Archives for April 2014

Lessons and Hymns, Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014

by the Rev. William P. McLemore

SCRIPTURE REFLECTIONS:  There are all sorts of choices for collects and readings on this principal feast of our Church.  For the Old Testament, it’s Acts 10:34-43 or Jeremiah 31:1-6.  The Psalm is 188:1-2, 14-24 “The same stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”  Then for the Epistle, there’s Colossians 3:1-4 or Acts 10:34-43.  The Gospel choice is between John 20:1-18 and Matthew 28:1-10.  Suffice it to say that this Sunday will be the annual celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ!  He is Risen!  Alleluia!




PROCESSIONAL HYMN:   No. 207.  “Jesus Christ is Risen Today.”   This classic hymn for Easter dates back to a  14th century Bohemian carol.  Over the years, it has been continuously altered and the fourth and final verse was written by Charles Wesley.  The tune, “Easter Hymn,” is from the English, “Lyrica Davidica,” published in London in 1708.


THE SEQUENCE HYMN:   No. 296.  “We Know That Christ is Raised.”  This hymn is based on Romans 6:3-11, “Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”  The text was written by John Brownlow Geyer in 1969 and was born in 1932 in Yorkshire, England.  The tune, “Engleberg,” is a melody composed by Charles Villers Stanford (1852-1924) in 1904.  The music meter is 10 10 10 with alleluias.


PRESENTATION HYMN:   No. 191.  “Alleluia, Alleluia! Hearts and Voices Heaven-ward Raise.”  This hymn is one of two Easter hymns in Christopher Wordsworth’s “Hymns for Sundays and Holy Days” published in 1862.  Bishop Wordsworth was the primate for the Diocese of Lincoln in England and the nephew of the poet with the same name.  He was born October 30, 1807 and died March 21, 1885 shortly after he resigned his episcopate.  The tune, “Lux Eoi,” was composed by Arthur Seymour Sullivan (1842-1900) around 1874.


COMMUNION HYMN:  No. 174. “At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing.”  This hymn is very ancient and emerges in Latin in the breviary of Pope Urban VIII (1568-1644).  It has been translated into English by Robert Campbell (1814-1868).   The tune, “Salzburg,” is a melody by Jakob Hintze (1622-1702) and harmonized by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750).  “Hymns of glory, songs of praise, Father, unto thee we raise: risen Lord, all praise to thee with the Spirit ever be.”


RECESSIONAL HYMN:   No.  182.  “Christ Is Alive!” The author of this new hymn is Brian Wren (b. 1936), Emeritus Professor of Worship, Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia. He is a writer, preacher, liturgics scholar, and internationally published hymn-poet. Brian is a Minister of the United Reformed Church (UK).  Hope Publishing Company owns the 1975 copyrights to the text.  The hymn reflects the sacrificial nature of Our Lord’s Resurrection.  Here is the 4th verse: “In every insult, rift and war where color, scorn, or wealth divide, he suffers still, yet loves the more, and lives though ever crucified.”  The tune, “Truro,” is from a 1789 Psalm Book, harmonized by Lowell Mason (1792-1872).

Men’s Breakfast and Women’s Wednesday


will be Saturday, May 3rd at 8am

Windhill Pancake House


will be May 7th at 7pm

in the Parish Hall

Note: We are reading Call to Action,  

a new book by

President Jimmy Carter.


It is available for e-readers,

and four hardback copies are available in

the church office for purchase.


It is NOT necessary to have read the book

in order to enjoy the company of this group.

Lessons and Hymns for Sunday, April 27, 2014

SCRIPTURE REFLECTIONS:  The first reading is from the Acts of the Apostles (2:14a,22-32) and consists of Peter’s first sermon after the Pentecost experience.   The passage ends, “This Jesus, God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.”  Psalm 16 is a personal prayer for God’s protection and nurture.  The Epistle (I Peter 1:3-9) notes that even though we have never seen Jesus, by faith we can love him.  The Gospel is John 20:19-31 tells the post-resurrection story about Thomas needed physical proof that his Savior has risen.  When he does actually touch Jesus’ wounds, he replies, “My Lord and my God!”  To which Jesus adds, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”



PROCESSIONAL HYMN:  No. 179. “Welcome Happy Morning.”  This hymn, along with other Easter music, is the creation of the Italian-born poet, Venantius Honorius Fortunatus (c540-600).  It was translated into English by the prolific British hymn writer, the Rev. John Ellerton (1826-1893).  The music was composed by Arthur Seymour Sullivan (1842-1900) and is given the name, “Fortunatus,” in honor of the author.


