“Jesus calls us; o’er the tumult of our life’s wild, restless sea,
day by day his clear 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.”
The choir anthem at the offertory, I Will Arise and Go to Jesus, is also a tune from The Southern Harmony. It has a similar message as the introit, but it is expressed in a richer texture. Listen as the tenor and soprano sections swap parts (tenors take the melody) in true Southern Harmony tradition. While this style of singing may not be a big part of our particular musical traditions here at Christ Church, it is an historic, valuable resource of sacred music in the southern United States, and I think you will find it interesting at the least and moving at its best. One of the best qualities of these tunes is their plasticity – a composer can find seemingly endless ways to arrange, dice, mix, and turn them around in a piece. The lyrics of Sunday’s anthem are the ultimate reason it was chosen, however.
“I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms.”
-Joseph Hart (1712-1768)
Perhaps the most poetically perfect illustration of Christ’s call to the disciples comes in the second and third verses of our sequence hymn, Dear Lord and Father of mankind, set to music by English composer, Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918).
“In simple trust like theirs who heard, beside the Syrian sea,
the gracious calling of the Lord, let us, like them, without a word,
rise up and follow thee.
O Sabbath rest by Galilee! O calm of hills above,
where Jesus knelt to share with thee the silence of eternity
interpreted by love!”
-John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)
Finally, I would ask you to please come to our service of Choral Evensong this Sunday at 4:00 p.m. You will not only witness a beautiful liturgy from the 1662 prayer book, but you will hear glorious music almost entirely by living composers! The sheer beauty of this service has earned it the reputation of “King of the Choral Services.” Listeners will hear the earnest pleading of our sung responses, the drama of chanted psalmody, the joy of Mary’s song and Simeon’s song (Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis), the majesty of our choir anthem, and meditative instrumental music before and after the service. Come hear our choirs and instrumentalists in what promises to be a moving experience of music and worship.