Sunday, March 30, 2014

Seen and heard today at Divine Service, Lent 4 (3/30/14)

The choir sang this Bobby McFerrin composition - a piece he dedicated to his mother - at the Psalm today:

The Lord is my Shepherd, I have all I need,
She makes me lie down in green meadows,
Beside the still waters, She will lead.

She restores my soul, She rights my wrongs,
She leads me in a path of good things,
And fills my heart with songs.

Even though I walk through a dark and dreary land,
There is nothing that can shake me,
She has said She won't forsake me,
I'm in her hand.

She sets a table before me, in the presence of my foes,
She anoints my head with oil,
And my cup overflows.

Surely, surely goodness and kindness will follow me
All the days of my life,
And I will live in her house,
Forever, forever and ever.

Glory be to our Mother and Daughter,
And to the Holy of Holies,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
World, without end. Amen

After the service I asked the choirmaster if Bobby McFerrin had written the piece this way, or if she had messed around and Anglican Chantified it herself.   She said no, that McFerrin had written it this way, and that he had grown up Episcopalian - which pretty much explains everything.

And we had this great hymn, here sung at the Washington National Cathedral:

This hymn goes very well with the theme of "light" on the day; both the Gospel and Epistle readings are about light.

I especially like the refrain, and the line "The Lamb is the light of the city of God."   That's an interesting mix of metaphors, there!  And we almost never get to sing about "the city of God," do we?
I want to walk as a child of the light;
I want to follow Jesus.
God set the stars to give light to the world;
The star of my life is Jesus.

In him there is no darkness at all;
The night and the day are both alike.
The Lamb is the light of the city of God.
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

I want to see the brightness of God;
I want to look at Jesus.
Clear Sun of Righteousness, shine on my path
And show me the way to the Father. [Refrain]

I’m looking for the coming of Christ;
I want to be with Jesus.
When we have run with patience the race,
We shall know the joy of Jesus. [Refrain]

Later I did listen to the webcast from St.Thomas - which means I can include some of their stuff in this post, too.    (Go listen, yourself, to New York Polyphony sing the mass, the anthem, and the motet.  Yes!)  They had the splendid hymn "O Love, how deep, how broad, how high" (this video, though, comes from St. Bart's on Park Avenue):

What a terrific text!

O love, how deep, how broad, how high,
how passing 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 temptations 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 wicked hands 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 hymn tune for "O Love, how deep, how broad, how high" is Deus Tuorum Militum; it's found in the 1753 Grenoble Antiphoner.   I can't seem to find a scan of this anywhere online, or in fact much of anything about it; I would love to know more.   Here's a score of the melody from The Harvard University Hymn-Book.

The interesting thing, to me, is that Deus Tuorum Militum was originally a hymn sung on martyr's feasts; here's the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood's version (mp3), which they call "O God, Thy Soldier's Crown and Guard."

According to The Hymnal 1982 Companion, there are "seventeen different Latin hymn melodies set to the present text."   Sometime I'll put together a post of all of these!

Getting back to "O love, how deep," though:  the Hymnal 1982 Companion does talk a bit about the possible provenance of the hymn tune, and about some of its characteristics:
The melody appears to date from the middle to the late eighteenth century and may be categorized as a French church melody.  The tune's opening outlines a major-key tonic chord, and the remainder of the melody establishes the tonal nature of its construction.  Its distinct triple-metre rhythmic setting also emphasizes the dating of the tune from the common practice era*.  The metre of the text reflects the standard practice of most eighteenth-century French church melodies, which are eithe rset in the Sapphic* design of or in Long Metre in triple time; DEUS TUORUM MILITUM is of the latter type.  The harmonization is after a setting by Basil Harwood as found in H40.

This hymn text is, amazingly to me, "attributed  to Thomas à Kempis"; the translation is definitely by Benjamin Webb.  Some of the images are certainly great:
How passing thought and fantasy,
that God, the Son of God, should take
our mortal form for mortals' sake!
And especially:
For us baptized, for us he bore
his holy fast and hungered sore;
for us temptations sharp he knew;
for us the tempter overthrew.
I'd like to see the original of this; it's great in translation. has this about Thomas à Kempis:
Thomas of Kempen, commonly known as Thomas à Kempis, was born at Kempen, about fifteen miles northwest of Düsseldorf, in 1379 or 1380. His family name was Hammerken. His father was a peasant, whilst his mother kept a dame's school for the younger children of Kempen. When about twelve years old he became an inmate of the poor-scholars' house which was connected with a "Brother-House" of the Brethren of the Common Life at Deventer, where he was known as Thomas from Kempen, and hence his well-known name. There he remained for six years, and then, in 1398, he was received into the Brotherhood. A year later he entered the new religious house at Mount St. Agnes, near Zwolle. After due preparation he took the vows in 1407, was priested in 1413, became Subprior in 1425, and died according to some authorities on July 26. and others on Aug. 8, 1471.
Much of his time was occupied in copying Missals, Breviaries, and other devotional and religious works. His original writings included a chronicle of the monastery of St. Agnes, several biographies, tracts and hymns, and, but not without some doubt as to his authorship the immortalImitatio Christi, which has been translated into more languages than any other book, the Bible alone excepted. His collected works have been repeatedly published, the best editions being Nürnberg, 1494, Antwerp in 1607 (Thomae Malleoli à Kempis . . . Opera omnia), and Paris in 1649. An exhaustive work on St. Thomas is Thomas à Kempis and the Brothers of the Common Life, by S. W. Kettlewell, in 2 vols., Lond., 1882. In this work the following of his hymns are translated by the Rev. S. J. Stone:—

