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Music Notes - April 2021

Posted by St. Alban's Episcopal Church on April 29, 2021 at 12:00 AM

So many passages of scripture speak of making music and singing as a sign of joy and offering praise to our God: Psalms encouraging us to “Sing to the Lord”; “Sing a New Song”; “David played upon his harp”. In the New Testament as well Christians are encouraged to “Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs”. So, with the precautions that had to be taken during this last 14 months or so to protect us all, doing without congregational singing has felt like a real loss. I have truly missed hearing your voices and seeing our faithful choir members every week in their usual place of service. The irony that so many of the hymns and organ pieces I’ve chosen have the words “Sing to the Lord” in the title has not been lost on me. However, I am encouraged when I remember that we do not need physical voices to offer sincere praise. While it is truly moving to hear beautiful singing, it is sufficient for us to offer our praise directly from our hearts to God. In fact, there are other times we put away certain customs or trappings, if you will. During Lent we put away or bury the Alleluia until Easter; after Christmas most people put away the decorations until the next Christmas season. These customs can remind us that God is always working in our lives and his reason for doing things at a certain time may not make sense to us, at least immediately. Perhaps it is to draw our attention to other things. There is a wonderful text found in hymn #572 in The Hymnal 1982 entitled “Weary of All Trumpeting”. It certainly refers to the loss and exhaustion of war but it can also remind us that trappings and the acceptance of injustice can also exhaust and distract us from other things that God might be calling us to do or learn. The text below by Martin H. Franzmann is offered for us to ponder.


Peace,

John

Weary of All Trumpeting

Weary of all trumpeting, weary of all killing, weary of all songs that sing promise, non-fulfilling, we would raise, O Christ, one song; we would join in singing that great music pure and strong, wherewith heaven is ringing.


Captain Christ, O lowly Lord, Servant King, your dying bade us sheathe the foolish sword, bade us cease denying. Trumpet with your Spirit’s breath through each height and hollow; into your self-giving death, call us all to follow.


To the triumph of your cross summon all the living; summon us to love by loss, gaining all by giving, suffering all, that we may see triumph in surrender; leaving all, that we may be partners in your splendor.

 

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