St Andrew

Commemorated on 30 November

A hymn to sing along with…

(part of a set of hymns about the Twelve Apostles)

Andrew the Apostle was the brother of Simon Peter. They were both fishermen. Andrew was born in the village of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee, a region where Greek language and culture were known. The name “Andrew” is of Greek origin and no Hebrew or Aramaic name has been recorded for him. it is thought that he preached along the Black Sea and as far east as Novgorod, so became patron saint of Ukraine, Romania and Russia.

He is said to have been martyred by crucifixion on an X-shaped cross at Patras in Achaea in AD 60. Legend has it that his relics were brought to the site of the modern city of St Andrews in Scotland. The 1320 Declaration of Arbroath cites Scotland’s conversion to Christianity by Andrew, “the first to be an Apostle”; he had by then been considered to be Scotland’s patron saint for several centuries. The Saltire (national flag of Scotland) is a white X-shaped cross on a blue background.

The words were written by Irish-born Cecil Frances Alexander née Humphreys (1818-1895), wife of Revd William Alexander, who later became Archbishop of Armagh. She wrote many well-known hymns. A number of the hymns she wrote for children are still popular today, including Once in royal David’s city, There is a green hill far away and All things bright and beautiful.

The tune St Andrew is by Edward Henry Thorne (1834-1916). He was appointed organist of Henley Parish Church at the age of 19 and was organist of Chichester Cathedral from 1863-1870. A number of his hymns were included in Hymns Ancient and Modern, but this is the only one in common use today.

St Andrew

Jesus calls us; o’er the tumult
Of our life’s wild, restless sea,
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
Saying, “Christian, follow Me;”

As of old, Saint Andrew heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from home, and toil, and kindred,
Leaving all for His dear sake.

Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store;
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, “Christian, love Me more.”

In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls, in cares and pleasures,
“That we love Him more than these.”

Jesus calls us: by Thy mercies,
Saviour, may we hear Thy call,
Give our hearts to Thine obedience,
Serve and love Thee best of all.

Bollington Church News December 2020-January 2021

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Jerusalem the golden

A hymn to sing along with…

Fresco at Assisi

Bernard of Cluny was a 12th century Benedictine monk, whose dates of birth and death are uncertain. He is best known as the author of De contemptu mundi (On Contempt for the World), a long verse satire in Latin. He spared no one; priests, nuns, bishops, monks, and even Rome itself were mercilessly scourged for their shortcomings. The poem also included highly wrought pictures of heaven and hell.

Seven hundred years later the Archbishop of Dublin, Richard Chevenix Trench, published the initial stanzas of the poem, beginning “Urbs Sion aurea, patria lactea,” in his Sacred Latin Poetry (1849). John Mason Neale (1818-1886) translated part of this to create the first three verses of this hymn. The fourth verse is thought to have been added by the editors of the first edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern in 1861. Another part of the Latin text was translated by Neale as For thee, O dear, dear country, a verse of which is shown below.

Alexander Ewing was a career officer in the British Army who served in Constantinople during the Crimean War. He later served in China and Canada, but never (as far as we know) visited Dallas. When he arrived at Fredericton, New Brunswick (Canada) in 1867, the bulk of the garrison troops were from the 1st Cheshire Regiment.

Before the Crimean War, Ewing had composed a tune for For thee, O dear dear country. His cousin, the Bishop of Argyll and The Isles (whose name was also Alexander Ewing) later submitted the tune to the editors of Hymns Ancient and Modern, who used it for Jerusalem the Golden instead. However, at first it was thought that it was the Bishop who had written the tune, which is simply called Ewing.

Ewing

Jerusalem the golden,
with milk and honey blest,
beneath thy contemplation
sink heart and voice opprest.
I know not, O I know not,
what social joys are there,
what radiancy of glory,
what light beyond compare.