i. From his Vita Boni Monachi, ii.:—
1. Vitam Jesu ChristiImitation of Christ. Be the life of Christ thy Saviour.
2. Apprehende annaChristian Armour. Take thy weapons, take thy shield.
3. Sustine doloresResignation. Bear thy sorrows with Laurentius.

ii. From his Cantica Spiritualia:—
4. 0 dulcissime JesuJesus the most Dear. 0 [Child] Christ Jesu, closest, dearest.
5. 0 Vera summa TrinitasHoly Trinity. Most true, most High, 0 Trinity.
6. Ad versa mundi toleraResignation. Bear the troubles of thy life.
7. 0 qualis quantaque laetitiaEternal Life. 0 joy the purest, noblest.

Of these translations Mr. Stone has repeated Nos. 5, 6, and 7 in his Hymns, 1886, and No. 4 in a rewritten form as "Jesus, to my heart most precious," in the same. Pastor O. A. Spitzen has recently published from a manuscript circa 1480, ten additional hymns by Thomas, in his “Nalezing op mijn Thomas à Kempis," Utrecht, 1881. Six of these had previously been printed anonymously by Mone. The best known are "Jerusalem gloriosa", and "Nec quisquam oculis vidit". We may add that Thomas's hymnwriting is not regarded as being of the highest standard, and that the modern use of his hymns in any form is very limited.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

And this is from their entry on Webb:
Webb, Benjamin, M.A., was born in London in 1820, and was educated in St. Paul's School; whence he passed to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1838, B.A. 1842, M.A. 1845. Ordained by the Bishop [Monk] of Gloucester and Bristol he was Assistant Curate of Kemeston in Gloucestershire, 1843-44; of Christ Church, St. Pancras, 1847-49; and of Brasted, Kent, 1849-51; at which date he was presented to the P. C. of Sheen in Staffordshire, which he held until 1862, when he became Vicar of St. Andrews, Wells Street, London. In 1881 the Bishop [Jackson] of London collated him to the Prebend of Portpool in St. Paul's Cathedral. Mr. Webb was one of the Founders of the Cambridge Camden, afterwards the Ecclesiological Society; and the Editor of the Ecclesiologist from 1842 to 1868, as well as the General Editor of the Society's publications. His first appearance in print was as joint editor of Bishop Montague's Articles of Inquiry in 184; in 1843 he was joined with Mr. J. M. Neale in An Essay on Symbolism, and A Translation of Durandus; in 1847 he put forth his valuable work on Continental Ecclesiology; 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. After the decease of his father-in-law (Dr. Mill), he edited Dr. Mill's Catechetical Lectures, 1856; a second edition of Dr. Mill's Christian Advocates Publications on the Mythical Interpretation of the Gospels, 1861; and of Dr. Mill's Sermons on our Lord's Temptation, 1873. 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, 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, for which office his habitual reconstruction and composition of the words of the anthems used at St. Andrew's, Wells Street, as well as his connection with theHymnal Noted, eminently qualified him. His original hymns contributed to the Hymnary, 1871 and 1872, were:--
1. Assessor to thy KingSt. Bartholomew. In the Hymnary, 1872.
2. Behold He comes, thy King most holyAdvent. Originally written to be sung in St. Andrew's Church, Wells Street, as an anthem to the music of Schumann'sAdvent-lied, and afterwards published in the Hymnary, 1872.
3. Praise God, the Holy TrinityHymn of Faith. Originally written for use in St. Andrew's, Wells Street, and subsequently in the Hymnary, 1872.
4. Praise the Rock of our salvationDedication of a Church. Published in the Hymnary, 1872. Mr. Webb's authorised text is in the Westminster Abbey Hymn Book, 1883.
5. Ye angel hosts aboveUniversal Praise to God. In the Hymnary, 1872.
He died in London, Nov. 27, 1885. [Rev. William Cooke, M.A.]

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

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