The organ prelude, by Herbert Howells (1892-1983), is based on words of the 37th Psalm, "But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." Listen as Howells' music paints a picture of meekness, delight, and inheritance, finally dying away in tones of peace. The introit, written by Katie, sets the timeless words of John Donne (1572-1631) that presents us with the image of God's love breaking us apart to make us new.
"Batter my heart, three-personn'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new."
The processional hymn, How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, speaks of the foundation of our faith. The choir anthem, a setting of Christ is Made the Sure Foundation by Dale Wood (1934-2003), echoes this same theme, and the recessional hymn, The Church's one foundation, describes the church's journey in vivid terms. During communion, we will sing God is Love, let heaven adore him, and Love divine, all loves excelling. Both of these hymns about God's love are paired with a communion chant, Adoro te devote, setting words of St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). These words speak of Christ's presence in the Eucharist, but they also express a pure love and adoration to which we are called.
"Humbly I adore thee, Verity unseen,
who thy glory hidest 'neath these shadows mean;
lo, to thee surrendered, my whole heart is bowed,
tranced as it beholds thee, shrined within the cloud."
So, after you leave church this Sunday, it is our prayer that you will be battered by love and made new, that you will be meek and seek after peace, that you will be filled with humble adoration, and that you will experience all of this in the certainty of a sure foundation of faith.