Sunday, May 30, 10-11 a.m. 6th-12th graders are invited to a Formation end of school year party on Zoom. New topics and Combined Summer EYC will begin on the following Sunday, June 6. Contact Jenny Campbell for Zoom links.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL (VBS) In-person, June 7-11, 9 a.m.-Noon (aftercare available) Compassion Camp is back for 2021! VBS is the first week of summer vacation for AISD and St. David’s Day School. In-person VBS will strictly follow St. David’s, local, and Diocesan COVID-19 protocols to ensure health and safety. Virtual option available in July Let’s, “Change the World with Loving Kindness.” Email Amanda Wishkaemper to register.
MIDDLE SCHOOL EYC: MORNING AT THE PARK June 16, 10 a.m.-noon Rising 6th-just graduated 8th graders are invited to a morning in the park! COMBINED MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL EYC June 23 and Aug. 4, 5:30-7 p.m. Rising 6th graders through just graduated 12th graders gather for in-person EYC. HIGH SCHOOL SUMMER EYC Aug. 10, 10 a.m.-noon. Rising 9th through just-graduated 12th graders gather for in-person EYC.
EPISCOPAL STRONG YOUTH MISSION MONTH The month of July (starting July 11) Rising 6th graders through just-graduated seniors are invited to participate in Episcopal Strong Mission Month. There will be a weekly Zoom gathering with other Episcopal youth from around the diocese, as well as weekly in-person service events. For in-depth information email Director of Youth Ministry Jenny Campbell.
Some of the earliest (German) Protestant religious songs were Psalms paraphrased into rhyming syllabic meter, an example being ‘Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir’, a version of Psalm 130 translated in our Hymnal as ‘From deepest woe I cry to thee’ . The French Reformer Jehan Cauvin (John Calvin) heard some of these Psalm-paraphrases being sung at Strasbourg in 1538 and made some French versions, later turning to the work of Clément Marot, a French court poet who had already written a number of versified Psalms. Eventually, after several successive editions adding more texts by Marot and, after his death, by Théodore de Bèze, and tunes written or adapted by several musicians, a complete metrical Psalter was issued in 1562 at Geneva. This Genevan Psalter constituted the only music sung in Calvinist services for centuries, and versions of Psalms made to fit its melodies were written in a number of languages of the areas in which, or the people among whom, Calvinism spread, including English. (Although the Anglo-Genevan Psalms soon gave way to paraphrases with shorter lines and stanzas and simpler tunes, metrical Psalms were also the only congregational music in Anglican services until the early 19th century.)
Several tunes from the Genevan Psalter are found in the Hymnal 1982, some known by their Psalm numbers (Psalm 6, Psalm 42, Psalm 86, Old 100th, Old 124th), some by the incipit of one of the Psalms for which they were used in the Genevan Psalter (‘Donne secours’, Psalm 12; ‘Rendez à Dieu’, Psalm 98; ‘Louez Dieu’, Psalm 136), one by the number of the Psalm for which it was used in an English-language collection (Old 113th, used for two other Psalms in the Genevan collection), one by the French name of the canticle which it set (Le Cantique de Siméon). All these tunes exhibit common characteristics, some that make them easy to sing (restriction to two note values only; almost entirely syllabic setting; usually a range of an octave conforming to one of the modes of the diatonic, or ‘white-key’, scale), while to varying degrees they also demonstrate some features (long lines, often long stanzas, a variety of meters) that, with a total of 124 tunes, made the Genevan Psalter difficult for congregations to learn when it was introduced all of a piece, especially without leadership from choirs or organs, both of which were forbidden in Calvinist services for a long time.
