1/17/21 – Liturgy of the Word


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Covid-19 Tribute Prayer List

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, St. David’s will participate in a national event honoring those who have died of Covid-19. Starting at 4:30 p.m., we will ring the church bell and read aloud the names of our friends and loved ones who have died of this devastating disease. This will be livestreamed through the St. David’s Facebook page, and all are invited to tune in and participate in the event.

If you would like to submit a name to be read, please use the form below.

If you’re unable to see the form above, here is a direct link to submit names.

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Prayers of the People | 2020

Week of Dec. 27, 2020
Week of Dec. 20, 2020
Week of Dec. 13, 2020
Week of Dec. 6, 2020
Week of Nov. 29, 2020
Week of Nov. 22, 2020
Week of Nov. 15, 2020
Week of Nov. 8, 2020
Week of Nov. 1, 2020
Week of Oct. 25, 2020
Week of Oct. 18, 2020
Week of Oct. 11, 2020
Week of Oct. 4, 2020
Week of Sept. 27, 2020
Week of Sept. 20, 2020
Week of Sept. 13, 2020
Week of Sept. 6, 2020
Week of Aug. 30, 2020
Week of Aug. 23, 2020
Week of Aug. 16, 2020
Week of Aug. 9, 2020
Week of Aug. 2, 2020
Week of July 26, 2020
Week of July 19, 2020
Week of July 12, 2020
Week of July 5, 2020
Week of June 28, 2020
Week of June 21, 2020
Week of June 14, 2020
Week of June 7, 2020
Week of May 31, 2020
Week of May 24, 2020
Week of May 17, 2020
Week of May 10, 2020
Week of May 3, 2020
Week of April 26, 2020
Week of April 19, 2020
Week of April 12, 2020
Week of April 5, 2020
Week of March 29, 2020
Week of March 22, 2020
Week of March 15, 2020
Week of March 8, 2020
Week of March 1, 2020
Week of Feb. 23, 2020
Week of Feb. 16, 2020
Week of Feb. 9, 2020
Week of Feb. 2, 2020
Week of Jan. 26, 2020
Week of Jan. 19, 2020
Week of Jan. 12, 2020
Week of Jan.5, 2020

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Jan. 18 | Prophetic Words – The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jan. 18, Noon. – During this virtual event we will hear Martin Luther King, Jr. read portions of his “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” followed by a time of reflection and prayer on how we can honor his legacy by continuing the work he began. You are invited to stay for the entire hour, or just part of it, as your schedule allows.

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1/10/21 – Liturgy of the Word


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1/6/21 – The Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ


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Music Notes | Feast of the Epiphany

Eric Mellenbruch
Associate Director of Music
and Organist

Although the Epiphany was originally a feast celebrating the various aspects of the Nativity as well as the inauguration of Christ’s public ministry (in his Baptism and first miracle), over time and in different places, the different parts of the story were assigned to their own feasts, and in the West the Visitation of the Magi has come to be the focus of the Feast of the Epiphany itself. Our three hymns for this service (one sung as an anthem) offer three slightly different perspectives upon that event.

‘Earth has many a noble city’ is a translation of a few stanzas taken for liturgical use from a long ‘Hymn of the Epiphany’, one of a set of twelve devotional poems written around the year 400 by the Spanish Roman poet Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (‘Of the Father’s love begotten’ [82] also comes from this collection). The fourth stanza of the Hymnal text shows that already by the end of the third century the gifts of the Magi had been given symbolic interpretations:

Sacred gifts of mystic meaning:

incense doth their God disclose,

gold the King of kings proclaimeth,

myrrh his sepulcher foreshows.

For Episcopalians, the pairing of the tune ‘Stuttgart’ with this hymn creates a welcome echo of Advent, when the same tune is used to sing ‘Come, thou long-expected Jesus’: neat bookends for the season as the promises of Advent are fulfilled (as the Prayer Book subtitles it, this feast celebrates the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles – the subject of the Epistle for the feast).

