Paul’s Hymn Blog for Sunday, September 23

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost September 23, 2018

Jeremiah 11:18-20; Psalm 1; Mark 9:30.37

Creation Time 3

VU 268 – Bring Many Names (1986, 1993)

In this hymn, author Brian Wren explores many aspects of the divine with sharp, arresting, personal images. Wren, born in England and ordained in the Congregational Church, now lives in the United States with partner Rev. Susan Heafield, a United Methodist Pastor and composer. He has written several books related to hymnology, including What Language Shall I Borrow (1989), which explores the range of imagery that can be brought to hymnody.

The tune, WESTCHASE, is by Carleton Young, a distinguished Methodist hymnologist, author of Companion to the United Methodist Hymnal (1993), a reference I use frequently in composing this blog.


MV 138 – My Love Colours outside the Lines (1995)

Author and composer Gordon Light, retired bishop of the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (of British Columbia), is a well-known Canadian musician who composes, plays guitar and sings as a member of the Common Cup Company. This arrangement is by Andrew Donaldson, Canadian composer, pastoral musician and worship enlivener who recently served in the position of Consultant in Worship and Spirituality for the World Council of Churches in Geneva, and who has provided musical leadership at TSP on multiple occasions.


MV 146 – The Kingdom of God (2001)

Words and music for our prayer response come to us from the Taizé Community in France.


VU 697 – O For a World (1987)

This text by Miriam Therese Winter is an eschatological vision of Christ’s kindom of justice and peace. It was originally written for the Presbyterian Women’s Triennial Conference at Purdue University in 1982, whose theme was “Nevertheless . . . the Promise.” The version here reflects revisions made by the author in 1987 when recorded by the Medical Mission Sisters. Carl Daw remarks that the text is in essence a hymnic palimpsest (a manuscript or piece of writing material on which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain) written on top of Charles Wesley’s “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing”. Winter is Professor of Liturgy, Worship, Spirituality, and Feminist Studies at Hartford Seminary. A Medical Mission Sister, she has been writing and publishing songs and hymns since Vatican II in the 1960’s. Her early recordings with The Medical Mission Sisters were widely popular, bringing a fresh, dynamic musical context to bible stories and simple songs of faith. Many of her later texts bring feminist theological perspectives to our hymnody, in beautiful poetry and melody. “Mother and God” (VU 280) and “Wellspring of Wisdom” (VU287) are two of her hymns in Voices United which we have frequently used at TSP. In 2013 she was named a Companion of The Centre for Christian Studies, the United Church diaconal theological training school.

The tune, AZMON, is German in origin, and was collected by American Lowell Mason in 1837. It is often associated with Charles Wesley’s “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing.”

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