School for five years, followed by enrollment in 1832 at Balliol College at the University of Oxford. In 1834, he obtained a scholarship at the University College, from which he graduated. In 1836 he won the Newdigate Prize for a poem on “The Knights of St John,” which elicited special praise from John Keble. Among his college friends were Arthur Penrhyn Stanley and Roundell Palmer, 1st Earl of Selborne. After graduation he was elected a fellow of the college.
Faber’s family was of Huguenot descent, and Calvinist beliefs were strongly held by them. When Faber had come to Oxford, he was exposed to the Anglo-Catholic preaching of the Oxford Movement which was beginning to develop in the Church of England. One of its most prominent proponents was the popular preacher John Henry Newman, vicar of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin. Faber struggled with these divergent forms of Christian beliefs and life. In order to relieve his tension, he would take long vacations in the Lake District, where he would write poetry. There he was befriended by another poet, William Wordsworth. He finally abandoned the Calvinistic views of his youth and became an enthusiastic follower of Newman.
Faber was ordained in the Church of England in 1839, after which he spent time supporting himself as a tutor. In 1841 a travelling tutorship took him to the continent; on his return he published a book called Sights and Thoughts in Foreign Churches and among Foreign Peoples (London, 1842), with a dedication to his friend, the poet Wordsworth.
In 1843, Faber accepted the position of rector at a church in Elton, then in Huntingdonshire but now in Cambridgeshire. His first act was to go to Rome to learn how best to carry out his pastoral charge. Faber introduced the Catholic practices of celebrating feast days, confession and the devotion of the Sacred Heart to the congregation. However, there was a strong Methodist presence in the parish and the Dissidents packed his church each Sunday in an attempt to challenge the Roman Catholic direction he was taking the congregation in. Many of his parishioners were reputed to be living in de facto relationships and the village was notorious for its double standards. He developed the thought of following a monastic way of life and was joined by several men with whom he formed a small community at the rectory.
Faber caused a small furore through his publication of a Life of St. Wilfrid, in which he supported the claim of primacy by the pope. Nonetheless he was accepted by the people of the parish.
Few people were surprised though when, after prolonged mental struggle, Faber left Elton to follow his hero Newman and join the Catholic Church, into which he was received in November 1845 by Bishop William Wareing of Northampton. He was accompanied in this step by eleven men of the small community which had formed around him in Elton. They settled in Birmingham, where they informally organized themselves in a religious community, calling themselves the Brothers of the Will of God.
Faber and his small religious community were encouraged in their venture by the Earl of Shrewsbury, who gave them the use of Cotton Hall in Staffordshire. Within weeks they had begun construction on a new Church of St. Wilfrid, their patron saint, designed by the noted church architect, Pugin, as well as on a school for the local children. All of this was for a region which had no other Catholics at that point, other than the household of the Earl. The exertions took their toll on Faber, who became so ill that he was not expected to live and was given the Last Rites of the Church. He recovered, however, and was ordained a Catholic priest, celebrating his First Mass on 4 April 1847. In the course of his illness Faber had developed a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother. Prompted by this devotion, he translated St. Louis de Montfort’s classic work, True Devotion to Mary, into English.
Along with Newman, Faber felt drawn to the way of life of the Oratory of St Philip Neri, with its decentralized authority and greater freedom of life than in religious institutes. His interest was heightened when he learned that Newman himself had become an Oratorian while in Italy. Faber envisioned having his community at Cotton Hall form a new community of the Oratory, with Newman as Superior. However, this could not happen at Cotton Hall since the Oratorian rules required that they be an urban community.
The Earl, who had handsomely financed the construction of a new parish for the community, felt betrayed by such a quick departure. Additionally, the Wilfridians, as the Brothers were called, wished to wear a traditional religious habit, upsetting the old Catholic families who had survived centuries of persecution by keeping a low profile. Newman thus proposed that Faber’s community settle somewhere other than Birmingham, and suggested London as the best option. Thus in 1849 a community of the Oratory was established in London in William IV Street.
On 11 October 1850, the feast of St. Wilfrid, the community in London was established as autonomous, and Faber was elected its first provost, an office he held until his death. He took ill again, however, almost immediately, and was ordered by his physicians to travel to a warmer climate. He attempted a trip to the Holy Land but had to turn back, and instead toured Malta and Italy. The community still lacked a permanent home, and in September 1852 a location was chosen at Brompton. The Oratorians proceeded with construction despite public protests at their presence.
Faber had never enjoyed good health. He had suffered from illness for years, developing what was eventually diagnosed as Bright’s Disease, which was to prove fatal. In spite of his weak health, much work was crowded into those years. He published a number of theological works, and edited the Oratorian Lives of the Saints.
Faber died in 1863 and was buried in the Oratorian cemetery in Rednal, in the West Midlands.
Father Faber was the great-uncle of Geoffrey Faber, co-founder of the publishing house “Faber and Gwyer” which later became “Faber and Faber”, a major publisher of both literary and religious works.
Jesus shall reign where’er the sun is by Isaac Watts (1674—1748). In 1719, Watts published a hymnal entitled The Psalms of David, Imitated. In this hymnal, he paraphrased many of the Psalms, but in a very different style than many of his predecessors. The custom of the day was to keep any paraphrase as close to the text as possible. Watts decided to do otherwise, and his interpretations of the psalms are quite loose, in an effort to write something new while keeping the spirit of the Psalm. His versification of Psalm 72 is no different. He interprets the psalm using a Christological lens. The king referenced in the psalm is Christ, and could be no one else. For Watts, as for the Fathers of the Church, the Old Testament makes sense in light of the New, and vice versa.
1 Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
does his successive journeys run;
his kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
till moons shall wax and wane no more.
2 People and realms of every tongue
dwell on his love with sweetest song,
and infant voices shall proclaim
their early blessings on his name.
3 Blessings abound where’er he reigns:
the prisoner leaps to lose his chains;
the weary find eternal rest,
and all the sons of want are blest.
4 To him shall endless prayer be made,
and praises throng to crown his head;
his name like incense shall arise
with every morning sacrifice.
5 Let every creature rise and bring
peculiar honours to our King;
angels descend with songs again,
and earth repeat the loud Amen.
Mount Calvary Church
A Roman Catholic Congregation of
The Personal Ordinariate of St. Peter
The Dormition of the Theotokos
(The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Daily, daily sing to Mary
Sing of Mary
Hail Holy Queen enthroned above
Daily, daily sing to Mary is a translation of the Latin hymn Omni die dic Mariae, by St. Bernard of Clairvaux. St. Casimir, patron of Poland and Lithuania (1458—1484), had a devotion to this poem, and it is sometimes attributed to him, as it was found in his tomb. It was translated by Henry Bittleston (1818–1886), an Anglican priest who converted to Catholicism and joined the Oratory at Birmingham with John Henry Newman.
Sing of Mary is by Roland Ford Palmer (1891—1985). He was a priest in the Anglican Church of Canada and joined the Society of St. John the Evangelist, the Cowley Fathers, in 1919.
Hail Holy Queen enthroned above is an anonymous translation of Salve regina coelitum by Hermanus contractus (The Crippled or The Lame). Hermann was a son of the Count of Altshausen. He was crippled by a paralytic disease from early childhood. He was born in 1013, with a cleft palate, cerebral palsy and is said to have had spina bifida. Hermann possibly had either amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or spinal muscular atrophy. As a result, he had great difficulty moving and could hardly speak. At seven, he was placed in a Benedictine monastery by his parents who could no longer look after him. He grew up in the monastery, learning from the monks and developing a keen interest in both theology and the world around him. He spent most of his life in the Abbey of Reichenau. He was renowned as a musical composer and wrote a treatise on the science of music. When he went blind in later life, he began writing hymns, the best known of which is Salve Regina Coelitum.
Here is the hymn sung at the Anglo-Catholic Church of the Atonement.
Mount Calvary Church
A Roman Catholic Congregation of
The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter
Eternal Father, strong to save.
What wondrous love
From all that dwell below the skies
Eternal Father, strong to save. The first three stanzas of this hymn by William Whiting (1825—1878) appeal to the Trinity with Scripture passages wherein each Person controlled the sea, imploring “O hear us when we cry to Thee for those in peril on the sea.” The first stanza refers to God’s discourse with Job, in which the Lord asks “Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I … said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?” (Job 38:8, 11) The second stanza refers to two occasions when Jesus calmed the raging sea: when He walked on the water (Mark 6:45-52), and when He slept through a storm until His terrified disciples woke Him (Mark 4:35-41). The third stanza alludes to Creation, when “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2 ) The final stanza summarizes the hymn and promises continued praise “from land and sea.”
1 Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm does bind the restless wave,
Who bids the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.
2 O Savior, whose almighty word
The winds and waves submissive heard,
Who walked upon the foaming deep,
And calm amid the rage did sleep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.
3 O Holy Spirit, who did brood
Upon the waters dark and rude,
And bid their angry tumult cease,
And give for wild confusion peace;
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.
4 O Trinity of love and pow’r,
Your children shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire, and foe,
Protect them where-so-e’er they go;
Thus, evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.
William Whiting was born in 1825 in London. He was educated in Chapham and at King Alfred’s College in Winchester. He became master of Winchester College Choristers’ School in 1842, where he remained for 36 years until his death. He wrote numerous volumes of poetry and contributed hymns to various collections. His works include Rural Thoughts and Scenes, 1851 and Edgar Thorpe, or the Warfare of Life, 1867. He is best known for his hymn “Eternal Father, Strong to Save.”
What wondrous love is an American folk hymn, as its repetitions evidence, from the Second Great Awakening. This hymn articulates the question that Christians ask every day: what did I do to deserve such a wonderful love from God and from Christ? The hymn is an offering of thanks to the Son for laying aside his crown as King and humbling himself even unto death. Jesus took on the sin and shame of man and thereby became the Lamb who was slain to save us from our sins. Jesus is not only the Lamb, but he is I AM, Lord and God. Our response is endless praise, and forever we shall marvel and ask, “What wondrous Love?”
What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul?
When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
when I was sinking down, sinking down;
when I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul.
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing,
to God and to the Lamb, I will sing;
to God and to the Lamb who is the great I AM –
while millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing;
while millions join the theme, I will sing.