‘Rendez à Dieu’, which was used for three different Psalms in the Genevan Psalter, is likewise found with three texts in the Hymnal 1982: ‘Bread of the world, in mercy broken’ , ‘Father, we thank thee who hast planted’ , and ‘New songs of celebration render’ , a modern paraphrase of Psalm 98 which we sing this week (note the use of the cognate word ‘render’). It was written by Erik Routley, an important hymnologist, teacher, writer, hymnal editor and hymn proponent, and author of both hymns and hymn-tunes. The tune as printed in the Hymnal with his text ends lines 2, 4, and 8 with a whole note (re-notated for our purposes with a half note + half rest), while the versions at 301 and 302 have only half notes at these points; in the Genevan Psalter, every line of every Psalm ends with the equivalent of a half note + half rest.
Though the Psalms were sung in unison, without instruments, in Calvinist worship services, many composers (including some who wrote or adapted the melodies of the Genevan Psalter) wrote polyphonic settings of them for domestic or other use. These include both settings like those found in the Hymnal, in which all voices move together in the same rhythms, and contrapuntal settings, which still often feature the melody unchanged in one voice while the others sing or play imitative or motivic material. Though some of the most elaborate of these require a top-notch professional ensemble, others find a welcome place in the repertory of church choirs such as our own.
We are asking volunteers to record the Gospel reading (found below) in a language other than English for our Pentecost online worship service. We are especially interested in having the reading in languages other than those known as the romance and Germanic languages.
John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
Jesus said to his disciples, ”When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning. “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Please limit your recording to 45 seconds or less
You can record using you preferred device, including your phone
Please name your file with the language included, for example:
This Sunday St David’s offers two distinct services in additon to Choral Compline. Our webcast Liturgy of the Word honors the graduating seniors of the parish and was in part shaped by them. We are also thrilled to be offering the first celebration of the Eucharist on the church grounds (on the parking lot for now) in more than a year, and the first live offering of the choirs. Both hymns to be sung at the Liturgy of the Word have been covered in this series before: ‘Come, thou fount of every blessing’  on 2020-06-14, and ‘Like the murmur of the dove’s song’  on 2020-05-17. These notes therefore concentrate on the music for the afternoon Eucharist.
‘In Christ there is no East or West’ was written around 1908 by William Arthur Dunkerley, an English journalist, novelist, and poet (for his writing in the latter two genres he used the pen-name John Oxenham). Surely inspired by, though not directly quoting, various passages in the Epistles regarding the removal of divisions effected by Christ and bestowed in baptism (Gal. 3.28, Col. 3.11, 1 Cor. 12.13, etc), it celebrates the essential unity of all Christians of whatever origin. This Sunday it chimes with St John’s message of love and appropriately precedes the account of the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts of the Apostles 8), which fulfills various prophetic visions of the expansion of the People of God beyond the ethnos of Israel (‘Ethiopia’ being probably the most distant place and home of the most different people the Hebrew writers could name) and beyond religious regulation regarding physical characteristics or status required for participation in the worshipping community. The account also reminds us of the antiquity of the Church in Ethiopia as well as in Egypt and, formerly, in the lands in between, in what was once called Nubia.
The tune to which this text is set, ‘McKee’, is often called a Black spiritual; as such, it, like many other spirituals, was made popular in the late 19th century by the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University (a historically Black university in Nashville). The Irish composer Charles V. Stanford identified the melody as an Irish tune which could easily have been brought to the US by Irish immigrants and just as easily have been heard, learned, and sung by others. Such an origin would by no means disqualify it from being a ‘Black spiritual’ and indeed would embody the spirit of the present text, for which it was adapted by Harry T. Burleigh, a prominent African American singer, composer, and arranger of the first half of the 20th century. This pairing of text and tune made its first appearance in a hymnal in the 1940 edition of the Hymnal of the Episcopal Church.
With the celebration of the Eucharist we once again have the privilege to join the chorus of heaven in the great song of praise ‘Holy, holy, holy Lord…’ (Sanctus). For outdoor use a setting of the common modern version of this text to the hymn-tune ‘Land of Rest’, which almost sings itself, seemed appropriate. The tune first appeared in print in an American collection in 1836, though like many tunes found in such books it may be a good deal older; like many tunes of vernacular origin the world over, it uses a pentatonic, or five-note, scale (as notated here, F-G-A-C-D), which means it can be sung in canon and accompanied or harmonized in many ways – or stand on its own without any elaboration at all.
