MusicNotes Feb 18-19

February 18-19

Opening Song- Come, You Sinners, Poor and Needy

As Mass begins, we sing this song together to invite worshippers to prayer. The text invites all those who seek healing, restoration, and rest, to come to the Lord, who supplies our needs. We open with this song to set the tone for our Gospel lesson, in which Jesus heals a paralyzed man. There is healing in God for those who come to Him. The refrain confirms our unified desire to "arise and go to Jesus," a response to Jesus' command to "rise, pick up your mat, and go home." The text was written by Joseph Hart in 1759, and the melody comes from an American folk tune, collected and compiled into the classic collection, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, in 1835.    

Song during the Preparation- Amazing Grace

This great hymn, one of the most popular of all time, was written by the English poet John Newton in 1773 for a sermon on New Year's Day. The lyrics are a testimony to the unsurpassable grace of God, a God of forgiveness and restoration, the God seen in this weekend's Gospel. In composing this hymn, Newton was inspired by his own life experience. Once a slave trader, he turned his life to God, and, in 1764, was ordained in the Church of England. The original hymn, if even sung, was most likely sung to several different tunes, and was not closely associated with the tune we sing today, NEW BRITAIN. Hymnals at the time did not contain music, but only the texts of hymns. In fact, NEW BRITAIN, is actually an amalgam of two British hymn melodies, GALLAHER and ST. MARY. Since its composition, Amazing Grace has become largely associated with America. From folk singing in the Appalachians, to the Trail of Tears endured by the Cherokees, to the development of African-American music, this hymn has played a symbolic role in the shaping of American history and culture. Today, it is sung to nearly thirty different melodies, and has even been recorded numerous times by musicians in popular music.  

Communion Anthem- Lord, For Thy Tender Mercies' Sake, Richard Farrant (1530-1580)

The origins of this anthem are not completely clear. Today, it is most commonly attributed to Farrant, who served at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, England. The text came from Christian Prayers and Holy Meditations (1566), by Henry Bull. The words reflect the Gospel's message of trusting in God's grace and mercy. If we come to God, humble and repentant, God's grace has the power to renew us.  

Communion SongUbi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. | Where charity and love are, God is there.

This 4th-century Latin hymn was originally used as a Holy Thursday antiphon. In 1978, Jacques Berthier composed this chant setting for the Taizé community in France, an ecumenical monastic order that is known world-wide for its inclusive musical tradition. Simple Taizé chants are easily learned without written music and are meant to be repeated numerous times, with slight variations. The idea is that, through repetition, the worshipper is able to let go of distractions and immerse him- or herself in true sung prayer, similar to praying the Rosary or the Jesus prayer. The use of Latin is meant to unify people of different languages in a single, uncommon language.

Will Buthod
Director of Music
Church of St. Mary
(918) 749 2561, ext 120
1347 E. 49th Pl.
Tulsa, OK 74105

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