Holy Week 2019
Two years ago, I wrote about the "new worlds" sentiment found in two different hymns: new worlds - thousands of.
Frederick William Faber writes of "thousands / Of new worlds as great as this" in a stanza that has been cut from the Hymnal 1982.
And the midst of Robert Bridges's famous hymn gives us: "newborn worlds rise and adore"
But I had not realized how ancient the "many worlds" sentiment was in Christian liturgy.
Stephen Buzard, the director of the 2017 St. Louis Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) course drew our attention to a similar line in the Phos hilaron.
The Phos hilaron is truly ancient – the oldest known Christian hymn outside of the Bible.
While it's often rendered as "O gracious light," Lutheran theologian Marva Dawn loved to translate this literally: "O laughing light" or "O hilarious light".
The Phos hilaron was introduced to the Evening Prayer (Both Rite I and Rite II) with the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.
Here it is in the Rite I version:
O gracious Light, pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven, O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed! Now as we come to the setting of the sun, and our eyes behold the vesper light, we sing thy praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Thou art worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices, O Son of God, O Giver of life, and to be glorified though all the worlds.
There it is again – right there in the very last line – the "many worlds" idea. The plural is deliberate.
This year is the 20th anniversary of St. Louis RSCM course, and a new setting of the Phos hilaron has been commissioned to honor the course's founders: Phillip Brunswick and Brother Vincent Ignatius, OSB. The composer is Gary Davison.
Yesterday, Mr. Buzard drew our attention to that last phrase of the Phos: "through all the worlds".
There is an exceptional, mystical way in which Gary Davison has set those words.
And so here we have it, the best of the Anglican choral tradition: an ancient Christian text in a brand new, beautiful, thoughtfully-composed setting.
It will be sung for the first time at Evensong on Saturday.
The page you're reading is part of Sinden.org
©MMXVII Sinden.org: a site for fun and prophet
Looking for Carol Spreadsheets?
Hungry? Try the Liturgical Guide to Altoids Consumption
Thirsty? Try the Tibia Liquida
The Eric Harding Thiman Fan Page: The greatest composer you've never even heard of.
Questions? Problems? email the sexton.
Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise
Book of Common Prayer
The Daily Office
The Lectionary Page
Ship of Fools
The Sub-Dean's Stall
Vested Interest - Trinity Church in the City of Boston
Andrew Kotylo - Concert Organist
Bonnie Whiting, percussion
conjectural navel gazing: jesus in lint form
Friday Night Organ Pump
Halbert Gober Organs, Inc.
in time of daffodils
Joby Bell, organist
Musings of a Synesthete
My Life as Style, Condition, Commodity.
Nathan Medley, Countertenor
Notes on Music & Liturgy
The Parker Quartet
Roof Crashers & Hem Grabbers
That Which We Have Heard & Known
This Side of Lost
Zachary Wadsworth | composer
Advent (Medfield MA)
All Saints, Ashmont (Boston MA)
All Saints (Indianapolis IN)
Atonement (Bronx NY)
Broadway UMC (Indianapolis IN)
Cathedral of All Saints (Albany NY)
Christ Church (Bronxville NY)
Christ Church (Madison IN)
Christ Church (New Haven CT)
Christ Church Cathedral (Indianapolis IN)
Christ's Church (Rye NY)
Church of St. Stephen (Hamden CT)
Congregational (Belmont CA)
Coventry Cathedral (UK)
First UMC (Lancaster SC)
Gloria Dei ELCA (Iowa City IA)
Immanuel Lutheran (St Paul MN)
Immanuel Lutheran (Webster NY)
John Knox PCUSA (Houston TX)
St Andrew (Marblehead MA)
St Andrew's, Oregon Hill (Richmond VA)
St Bartholomew the Great, (London, England)
St James's (Lake Delaware NY)
St James's (Richmond VA)
St James Cathedral (Chicago IL)
St Mary's Cathedral (Memphis TN)
St Matthew and St Timothy (NYC)
St Paul's (Cleveland Heights OH)
St Paul's (Indianapolis IN)
St Paul's Cathedral (Buffalo NY)
St Paul's, K Street (Washington DC)
St Peter's (Lakewood OH)
St Peter's ELCA (NYC)
St Stephen's (Richmond VA
St Thomas (New Haven CT)
St Thomas ELCA (Bloomington IN)
Second PCUSA (Indianapolis IN)
Towson Presbyterian Church (MD)
Tremont Temple Baptist (Boston MA)
Trinity (Indianapolis IN)
Trinity on the red (New Haven CT)
Yes, but they're not the kind you buy on Wheel of Fortune.
the owner of a bower at Bucklesfordberry?
Full daintily it is dight.
interested in touch lamps?
And fountain pens.