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on;
and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be,
and through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
and through eternity I’ll sing on.
As a folk hymn the exact history of What wondrous love is not entirely clear. It is sometimes described as a “white spiritual”, from the American South.
The hymn’s lyrics were first published in Lynchburg, Virginia in the c. 1811 camp meeting songbook A General Selection of the Newest and Most Admired Hymns and Spiritual Songs Now in Use. The lyrics may also have been printed, in a slightly different form, in the 1811 book Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Original and Selected, published in Lexington, Kentucky. (It was included in the third edition of this text published in 1818, but all copies of the first edition have been lost.) In most early printings, the hymn’s text was attributed to an anonymous author, though the 1848 hymnal The Hesperian Harp attributes the text to a Methodist pastor from Oxford, Georgia, named Alexander Means.
The tune was discovered by composer William Walker on his journey through the Appalachian region of America. Though the tune had been around for many years, it was passed on by rote, and not written down. Walker decided in 1835 that he would change that, and added the hymn to his collection Southern Harmony. The Appalachian region is well known for having many Irish and Scottish immigrants, which is shown in the hymns haunting text and minor tune. The hymn is written in a way that made it easy to pass on from generation to generation, repetition of lyrics. The hymn was written in the early 1800’s, a time when hymnals were scarce and music was rarely written down. To make it easier for people to learn hymns (Especially in the time of the Second Great Awakening), the author would often times write the same lyrics over and over again to drive home the point, while still keeping the text simple and easy to learn.
The hymn is sung in Dorian mode, giving it a haunting quality. Though The Southern Harmony and many later hymnals incorrectly notated the song in Aeolian mode (natural minor), even congregations singing from these hymnals generally sang in Dorian mode by spontaneously raising the sixth note a half step wherever it appeared. Twentieth-century hymnals generally present the hymn in Dorian mode, or sometimes in Aeolian mode but with a raised sixth. The hymn has an unusual meter of 6-6-6-3-6-6-6-6-6-3. The meter of “What Wondrous Love” derives from an old English ballad about the infamous pirate Captain Kidd:
My name was Robert Kidd, when I sailed, when I sailed;
My name was Robert Kidd, when I sailed;
My name was Robert Kidd, God’s laws I did forbid,
So wickedly I did when I sailed, when I sailed
So wickedly I did when I sailed.
(His real name was William; Americans erroneously called him Robert.)
A popular style of singing during this time was Shape Note Singing, which is a form of singing that uses shapes to denote which pitch should be sung, instead of the traditional European notation that we find in most music now-a-days. In order for the shape note singing to be done correctly, the congregation would be divided into four different sections, and each section was given a different part to sing. This was easier for people to sing, because most people during that time had no idea how to read music, and Shape Note Singing was a way to take something like music and give it to everyone, even the unlearned. The repetitious lyrics also made the text easy to remember.
William Walker (1809-1875)
William Walker was born in Martin Mills, South Carolina in 1807 and grew up just outside of Spartanburg, where, in order to distinguish the difference between himself and other William Walkers, he was nicknamed “Singing Billy.” in 1835 he published a collection of four-shape Shape Note tune books entitled Southern Harmony. This was used for many years and was revised several different times, the final of which was printed in 1854 and is still used today in Kentucky at several different camp meetings. In 1846 Walker published another tune book that was supposed to be used as an index to Southern Harmony. The Publication was entitled The Southern and Western Pocket Harmonist, which contained several different camp meeting tunes. in 1867 Walker published another tune book entitled Christian Harmony where he adopted a new shape notation that contained seven different shapes instead of the traditional four shapes. Christian Harmony shared many similarities with Southern Harmony, but the biggest difference of note was the addition of the Alto harmony in tunes that previously did not contain that particular harmony. William Walker lived a long life, and finally passed away in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1875. He has an infamy that continues still today with the singing of traditional Shape Note tunes at conventions around the country and especially groups such as the Sacred Harp Singers Of Georgia and Alabama.
In 1952, American composer and musicologist Charles F. Bryan included What Wondrous Love Is This in his folk opera Singin’ Billy, loosely based on Walker’s life as a singing school teacher. In 1958, American composer Samuel Barber composed Wondrous Love: Variations on a Shape Note Hymn (Op. 34), a work for organ, for Christ Episcopal Church in Grosse Pointe, Michigan; the church’s organist, an associate of Barber’s, had requested a piece for the dedication ceremony of the church’s new organ. The piece begins with a statement that closely follows the traditional hymn; four variations follow, of which the last is the “longest and most expressive.” Here is a performance. In 1966, the United Methodist Book of Hymns became the first standard hymnal to incorporate What Wondrous Love.
Here is the St. Olaf choir singing What Wondrous Love. Here is a shape note choir singing the hymn at Berea College. The Germans have taken up shape note singing. Here is a chamber setting for piano and viola and variations for solo violin.
From all that dwell below the skies is a metrical paraphrase of Psalm 117, the shortest psalm in the Bible: “O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord.” Isaac Watts (1674—1748), the first important composer of hymns in English, told his father that even though the psalms were the word of God they did not share the message of salvation in Christ, so in his paraphrases he made the deeper Christian meaning of the Psalms explicit. This hymn first appeared in Watts’ Psalms of David Imitated, in the Language of the New Testament (1719). Watts considered this, his last poetical collection, his greatest work. He devoted years of diligent effort to its completion and incorporated into it the evangelical vision already suggested in his earlier poems: “Christ and His cross is all our theme.” Watts recognized how radical his work would appear to English Christians who, since the Reformation, had generally favored church use of nothing but Psalms. In Psalms of David, Watts set out to accommodate the Book of Psalms to Christian worship, making imaginative applications of David’s expressions to Christian experience.
1 From all that dwell below the skies;
Let the Creator’s praise arise;
Let the Redeemer’s name be sung,
Through every land by every tongue.
2 Eternal are Thy mercies, Lord,
Eternal truth attends Thy Word;
Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore,
Till suns rise and set no more.
3 Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, you heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Here is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s version.
Mount Calvary Church
Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter
June 4, 2017
Hail thee, festival day!
Father, we thank Thee who hast planted
Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest
Veni, Sancte Spiritus, Eric Spengler
Factus est repente, Eric Spengler
An Anglican Folk Mass, Martin Shaw
Venantius reading his poetry to Queen Radegund, Lawrence Alma-Tadema
The refrain of Hail thee, festival day! comes from the 20th couplet of Venantius Fortunatus’ (c. 540—c. 600) long Latin poem (110 lines!) celebrating the conversion of the Saxons by Felix, Bishop of Nantes (c. 582): Salve feste dies toto venerabilis aevo. Venantius, who traveled around the Germanic kingdoms of Europe as a wandering minstrel, devoted his life to the cause of Christian literary elegance. As poet to the Merovingian court, he became a friend of the mystic Queen Radegund, and he later became Bishop of Poitiers.
Ralph Vaughan Williams composed the tune Salve festa dies for the translation by Maurice Frederick Bell, both done for the 1906 English Hymnal. Vaughan Williams’ music adds a regal manner to its religiosity, thereby bearing a resemblance to much English church music from the nineteenth century, but also demonstrating the composer’s vigor in its march-like gait. The main theme is glorious and celebratory without ever veering into a secular sound or mood.
Here at St. John’s, Detroit, is the Pentecost section of Hail thee festival day.
Father, we thank thee who hast planted is a translation by the Episcopal poet and presbyter Francis Bland Tucker (1896—1984; UVA 1914) of a portion of the Didache (c. 110 AD) that describes the manner of celebrating the Eucharist: “concerning the broken bread. We thank thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which thou hast made known unto us through Jesus thy Son; to thee be the glory forever. As this broken bread was once scattered on the mountains, and after it had been brought together became one, so may thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth unto thy kingdom.” Some scholars think these prayers may even predate many of the writings of the New Testament.
Again at St. John’s, Detroit, before a Tigers game. A slower and more delicate version.
F. Bland Tucker
Francis Bland Tucker is an important figure in hymnody. He was educated at the University of Virginia and the Virginia Theological Seminary. Beginning in 1945, he was Rector of Christ Church in Savannah, Georgia. Tucker served on the two commissions, forty-two years apart, that revised hymnals of the Episcopal Church. He worked on the 1940 Hymnal. The 1982 Hymnal which includes 17 of Tucker’s contributions. Among these are the texts, Oh, Gracious Light (Hymns 25-26), Father, We Thank Thee Who Hast Planted (Hymns 302-303), and his original text, Our Father, by Whose Name (Hymn 587). Only John Mason Neale is credited with more items in the 1982 Hymnal. Tucker was also a theological advisor to the commission that produced the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.
A collateral descendant of George Washington, Tucker’s parents were Beverley Dandridge Tucker, Episcopal Bishop of Southern Virginia, and Anna Maria Washington who was one of the last children to be born at Mount Vernon.
Francis Bland is the brother of Henry St. George Tucker (1874–1959), 19th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and descendant of St. George Tucker (1752–1827), lawyer, legal scholar, state and federal judge for whom the St. George Tucker House in Colonial Williamsburg is named.
Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest is a translation of Veni creator spiritus, generally attributed to Rabanus Maurus (776—856). Of him, Pope Bendict XVI says “In Rabanus Maurus…is shown an extraordinary awareness of the need to involve, in the experience of faith, not only the mind and the heart but also the senses through those other aspects of aesthetic taste and human sensitivity that lead man to benefit from the truth with his whole self, ‘mind, soul, and body.’ This is important: faith is not only thought but also touches the whole of our being.”
Eric Spengler has composed two original pieces for Mount Calvary for Pentecost.
Veni, Sancte Spiritus, a setting of the sequence for Pentecost
Veni Sancte Spiritus et emitte caelitus lucis tuae radium. Veni pater pauperum, veni dator munerum, veni lumen cordium.
2) Consolator optime, dulcis hospes animae, dulce refrigerium. In labore requies, in aestu temperies, in fletu solacium.
3) O lux beatissima, reple cordis intima tuorum fidelium. Sine tuo numine nihil est in homine, nihil est innoxium.
4) Lava quod est sordidum, riga quod est aridum, sana quod est saucium. Flecte quod est rigidum, fove quod est rigidum, rege quod est devium.