THE SEQUENCE HYMN:    No. 193.  “That Easter Day with Joy was Bright.”  Tradition says that this hymn was written by Saint Ambrose and dates in Latin back to the 5th century.   The appearance of Jesus to Thomas is referred to, “His risen flesh with radiance glowed; his wounded hands and feet he showed; those scars their solemn witness gave that Christ was risen from the grave.”  The tune,  “Puer Nobis,” was adapted from a 15th century  melody by Michael Praetorius (1571-1621).


PRESENTATION HYMN:   : No. 205.  “Good Christians All, Rejoice and Sing!.”   This relatively modern hymn was written by Dr. Cyral Argentine Alington (1872-1955), a British educator, scholar, Anglican priest, versifier, and prolific author.  He was the headmaster of both Shrewsbury School and Eton College.  He also served as chaplain to King George V and as Dean of Durham Cathedral.  The hymn truly reflects the abject joy of Jesus’ resurrection with an appropriate “Alleluia” refrain.  The tune, “Gelobt sei Gott,” is a composition of Melchior Vulpius (d. 1616).


COMMUNION HYMN:  No. 178.  “Jesus Is Lord of All the Earth.”   This hymn was written by Donald Fishel born in 1950, a graduate of the University of Michigan, and a consummate musician.  In a biographical sketch he writes that after college, “I then embarked on a career in music publishing and began writing the Christian songs for which I am best known.  My songs  Alleluia No. 1  and  The Light of Christ  can be found in the hymnals of the Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, and Roman Catholic Churches.”  (See attached photo of Don and his pet dog, “Tommy.”  The tune name is the “Alleluia No. 1” and was composed by him and arranged by Betty Carr Pulkingham (b. 1928) the wife of the Rev. William Graham Pulkingham an Episcopal priest who lived from 1926-1993.


RECESSIONAL HYMN:   No. 210.  “The Day of Resurrection.”   This is a popular hymn of the Orthodox churches and dates back to St. John of Damascus (c. 750).  It is sung in Greek churches at midnight on Easter morning.  It was the tradition to begin the hymn in relative darkness and. as it was being sung, each worshipper would like their candle until they felt the “rays eternal of resurrection light” of the second verse.   The tune, “Ellacombe,” is by an unknown composer and appears first in the “Gesangbuch” of 1863.

Thoughts from Lori+, April 23, 2014

Alleluia! Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

That is our traditional Easter greeting throughout the season of Easter, whether in church or when we meet on the street. And “throughout the season of Easter” is the key. For all of the branches of Christendom that are more closely related to our catholic roots such as ourselves, Easter Day is the beginning of The Great Fifty Days; that is, the 40 days between Easter and Ascension, plus the 10 days from Ascension to Pentecost. So Easter is far from over. It’s just begun! [Read more…]

Thoughts from Lori +, April 16, 2014


Why do we do this year after year? Not just Easter, but this whole Holy Week thing. We already know how the story turns out, so why rehash it? Why do this over and over again? Well, in fact, there is a good reason. It’s all about memory, re-membering. It’s about imprinting; about making such things – presumable things that we hold dearly – part of our DNA, so to speak. We do these things over and over again precisely because we need to.


Every now and then, someone criticizes liturgical churches for using the same prayers, the same service, week after week. Shouldn’t worship be spontaneous? Or so goes the criticism. Here is one of the best responses to that question that I’ve heard yet:


“The liturgy of the Divine Service is drawn from the Bible and it has been composed in a way that reflects the faith of the catholic (universal) and apostolic Church. It is the Bible believed and understood correctly. The liturgy teaches us these things, and it does so by exposing us to these truths every week. There is an old saying that ‘repetition is the mother of learning.’ The repetition of hearing and singing the words of the liturgy each week teaches us the catholic and apostolic faith, and shapes and forms the way we think about the faith. This is a process that begins with the smallest child and continues all throughout our life. It is not a process that ever ends or is finished because the words and phrases, movements and actions of the liturgy invite ever deeper understanding as we grow and mature as Christians.” [This was written by Mark Surburg on his blog post called “Surburg’s Blog” ( I urge you to look up this site and read his whole article.]


“Repetition is the mother of learning.” I love that! How easily we forget the value of repetition in this age of instant information. We need, truly need to do some things over and over again. Holy Week and Easter – and for that matter, our weekly worship – are just such things. At least, that’s my take on it. If it’s yours, too, I’ll look forward to seeing you this week. The Great Three Days known as the Triduum begins Thursday, sometimes referred to as “one service with two long intermissions.” Here’s the line-up:




Agape Meal, Foot Washing, Eucharist and the Stripping of the Altar




Stations of the Cross



Mass of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts




at St. Ann’s, Woodstock

The Great Vigil and First Eucharist of Easter





Feast of the Resurrection

followed by a festive reception


Wherever you are and whatever your circumstances, may this coming Easter Season remind you of the Real Presence of Jesus in your life.


