Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day

As this Sunday is Mother’s Day, I’m thinking of the most famous, exemplary mother in Christendom. The words of Mary as she learns that she will bear the Son of God are full of awe and hope.

Bringing a child into the world is a radically hopeful act. Bringing the Hope & Light of humanity into the world is the most radically hopeful act of all.

The English composer Herbert Howells sets the words of Mary in an incomparably powerful way. Happy Mother’s Day.

This week’s Musical Meditation was performed by the Choir of Kings College Cambridge, directed by Stephen Cleobury

– Logan Henke, Music Minister

Earth Day Music Meditation

Earth Day Music Meditation

As we take a moment to pause and acknowledge the beauty of the Earth, this most precious and grand gift, I am reminded of a quintessential piece of choral music: Earth Song, by Frank Tichelli. Growing up in rural Montana, I first encountered this work as a student in High School. I was instantly captivated by it.
Tichelli’s treatment of tension, resolution, pain, relief, all a reminder of our stewardship of this irreplaceable planet. All a reminder of the rhythm of life and, indeed, our own lives.
This week’s Musical Meditation was performed by Roots in the Sky (rootsinthesky.org), a Montana-based professional choir, under the direction of Andrew Major.
– Logan Henke, Music Minister
We Mend

We Mend

Pastor Anne’s April 18 sermon, loosely, addresses the apparent paradox of evil existing in an existence governed by a God who is Love. I have wrestled with this myself for my entire life, as I am sure many before and many after me shall.

I am left with the reality that I cannot control, or really begin to prevent, evil and suffering in the world. All I have and can control is my reasoned response to evil and suffering. I think of the work that God has given us to do, day by day.

In the 8th movement of Kyle Smith’s masterpiece, The Arc in the Sky, the narrator encounters a group of fishermen:

I would stand and watch them
as they sat at their work.
 
“what are you doing?” i’d say.
 
“we’re mending our nets,” they’d say.
 
“mending?”
 
“yes. mending our nets.”
 
“why must you mend them?”
 
“they’re torn. they’ve been broken into.
the night-fish have leapt through them
in the sea. every night they break them;
and every day, we mend.”

The night of suffering will continue to fall. Every day, we mend.

This week’s Musical Meditation was performed by The Crossing under the direction of Donald Nally.

– Logan Henke, Music Minister

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How Good and Pleasant

How Good and Pleasant

As spring beckons us outdoors and we finally enjoy the fruits of fellowship before the Doric columns and doors of the church, my mind is drawn to the words of the 133rd Psalm.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

Arvo Pärt’s setting in Russian (despite the title in Latin) is bright and open, leaving space to breathe. The music beckons the sun to warmly shine through like the first light that illumines the spring dew of which the Psalm speaks.

It is like the precious ointment…as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life forever more.

This week’s Musical Meditation was performed by Vox Clamantis.

– Logan Henke, Music Minister

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All Glory, Laud and Honor

All Glory, Laud and Honor

The treasured hymn All Glory, Laud and Honor was first written in the year 820 by Theodulf of Orléans while in captivity, who had been Bishop of Orléans during the reign of Charlemagne. Following a power struggle after Charlemagne’s death, Theodulf had been imprisoned for backing the wrong successor. Myth has it that Theodulf’s captor, Louis the Pious, heard him sing the hymn and released Theodulf on the condition that All Glory, Laud and Honor be thenceforth sung every Palm Sunday thereafter.

The text of the hymn is based upon Matthew 21 and sings of the victorious arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem. Here, the Choir of King’s College of Cambridge sings the hymn while in procession on Palm Sunday, 2013.

– Logan Henke, Music Minister

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Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou My Vision

The text of the most famous Celtic hymn is so ancient that its authorship can not be claimed for certain. Be Thou My Vision, or Bi Thus a Mo Shúile in the modern Irish, is traditionally attributed to the 8th-century Irish poet, Saint Dal­lán For­gaill.

No matter its authorship, this much is true: Before it was sung around the world, Be Thou My Vision was sung on the Emerald Ilse by the faithful for centuries indeed.

This week’s Music Meditation is performed by Moya Brennan.

– Logan Henke, Music Minister

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