We are also pleased to return to long-neglected communion hymns, beginning this week with ‘Humbly I adore thee, Verity unseen’ , a translation of part of a Eucharistic devotional hymn often attributed to St Thomas Aquinas. The main point of the Hymnal text is the failure of the senses, and the requirement of faith, to discern the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. One of the three original stanzas not represented in the Hymnal refers rather strikingly to the legend of the pelican, who was said to feed her young with her own blood when there was no other food (or even to be able to revive her dead young therewith):
Dear Pelican, Lord Jesu,
cleanse me, the unclean, with your blood,
of which one drop can save the whole world from every sin.
The well-formed tune is first found in a late-17th-century French source and thus might be classified as ‘pseudo-’ or ‘neo-chant’. The first line (repeated as the second) consists of a musical ‘question and answer’: a rising, figure outlining and elaborating a major triad (the first, third, and fifth notes of the scale), followed by a stepwise descent back to the tonic, or home, note. Where this first line remains essentially within the lower half of the scale, the third line begins with a stepwise rise from the fifth scale note to the upper tonic and a return to the fifth note, followed by a stepwise descent to the second note of the scale: itself another ‘question’ or unresolved figure that must be answered in the last line. That last line begins with an ‘up-and-over’ figure skipping from the third to the fifth note of the scale and then descending stepwise again to the second though touching on – perhaps ‘foreshadowing’ – the tonic, and ends with a phrase moving only within the first three pitches of the scale; the last three notes are identical to the last three notes of line 1/2, providing a sense of closure. Though the tune sets the text almost entirely syllabically, each line is inflected slightly with a two-note figure (rising in lines 1–2, falling in lines 3–4) on the accented fifth syllable.
Though ‘Humbly I adore thee’ does not use precisely the language found in Sunday’s Gospel portion from John 15, nevertheless we may well pray that the ‘sweetness never-failing’ of Jesus, the true Vine, be found in us as we abide in him and bear fruit, sustained by the ‘living Bread that give[th] all [his] creatures breath’.
We Worship God Together (Ages 3-Kindergarten) Get to know God’s love and discover the truth of God’s Word.
The Prince of Egypt (1st – 5th Grades) Inspired by the classic 1998 Dreamworks film, our Eastertide Junior Journey follows God’s call to Moses, from floating in the Nile River to parting the Red Sea, and more! We’ll enjoy stories, crafts, and time with our friends over Zoom.
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: Ecclesiola (Level I: Ages 3-6, Level II: Ages 6-9). Catechumens will gather at the virtual prayer table on Zoom for prayer, song, and reflection.
Visit the Youth Page Sunday Youth Formation, 10 a.m. Weekly EYC (Episcopal Youth Community) Youth are invited to bring dinner and gather weekly for check-ins, devotionals, games, and fellowship.
Tuesday, 6-7 p.m. High School EYC
Wednesday, 5:30-6 p.m. Middle School EYC
What’s next for St. David’s 2021 EYC Summer?
Q: Will we have in-person youth offerings soon? A: Short answer, yes, soon! As more youth return to in-person school and some become vaccinated, we are looking at beginning socially distanced EYC events. Virtual offerings will continue for those who are not able to join in person, or simply not interested. I suspect we will have virtual formation throughout the summer, and some in person masked-at-the-park type EYC events at the end of May/June.
Q: Will we have a mission trip this summer? A: Not in the traditional format, but yes, we will do outreach work. I am currently speaking with the Episcopal Strong leadership team about summer options. Right now, it looks like we will each serve in small, socially distanced groups this summer, around our respective cities. We may also meet online for worship, discussion, fellowship, etc with other Diocese of Texas friends. Any “in-town mission trip” work we do will likely be in July, scattered throughout the month. If you are interested in in-person and or virtual service this summer, contact Director of Youth Ministry Jenny Campbell.