They stand, those halls of Sion,
Conjubilant with song,
and bright with many an angel,
and all the martyr throng;
The Prince is ever in them,
the daylight is serene,
the pastures of the blessèd
are decked in glorious sheen.

There is the throne of David,
and there, from care released,
the song of them that triumph,
the shout of them that feast;
and they who, with their Leader,
have conquered in the fight,
for ever and for ever
are clad in robes of white.

O sweet and blessèd country,
Shall I ever see thy face?
O sweet and blessed country,
Shall I ever win thy grace?
Exult, O dust and ashes!
The Lord shall be thy part:
His only, his for ever,
Thou shalt be, and thou art!

For thee, O dear, dear country,
Mine eyes their vigils keep;
For very love, beholding
Thy happy name, they weep;
The mention of thy glory
Is unction to the breast,
And medicine in sickness,
And love, and life, and rest.

On Jordan’s banks

An Advent hymn to sing along with…

The words were published in 1736. They were written in Latin by Charles Coffin (1676-1749). He was Rector of the University of Paris from 1718. The 1736 publication Pa­ris Brev­i­a­ry and Hym­ni Sac­ri Auc­to­re Ca­ro­lo Cof­fin was a collection of 100 of his hymns and poems.

The first three verses were translated by John Chandler (1807-76), who also translated Christ is our corner-stone. The translator of the other verses is unknown.

The melody Winchester New was adapted from a tune in Musikalisches Hand-Buch (published in Hamburg in 1690) by Revd William Henry Havergal (1793-1870), the father of Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879) who wrote Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee. Father and daughter are buried side by side at St Peter’s church Astley, Worcestershire.

Winchester New

On Jordan’s banks the Baptist’s cry
announces that the Lord is nigh:
come then and hearken, for he brings
glad tidings from the King of kings.

Then cleansed be every breast from sin,
make straight the way for God within,
and let us all our hearts prepare
for Christ to come and enter there.

For Thou art our salvation, Lord,
our Refuge and our great Reward.
without Thy grace our life must fade,
and wither like a flower decayed.

Stretch forth Thy hand, to health restore,
and make us rise, to fall no more:
once more upon Thy people shine,
and fill the world with love divine.

To Him who left the throne of heaven
to save mankind, all praise be given:
like praise be to the Father done,
and Holy Spirit Three in One.

Hark the glad sound

An Advent hymn to sing along with…

The words were written by Philip Doddridge (1702-1861). He also wrote My God and is Thy Table spread and you can read more about him on that post.

The tune appeared in The Whole Booke of Psalmes: With The Humnes Evangelicall, and Songs Spiritual published in 1621 by Thomas Ravenscroft (c1588-1635). Of the 150 Psalms, 78 have tunes by Ravenscroft (although some tunes are duplicated). Little is known of his early life; it is thought that he was a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral. Apart from a number of hymn tunes, much of his music has been forgotten. He also wrote the words to a number of songs, although he is not often credited as the author of his most enduring creation – Three Blind Mice.

The tune was set in his psalter to a metrical version of Psalm 16 (and also Psalm 64). As is often the case, Ravenscroft put the melody line in the tenor part.

Each line of the tune begins and ends with a long note. This original rhythm is preserved* in the setting provided here (although some modern hymnals, including ours, have “modernised” the rhythm). Here the first two verses have the melody in the top line, the third verse is in the Ravenscroft format, and the last verse has a modern descant. (*although the first note of the last line of verse 3 is split to accommodate the first two syllables of “to enrich”, which appeared as “t’enrich” in the original version of the words.)

Bristol

Hark, the glad sound! The Saviour comes,
the Saviour promised long!
Let every heart prepare a throne,
and every voice a song.

He comes the prisoners to release,
in Satan’s bondage held;
the gates of brass before Him burst,
the iron fetters yield.

He comes the broken heart to bind,
the bleeding soul to cure,
and with the treasures of His grace,
to enrich the humbled poor.

