What a nice group we had for worship today! All those Dutch people arrived from their travels to join us, Too bad they sat way in the back of the church. Also too bad that they weren’t there to supply the built-in descant for “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” (EASTER HYMN).
(For those of you who are reading this who are music director types–Hi Morris!–if you don’t know about the built-in descant to which I am referring, here goes. On the “Alleluias” on the first and second lines, the sopranos sing the “Alleluia” from the fourth line. On the third line, they sing the music as written, along with everyone else. On the fourth line, the sopranos sing the “Alleluia” from the first line, only up an octave. It’s somewhat akin to the fruit-basket-turnover arrangement for DUKE STREET.)
And at our Easter Dinner, we had leg of lamb (thanks, Dutchies!), Lambropsomo/Tsoureki, baked ham (does anyone not eat baked ham on Easter?), and lots o’ other wonderful Easter-type foods. For me, the lamb is the sine qua non of Easter. Too bad we didn’t have a mold to make a lamb cake–maybe next year. But at least we had the Tsoureki.
Music for today’s liturgy:
“Jesus Christ is Risen Today” (EASTER HYMN). Text: 14th century Latin hymn (Surrexit Christus hodie), tr. 1708.
Kyrie eleison. Setting by Healey Willan, from the Missa Maria Magdalena.
Gloria in excelsis. Setting by William Mathias.
“The Day of Resurrection” (LANCASHIRE). Text: St. John of Damascus, tr. John Mason Neale.
“Praise God, from whom all blessings flow” (LASST UNS ERFREUEN). Text: Bp. Thomas Ken.
“At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing” (St. GEORGE’S, WINDSOR). Text: 6th century Latin hymn (Ad regias Agni dapes), tr. Robert Campbell.
Sanctus and Benedictus qui venit. Willan, Missa Maria Magdalena.
The Great Amen.
Agnus Dei. Willan, Missa Maria Magdalena.
“Alleluia, Alleluia” (EBENEZER). Text: Christopher Wordsworth.
“Thine Be the Glory, Risen, Conquering Son” (JUDAS MACCABAEUS). Text: Edmund Budry.
And no, we did not sing “Up From the Grave He Arose!” (I agree with all the sentiments in this link. That hymn was a real downer for me for about ten Easters in a row, thanks to a pastor who thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.)
Shameless plug for liturgical worship: Google all the above hymn texts, then consider that the following Scripture texts were also read/used during the service: Revelation 11:15 (Call to Worship), Romans 6:9-11 (Assurance of Pardon), Acts 10:34-32 (First Lesson), Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 (responsive reading), I Corinthians 15:19-26 (Second Lesson), John 20:1-18 (Gospel Lesson), I Corinthians 5:7 (Fraction Anthem), Galatians 2:20 (Sharing of the Bread), I John 1:7 (Sharing of the Wine), Philippians 4:7 (Benediction).
I am not trying to pass judgement on other forms of worship, but speaking personally, I have never worshiped in a more spiritually edifying context than liturgical churches, specifically because of the volume of Scripture and sound, “nutritious” hymn texts that comprise most of the service. God’s word certainly takes precedence over man’s word in such a context, and that’s just good for your soul, I don’t care what “style” you prefer. Certainly better for you, to my way of thinking, than the entire scriptural content of a service being a two- or three-verse “sermon text” (usually followed by a forty-five minute sermon), and goodness knows I’ve seen more than enough of that sort of thing in my day!