5) Da tuis fidelibus in te confidentibus sacrum septenarium. Da virtutis meritum, da salutis exitum, da perenne gaudium. Amen. Alleluia.
Come, Holy Spirit, and send down from heaven the ray of your light. Come, father of the poor, come, giver of gifts, come, light of the hearts.
2) Best consoler, sweet host of the soul, sweet refresher. Rest in work, cooling in heat, comfort in crying.
3) O most blessed light, fill the innermost hearts of your faithful. Without your power nothing is in man, nothing innocent.
4) Clean what is dirty, water what is dry, heal what is wounded. Bend what is rigid, heat what is cold, lead what has gone astray.
5) Grant to your faithful who trust in you, your sevenfold holy gift. Grant us the reward of virtue, grant us final salvation, grant us eternal joy.
Factus est repente, a setting of the Communion antiphon for Pentecost
Factus est repente de coelo sonus, tamquam advenientis spiritus vehementis ubi erant sedentes, alleluia; et repleti sunt omnes Spiritu Sancto, loquentes magnalia Dei, alleluia, alleluia.
Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming where they were sitting, alleluia; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking the wonderful works of God, alleluia, alleluia
An Anglican Folk Mass, Martin Shaw
Here is the Creed as sung at Chichester Cathedral.
Martin Edward Fallas Shaw (1875 – 1958) was an English composer, conductor and (in his early life) theatre producer. His over 300 published works include songs, hymns, carols, oratorios, several instrumental works, a congregational mass setting (the Anglican Folk Mass) and four operas including a ballad opera.
He was the son of the Bohemian and eccentric James Shaw, composer of church music and organist of Hampstead Parish Church. He was the elder brother of the composer and influential educator Geoffrey Shaw and the actor Julius Shaw, whose career was cut short by the First World War – he was killed in March 1918. He studied under Stanford at the Royal College of Music, together with a generation of composers that included Holst, Vaughan Williams and John Ireland. He then embarked upon a career as a theatrical producer, composer and conductor, the early years of which he described as “a long period of starving along”. However, he began his career as an organist, serving at Emmanuel Church, West Hampstead, from 1895 to 1903.
Working with Percy Dearmer, Martin was music editor of The English Carol Book (1913, 1919) and, with Ralph Vaughan Williams, of Songs of Praise (1925, 1931) and The Oxford Book of Carols (1928). His tune Little Cornard is sung to Hills of the North Rejoice, and Marching is sung to Through the Night of Doubt and Sorrow. While doing research for the English Hymnal (1906) in the British Library, he came upon the traditional Gaelic hymn-tune Bunessan in L. McBean’s Songs and Hymns of the Gael, published in 1900. However, the tune was not included in the English Hymnal. It was used instead in the second edition of Songs of Praise (1931), set to the poem Morning Has Broken, which Martin Shaw commissioned specially from his old friend Eleanor Farjeon. This tune and words became a No. 1 hit for Cat Stevens in 1972. Martin Shaw also noted down the Czech carol Rocking and included it in The Oxford Book of Carols.
Natural religion contains many anticipations of the true religion. Man yearned for a savior from the darkness and death that reigns over this world, and that yearning was expressed in myths, which were fulfilled in Christ.
Inequality has become a leitmotif of contemporary politics.
The enormous gap between multi-billionaires and those who get by on a dollar a day is disturbing.
I am dubious about state control. Billionaires don’t have their wealth in pools of gold coins in their basement, which they dive into like Scrooge McDuck.
They invest the vast portion of their wealth in businesses which provide employment, and in general the market, rather than the state, is better mechanism to decide where to invest, as the fate of the Soviet Union showed. China has moved hundreds of millions out of poverty through market-determined investment.
But still, the vast discrepancy in wealth and income is disturbing, and other societies have felt the same way about great differences in wealth among their members.
We once attended a kachina dance at a Hopi pueblo. It was held in the plaza of the pueblo. Native Americans of all ages lined the plaza, the adults and children in chairs on the ground, the teenagers on the roof. There were a handful of Anglos. There was a pile of something in the center surmounted by a spruce tree.
Scores of Corn Boy kachinas began milling into the plaza, and formed a double line around the plaza. They began to sing and dance in a restrained and elegant fashion. The song was strophic and melodious to the Western ear. Later I asked what they were singing. It was a prayer for rain and crops and health, first for the Hopis and then for the whole world, because Hopi, as is well known, is the center place, the axis of the world, and has the responsibility to pray for the whole world.
Many think the spiral represents the search for the Center Place
After an hour or so the dance broke up and the kachinas began taking items from the pile. It was a pile of food: baskets of staples for the grandmothers, cookies for the children. The distribution became more and more energetic. The kachinas began tossing muffins to people of the rooftop: food was raining from heaven. After that, the kachinas reformed their lines and sang and danced for another hour. After the dance, everyone, including we Anglos, were invited into houses to feast.
This was a thanksgiving dance. Hopis, when they have a great prayer request or a thanksgiving to make, sponsor one of these dances. In the past they were often held in late winter, when some families’ supplies were running short, and were a means to distribute food. But the distribution was done not directly, but through the agency of the kachinas, the guardian spirits, who were themselves agents of the Creator.
Among the Plains Indians the Sun Dance was a prayer of petition. Human beings, especially men, have often felt that prayer must be accompanied by real physical sacrifice to demonstrate its sincerity. Fasting, continence, pilgrimage, beatings often accompany prayer, especially among men. The Sun Dance is an extreme manifestation of this:
Those who had pledged to endure the Sun Dance generally did so in fulfillment of a vow or as a way of seeking spiritual power or insight. Supplicants began dancing at an appointed hour and continued intermittently for several days and nights; during this time they neither ate nor drank. In some tribes supplicants also endured ritual self-mortification beyond fasting and exertion; in others such practices were thought to be self-aggrandizing. When practiced, self-mortification was generally accomplished through piercing: mentors or ritual leaders inserted two or more slim skewers or piercing needles through a small fold of the supplicant’s skin on the upper chest or upper back; the mentor then used long leather thongs to tie a heavy object such as a buffalo skull to the skewers. A dancer would drag the object along the ground until he succumbed to exhaustion or his skin tore free. Among some tribes the thongs were tied to the centre pole, and the supplicant either hung from or pulled on them until free. Piercing was endured by only the most committed individuals, and, as with the rest of the ritual, it was done to ensure tribal well-being as well as to fulfill the supplicant’s individual vow.
Typically, the sun dance is a grueling ordeal for the dancers, a physical and spiritual test that they offer in sacrifice for their people. According to the Oklahoma Historical Society, young men dance around a pole to which they are fastened by “rawhide thongs pegged through the skin of their chests.”
While not all sun dance ceremonies include piercing, the object of the sun dance is to offer personal sacrifice for the benefit of one’s family and community. The dancers fast for many days, in the open air and whatever weather occurs.
Anglos were horrified by this ritual and banned it.
In God’s Red Sun, Louis Warren describes another important part of the Sun Dance ritual and the consequence of the ban:
…the ban ramped up social friction. A Sun Dance was usually accompanied by a large-scale transfer of goods from richer Lakotas to poorer members of the tribe. Each year’s dance was sponsored by a person who had taken a vow to Wi [the Sun god] to host the ceremony, often in return from deliverance from danger or illness. As the date for the dance approached, the sponsor sacrificed all of his property by surrendering it to the needy. Other wealthy people also gave generously to the poor as the ceremony progressed. Each gift of horses, buffalo robes, or richly beaded cloth from rich to poor encouraged the spirits to be similarly kind to Lakotas, or as Lakotas put it, “to take pity” on them. This, the “vast amount” of wealth that changed hands during the ritual eased tensions among Lakotas and bound them together in reciprocal obligation.
There are striking resemblances to the Todah, the thanksgiving sacrifice of the Jews for deliverance from death or danger, and its fulfillment in the Eucharist. Paul in 2 Corinthians 8 places Christian’s help for one another in the context of the gift that God made of Himself:
We want you to know, brethren, about the grace of God which has been shown in the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of liberality on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own free will, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— 5 and this, not as we expected, but first they gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. 6 Accordingly we have urged Titus that as he had already made a beginning, he should also complete among you this gracious work. 7 Now as you excel in everything—in faith, in utterance, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in your love for us—see that you excel in this gracious work also.
8 I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 10 And in this matter I give my advice: it is best for you now to complete what a year ago you began not only to do but to desire, 11 so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he has not. 13 I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, 14 but that as a matter of equality your abundance at the present time should supply their want, so that their abundance may supply your want, that there may be equality. 15 As it is written, “He who gathered much had nothing over, and he who gathered little had no lack.” (RSV)
Paul emphasizes that this is not a command, which a state redistribution of wealth would be, but a counsel to a generosity motivated by thanksgiving for the generosity that God has shown to us. This is the Christian fulfillment of the intuition that motivate Hopi and Lakota to their rituals of sacrifice and sharing. Paul gives a counsel, not a command, but I am sure he would say it would be shameful if Christians were outdone in generosity to one another by pagans who have not heard the Gospel.
The disciples recognized Jesus in the Breaking of the Bread
Mount Calvary Church
Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter
Third Sunday of Easter
April 30, 2017
Organ Prelude: Angelus Domini, Vasurto
At the Lamb’s high feast we sing
Shepherd of souls, refresh and bless
Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness
Venite, comedite by William Byrd
Alleluia! Cognoverunt discipuli by William Byrd
Missa de S. Maria Magdelena, Willan
Credo, Missa de Angelis
Organ Postlude: Il Alleluia per Resurrectione, by Gottlieb Muffat (1690-1770)
At the Lamb’s high feast we sing is a translation by the Robert Campbell (1814-1868) of the seventh century Latin hymn, Ad regias agni dapes, which was sung by the newly baptized at Easter when they were first admitted to communion. Our victorious King through His death and resurrection has caused the angel of death to pass over us. We are redeemed by His blood, which opens Paradise to us where we will live forever. The LORD brought Israel out of Egypt through the sea into the promised land by the blood of the Lamb. Jesus through His death brings us through the wilderness of this life by feeding us with Himself, the true manna that comes down from heaven.
1 At the Lamb’s high feast we sing
praise to our victorious King,
who hath washed us in the tide
flowing from his piercèd side;
praise we him, whose love divine
gives his sacred blood for wine,
gives his body for the feast,
Christ the victim, Christ the priest.