Though the connections between the royal Psalm 72 and the Epiphany are clear (v.10: ‘The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall pay tribute, and the kings of Arabia and Saba offer gifts’), the Latin original of this same stanza of ‘Earth has many a noble city’ makes the connection even more explicit: the incense is specifically ‘Sabaean’ (a connection also made in the Lesson from Isaiah 60). Psalm 72 is appointed as the Gradual Psalm; verses of the same are also sung as the Introit, where they interpret the antiphon –

See there! The ruler and Lord is drawing near: 

and in his hand are the kingdom and the power and authority

– which acclamation continues the Advent theme (indeed the word translated ‘is drawing near’ is advenit) and is fulfilled in the Eucharist, in the world around us, and at the end of all things. The melody of this Introit is the basis for the organ prelude, a short work by 20th-century French composer Maurice Duruflé, whose famous Requiem and a shorter Mass are also based closely on chant melodies. 

If the foregoing focus particularly on the kingly aspects of both Christ and his illustrious  visitors (they are not called kings in the Matthaean account, but the adduction of Psalm 72.10 to the symbolism of this feast no doubt spurred that tradition), another hymn about the Visitation of the Magi, ‘As with gladness men of old’, brings the event much further down to earth: there is no royalty, no symbolism imputed to the gifts; instead, the focus is on the desired parallels between the adoration and gifts offered by the ‘men of old’ and our own worship: each of the first three stanzas is set constructed ‘As they …, so may we…’. In the last two stanzas this pattern gives way as the author returns to the image of the star that began the hymn, with a prayer that we may follow Jesus (the true Light) in our earthly lives, and be brought at last ‘where they need no star to guide’: an idea expanded upon in the final stanza, which borrows from Revelation 21 and 22. The graceful tune, of German origin, was first adapted for English-language use with this text and so was named for the hymnist, William Chatterton Dix. (Two other hymns by Dix appear in the Hymnal, including ‘What child is this’, which, though not an Epiphany hymn, actually mentions ‘incense, gold, and myrrh’ whereas the present one does not.)

If ‘Earth has many a noble city’ tells the story mostly in the third person, in a combination of the past and present tenses, and ‘As with gladness men of old’ draws parallels between the Magi and ourselves, ‘Brightest and best of the stars of the morning’ casts us, the singers, as the Magi: we are journeying by the light of the star; we ask whether the most precious things on earth are worthy gifts, before concluding, no doubt correctly, that ‘richer by far is the heart’s adoration, / dearer to God are the prayers of the poor’. ‘Brightest and best’ is sung on this occasion to a sturdy tune that first appeared in print (in 1826 in Maine) with this text, though its strictly modal and nearly hexatonic character (that is, it does not deviate from the basic scale that is used, and the sixth note of the scale is used only as a passing tone in one phrase) strongly suggest an older or folk origin. The repetition of the first stanza as the last is a trait found in some other hymns by the same author, Reginald Heber (see 362 and 258); its use also as a refrain stems from that first pairing with the present tune.

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Music Notes | Second Sunday After Christmas

Eric Mellenbruch
Associate Director of Music
and Organist

The liturgical celebration of the various events surrounding the Nativity of Our Lord comes, in a way, as an interruption of the narrative of Christ’s public ministry which we follow Sunday by Sunday. On the two middle Sundays of Advent we hear St John the Baptist’s call to repentance and announcement of the coming Christ, a narrative thread that is continued on the Sunday after the Epiphany and beyond.

The many scenes of the nativity narrative thus must be fitted in on the two or three Sundays, and three feast days, in between, and another a month later: the Fourth Sunday of Advent gives us the Lucan annunciations to Zechariah and to Our Lady, as well as St Joseph’s dream from Matthew’s Gospel, in the course of our three-year lectionary; the familiar Lucan accounts of the birth are read at the midnight and dawn Christmas Masses; the Circumcision and Holy Name of Our Lord are celebrated on January 1; the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple and Purification of the Blessed Virgin are marked forty days after the Nativity, on February 2 (Candlemas). Meanwhile, returning to Matthew and incidents that took place perhaps a couple of years later, the Holy Innocents are commemorated on December 28, and finally the Visitation of the Magi on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6. When there are two Sundays between December 25 and January 6, our lectionary offers three options for the Gospel reading on the second of them: the Visitation of the Magi, the Flight into Egypt (skipping the slaughter of the Innocents), or the one anecdote from Our Lord’s later childhood, the Finding of Jesus in the Temple. The music chosen for this Sunday reflects some of this diversity.

