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Music Notes from Denise: August 19, 2023

Choir Season is starting soon!

We will have a Choir supper and get organized at 6:00 pm August 30th.

All of you who love to sing are invited to join our St. Martin’s Choir! We rehearse every WEDNESDAY at 7:00 pm downstairs in the Music Wing.

If you are interested, please email Denise at dmarsh@stmartinschurch.org

St. Martin’s Hand Bell Choir will rehearse every Wednesday at 6:00 pm.


This Sunday our readings seem to focus on our reluctance to accept the vastness of God. We seem to always put limits of some kind on our sense of God’s love for creation. “Paul reminds us that in the light of Christ we can hold on to a conviction of the role of Christ for everyone. (our Processional hymn: Sing praise to God who reigns above) This is a lord and master who serves all, and who seeks to rescue us from our brokenness. (our Sequence hymn: Pass me not, O gentle Savior) The Canaanite woman serves as a test case for Jesus’s ministry of rescue to all. She perseveres and her need is met. (our Final hymn: In boldness look to God for help) Do we need to persevere more doggedly in our faith in God and not be discouraged?” (from Sunday by Sunday, 2017 The Royal School of Church Music)


The Offertory, Lord, make me an instrument, was written by Jonathan Willcocks and is based on the prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. Willcocks was born in Worcester in 1953, the son of conductor and composer Sir David Willcocks. He was a chorister at King’s College, Cambridge and graduated with an Honours degree in Music from Cambridge. He is conductor and musical director of Guildford Choral Society and Chichester Singers, and the professional chamber orchestra Southern Pro Musica. He has also written many choral pieces and this solo was taken from one of those. It uses St. Francis’ words to encourage us in living our daily lives: Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, may there be union, where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, let there be hope, where there is darkness, light, where there is sadness, may there be joy! May we all be in peace, and may that peace come unto each of us. (Oxford University Press 2010)


During a hymn writer’s workshop, Ruth Duck suggested the assignment of writing a text on the woman of Tyre and Sidon (our Gospel reading in Matthew 15:21-28). As author Mary Louise Bringle contemplated this text, she thought of other women who demonstrated “boldness”: the woman with the issue of blood (Luke 8); Mary of Bethany, who dared to sit at Jesus’ feet and study (Luke 10); and the women, differently named in various Gospels, who anointed Jesus’ feet with costly perfume. Bringle used all of these women in her lyrics for our Final hymn, In boldness look to God. She was recognized by the Hymn Society in the U. S. and Canada as an Emerging Hymn Writer in 2002. She says of her work: “I am concerned to give voice to the passions that dwell at the deep heart of faith and questioning.” (#94 in Voices Found hymnal Leader’s Guide by Marilyn L. Haskel & Lisa Neufeld Thomas, Church Publishing Inc. 2004)







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