The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Mount Calvary Church
A Roman Catholic Parish
The Personal Ordinariate of S. Peter
Eutaw Street and Madison Avenue
Rev. Albert Scharbach, Pastor
Andrew Johnson, Organist and Music Director
Sunday, September 13, 2020
8:00 A.M. Said Mass
10:00 A.M. Sung Mass
This mass will be live streamed.
Arioso, J. S. Bach
Lift High the Cross, arr. Larry Shackley
“We Praise Thee, O God”, Johan Helmich Roman
We praise thee, O God, we bless thee,
We worship thee, we praise and give thanks to thee.
Johan Helmich Roman (1694 – 1758) was a Swedish Baroque composer. He has been called “the father of Swedish music” or “the Swedish Handel.”
“Gedenk’ an uns mit deiner Liebe” (BWV 29), J.S. Bach
“Gedenk’ an uns mit deiner Liebe,
schleuss’ uns in dein Erbarmen ein.
Segne die, so uns regieren,
die uns leiten, schützen, führen,
segne die gehorsam sein.
Remember us in Your Love,
Protect us in Your mercy,
Grant Your blessing, rule us
As you guide us, guard us, lead us,
Grant Your blessing upon Your faithful servants. “
Here are interesting comments by soprano Maria Keohane on the symbolism of the use of the siciliano rhythm in the aria.
Lift high the cross (CRUCIFER) was written by George William Kitchen (1827—1912), Dean of the Cathedral for a festival service of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, held in Winchester Cathedral in 1887. His version was altered by Anglican priest Michael Robert Newbolt (1874–1956), who later became Canon of Chester Cathedral. The hymn incorporates an important feature of processionals: the crucifer (cross-bearer) leads the procession, lifting the cross high. This ritual use of the cross is a sign of the victory of the resurrection and finds a biblical basis in John 12:32, “And I, when I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself”— which is written on the arch above our chancel. The hymn also alludes to the story of the Emperor Constantine’s vision as told in Eusebius’s Life of Constantine, in which he saw a cross inscribed with the words, “In hoc signo vinces” (“in this sign [of the cross] you will conquer”). Constantine recognized Christianity and provided a basis for the further spread of Christianity.
The tune CRUCIFER was written by Sir Sydney Hugo Nicholson (1875-1947), the founder of the School of English Church Music.
Sunset to sunrise changes now (KEDRON) is by Clement of Alexandria* (ca. 150- ca. 215/220), and was translated by Howard Chandler Robbins (1876-1952).
It is a paraphrase and expansion of a passage in Clement’s Exhortation to the Greeks, or the Protreptikos. The original occurs in Chapter XI:
“The universe has become sleepless light, and the setting has turned into a rising. For He who rides over the universe, ‘the sun of righteousness’, visits mankind impartially, imitating His Father, who ‘causes his sun to rise upon all men,’ and sprinkles them all with the dew of truth. He it was who changed the setting into a rising, and crucified death into life; who having snatched man out of destruction raised him to the sky; transplanting corruption to incorruption, and transforming earth into heaven.”
The hymn uses the sunset/sunrise figure to enrich the traditional metaphor of Christ bringing light out of darkness. So ‘God doth make his world anew’ (stanza 1), and from the Cross ‘gleams of eternity appear’. The final stanza, with its jubilant ‘sin is slain, and death brings life’, is in close accord with Clement’s teaching in the Protreptikos.
KEDRON was composed by Elkanah Kelsey Dare (1782-1826), who was born in New Jersey but moved to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania sometime before 1818. He was a Methodist minister and very possibly the music editor for John Wyeth’s Repository of Sacred Music, Part Second (1813), a shaped-note collection that includes more than a dozen of his tunes.
In the cross of Christ I glory (RATHBUN) is by John Bowring (1792-1872). It is based, like Isaac Watts’s ‘When I survey the wondrous cross’, on Galatians 6: 14, though it differs from Watts’s hymn in its emphasis on the sublimity, radiance, and peace of the cross. The cross becomes a symbol for the whole process of salvation, which adds joy to human happiness and gives strength in time of need.
This is the kind of famous hymn that attracts legends. A General Secretary of the London Missionary Society, a Dr Chirgwin, told the story of the inspiration for this hymn as it was related to him by the Secretary of the Society in China. On the island of Macao, near Hong Kong, stood the cathedral of Our Lady of Fatima, which was burned down, leaving only the west wall standing, with a blackened cross above it. ‘It was this cross which for generation after generation had escaped destruction and remains aloft above the city roofs that inspired Sir John Bowring’s hymn.’ This is now thought to be untrue: it is the kind of story that could easily have grafted itself on to a line such as ‘Towering o’er the wrecks of time’, and Bowring served in the Far East. But his service there did not begin until 1848, more than twenty years after the hymn was published, which suggests that the story is without foundation. The only possibility is that he could have seen a picture of the ruined cathedral at Macao. But it’s a good story.
RATHBUN was composed by Ithamar Conkey (1815-1867) was born in Shutesbury, Massachusetts, and was of Scottish ancestry. He was organist at Central Baptist Church in Norwich, Connecticut. After his work in Norwich, he went to New York City and served as bass soloist at Calvary Episcopal Church and later bass soloist and choir director of Madison Avenue Baptist Church.
This story is associated with the writing of RATHBUN: One Sunday in 1849 Ithamar Conkey walked out of the morning service at Central Baptist Church, Norwich, Connecticut, where he was choir director and organist, frustrated because only one soprano from his choir had come that morning. The next Sunday the minister preached a Lenten message on the words of Christ on the cross. One of the hymns to be sung was Bowring’s “In the Cross of Christ I Glory.” Later that day Conkey’s discouragement changed to inspiration, and he composed a new tune for that text. He named the tune after that one faithful soprano, Mrs. Beriah S. Rathbun. Let this be an inspiration to our soloists.
(There are rumours that there may be a rare paraliturgical use of the bagpipe this Sunday)