2 Where the Paschal blood is poured,
death’s dark angel sheathes his sword;
Israel’s hosts triumphant go
through the wave that drowns the foe.
Praise we Christ, whose blood was shed,
Paschal victim, Paschal bread;
with sincerity and love
eat we manna from above.
3 Mighty victim from the sky,
hell’s fierce powers beneath thee lie;
thou hast conquered in the fight,
thou hast brought us life and light.
Now no more can death appal,
now no more the grave enthral:
thou hast opened paradise,
and in thee thy saints shall rise.
4 Easter triumph, Easter joy,
sin alone can this destroy;
from sin’s power do thou set free
souls new-born, O Lord, in thee.
Hymns of glory and of praise,
risen Lord, to thee we raise;
holy Father, praise to thee,
with the Spirit, ever be.
Raised a Presbyterian, the Edinburgh advocate Robert Campbell joined the Episcopal Church of Scotland. While he was a Scottish Episcopalian (imagine!), he translated this hymn in 1850 and other Latin hymns for relaxation. In 1852, he joined the Roman Catholic Church. Much of his life, both as a Protestant and a Catholic was dedicated to the education of Edinburgh’s poorest children. He authored a report, Past and present treatment of Roman Catholic children in Scotland, by the Board of Supervision for Relief of the Poor (1863).
The hymn Ad regias Agni dapes has a checkered history. It was originally Ad coenam Agni providi a sixth-century Ambrosian hymn, that is, a hymn composed in iambic tetrameter, after the model of the hymns that St. Ambrose had composed after the model of Roman marching songs. This meter is close to the meter of rythm prose and is also easily adopted to music. The hymn was composed when Latin was still a spoken language. For example, it treats stolis albis candidi [bright with white garments] as if it were istolis albis candidi (eight syllables): ist– is how they pronounced st– in the ‘Vulgar Latin’ period. I presume that the Spanish habit of adding a syllable before an s comes form this: Estarbucks. The hymn also used words from Christian Latin, such as coena, the word used for the Last Supper.
Here is John Mason Neale’s translation:
And so the hymn was sung for a thousand years.
Urban VIII, by Pietro da Cortona (1627)
And then came the Renaissance and Maffeo Barbarini was elected to the papal throne as Urban VIII (reigned 1623-1644). The new liturgical books of Pius V had just been approved, but Urban found the Latin tasteless and inelegant and barbarous. So he and his assistants “improved” the ancient hymns. As one annoyed hymnologist writes: “Ambrose and Prudentius took something classical and made it Christian; the revisers and their imitators took something Christian and tried to make it classical. The result may be pedantry, and sometimes perhaps poetry; but it is not piety.”
So Ad cenam Agni providi in 1632 became Ad regias Agni dapes, the version translated by Campbell. This hymn us used at Vespers from Easter Sunday until Ascension, Notice I say used, because the classicized hymns were not untended to be sung, but recited privately.
Ad regias Agni dapes,
Stolis amicti candidis,
Post transitum maris Rubri,
Christo canamus Principi.
2. Divina cuius caritas
Sacrum propinat sanguinem,
Almique membra corporis
Amor sacerdos immolat.
3. Sparsum cruorem postibus
Vastator horret Angelus:
Fugitque divisum mare,
Merguntur hostes fluctibus.
4. Iam Pascha nostrum Christus est,
Paschalis idem victima:
Et pura puris mentibus
5. O vera caeli víctima,
Subiecta cui sunt tartara,
Soluta mortis vincula,
Recepta vitæ praemia.
6. Victor subactis inferis,
Trophaea Christus explicat,
Caeloque aperto, subditum
Regem tenebrarum trahit.
7. Ut sis perenne mentibus
Paschale Iesu gaudium,
A morte dira criminum
Vitæ renatos libera.
8. Deo Patri sit gloria,
Et Filio, qui a mortuis
Surrexit, ac Paraclito,
In sempiterna saecula. Amen.
Dapes, a classical poetic word, is substituted for the Christian coena, obscuring the reference to the Last Supper and to the Eucharist. The original reference to the roasted (torridum) body of Christ , was eliminated, and Victorian commentators, although they understood the refenece to the Paschal Lamb, found the image horrifying.
The Benedictines and the Dominicans would have nothing to do with such innovations, and continued to use the original version of the hymn. Their attitude was Quod non fecerunt barbari, fecerunt Barberini.
Ad regias agni dapes is mentioned in James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake. Here is the context:
Pater patruum cum filiabus familiarum. Or, but, now, and, ariring out of her mirgery margery watersheads and, to change that subjunct from the traumaturgid for once in a while and darting back to stuff, if so be you may identify yourself with the him in you, that fluctuous neck merchamtur, bloodfadder and milkmudder, since then our too many of her, Abha na Lifé, and getting on to dadaddy again, as them we’re ne’er free of, was he in tea e’er he went on the bier or didn’t he ontime do something seemly heavy in sugar? He sent out Christy Columb and he came back with a jailbird’s unbespokables in his beak and then he sent out Le Caron Crow and the peacies are still looking for him. The seeker from the swayed, the beesabouties from the parent swarm. Speak to the right! Rotacist ca canny! He caun ne’er be bothered but maun e’er be waked. If there is a future in every past that is present Quis est qui non novit quinnigan and Qui quae quot at Quinnigan’s Quake! Stump! His producers are they not his consumers? Your exagmination round his factification for incamination of a warping process. Declaim!
—Arra irrara hirrara man, weren’t they arriving in clansdestinies for the Imbandiment of Ad Regias Agni Dapes, fogabawlers and panhibernskers, after the crack and the lean years, scalpjaggers and houthhunters, like the messicals of the great god, a scarlet trainful, the Twoedged Petrard, totalling, leggats and prelaps, in their aggregate ages two and thirty plus undecimmed centries of them with insiders, extraomnes and tuttifrutties allcunct, from Rathgar, Rathanga, Rountown and Rush, from America Avenue and Asia Place and the Affrian Way and Europa Parade and besogar the wallies of Noo Soch Wilds and from Vico, Mespil Rock and Sorrento, for the lure of his weal and the fear of his oppidumic, to his salon de espera in the keel of his kraal, like lodes of ores flocking fast to Mount Maximagnetic, afeerd he was a gunner but affaird to stay away, Merrionites, Dumstdumbdrummers, Luccanicans, Ashtoumers, Batterysby Parkes and Krumlin Boyards, Phillipsburgs, Cabraists and Finglossies, Ballymunites, Raheniacs and the bettlers of Clontarf, for to contemplate in manifest and pay their firstrate duties before the both of him, twelve stone a side, with their Thieve le Roué! and their Shvr yr Thrst! and their Uisgye ad Inferos! and their Usque ad Ebbraios! at and in the licensed boosiness primises of his delhightful bazar and reunited magazine hall, by the magazine wall.
A helpful commentary explains:
The tune is SALZBURG, by Jakob Hintze (1622-1702),who in 1666 became court musician to the Elector of Brandenburg at Berlin; but he retired to his birthplace in 1695, and died at Berlin with the reputation of being an excellent contrapuntist.
Here is At the Lamb’s high feast sung at at the most appropriate occasion: Communion at Easter.
Shepherd of souls, refresh and bless was written by the Moravian James Montgomery (1771-1854). As at the supper at Emmaus, Jesus feeds us. As the Good Shepherd, He lays down his life for His sheep, giving them His body and blood as their sustenance so that they may live forever. We know Jesus especially in the breaking of the bread, the action that symbolizes His death by which He sacrifices Himself for us and gives Himself to us.
The tune is St. Agnes by John Bacchus Dykes. Here it is sung at Trinity Church on Wall Street.
James Montgomery (1771-1854) was born at Irvine in Ayrshire, on the western coast of Scotland. He was the son of John Montgomery, the only Moravian pastor in Scotland. The British Moravian church traces its roots back to the Moravian Missionary center in Hernnhut, Germany (Moravians were also known as Hernnhuters or the Bohemian Brethren).
John and his wife felt God’s call to be missionaries to the island of Barbados, in the West Indies. Tearfully, they placed six-year old James in a Moravian settlement at Gracehill in Central Ireland. That was to be the last time James would see them. They died within a year of each other after reaching Barbados.
Left with nothing, James was sent to be trained for the ministry at the Moravian School at Fulneck, near Leeds, England. It was here that he first started writing verse, at the age of 10. At Fulneck, secular studies were banned, but James nevertheless found means of borrowing and reading a good deal of poetry, including Burns’ “Lines To A Mountain Daisy.” He made ambitious plans to write epics of his own.
He suffered periods of deep depression as a result of losing his parents at such an early age. The Moravians who were trying to care for the orphan found him to be a dreamer, who “never had a sense of the hour.” Failing school at the age of 14, they “put him out to business” to a baker in Mirfield, just seven miles to the south. James left on his own and hired himself out to a storekeeper at Wath-upon-Dearne, another thirty miles to the south. Not finding much to his liking, James ran away again, wondering from place to place, trying to sell his freshly written verses. After further adventures, including an unsuccessful attempt to launch himself into a literary career in London, he moved to Sheffield in 1792 to become assistant to Joseph Gales, auctioneer, bookseller and printer of the Sheffield Register. In 1794, Gales left England to avoid political prosecution and Montgomery took the paper in hand, changing its name to the Sheffield Iris. Now owning the paper, he was able to publish his writings as he pleased.
These were times of political repression and he was twice imprisoned on charges of sedition. The first time was in 1795 for printing a poem celebrating the fall of the Bastille; the second in 1796 was for criticizing a magistrate for forcibly dispersing a political protest in Sheffield. His later account of this episode was published in 1840. Turning the experience to some profit, in 1797 he published a pamphlet of poems written during his captivity, as Prison Amusements. For some time, the Iris was the only newspaper in Sheffield; but beyond the ability to produce fairly creditable articles from week to week, Montgomery was devoid of the journalistic faculties which would have enabled him to take advantage of his position. Other newspapers arose to fill the place which his might have occupied and in 1825 he sold it on to a local bookseller, John Blackwell.