God bless…

Lessons and Hymns for Sunday, April 13, 2014

by the Rev. William P. McLemore

SCRIPTURE REFLECTIONS:   If there is any doubt about the Episcopal Church’s emphasis on Holy Scripture, it should be obvious during the Lenten season.  We emphasize the gospel narratives which are long and involve critical moments of the life of Jesus Christ.  Our gospel reading this Sunday includes the entire Passion Narrative from the Gospel according to St. Matthew, chapters 26:14-27:66.  As with every service, there is a reading from the Old Testament (Isaiah 50:4-9a), a Psalm (31-9-16), and one of the Epistles (Philippians 2:5-11).  The general theme from these, this Sunday, is the passion, as evidenced by Paul’s comments to the Church at Philippi: “He [Jesus] humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death-even on a cross.”  As Lent comes to a close, we are at the very core of God’s redemption in His Son and the foundation of the love and forgiveness that underscores everything Christianity has to offer the believer.




PROCESSIONAL HYMN:   No. 154.  “All Glory, Laud, and Honor.”  This ancient hymn is attributed to Theodulph of Orleans who died in 821 AD.  Legend has it that he wrote the hymn while in prison having been convicted on a false accusation.   Its use was in connection with the processions of the palms through the towns in that day.  The tune was composed by Melchior Teschner (1584-1635) and harmonized by William Henry Monk (1823-1889).


THE SEQUENCE HYMN:   No. 156.  “Ride On, Ride On, In Majesty.”  This moving Palm Sunday hymn was written by Henry Hart Milman while he was professor of poetry at Oxford, and first published  as the Palm Sunday hymn in Bishop Heber’s posthumous 1827 Hymnal.  The tune, “The King’s Majesty,” was composed by Graham George for this text in the Hymnal 1940.


PRESENTATION HYMN:   No. 474.  “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”  This is another hymn written by Isaac Watts who is also the author of our opening hymn.  He wrote this hymn being inspired by Galatians 6:14, “May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”  The tune, “Rockingham,” was adapted from an old English psalmody hymnal by Edward Miller (1731-1807).


COMMUNION HYMN:  No.  321.  “My God Thy Table Now is Spread.”  The words of this hymn have been altered somewhat since it was written by Philip Doddridge in the mid-eighteenth century.   This is his original last verse: “Revive thy dying churches, Lord, And bid our drooping grace live; And more that energy afford, A Saviour’s Blood alone can give.”   The newer words soften the anguish and gore of the earlier.  The tune is “Rockingham,” and is an old English melody adapted and harmonized for the words of this hymn.


RECESSIONAL HYMN:   As is our custom on the Sunday of the Passion, Palm Sunday, we leave the worship in silence and meditation into the depths of Holy Week.

Thoughts from Lori+, April 9, 2014

With this Sunday being Palm Sunday, or the Sunday of the Passion, we are about to enter Holy Week. While it’s wonderful to celebrate Christmas with all its accompanying joys and traditions, it is this – Holy Week and Easter – that defines us as Christians. On Palm Sunday, we will end the service with a reading of the Passion Narrative; that is, the story of Jesus trial, crucifixion, and death. It will be a dramatic way to end the service, and we will all leave in silence.

For those who wish to make Holy Week a special part of their Lenten discipline and experience, we will have service each night. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday will be simple, quiet services of the Holy Eucharist. Then begins the sacred Triduum: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Eve – sometimes referred to as one service with two long intermissions.


Maundy Thursday will begin with a simple supper of soup and bread in the parish hall during which we will hear the readings and a brief reflection. That will be followed by foot washing (always optional) in the church, and the Holy Eucharist. Then the altar will be stripped and washed. Consecrated bread and wine will be reserved for the Chapel of Repose and for the Mass of Pre-sanctified Gifts at the evening service on Good Friday. [Note: Stations of the Cross will be said at noon on Friday.]

While we do not have the resources to provide our own Easter Eve service, we have been invited to worship with the good people of St. Ann’s in Woodstock. This service includes The Great Vigil, Renewal of Baptismal Vows, and the First Eucharist of Easter. Perhaps next year, we will have our own Easter Vigil here at St. Paul’s. Meanwhile, I hope you will join Bill and me there at 7:30pm.

However many of these special services you are able to attend and experience, they will certainly enrich your Easter and our identity as Resurrection People. Easter morning, of course, we will celebrate the Risen Lord on Sunday at 10am. May God bless us all during this holy season!