Our glad Hosannas, Prince of Peace,
Thy welcome shall proclaim;
and heaven’s eternal arches ring,
with Thy beloved Name.

O quickly come

An Advent hymn to sing along with…

It was traditional to preach on each of the Four Last Things (Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell) on the four Sundays in Advent. I get the impression in the words of this hymn that the author would like to get all this over with as quickly as possible.

There’ll be a more cheerful hymn tomorrow!

Revd Lawrence Tuttiett (1825-1897) was ordained deacon in 1848 and priested the following year. his first curacy was at St Paul’s, Knightsbridge, and after a a few parish posts in England he was appointed as Rector of St Andrews, Scotland in 1870. He wrote a number of hymns, but most have fallen out of fashion. This is one of the few that appear in modern hymnals.

The original composer of the tune Vater Unser (the opening words of The Lord’s Prayer in German) is unknown. It appeared in Valentin Schumann’s Geistliche Lieder in 1539 and was used by Martin Luther for his hymn based on The Lord’s Prayer. (The first of its nine verses is given below along with an English translation.) The harmonisation of the melody is by Johann Sebastian Bach. If I’m perfectly honest, I have included this hymn more for the tune than the words. There aren’t all that many English hymns that would go with this tune, the metre is more suited to the German language. Eternal father, strong to save and O come, O come Emmanuel would fit, although these have perfectly good familiar tunes.

Vater Unser

O quickly come, dread Judge of all;
for, aweful though thine advent be,
all shadows from the truth will fall,
and falsehood die, in sight of thee:
O quickly come, for doubt and fear
like clouds dissolve when thou art near.

O quickly come, great King of all;
reign all around us and within;
let sin no more our souls enthral,
let pain and sorrow die with sin:
O quickly come, for thou alone
canst make thy scattered people one.

O quickly come, true Life of all,
for death is mighty all around;
on every home his shadows fall,
on every heart his mark is found:
O quickly come, for grief and pain
can never cloud thy glorious reign.

O quickly come, sure Light of all,
for gloomy night broods o’er our way;
and weakly souls begin to fall
with weary watching for the day:
O quickly come, for round thy throne
no eye is blind, no night is known.

Here is the start of Luther’s hymn expounding the Lord’s Prayer:

Vater unser im Himmelreich,
Der du uns alle heißest gleich
Brüder sein und dich rufen an
Und willst das Beten von uns han,
Gibt, daß nicht bet allein der Mund,
Hilf, daß es geh von Herzensgrund.

Our Father in the heaven Who art,
Who tellest all of us in heart
Brothers to be, and on Thee call,
And wilt have prayer from us all,
Grant that the mouth not only pray,
From deepest heart oh help its way.

Crown Him the King of Love

A hymn to sing along with…

Revd Patrick Robert Norman Appleford (1925- 2018) wrote this hymn for the tune Diademata in 2015 at the age of 90. These words are free of copyright. Read more about Patrick Appleford here.

The tune is familiar to the hymn Crown him with many crowns, for which it was written in 1868 by Sir George Job Elvey (1816-1893). As a young boy, Elvey was a chorister in Canterbury Cathedral and later studied at Royal Academy of Music. He was appointed organist of St George’s Chapel, Windsor at the age of 19. He was knighted after providing music for Princess Louise’s wedding in 1871. He retired from St George’s Chapel in 1882 after 47 years in the post.

The Latin word Diademata translates as “crowns”

Diademata

Crown him the King of love,
Jesus, the Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world,
His love divine outpoured
on every tribe and tongue,
to fire each heart and mind
with love for God and neighbours,
who can help us to be kind.

Jesus is Mary’s son,
born long ago, a Jew
who growing up in Nazareth learned
the love of God is true.
His ministry of love
broke free from time and space,
to reach the rich variety
of all the human race.

Let all the world rejoice
and praise the Prince of Peace.
He reconciles and heals with new life:
His love will never cease.
All glory be to God,
the Father and the Son,
who with the Spirit – and with us
shall be for ever one.