In his youth, he had strayed from the church, but at his own request he was readmitted into the Moravian congregation at Fulneck when forty-three years of age. He expressed his feelings at the time in the following lines
People of the living God,
I have sought the world around,
Paths of sin and sorrow trod,
Peace and comfort nowhere found.
Now to you my spirit turns–
Turns a fugitive unblest;
Brethren, where your altar burns,
O receive me into rest.
Thereafter he became an avid worker for missions and an active member of the Bible Society. He was interested in social issues and the missions. He attacked attacking the lottery (then, as now, a way of extracting money from the desperate poor) in Thoughts on Wheels (1817) and taking up the cause of the chimney sweeps’ apprentices in The Climbing Boys’ Soliloquies. His next major poem was Greenland (1819), a poem in five cantos of heroic couplets. This was prefaced by a description of the ancient Moravian church, its eighteenth-century revival and mission to Greenland in 1733.
In addition to Shepherd of souls (1940 Hymnal, #213), his hymns Angels from the realms of glory (1940 Hymnal, #28) and Hail to the Lord’s Anointed (1940 Hymnal, #545) are still sung.
In 1861, a monument designed by John Bell (1811–1895) was erected over his grave in the Sheffield cemetery at a cost of £1000, raised by public subscription on the initiative of the Sheffield Sunday School Union, of which he was among the founding members. On its granite pedestal is inscribed: “Here lies interred, beloved by all who knew him, the Christian poet, patriot, and philanthropist. Wherever poetry is read, or Christian hymns sung, in the English language, ‘he being dead, yet speaketh’ by the genius, piety and taste embodied in his writings.” There are also extracts from his poems “Prayer” and “The Grave”. After it fell into disrepair the statue was moved to the precinct of Sheffield Cathedral in 1971, where there is also a memorial window.
Elsewhere in Sheffield there are various streets named after Montgomery and a Grade II-listed drinking fountain on Broad Lane. The meeting hall of the Sunday Schools Union (now known as The Montgomery), in Surrey Street, was named in his honour in 1886; it houses a 420-seat theater which also bears his name. Elsewhere, Wath-upon-Dearne, flattered by being called “the queen of villages” in his work, has repaid the compliment by naming after him a community hall, a street and a square. His birthplace in Irvine was renamed ‘Montgomery House’ after he paid the town a return visit in 1841 but has since been demolished. Sic transit.
Our closing hymn is the Eucharistic hymn, Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness. The original German text, Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, was written by the German politician and poet Johann Franck (1618-1677) and expresses an intimate relationship between the individual believer and his faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ. Much devotional poetry that conveys an internalized piety was written in the period immediately following the devastation of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). It was translated by Catherine Winkworth in her Lyra Germanica.
Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness,
leave the gloomy haunts of sadness;
come into the daylight’s splendour,
there with joy thy praises render
unto him whose grace unbounded
hath this wondrous banquet founded:
high o’er all the heavens he reigneth,
yet to dwell with thee he deigneth.
Sun, who all my life dost brighten,
light, who dost my soul enlighten,
joy, the sweetest heart e’er knoweth,
fount, whence all my being floweth,
at thy feet I cry, my Maker,
let me be a fit partaker
of this blessed food from heaven,
for our good, thy glory, given.
Jesus, Bread of Life, I pray thee,
let me gladly here obey thee;
never to my hurt invited,
be thy love with love requited:
from this banquet let me measure,
Lord, how vast and deep its treasure;
through the gifts thou here dost give me,
as thy guest in heaven receive me.
Here is the 1674 text.
1. Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele!
Laß die dunckle Sünden Höle!
Komm ans helle Licht gegangen;
Fange herrlich an zu prangen.
Denn der HErr voll Heyl und Gnaden,
Wil dich itzt zu Gaste laden,
Der den Himmel kan verwalten,
Wil itzt Herberg’ in dir halten.
2. Eile, wie Verlobten pflegen,
Deinem Bräutigam entgegen,
Der da mit dem Gnaden-Hammer
Klopfft an deine Hertzens-Kammer.
Oeffn’ ihm bald die Geistes-Pforten:
Red ihn an mit schönen Worten:
Komm, mein Liebster, laß dich küssen!
Laß mich deiner nicht mehr missen.
3. Zwar in Kauffung theurer Wahren
Pflegt man sonst kein Geld zu sparen:
Aber du wilt für die Gaben
Deiner Huld kein Geld nicht haben:
Weil in allen Bergwercks-Gründen
Kein solch Kleinod ist zu finden,
Daß die Blut-gefüllte Schaalen
Und dis Manna kan bezahlen.
4. Ach! wie hungert mein Gemüthe,
Menschen-Freund, nach deiner Güte!
Ach! wie pfleg’ ich offt, mit Thränen,
Mich nach deiner Kost zu sehnen!
Ach! wie pfleget mich zu dürsten,
Nach dem Tranck des Lebens-Fürsten!
Wünsche stets daß mein Gebeine
Sich durch Gott mit Gott vereine.
5. Beydes Lachen und auch Zittern
Lässet sich in mir itzt wittern:
Das Geheinmiß dieser Speise,
Und die unerforschte Weise,
Machet daß ich früh vermercke,
Herr, die Grösse deiner Stärcke!
Ist auch wohl ein Mensch zu finden
Der dein’ Allmacht solt ergründen?
6. Nein! Vernunfft die muß hier weichen,
Kan dieß Wunder nicht erreichen:
Daß diß Brodt nie wird verzehret,
Ob es gleich viel tausend nehret;
Und daß mit dem Safft der Reben
Uns wird Christi Blut gegeben.
O der grossen Heimligkeiten
Die nur Gottes Geist kan deuten!
7. Jesu, meine Lebens-Sonne!
Jesu, meine Freud’ und Wonne!
Jesu, du mein gantz Beginnen,
Lebens-Quell und Licht der Sinnen!
Hier fall ich zu deinen Füssen!
Laß mich würdiglich gemessen
Dieser deiner Himmels-Speise,
Mir zum Heyl, und dir zum Preise!
8. Herr, es hat dein treues Lieben
Dich vom Himmel abgetrieben,
Daß du willig hast dein Leben
In den Tod für uns gegeben,
Und darzu gantz unverdrossen,
HErr, dein Blut für uns vergossen,
Das uns itzt kan kräfftig träncken,
Deiner Liebe zu gedencken!
9. Jesu wahres Brodt des Lebens!
Hilff, daß ich doch nicht vergebens,
Oder mir vielleicht zum Schaden
Sey zu deinem Tisch geladen!
Laß mich durch diß Seelen-Essen
Deine Liebe recht ermessen,
Daß ich auch, wie itzt auf Erden,
Mag dein Gast im Himmel.
Johann Franck (1618-1677) a was German poet, lawyer and public official. After his father’s death in 1620, Franck’s uncle by marriage, the town judge, Adam Tielckau, adopted him and sent him to schools in Guben, Cottbus, Stettin, and Thorn. On June 28, 1638, he enrolled at the University of Königsberg to study jurisprudence. This was the only German university left undisturbed by the Thirty Years’ War. Here his religious spirit, his love of nature, and his friendship with such men as the his poetic mentor, Simon Dach and Heinrich Held, preserved him from sharing in the excesses of his fellow students.
Johann Franck returned to Guben at Easter 1640, at his mother’s urgent request; she wished to have him near her in those times of war when Guben frequently suffered from the presence of both Swedish and Saxon troops. After his return from Prague, in May 1645, Franck embarked on a distinguished civic career as attorney, city councillor (1648) and Burgermeister (Mayor) (1661), and in 1671 (or 1670) was appointed as county elder of Guben in the margravate (Landtag – Diet)) of Lower Lusatia.
Johann Franck wrote both secular and religious poetry and published his first work, Hundertönige Vaterunsersharfe, at Guben in 1646. Almost his entire output is brought together in the two-volume Teutsche Gedichte. The first part, Geistliches Sion (Guben, 1672), contains 110 religious songs, provided with some 80 melodies. Bach composed 14 settings of seven of his texts, the most famous being the motet Jesu, meine Freude BWV 227.
The chorale melody associated with this text was composed by the German Lutheran theologian and musician, Johann Crüger (1598-1662). After passing through the schools at Guben, Sorau and Breslau, the Jesuit College at Olmütz, and the Poets’ school at Regensburg, he made a tour in Austria, and, in 1615, settled at Berlin. There, save for a short residence at the University of Wittenberg, in 1620, he employed himself as a private tutor till 1622. In 1622 he was appointed Cantor of St. Nicholas’s Church at Berlin, and also one of the masters of the Greyfriars Gymnasium. He died at Berlin Feb. 23, 1662. Crüger wrote no hymns, although in some American hymnals he appears as “Johann Krüger, 1610,” as the author of the supposed original of C. Wesley’s “Hearts of stone relent, relent”. He was one of the most distinguished musicians of his time. Of his hymn tunes, some 20 are still in use, the best known probably being that to “Nun danket alle Gott”, which is set to No. 379 in Hymns Ancient & Modern, ed.
Here is the Schola Cantorum of St. Peters-in-the-Loop singing the hymn. Here is the cantata BWV 180.
Venite, comedite, from Votive Mass of the Blessed Sacrament, by William Byrd
Venite comedite panem meum, et bibite vinum quod miscui vobis.
Come, eat my bread, and drink the wine which I have prepared for you.
Alleluia! Cognoverunt discipuli, the Alleluia from Votive Mass of the Blessed Sacrament during Paschal time, by William Byrd
Alleluia. Cognoverunt discipuli Dominum Jesum in fractione panis. Alleluia. Caro mea vere est cibus, et sanguis meus vere est potus: qui manducat carnem, et bibit meum sanguinem, in me manet, et ego in eo. Alleluia.
Alleluia. The disciples knew the Lord Jesus in the breaking of bread. Alleluia. My flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me: and I in him. Alleluia.
William Byrd’s (1540-1623) Venite, comedite and Alleluia! Cognoverunt discipuli are both from his 1607 Gradualia.