On the Fourth Sunday of Easter in all three years of the Eucharistic lectionary cycle, we read portions of John 10, in which Jesus likens himself to a ‘good shepherd’; the Collect refers to this image, and we often sing one or more settings of the appointed Psalm (23). For comments on Hymn 645, ‘The King of love my shepherd is’, please see the Music Notes for 2020-10-11 (Proper 23). The Prelude by early-20th-century English composer Alec Rowley, though not based on a hymn, is a ‘Pastorale’ (= ‘having to do with shepherds’) inscribed ‘The Lord is my shepherd’; the Postlude is a recording of Randall Thompson’s anthem of the same name, previously made by the Parish Choir.
Our opening hymn, Brian Wren’s ‘Christ is alive! Let Christians sing’ , deals not with this theme specifically, but with the ongoing life and import of the Risen Christ, an appropriate topic as we move through Eastertide toward Ascension Day and Pentecost. ‘No longer bound / to distant years in Palestine’, Christ is now able to be present in the ‘here and now’ and ‘every place and time’. An orthodox view would suggest that this is possible because of Christ’s Ascension, and that there is no contradiction between the ascended Christ and the Christ who is present in his Body, the Church, and his Body, the Sacrament, and many places besides. Indeed the original last stanza of this hymn began ‘Christ is alive! Ascendant Lord…’, and another of Wren’s texts also begins with the reality of the Ascension: ‘When Christ was lifted from the earth…’ ).
Stanza 3, however, suggests that Christ is ‘not throned above, remotely high’, highlighting the paradox of Christ’s transcendence and immanence. (An Ascension hymn  covering much of the same ground as ‘Christ is alive’ makes an interesting comparison.) The point, of course, is that Our Lord continues to be deeply involved in the world, and deeply hurt when, among other things, ‘color, scorn, or wealth’  or ‘generation, class, or race’  divide. In the end, even if ‘Christ is alive’ seems to gloss over the Ascension, its replacement final stanza nevertheless points us toward Pentecost, highlighting the ongoing role of the Spirit to teach ‘[Christ’s] joy, his justice, love, and praise’.
‘Christ is alive’ is set in the Hymnal 1982 to ‘Truro’, a tune of late-18th-century British origin that soon appeared in the US as well. It is characterized by a fanfare-like opening, a dotted rhythm setting a rising figure outlining the tonic triad (the chord built on the ‘home note’); the upward motion is continued stepwise to the upper tonic. In this, the movement to the dominant (the key based on the fifth note of the piece’s home scale) halfway through, the combination of rather static half-note motion with ‘busy’ quarter notes, and other features, ‘Truro’ is very much like, for example, ‘Duke Street’ , which comes from exactly the same period. The opening gesture sets the message ‘Christ is alive!’, which begins three of five stanzas, well. The excitement to which the tune is meant to rally the singer-listener – and of course joy is what we should feel about the Resurrection! – should, however, not keep us from contemplating what it might mean to follow a Lord who ‘suffers still, yet loves the more’.
This afternoon a verdict was rendered in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. For three weeks we have all been watching closely, wondering what would happen. This trial bore more weight than any should – the weight of a murder as well as the weight of the enormous fear and anxiety concerning racial injustice in our country, particularly related to people of color and the police. As you all know now, the verdict was “guilty.”
It would be naive to think that this verdict is the answer to all our concerns about race in our culture and race and policing in America. There is so much work left to do. That work will include us all. Each of us individually must do our own work around racial injustice and it will take all of us to address the ways racism is built into the fabric of our culture. But today is a huge step in the right direction.
I now ask your continued prayers for our country as we do this important work. I ask your prayers for all of those who have suffered unjustly because of the color of their skin. I ask your prayers for the family and friends of George Floyd, and yes, I ask your prayers for Derek Chauvin and his family as well. All are children of God and beloved in the Lord.
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart that barriers which divide us may crumble suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. – BCP 823