I am waiting to pick my daughter from an activity and to help time pass more pleasantly I am listening to The Message on Sirius XM radio. The last song had little in the way of lyrics other than, Glory glory, hallelujah, He reins!”. This is a very important message without doubt but to me I have to think that they need to go into more depth than that. If the message is important then we should be giving more background rather than just a worship statement and the great truth of the reign of Christ.
I think I am missing something. This song is upbeat and catchy and just might get some people repeating those words who have never heard them. Maybe it can get them curious for more of the story! We know that the more times a connection is repeated in our brains, the better we will remember. So go ahead and sing those repetitive songs and be ready to lead people deeper if they ask!
How blest are they, who, fearing God
Paraphrase, Scottish Psalter 1650
Music: William Tans’ur’s New Harmony of Zion 1764
God’s law is perfect and converts
the soul in sin that lies:
God’s testimony is most sure
and makes the simple wise.
The statutes of the Lord are right
and do rejoice the heart:
the Lord’s command is pure, and doth
light to the eyes impart.
Unspotted is the fear of God
and ever doth endure;
the judgements of the Lord are true
together, right and sure.
They more than gold, yea much fine gold,
to be desired are
than honey, honey from the comb
that droppeth, sweeter far.
Moreover, they thy servants warn
how they their life should frame:
a great reward provided is
for them that keep the same.
If you recall, in my last Praise Notes I mentioned that I am not a fan of hymns in which the paraphrase needs to twist around to match the tune. Hymn #9 has one verse which does this. If you don’t take time to puzzle it out, this verse is just a series of words to a pretty tune. The meaning is that God’s laws are desired more than fine gold and sweeter than honey from the comb. All this twisting of sentence structure was done to retain a rhyme scheme. I personally would have preferred that it not rhyme and make some sense. I believe this sort of thing is a large part of the reason people feel that the traditional hymns of the Christian church are outdated and boring.
As for the music, William Tans’ur wrote a pleasant lilting melody. The harmonies are pleasant, although the alto part does spend most of the time on one of three notes. The bass and tenor lines are a bit more interesting to sing. All together a good piece of music which only appears once in the book as the prescribed melody. Another of his pieces, Bangor, comes up elswhere in the Book of Praise at #s 6, 232 and 751 and won’t be part of my series as the lyrics for all three are still under copyright. It is a lovely composition, written in a minor key.
Posted in Music, Praise Notes
Tagged Bible, Book of Praise, choir, Christianity, church, church music, faith, God, hymn, hymnody, metrical Psalms, music, praise, Presbyterian Church, Psalms, Scottish Psalter, song, William Tans'ur
Today was Good Friday. Depending on the way you view the liturgical calendar Lent either ended last night or tomorrow, the day before Easter. This leads to my quandary of the day…do I go back on Facebook and Twitter?
If you count Sundays, I have not logged on to my FB and Twitter accounts now for 45 or 46 days. In some way I didn’t really miss it. I didn’t feel tempted to log on. I took them off my home page list on my browsers and my BlackBerry and I guess the old out-of-sight out-of-mind thing works. On the other hand I had many bouts of feeling isolated which I can only attribute to that lack of interaction which comes from at least keeping up with the doings of my friends.
Did I make use of the time I saved and the loss of distraction throughout Lent in order to spend more time in prayer, study and reflection on God? I did a really good job of it for a while at least. I did, as I planned, spend more time reading books and doing cross word puzzles. I completed my on-line course and prepared two services. I’m really glad I decided to make this sacrifice and it is really hard to believe it has really been so long.
How did you make out? Did you give something up for Lent? However we spent Lent, Sunday morning it is time to celebrate the risen Christ. Sing songs! Shout hosannas! Give thanks that God has given this amazing free gift to all of us!
Posted in Reflections
Tagged Bible, Christianity, distractions, Easter, facebook, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Lent, music, praise, prayer, reflection, sacrifice, thanks, Twitter, worship