As a Catholic in Elizabethan England, Byrd was frequently fined under the recusancy laws, but his talents earned him a place in the Chapel Royal. In the persecutions of Catholics that followed the 1605 Gunpowder Plot, Catholics were increasingly in danger. Nevertheless, in 1607, although there was serious danger in calling attention to his Catholicism, Byrd published this cycle of polyphonic Latin propers from the Catholic mass cycle, and prefaced them by saying: “Moreover, in the words themselves (as I have learned from experience) there is such hidden and mysterious power that to a person thinking over divine things, diligently and earnestly turning them over in his mind, the most appropriate measures come, I do not know how, and offer themselves freely to the mind that is neither idle nor inert.” Both motets contain an emphasis on the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist — the disciples recognized Him in the Breaking of the Bread.
Mount Calvary Church
Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter
March 12, 2017
O wondrous type! O vision fair
Be Thou my vision
‘Tis good, Lord, to be here
Call to remembrance, by Richard Farrant
Hide not Thy face, by Richard Farrant
O wondrous type! O vision fair is a translation of Cælestis formam gloriæ partly by John Mason Neale and partly by the editors of Hymns Ancient and Modern.
Moses and Elijah are key persons in Jesus’ mission. Gospel writers mention Moses thirty-seven times and Elijah twenty-seven times. In the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Abraham tells the Rich Man, “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.” (Luke 16:31). Before his Passion, Jesus went to the top of a mountain to converse with Moses and Elijah. There Jesus “was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.” (Matthew 17:2), with Peter, James, and John as witnesses. Shortly after this event, Jesus “set his face to go to Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:51) to battle Satan and death. The martial tune DEO GRACIAS (AGINCOURT) therefore fits this text. By His victory, he has become the One “who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body” when we rise from the dead.
O wondrous type! O vision fair
Of glory that the Church may share,
Which Christ upon the mountain shows,
Where brighter than the sun He glows!
With Moses and Elijah nigh
The incarnate Lord holds converse high;
And from the cloud the Holy One
Bears record to the only Son.
With shining face and bright array,
Christ deigns to manifest today
What glory shall be theirs above
Who joy in God with perfect love.
And faithful hearts are raised on high
By this great vision’s mystery;
For which in joyful strains we raise
The voice of prayer, the hymn of praise.
O Father, with the eternal Son
And Holy Spirit, ever One,
Vouchsafe to bring us by Thy grace
To see Thy glory face to face. Amen.
Cælestis formam gloriæ is from the Sarum beviary of 1495.
Cælestis formam gloriæ,
quam spes quærit Ecclesiæ,
in monte Christus indicat,
qui supra solem emicat.
Res memoranda sæculis:
tribus coram discipulis,
cum Elia, cum Moyse
grata promit eloquia.
Assistunt testes gratiæ,
legis vatumque veterum;
de nube testimonium
sonat Patris ad Filium.
Christus declarat hodie
quis honor sit credentium
Deo pie fruentium.
corda levat fidelium,
unde sollemni gaudio
clamat nostra devotio:
Pater, cum Unigenito
et Spiritu Paraclito
unus, nobis hanc gloriam
largire per præsentiam.
Here is the plainchant version of the hymn.
A type of those bright rays on high
For which the Church hopes longingly
Christ on the holy mountain shows,
Where brighter than the Sun He glows.
Tale for all ages to declare:
For with the three disciples there,
Where Moses and Elias meet,
The Lord holds converse, high and sweet.
The chosen witnesses stand nigh,
Of Grace, the Law, and Prophecy:
And from the cloud the Holy One
Bears record to the Only Son.
With face more bright than noontide ray
Christ deigns to manifest to-day
What glory shall be theirs above,
Who joy in God with perfect love.
And faithful hearts are raised on high
By this great vision’s mystery,
For which, in yearly course, we raise
The voice of prayer, and hymn of praise.
Thou, Father, Thou, Eternal Son,
Thou Holy Spirit, Three in One,
To this same Glory bring us nigh,
That we may see Thee eye to eye.
containing “Rob tu mo bhoile”
The Irish monk Eohaid Forgaill (530-598) was a Latin scholar and “King of the Poets.” He was said to have spent so much time studying that he went blind, and was give the name Dallán, “Little Blind One.” He wrote the poem, “Rop tú mo Baile” (“Be Thou my Vision”) asking God to be his vision But “vision” here means more than physical sight. The original Irish word “baile” mean “vision” or “rapture,” in the sense used by the Old Testament prophets.
This was translated into literal prose by Irish scholar Mary Byrne (1880-1931), a Dublin native, and then published in Eriú, the journal of the School of Irish Learning, in 1905. Eleanor Hull (1860-1935b), born in Manchester, was the founder of the Irish Text Society and president of the Irish Literary Society of London. Hull versified the text and it was published in her Poem Book of the Gael (1912).
Irish liturgy and ritual scholar Helen Phelan, a lecturer at the University of Limerick, points out how the language of this hymn is drawn from traditional Irish culture: “One of the essential characteristics of the text is the use of ‘heroic’ imagery to describe God. This was very typical of medieval Irish poetry, which cast God as the ‘chieftain’ or ‘High King’ (Ard Ri) who provided protection to his people or clan. The lorica (Latin: breastplate) is one of the most popular forms of this kind of protection prayer and is very prevalent in texts of this period.” St. Patrick’s Breastplate (1940 The Hymnal, #268) is in this genre.
Hull’s verse version was paired with the Irish tune SLANE in The Irish Church Hymnal in 1919. The folk melody was taken from a non-liturgical source, Patrick Weston Joyce’s Old Irish Folk Music and Songs: A Collection of 842 Airs and Songs hitherto unpublished (1909).
“Most ‘traditional’ Irish religious songs are non-liturgical,” says Dr. Phelan. “There is a longstanding practice of ‘editorial weddings’ in Irish liturgical music, where traditional tunes were wedded to more liturgically appropriate texts. This is a very good example of this practice.”
Back in 433 AD, on the eve of Bealtine, a Druidic Holiday that lines up directly with Easter as well as the spring equinox, it was declared by the King, Leoghaire (Leary) Mac Neill, that no fires were to be lit until the fire atop of Tara Hill was lit. Going against the kings wishes, St. Patrick went out to Slane Hill and lit a candle to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. The king was so impressed by the courage that St. Patrick had shown, Leoghaire let him continue his missionary work throughout Ireland. The tune was given the name SLANE to commemorate this event.
English translation by Mary Byrne, 1905:
Be thou my vision O Lord of my heart
None other is aught but the King of the seven heavens.
Be thou my meditation by day and night.
May it be thou that I behold even in my sleep.
Be thou my speech, be thou my understanding.
Be thou with me, be I with thee
Be thou my father, be I thy son.
Mayst thou be mine, may I be thine.
Be thou my battle-shield, be thou my sword.
Be thou my dignity, be thou my delight.
Be thou my shelter, be thou my stronghold.
Mayst thou raise me up to the company of the angels.
Be thou every good to my body and soul.
Be thou my kingdom in heaven and on earth.
Be thou solely chief love of my heart.
Let there be none other, O high King of Heaven.
Till I am able to pass into thy hands,
My treasure, my beloved through the greatness of thy love
Be thou alone my noble and wondrous estate.
I seek not men nor lifeless wealth.
Be thou the constant guardian of every possession and every life.
For our corrupt desires are dead at the mere sight of thee.
Thy love in my soul and in my heart —
Grant this to me, O King of the seven heavens.
O King of the seven heavens grant me this —
Thy love to be in my heart and in my soul.
With the King of all, with him after victory won by piety,
May I be in the kingdom of heaven O brightness of the son.
Beloved Father, hear, hear my lamentations.
Timely is the cry of woe of this miserable wretch.
O heart of my heart, whatever befall me,
O ruler of all, be thou my vision.
Here is the hymnal version. Verse three is usually omitted.
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tow’r:
Raise Thou me heav’nward, O Pow’r of my pow’r.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heav’n’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whate’er befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.
Although there are hundreds of versions of Be Thou my vision on the Internet, all the vocals ones are not very satisfactory.
‘Tis good Lord to be here was written by Joseph Armitage Robinson (1858-1933), D.D., Dean of Westminster and of Wells, of Christ College, Camb. (B.A. 1881, M.A. 1884, D.D. 1896), sometime Fellow of his College, Norrisian Professor of Div., Camb., Rector of St. Margaret’s., Westminster, and Canon of Westminster. As Dean of Wells Robinson enjoyed close links with Downside Abbey. He also critically explored the origins of the Glastonbury legends.Robinson was a participant in the bilateral Anglican-Roman Catholic Maline Conversations. His hymn, “‘Tis good, Lord, to be here” was written c. 1890. It was included in the 1904 edition of Hymns Ancient & Modern.
Jesus, with Peter, James and John, had to come down from the mountain. The next story in Matthew 17 is of Jesus meeting the crowd and healing an epileptic boy; He predicts His death. In the Liturgy, we catch of glimpse of the Uncreated Light that shone through the humanity of Jesus. It is given to strengthen us in the realities and difficulties of everyday life, where God is to be found.
‘’Tis good, Lord, to be here’, but, Lord, when we go, ‘Come with us to the plain’, be with us in the day to day realities of our life, in our relationships with others, in our family or health problems, in all the joys and sadnesses of everyday life.
‘Tis good, Lord, to be here,
thy glory fills the night;
thy face and garments, like the sun,
shine with unborrowed light.
‘Tis good, Lord, to be here,
thy beauty to behold,
where Moses and Elijah stand,
thy messengers of old.
Fulfiller of the past,
promise of things to be,
we hail thy body glorified,
and our redemption see.
Before we taste of death,
we see thy kingdom come;
we fain would hold the vision bright,
and make this hill our home.
‘Tis good, Lord, to be here,
yet we may not remain;
but since thou bidst us leave the mount,
come with us to the plain.
The tune SWABIA was composed by Johann M. Spiess (? – 1772). Spiess taught music at the Gymnasium in Heidelberg, Germany, and played the organ at St. Peter’s Church and (1746-72) at Berne Cathedral.
Raphael, The Transfiguration (1516-1520)
The upper part portrays the Transfiguration of Christ, flanked by Moses and Elijah, on Mount Tabor. The lower part illustrates the Healing of the Possessed Boy, which follows immediately after the Transfiguration in the Synoptic Gospels.
