We Who Would Valiant Be: English and American Hymn Settings

Here are a few additional hymn preludes, by Edwin I. Lawrence of Bennington, Vt. and Williamstown, Mass., that we recorded for our summer services. Shared with permission.

Just as I am, without one plea,
but that thy blood was shed for me,
and that thou bidd’st me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Words: Charlotte Elliott (1789–1871)
Music: Quebec (Hesperus), Henry Baker (1854)

I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Come unto me and rest;
and in your weariness lay down your head upon my bresast.”
I came to Jesus as I was, so weary, worn, and sad;
I found in him a resting place, and he has made me glad.

Words: Horatius Bonar (1808–1889), alt.
Music: Kingsfold, English folk melody

We who would valiant be: let us not waver,
but in true constancy follow the Savior.
There’s no discouragement shall make us once relent
our first avowed intent to live as pilgrims.

Words: John Bunyan (1684), alterations © 1992 The Pilgrim Press hymn text. Used with permission under One License #A-727270. All rights reserved.
Music: St. Dunstan’s, Charles Winfred Douglas (1867–1944)

Music for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost (September 27)

Holding in Tension

Homily for Sunday, September 27, 2020
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
Matthew 21:23–32

paul-writing-his-epistlesThough the order in which they are placed in Scripture might lead us to think otherwise, Paul wrote his epistles before the evangelists wrote their Gospels. Scholars think Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians, for example—from which we just heard—some 25 or 30 years before Matthew wrote his Gospel.

Whether or not Matthew had access to Paul’s letters as he wrote, we don’t know. What we do know is that there are consistencies between Philippians and Matthew that suggest an accepted body of basic Christian ethics already in the air in the early decades of the Church: Continue reading

Music for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost (September 20)

Is It Fair?

Homily for Sunday, September 20, 2020
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Matthew 20:1–16

In the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard that we just heard, Matthew’s landowner handed out wages first to those who began work last:

When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’

Laborers-in-the-Vineyard-Icon-1024x650Had Matthew reversed the order in which the landowner paid the workers—had Matthew’s landowner given wages first to those who began work first: “Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the first”—Matthew’s story might read differently. Had Matthew reversed the order in which the landowner paid the workers, our attention might then be drawn, not to those workers who had “borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat,” not to their surprise at not receiving more than the usual daily wage, not to their grumbling against the landowner, Continue reading

Music for the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost (September 13)

Resisting God

Homily for Sunday, September 13, 2020
Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Romans 14:1–12

all-about-apostle-paul-writer-of-most-of-the-new-testamentMy homily this morning is ultimately about resisting God, which we all do. And I want to begin by telling about my resisting the apostle Paul (which many of us do!).

If reading Paul’s letter to the Romans is hard work—and those of you who have read Romans know that reading Paul’s letter to the Romans is hard work—it is likely so because for Paul writing his letter to the Romans was hard work.

Paul’s letter to the Romans was a kind of writing Paul hadn’t done before. The majority of Paul’s letters were Continue reading

Music for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost (September 6)

Christian Boundaries

Homily for September 6, 2020
Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Matthew 18:15–20

I am glad Matthew has boundaries. Because plenty of what Matthew writes suggest that Matthew may not have boundaries: “If your… eye causes you to sin,” for example…

“tear it out… If your… hand causes you to sin, cut it off…” (5:29–30)

“Give to everyone who begs from you,” Matthew writes, “and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you” (5:42)

“Forgive,” he says, “Not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (18:21–22)

And, the kicker, Continue reading

Music after Pentecost / Summertime Samples

Music at Trinity Parish of Newton Centre for the Second Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 6)

Music at Trinity Parish of Newton Centre for the Third Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 7)

Music at Trinity Parish of Newton Centre for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 8)

Music at Trinity Parish of Newton Centre for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 9)

Music at Trinity Parish of Newton Centre for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 10)

Music at Trinity Parish of Newton Centre for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 11)

Music at Trinity Parish of Newton Centre for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 12)