Jesus is with us

A hymn to sing along with…

Another hymn by Revd Patrick Robert Norman Appleford (1925- 2018) that is probably not familiar to many people. He wrote both words and music. He described it as “exploring what the Christian greeting ‘The Lord be with you’ means today, and how Jesus still inspires us to live and serve like him.” This hymn has not been published in any printed hymnal as far as I know. There is more about Patrick Appleford here.

I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

Psalm 16.8

[There is a two-bar introduction to each verse.]

Jesus is with us

Jesus is with us, his spirit inspires us,
Leading us on to love and serve like Him.
“I am with you Always”, He promises His friends
His love for us all never ends.

Jesus is with us, a spiritual presence,
Feeding our minds and hearts with gifts of grace.
Bind us all together, an internet of prayer
sharing in your love now and here.

Jesus is with us and present in people,
suffering, put upon, alone or poor;
people needing us to be with them, and to care;
Love can still break through anywhere.

Christ the King 2020

Brian Reader

For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice…
Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.

Ezekiel 34.11-16, 20-24

[The other readings for today are Ephesians 1.15-end and Matthew 25.31-end]

Today is the last Sunday of the Church’s year, and the Sunday before Advent. It is also the day when we think of Christ as the King.

These days it may be hard to imagine that the kings and queens in years gone by were all powerful; you may never have seen them, but what they said was law, and you did everything in your power to keep them happy. Woe betide you if you made the king angry, as your life would not be worth living, that is, if you still had a life! Today our Royal family has lost most of its mystery and virtually all of its power, and subject to constant media attention, the Royal Family has shown itself to be just as human and frail as we all are. That is apart from the Queen herself, who throughout her long reign has honoured her commitment to duty to this country and Commonwealth which she made before God at her coronation.

But today we celebrate and honour a different kind of monarch, God’s only Son, Christ the King. Christ, who is everlasting, and through the years has not had his power diminished or whittled down. Following his victory on the Cross and His glorious resurrection, God has given him all power to rule over God’s kingdom, both here on earth and in heaven. And this King seeks to save and enhance lives, not to destroy or belittle them. Perhaps now, just before Advent and the run up to Christmas, it is timely to remember that Christ is the all powerful king. We sometimes forget that when we celebrate his birth, when he laid aside all his glory, and rightful place in heaven, to come down to us on earth as a helpless babe at Christmas.
As we read in the Good News Bible translation, God is saying;

I will give them a king like my servant David to be their one shepherd, and he will take care of them. I, the Lord, will be their God, and a king like my servant David will be their ruler. I have spoken.

Ezekiel 34:23

And in The Message translation we read:

God raised Christ from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe; everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power is exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all; has the final word on everything: At the centre of all this, Christ rules the church: The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence:

Ephesians 1.20-23

And Christ is given the Power to defeat death and evil, we don’t mind that, it’s nice to have an all-powerful king to fight our corner, or a nice shepherd to care and look after us, but, Christ is also given the power and authority to judge. We don’t like that so much, especially as we all know we have all done much of which we are ashamed. And as Matthew, harking back to the images we find in Ezekiel, says;

When the Son of Man comes in his glory … he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Matthew 25.31-33
The Good Shepherd and two angels. Mosaic (6th Century)

Now those of you who have been to the Middle East will know that sheep don’t look like the fluffy white bundles of wool that we think of in this country. No, they look scraggy and thin, much like a goat, so when I was in Aden, Diana my first wife and I used to call them ‘shoats’. The reason for separating them was that goats are less hardy than sheep and have to be cared for in harsh weather. Oh! and if you have to separate them yourself, a lamb’s tail hangs down and goat’s tail points skywards!

And going back to Ezekiel, a good shepherd can also judge between one sheep and another. Perhaps that is why we are told not to judge each other; only God knows all, and he will judge all of us at the end of time.

Then the King will say to those on his right, Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.