In the upper Transfiguration, the radiant Christ floats in the clouds above the hill, flanked by Moses and Elijah. Below them, lying dazzled and sprawled on the ground, are his disciples. The figure of the floating Jesus is both indicated and acclaimed by gestures of the crowd in the lower section, which thus unite the two halves of the work. In contrast to the brilliance of the Transfiguration, the lower picture is marked by darkness, as well as the consternation of the apostles who are unable to cure the sick boy. Meanwhile, the expressive bodily gestures and glazed, open-eyed stare of the boy, reveal the awful effects of his condition.
This painting in unique in portraying these episodes together. The name Raphael means “God heals” and Jesus manifests Himself as the one who, by His divine power, heals bodies and souls.
Richard Farrant (1530-1580) was a gentleman of the Chapel Royal until 1564, when he was appointed organist and choirmaster to St. George’s Chapel, Windsor; this post entailed the annual presentation of a play before the queen, which led to the creation of the Children of Windsor, a boys’ theatrical company formed from members of the choir, Farrant later leased the defunct Blackfriars’ Priory and converted it into a theater.
Farrant is also one of the earliest and most well-known composers that began to mix the two mediums of music and drama. It was this uncommon mixture that allowed him to begin to develop the composition style of ‘verse.’ This becomes prominent in his pieces such as the anthems Call to remembrance and Hide not thou thy face. They are similar in many ways: they are both in the same minor key, befitting their texts that lament sin and beg for mercy. Both anthems ass color by taking advantage of the English technique of juxtaposing notes that do not belong together in Renaissance music theory (for example A and A-flat in teh key of F minor). Both set forth the text in a simple, easily understood fashion, using a homophonic texture and simple rhythms – plainness and directness being highly desirable qualities in early Anglican liturgy. Both repeat the last section of music and text for dramatic effect. Their unadorned style is fitting for Lent and their powerful pleas for mercy and forgiveness for sin speak right to the heart.
Call to remembrance, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy loving kindness, which hath been ever of old. O remember not the sins and offences of my youth, but according to thy mercy, think thou on me, O Lord, for thy goodness.
The Tewkesbury Abbey School sings it here.
Hide not thou thy face from us, O Lord, and cast not off thy servants in thy displeasure; for we confess our sins unto thee, and hide not our unrighteousness. For thy mercy’s sake, deliver us from all our sins.
Westminster Abbey choir sings it during a service to commemorate the passing of the last British veterans of World War One.
Mount Calvary Church
Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter
March 5, 2017
Praise to the Holiest in the height
O Love how deep, how broad, how high
Forty days and forty nights
Lord, we beseech thee, by Adrian Batten
The Lenten Prose (Attende Domine), plainchant
Common of Mass
Kyrie, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Merbecke
Praise to the Holiest in the height, by John Henry Newman (1865). Like the hymn Firmly I believe and truly, it forms part of The Dream of Gerontius, which describes the passage of the soul through death. It is sung by the angels as the soul approaches judgment. Jesus, who is true God and true man, undergoes for the human race the “double agony,” the one in the garden and the one on the cross. In his Discourse 16, Newman placed equal emphasis on Jesus’ Agony in the Garden and on His Crucifixion as central to understanding the work of redemption. In the garden Jesus felt the full horror and degradation of all the sins and guilt and sorrows of the world. Newman also intimates that we his brethren should learn from Him to do our share in bearing the burden of the sins of the world.
From Newman’s Discourse 16:
“And now, my brethren, what was it He had to bear, when He thus opened upon His soul the torrent of this predestinated pain? Alas! He had to bear what is well known to us, what is familiar to us, but what to Him was woe unutterable. He had to bear that which is so easy a thing to us, so natural, so welcome, that we cannot conceive of it as of a great endurance, but which to Him had the scent and the poison of death—He had, my dear brethren, to bear the weight of sin; He had to bear your sins; He had to bear the sins of the whole world.
Sin is an easy thing to us; we think little of it; we do not understand how the Creator can think much of it; we cannot bring our imagination to believe that it deserves retribution, and, when even in this world punishments follow upon it, we explain them away or turn our minds from them. But consider what sin is in itself; it is rebellion against God; it is a traitor’s act who aims at the overthrow and death of His sovereign; it is that, if I may use a strong expression, which, could the Divine Governor of the world cease to be, would be sufficient to bring it about. Sin is the mortal enemy of the All-holy, so that He and it cannot be together; and as the All-holy drives it from His presence into the outer darkness, so, if God could be less than God, it is sin that would have power to make Him less.
And here observe, my brethren, that when once Almighty Love, by taking flesh, entered this created system, and submitted Himself to its laws, then forthwith this antagonist of good and truth, taking advantage of the opportunity, flew at that flesh which He had taken, and fixed on it, and was its death. The envy of the Pharisees, the treachery of Judas, and the madness of the people, were but the instrument or the expression of the enmity which sin felt towards Eternal Purity as soon as, in infinite mercy towards men, He put Himself within its reach. Sin could not touch His Divine Majesty; but it could assail Him in that way in which He allowed Himself to be assailed, that is, through the medium of His humanity. And in the issue, in the death of God incarnate, you are but taught, my brethren, what sin is in itself, and what it was which then was falling, in its hour and in its strength, upon His human nature, when He allowed that nature to be so filled with horror and dismay at the very anticipation.
There, then, in that most awful hour, knelt the Saviour of the world, putting off the defences of His divinity, dismissing His reluctant Angels, who in myriads were ready at His call, and opening His arms, baring His breast, sinless as He was, to the assault of His foe,—of a foe whose breath was a pestilence, and whose embrace was an agony. There He knelt, motionless and still, while the vile and horrible fiend clad His spirit in a robe steeped in all that is hateful and heinous in human crime, which clung close round His heart, and filled His conscience, and found its way into every sense and pore of His mind, and spread over Him a moral leprosy, till He almost felt Himself to be that which He never could be, and which His foe would fain have made Him.
Oh, the horror, when He looked, and did not know Himself, and felt as a foul and loathsome sinner, from His vivid perception of that mass of corruption which poured over His head and ran down even to the skirts of His garments! Oh, the distraction, when He found His eyes, and hands, and feet, and lips, and heart, as if the members of the Evil One, and not of God! Are these the hands of the Immaculate Lamb of God, once innocent, but now red with ten thousand barbarous deeds of blood? are these His lips, not uttering prayer, and praise, and holy blessings, but as if defiled with oaths, and blasphemies, and doctrines of devils? or His eyes, profaned as they are by all the evil visions and idolatrous fascinations for which men have abandoned their adorable Creator? And His ears, they ring with sounds of revelry and of strife; and His heart is frozen with avarice, and cruelty, and unbelief; and His very memory is laden with every sin which has been committed since the fall, in all regions of the earth, with the pride of the old giants, and the lusts of the five cities, and the obduracy of Egypt, and the ambition of Babel, and the unthankfulness and scorn of Israel.
Oh, who does not know the misery of a haunting thought which comes again and again, in spite of rejection, to annoy, if it cannot seduce? or of some odious and sickening imagination, in no sense one’s own, but forced upon the mind from without? or of evil knowledge, gained with or without a man’s fault, but which he would give a great price to be rid of at once and for ever? And adversaries such as these gather around Thee, Blessed Lord, in millions now; they come in troops more numerous than the locust or the palmer-worm, or the plagues of hail, and flies, and frogs, which were sent against Pharaoh. Of the living and of the dead and of the as yet unborn, of the lost and of the saved, of Thy people and of strangers, of sinners and of saints, all sins are there…..
None was equal to the weight but God; sometimes before Thy saints Thou hast brought the image of a single sin, as it appears in the light of Thy countenance, or of venial sins, not mortal; and they have told us that the sight did all but kill them, nay, would have killed them, had it not been instantly withdrawn. The Mother of God, for all her sanctity, nay by reason of it, could not have borne even one brood of that innumerable progeny of Satan which now compasses Thee about.
It is the long history of a world, and God alone can bear the load of it. Hopes blighted, vows broken, lights quenched, warnings scorned, opportunities lost; the innocent betrayed, the young hardened, the penitent relapsing, the just overcome, the aged failing; the sophistry of misbelief, the wilfulness of passion, the obduracy of pride, the tyranny of habit, the canker of remorse, the wasting fever of care, the anguish of shame, the pining of disappointment, the sickness of despair; such cruel, such pitiable spectacles, such heartrending, revolting, detestable, maddening scenes; nay, the haggard faces, the convulsed lips, the flushed cheek, the dark brow of the willing slaves of evil, they are all before Him now; they are upon Him and in Him. They are with Him instead of that ineffable peace which has inhabited His soul since the moment of His conception.
They are upon Him, they are all but His own; He cries to His Father as if He were the criminal, not the victim; His agony takes the form of guilt and compunction. He is doing penance, He is making confession, He is exercising contrition, with a reality and a virtue infinitely greater than that of all saints and penitents together; for He is the One Victim for us all, the sole Satisfaction, the real Penitent, all but the real sinner.”
Praise to the Holiest in the height,
and in the depth be praise:
in all his words most wonderful,
most sure in all his ways.
O loving wisdom of our God!
When all was sin and shame,
a second Adam to the fight
and to the rescue came.
O wisest love! that flesh and blood,
which did in Adam fail,
should strive afresh against the foe,
should strive and should prevail;
And that a higher gift than grace
should flesh and blood refine,
God’s presence and his very self,
and essence all-divine.
O generous love! that he, who smote
in Man for man the foe,
the double agony in Man
for man should undergo;
And in the garden secretly,
and on the cross on high,
should teach his brethren, and inspire
to suffer and to die.
Praise to the Holiest in the height,
and in the depth be praise:
in all his words most wonderful,
most sure in all his ways.
The tune Gerontius is by the colorful John Bacchus Dykes (1823—1876).
John Bacchus Dykes
Although his paternal grandfather and his father had been firmly of an evangelical persuasion, Dykes migrated to the Anglo-Catholic, ritualist, wing of the Church of England during his Cambridge years. Although never a member of the Cambridge Camden Society, his later life showed him to be clearly in sympathy with its central tenets, as he was with those of the Oxford Movement. He was a member of the Society of the Holy Cross. At this time, antagonism between the evangelical and Anglo-Catholic wings of the Church of England was heated and sometimes violent.