‘Dormi, dormi’, an arrangement of an Italian carol, places us with the infant Christ and his Mother as she rocks him to sleep, her lullaby punctuated by music we can imagine being sung and played by the shepherds. The arranger, Mary Goetze, is a prolific choral composer, arranger, clinician, and conductor, and Professor Emerita at Indiana University. 

‘Sweet Little Jesus Boy’, written in 1934 by the (white) lawyer and composer Robert MacGimsey in the style of an African American spiritual, is a meditation on Christ’s self-abasement in the Incarnation and human blindness to his presence then and now, on his example and our failure to follow it, and at the same time on his solidarity with the human condition, particularly that of those who suffer. 

‘We three kings of Orient are’ is so familiar and beloved as to seem not to need any introduction or comment – but its text and especially its tune, both rather picturesque, can sometimes make us pass over the symbolism contained and explained within. The gifts of the Magi, following ancient tradition, acclaim and proclaim various aspects of Christ’s identity and life: gold crowns the King; incense is offered to God; myrrh, used in incense and in oil for anointing, is also used in the preparation of Christ’s body for burial – clearly the reference in this song, which ends with an acclamation of the Resurrection that also recapitulates the symbolism: ‘Glorious now behold him arise, / King and God and Sacrifice’. The author and composer of this song and its tune, John Henry Hopkins, Jr., was a lawyer, poet, musician and teacher of church music, journalist, designer of liturgical furnishings, and Episcopal priest. Another text [336] and another tune [503] of his also appear in the Hymnal. 

‘Angels, from the realms of glory’ was written by James Montgomery (1771–1854), a Scottish-born poet, newspaper editor, and social activist who advocated for the abolition of slavery and other worthy causes. Like his hymn ‘When Jesus left his Father’s throne’ (in all, nine of his hymns appear in the Hymnal 1982), ‘Angels, from the realms of glory’ takes in a good swath of Christ’s life and our liturgical celebration of it, leading us from the Nativity in the first two stanzas (angels, shepherds), to the Epiphany (‘sages’, i.e. the Magi) in the third, to Candlemas, in a final stanza that comprehends both the literal, incarnational, and the symbolic, eschatological, aspects of this feast:

Saints before the altar bending,

watching long in hope and fear,

suddenly the Lord, descending,

in his temple shall appear:

Come and worship…

These saints are, of course, the aged Simeon and Anna, who had spent their lives in the Temple awaiting the Savior – but they are also, we hope, ourselves, or at least saints living in our time and in all times, too. The Lord appeared in his Temple at the Presentation (and on many occasions thereafter, of course), but will also come again (as the original prophetic context of the passage quoted – Malachi 3.1 – reminds us) to judge, cleanse, and purify. As those prophets of old did, so we too ‘watch long’, looking for the coming King and the signs of his Kingdom, praying, as did Simeon, that we might depart in peace, having seen the Savior. 

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1/3/21 – Liturgy of the Word


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Education for Ministry (EfM)

Classes offered Sept-May
Registration opens Summer 2021

Looking for academic and in-depth Christian education? EfM is a 4-year course of study consisting of weekly seminars over the 9-month academic year. Contact efm@stfdave.org for more information.

  • Year 1: Hebrew Scripture
  • Year 2: Christian Scriptures
  • Year 3: Church History
  • Year 4: Theology,

Commitment is on a yearly basis. Two weekly seminar groups made up of 6-12 people and group mentors who facilitate and participate fully in all discussions. Members receive reading assignments that are included in the fee and provided by the University of the South, who created and administers the program.

Read more about the EfM Program

Cost $375 (partial scholarships available)

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