Matthew 25.34

So Christ will be able to separate us as sheep from goats; or as chalk from cheese.

As inheritor’s of Christ’s kingdom, we must ensure that we are trying our best at all times to do what our King requires. In the reading from Ezekiel, verses 17 to 19 are missing. Have you wondered what they said? We are told that we should be satisfied with eating the best that the Lord provides and we must not trample down what we don’t eat. God provides clear water for us to drink, and yet we tend to muddy what we leave for others! God made us stewards of the world he created, yet we are greedy and tend to plunder, waste, and pollute this fragile ecosystem that is God’s world.

God says this about us, comparing us to sheep:

I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the injured and make the sick strong… I shall be a true shepherd to them.

Ezekiel 34.16

He rightly accuses us as the rich and fat sheep, of pushing the sick ones aside and butting them away from the flock. What an indictment!

In Matthew, Christ is telling his disciples that He is with the hungry and the thirsty and if we do not feed them or give them drink we are failing in our duty to serve him. In the same way, He is with the stranger needing clothing and shelter, and with the sick and those in prison, whose plight we ignore at our peril. This does not mean that we have to rush off and visit all the prisoners; although in the Middle East that is necessary, because if your friends don’t visit you with food, you go very very hungry! But if we are not all required to visit prisoners, we are all needed to fight for justice.

Remember as we say our Lord’s Prayer together:

Do we really mean that? Are we trying to do God’s will on earth? Are we like the Christians we read about in the New Testament? They were prepared to do God’s will on earth, and were even prepared to die for their faith. And we should remember that even today, Christians in other parts of the world are still dying for their faith. Or are we perhaps fair-weather Christians, a bit like our politicians, who will say whatever they think is needed at the time, but will go their own way when it suits them?

And there is another thing about Christ our king which is different from earthly rulers. He is approachable, He has lived on earth and knows all about our tribulations and trials. And Christ is real and can escort us to the throne of heavenly grace.

A boy once asked his vicar, “How do I know that Christ is real and alive?
The vicar said to the boy, “When you and your father came into church this morning, what were you doing?
We were talking,” said the boy.
And is your father real and alive?
Of course he is, I couldn’t have a conversation with him if he was dead,” replied the boy.
There is your answer,” said his vicar, “We are able to talk to God the Father, through God the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit in prayer, and if we give him time, and space and silence, he will speak to us. This is how we know God is alive and very real.”

Now God as three persons in the Trinity is a mystery, impossible to fully understand, yet we know in our hearts it is true, and that God is alive, working and caring in our world today. And we have to make the reality of Christ, come alive for us. Because although Christ is King, he still wants to have a personal relationship with each one of us.

Make sure that you get to know Christ and let Him rule in your life today.

And then Christ the King, will bestow his love and his peace and his purpose, to all you think, and to all you say, and to all you do.

AMEN

Now I have seen my Saviour

A hymn to sing along with…

This hymn is probably not familiar to many people. It is a reworking of the Nunc Dimittis by Revd Patrick Robert Norman Appleford (1925- 2018). He wrote both words and music. One of his objectives was to make words and music accessible to younger people. There is more about him here. This hymn has not been published in any printed hymnal as far as I know.

Nunc dimittis

[Four bar intro]

Now I have seen my Saviour,
Lord let me go in peace.
Just as you promised, Christ has come
to save the human race.
My heart is bursting with joy to see
this boy in my arms, who is born to be
a light to lighten the nations
and the glory of his own.

Blest be the holy Christ-child,
His blessings shall not cease.
Many will find the life in Him
who gives to us His peace.

Now I have seen my Saviour,
Lord let me go in peace.
Just as you promised, Christ has come
to save the human race.
My heart is bursting with joy to see
this boy in my arms, who is born to be
a light to lighten the nations
and the glory of his own.

Glory to God our Father.
Glory to God the Son,
Glory to God the Spirit,
One in Your eternal peace