Although Dykes’s treatment at the hands of the evangelical party, which included his own Bishop, Charles Baring, was largely played out locally, Baring’s refusal to licence a curate to help the overworked Dykes in his ever-expanding parish, led the latter to seek from the Court of Queen’s Bench a writ of mandamus, requiring the Bishop to do so. Against the expectations of many senior legal figures, including the Attorney General, Dr. A.J. Stephens QC, whose services Dykes had retained, the Court, led by puisne judge Sir Colin Blackburn QC, refused to interfere in what they saw to be a matter of the Bishop’s sole discretion. Dykes’s defeat was followed by a gradual deterioration in his physical and mental health, necessitating absence (which was to prove permanent) from St. Oswald’s from March 1875. Rest and the bracing Swiss air proving unavailing, Dykes eventually went to recover on the south coast of England where, on 22 January 1876, he died aged 52. Touchingly, he shares a grave with his youngest daughter, Mabel, who died, aged 10, of scarlet fever in 1870.
Dykes published numerous sermons, book reviews and articles on theology and church music, many of them in the Ecclesiastic and Theologian. These display considerable erudition and wit (not to mention a penchant for damnation by faint praise and a fondness for litotes and gentle sarcasm), especially on the topics of the Apocalypse, the Psalms, Biblical numerology and, unsurprisingly, the function of music and ritual in the service of the church. However, he is best known for over 300 hymn tunes he composed. Lux Benigna, set to Newman’s poem Lead, Kindly Light.
Whereas evolving tastes in music have seen an inexorable decline in the use of Victorian hymn tunes generally, including those by Sir Arthur Sullivan, Sir John Stainer, Sir Joseph Barnby and Lowell Mason, some of Dykes’s tunes have proved remarkably resilient, continuing to find a place in twenty-first century hymnals.
Here is a stirring rendition with brass.
O Love, how deep, how broad, how high, strongly resembles the writings of Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471), author of The Imitation of Christ. The hymn emphasizes the pro nobis: that all the actions of Christ were done, not for Himself, but for us and for out salvation.
O love, how deep, how broad, how high,
beyond all thought and fantasy,
that God, the Son of God, should take
our mortal form for mortals’ sake!
For us baptized, for us he bore
his holy fast and hungered sore;
for us temptation sharp he knew,
for us the tempter overthrew.
For us he prayed; for us he taught;
for us his daily works he wrought:
by words and signs and actions thus
still seeking not himself, but us.
For us to evil power betrayed,
scourged, mocked, in purple robe arrayed,
he bore the shameful cross and death;
for us gave up his dying breath.
For us he rose from death again;
for us he went on high to reign;
for us he sent his Spirit here
to guide, to strengthen, and to cheer.
All glory to our Lord and God
for love so deep, so high, so broad —
the Trinity, whom we adore
forever and forevermore.
The translator was by the Anglican clergyman Benjamin Webb (1819—1885). Webb was one of the Founders of the Cambridge Camden, afterwards the Ecclesiological Society; in 1848 he was joint editor with Dr. Mill of Frank’s Sermons, for the Anglo-Catholic Library, and with the Rev. J. Fuller-Russell of Hierurgia Anglicana. He was also one of the editors of the Burntisland reprint of the Sarum Missal. One of his most valuable works is Instructions and Prayers for Candidates for Confirmation, of which the third edition was published in 1882. Mr. Webb was one of the original editors of the Hymnal Noted, that is, with the music, and of the sub-Committee of the Ecclesiological Society, appointed to arrange the words and the music of that book; and was also the translator of some of the hymns. In conjunction with the Rev. Canon W. Cooke he was editor of the Hymnary, 1872.
The tune Deus tuorum was published in France in the 1753 Grenoble Antiphoner as a setting for the text “Deus tuorum militum” (“The God of Your Soldiers”). One of the finest French diocesan tunes from the eighteenth century, it represents a departure in Roman Catholic hymnody from the older chant style.
Here it is sung at Trinity College, Cambridge.
Forty days and forty nights is by the Anglican clergyman George Hunt Smyttan (1822-1870). Forty often symbolizes a time of testing or judgment. In the Old Testament, when God destroyed the earth with water, He caused it to rain 40 days and 40 nights. After Moses killed the Egyptian, he fled to Midian, where he spent 40 years in the desert tending flocks. Moses was on Mount Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights. Moses interceded on Israel’s behalf for 40 days and 40 nights. The Law specified a maximum number of lashes a man could receive for a crime, setting the limit at 40. The Israelite spies took 40 days to spy out Canaan. The Israelites wandered for 40 years. Before Samson’s deliverance, Israel served the Philistines for 40 years. Goliath taunted Saul’s army for 40 days before David arrived to slay him. When Elijah fled from Jezebel, he traveled 40 days and 40 nights to Mt. Horeb. Jonah warned that in 40 days Nineveh would be destroyed.
Lent is a time of testing and of growth to spiritual maturity. According to the Talmud, at age 40 a person transitions from one level of wisdom to the next. After Moses led the Jewish people for 40 years in the wilderness, he told them: “God has not given you a heart to know, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, until this day.” It took the Jewish people of testing 40 years before they reached a full level of understanding. After 40 days of Lent, we should grow into the full measure of manhood: “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”
Forty days and forty nights
thou wast fasting in the wild;
forty days and forty nights
tempted, and yet undefiled:
Sunbeams scorching all the day;
chilly dew-drops nightly shed;
prowling beasts about thy way;
stones thy pillow, earth thy bed.
Shall not we thy sorrows share,
and from earthly joys abstain,
fasting with unceasing prayer,
glad with thee to suffer pain?
And if Satan, vexing sore,
flesh or spirit should assail,
thou, his vanquisher before,
grant we may not faint nor fail.
So shall we have peace divine;
holier gladness ours shall be;
round us too shall angels shine,
such as ministered to thee.
Keep, O keep us, Saviour dear,
ever constant by thy side;
that with thee we may appear
at the eternal Eastertide.
George Hunt Smyttan (1822-1870) wrote three poems for Lent, one of which became this hymn. It was published in the March 1856 edition of The Penny Post and was revised five years later in Hymns Fitted to the Order of Common Prayer (1861), by Francis Pott.
The tune Aus der Tiefe (also called Heinlein) was published in the Nürnbergisches Gesang-Buch (1676-77) as a setting for Christoph Schwamlein’s text based on Psalm 130 “Aus der Tiefe rufe ich” (“Out of the Depths I Cry”). In that songbook the tune was attributed to “M. H.,” initials that are generally accepted to refer to Martin Herbst (1654—1681). Herbst was educated in theology and philosophy at the universities of Altdorf and Jena. In 1680 he became he became rector of the gymnasium (high school) and pastor of St. Andrew Church in Eisleben. The following year he died of the plague.
Here it is sung at Compline.
Lord we beseech thee, by Adrian Batten.
Lord, we beseech thee, give ear unto our prayers, and by thy gracious visitation lighten the darkness of our hearts, by our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Adrian Batten (c. 1591 – c. 1637) was an English organist and Anglican church composer. He was active during an important period of English church music, between the Reformation and the Civil War in the 1640s. During this period the liturgical music of the first generations of Anglicans began to diverge significantly from music on the continent. Among the genres developed during this period by Batten and other Anglican composers was the ‘verse anthem’, in which sections alternate between the full choir and soloists, underlain and unified by an independent organ accompaniment.
Batten was born in Salisbury, and was a chorister and subsequently an organ scholar at Winchester Cathedral, where he studied under John Holmes. Batten remained with the cathedral choir after his voice had changed, as evidenced by graffiti carved into the wall of Bishop Gardiner’s chantry that reads “Adrian Battin: 1608”. In 1614, Batten moved to London to become a Vicar Choral of Westminster Abbey, and was apparently still at Westminster in 1625; The Lord Chamberlain’s Records for 1625 show that at the funeral of James I (at which Orlando Gibbons was organist and master of the music) Batten is described as a “singingman of Westminster”. In 1626, Batten became a Vicar Choral of the cathedral choir at St. Paul’s Cathedral, and also played the organ there.
Here is the anthem at St. Francis Church, Vermont.
The Lenten Prose is a translation of Attende Domine, a 10th century hymn composed by Mozarabic Christians.
Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi. Hearken, O Lord, and have mercy, for we have sinned against Thee.
Ad te Rex summe, omnium redemptor, oculos nostros sublevamus flentes: exaudi, Christe, supplicantum preces. R.
Crying, we raise our eyes to Thee, Sovereign King, Redeemer of all. Listen, Christ, to the pleas of the supplicant sinners. R.
Dextera Patris, lapis angularis, via salutis, ianua caelestis, ablue nostri maculas delicti. R.
Thou art at the Right Hand of God the Father, the Keystone, the Way of salvation and Gate of Heaven, cleanse the stains of our sins. R.
Rogamus, Deus, tuam maiestatem: auribus sacris gemitus exaudi: crimina nostra placidus indulge. R.
O God, we beseech Thy majesty to hear our groans; to forgive our sins. R.
Tibi fatemur crimina admissa: contrito corde pandimus occulta: tua Redemptor, pietas ignoscat. R.
We confess to Thee our consented sins; we declare our hidden sins with contrite heart; in Thy mercy, O Redeemer, forgive them. R.
Innocens captus, nec repugnans ductus, testibus falsis pro impiis damnatus: quos redemisti, tu conserva, Christe. R.
Thou wert captured, being innocent; brought about without resistance, condemned by impious men with false witnesses. O Christ keep safe those whom Thou hast redeemed. R.
Here is the Latin with Gregorian chant.
Here is the translation that we are using (English Hymnal 507).
Hear us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we have sinned against thee.
To thee, Redeemer, on thy throne of glory:
lift we our weeping eyes in holy pleadings: Listen, O Jesu, to our supplications.
O thou chief cornerstone, right hand of the Father:
way of salvation, gate of life celestial:
cleanse thou our sinful souls from all defilement.
God, we implore thee, in thy glory seated:
bow down and hearken to thy weeping children:
pity and pardon all our grievous trespasses.
Sins oft committed, now we lay before thee:
with true contrition, now no more we veil them:
grant us, Redeemer, loving absolution.
Innocent captive, taken unresisting:
falsely accused, and for us sinners sentenced,
save us, we pray thee, Jesu, our Redeemer.
Hear us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we have sinned against thee.
Her is the Lent Prose at Hereford Cathedral.