Deck thyself, my soul

A hymn to sing along with…

The German hymn was written by Johann Franck (1618-1677) and translated by Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878).

Catherine Winkworth was born in London, but her father was from Alderley Edge. She translated many hymns from German to English including “Now thank we all Our God” and “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation”. She was a pioneer in promoting women’s rights and put much of her energy into the encouragement of higher education for women.

The hauntingly beautiful chorale tune “Schmücke dich” is from 1649. It was written by Johann Crüger (1598-1662). He was appointed as (Lutheran) cantor at the St Nicholas church at Berlin in 1622 ( a post he held for the rest of his life) and published much church music. Many of his tunes are still in use today, including “Crüger” (“Hail to the Lord’s Anointed” and “Nun danket” (“Now thank we all Our God”).

The harmony here is by Ralph Vaughan-Williams.

Brightest and best…

A hymn to sing along with…

The words of this Epiphany hymn were written by Bishop Reginald Heber (1783-1826) in 1811 and first published by his widow in a compilation of his hymns in 1827. Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty is another of his hymns in our Sing Along collection.

The tune provided here is “Epiphany” by Revd Joseph Francis Thrupp (1827-1867). He was ordained in 1852 and was appointed as Vicar of Barrington (Cambridge). He wrote a number of hymns, but today is chiefly remembered for this familiar tune.

Another tune sometimes used for this hymn is “Morning Star”, written by James Proctor Harding (1850-1911) who was the organist at St Andrew’s, Islington for 35 years. (I get the impression that this tune may be more commonly used in USA.) Here is a quick burst:

Breath on me, Breath of God

A hymn to sing along with…

The words were written by Revd Edwin Hatch (1835-1889), a theologian and lecturer. He was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1859 and went to Quebec, Canada until 1867. He was appointed Rector of Purleigh (St Albans Diocese) in 1883. Most of his ordained life was connected with Universities (Quebec and Oxford).
In this picture he seems to have the breath of God in his hair!

The tune “Trentham” was written by Robert Jackson (1840-1914). He wrote a number of hymn tunes, but this is the only one in frequent use these days. He was the organist at St Peter’s, Oldham from 1868 to 1914.
(His father had been the organist there for 48 years.)

Jesus shall reign where’re the sun…

A hymn to sing along with…

Another hymn by Isaac Watts (1674-1748). It was published in 1719. Based on Psalm 72, it originally had eight stanzas entitled “Christ’s kingdom among the Gentiles”.

The tune provided here is “Galilee”, composed by Philip Armes (1836-1908). He had been a chorister at Norwich Cathedral and later was organist of Durham Cathedral for 45 years.

Other hymns in this collection by Isaac Watts:
Give me the wings of faith
Sweet is the work
O God our help in ages past
How bright those glorious spirits shine

Family Worship 5 July 2020

Our home-made Family Worship service. Thanks very much to Bev, Toby, Nick & Hannah, Amy & Matthew and the various camera crews across Bollington for helping with our service today 🙂 The opening scene of this video shows a snapshot from Christmas in church!?! We hope it’s not that long before we can gather together in person again for worship! We look forward to re-opening the church building hopefully in the Autumn, after successful completion of our ongoing kitchen development project, but meanwhile stay safe and keep well 🙂 Veronica

Wherefore, O Father, we thy humble servants

A Hymn to sing along with…

The words to this hymn were written by Revd William Henry Hammond Jervois (1825-1905). He was Vicar of St Mary Magdalene, Munster Square, London and was on the Committee that compiled the English Hymnal. The family name was pronounced “Jarvis”. At the time of his ordination (deacon 1878, priest 1879) his father was Governor of South Australia.

The tune provided here is not the one we usually sing this hymn to. “Gerard” was written by Arthur James Bramwell Hutchings (1906-1989), Professor of Music at Durham University and later at the University of Exeter. He was for many years a Director of the English Hymnal Company. The tune may not be familiar. But it is a lovely one and you can find it in the New English Hymnal for hymn number 323. It’s probably easier to learn the tune if it is sung to words you already know. Enjoy!

Great Shepherd of thy people

A hymn to sing along with…

Another hymn by Revd John Newton (1725-1807), who also wrote “May the grace of Christ our Saviour” (you can read more about him on that post).

The tune is “Oswald’s Tree” – most appropriate for our parish! It was written by Sir Henry Walford Davies (1869-1941) who succeeded Sir Edward Elgar as Master of the King’s Music in 1934. His setting of “God be in my Head” is well-known.

There were more verses in the original hymn, the final one being:

And may the gospel’s joyful sound,
Enforced by mighty grace,
Awaken many sinners round,
To come and fill the place.