Your Sunday Hymn: Shepherd Me Oh God

For the 4th Sunday of Easter, another Marty Haugen hymn, Shepherd Me Oh God – to accompany today’s Gospel

JN 10:11-18

Jesus said:
“I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
This is why the Father loves me,
because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own.
I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.
This command I have received from my Father.”

Easter Hymn: Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah

No song evokes the glory and joy of Easter like Handel’s Messiah.

Courtesy of the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, a live performance of this amazing piece.

The critically-acclaimed concert features the Academy of Ancient Music conducted by Stephen Cleobury together with with soloists Ailish Tynan, Alice Coote, Allan Clayton and Matthew Rose, and the King’s College Choir. The concert commemorated both the 250th anniversary of the death of George Frideric Handel and the 800th anniversary of the University of Cambridge.

Happy Easter, everyone.

Your Sunday Hymn: God of Mercy and Compassion

The Irish Philharmonic Orchestra sings the Lenten hymn, God of Mercy and Compassion. From the double CD collection of ‘Classic religious anthems of Ireland.’

It’s a lovely, traditional French melody by 18th century Italian composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, (1710-1736.)


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Your Sunday Hymn: Lord of All Hopefulness

Lord of Hopefulness (like Be Thou My Vision) is set to the popular Irish melody Slane. This choral arrangement is just lovely.

The Story Behind The Hymn:

Joyce Torrens (1901-53), who wrote under the name of Jan Struther, became famous for a newspaper column in which she presented herself in the character of Mrs Miniver, a briskly sensible and humorous middle-class woman whose spirit seemed to embody a certain sort of plucky Englishness.

Mrs Miniver was turned into a film in 1942: heavily promoted in the USA, where it won the Oscar for Best Picture, it became crucial in the effort to woo American public opinion to support entry into the war against Hitler.

There was not a single battle scene in the film, yet through its portrayal of the hardships suffered and overcome by a middle-class English family during the Blitz, it aroused the sympathy of ordinary Americans most effectively.

This hymn was written in 1929 at the request of Torrens’s London neighbour, Canon Percy Dearmer of Westminster Abbey, for his new edition of Songs of Praise.

Dearmer was delighted by its success, announcing in Songs of Praise Discussed (1933) that he was “lately returned from a service of university students, who have speedily made it their favourite”.

JR Watson calls it “entirely characteristic of its age, forward-looking, non-doctrinal, non-sectarian” and highlights its decision – quite daring at the time – to replace “Thy” with “You”. Torrens herself – whose interest in Christianity was minimal – chose the shapely tune Slane, an old Irish melody.


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