Monday, May 31, 2010

US Memorial Day: Taps

As the sun has set for the evening, we turn our attention to those who have died in service to our country. Thanks to facebook friend Wayne for this quote.

It is the soldier,
not the reporter,
who has given us the freedom of the press.

It is the soldier,
not the poet,
who has given us the freedom of speech.

It is the soldier,
not the campus organizer,
who gives us the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the soldier who salutes the flag,
who serves beneath the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag.


From facebook friend Wayne...

US Memorial Day: The Coast Guard Hymn

The Coast Guard closes each chapel service at the academy with the following verse...

Eternal Father, Lord of hosts,
Watch o’er all those who guard our coasts.
Protect them from the raging seas
And give them light and life and peace.
Grant them from Thy great throne above
The shield and shelter of Thy love.

It is the same tune as Eternal Father, Strong to Save (the Navy Hymn), and can be added in to that hymn or substituted for stanza 1 (as long as you are not going to offend any Navymen!).

On a personal note, Carolyn, this is for you!

US Memorial Day: The Marine Hymn

The Marine Hymn is decidedly NOT for Divine Service consumption. This hymn is all about the Marines and not about the Lord protecting our nation.

First, the words, then a few interesting video clips.


From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a gun.
In the snow of far-off Northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes;
You will find us always on the job --
The United States Marines.

Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we've fought for life
And never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.


Marine Graduates sing their hymn


Anchors' Aweigh, The Marine Hymn and Dismissal
from a Marine graduation ceremony


First Division Marine Band on parade


Kate Smith
as heard through a Grammaphone
on an EP album

US Memorial Day: The Air Force Hymn

The Navy Hymn and The Army Hymn may be used in the Divine Service. We see in the Air Force Hymn is more specific to their duties. Perhaps if you were honoring pilots during a Sunday Service, this would be appropriate.


Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
Through the great spaces of the sky;
Be with them traversing the air
In darkening storms or sunshine fair

Thou who dost keep with tender might
The balanced birds in all their flight
Thou of the tempered winds be near
That, having thee, they know no fear

Control their minds with instinct fit
What time, adventuring, they quit
The firm security of land;
Grant steadfast eye and skilful hand

Aloft in solitudes of space,
Uphold them with Thy saving grace.
O God, protect the men who fly
Thru lonely ways beneath the sky.

US Memorial Day: The Army Hymn

The Army Hymn is "God of Our Fathers, Whose Almighty Hand."  Hymnals are often used around the world (in the mission field, by military chaplains, etc), so a national anthem is not appropriate for many hymnals.  A hymn like God of Our Fathers can be sung in many nations as it does not reference any specific country.

God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.

Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast,
Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide and Stay,
Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.

From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.

Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to never ending day;
Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.

US Memorial Day: The Navy Hymn

There are several versions of Eternal Father, Strong to Save.  As this is the Navy Hymn, here is the version the US Navy has adopted. Each of the first three verses reference Father, Son and Holy Spirit respectively, making this hymn an bridge between Trinity Sunday and Memorial Day when both fall on the same weekend.

In Lutheran Service Book, there is an option with a verse for those on land, sea, and air, which may be appropriate for times of travel as well as the observance of national holidays.

Here is the Naval Academy Mens Glee Club singing The Navy Hymn. For those of you who are fans of the "Amen" at the end of each hymn in The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), you will not be disappointed!

US Memorial Day: The Armed Forces Medley

The Armed Forces Medley

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday of the Holy Trinity, Part VII

This is the catholic faith,
which except a man believe faithfully
he cannot be saved.


The Athanasian Creed is perhaps the most challenging creed. It not only states that which the Church confesses, it says you must believe it!

Here is a wonderful hymn tune based on "Gott Der Vater, Wohn Uns Bei."

The original text devotes one verse to each person of the Trinity. The first line changes in each verse, but the body of the hymn stays the same. The option is to sing one verse, where the first line is, "Triune God, O Be Our Stay..."


God the Father, be our Stay,
Oh, let us perish never.
Cleanse us from our sins, we pray,
And grant us life forever.
Keep us from the Evil One;
Uphold our faith most holy,
Grant us to trust Thee solely
With humble hearts and lowly.
Let us put God's armor on:
With all true Christians running
Our heavenly race and shunning
The devil's wiles and cunning.
Amen, Amen, this be done,
So sing we, Hallelujah!


Jesus Christ, be Thou our Stay,
Oh, let us perish never.
Cleanse us from our sins, we pray,
And grant us life forever.
Keep us from the Evil One;
Uphold our faith most holy,
Grant us to trust Thee solely
With humble hearts and lowly.
Let us put God's armor on:
With all true Christians running
Our heavenly race and shunning
The devil's wiles and cunning.
Amen, Amen, this be done,
So sing we, Hallelujah!


Holy Ghost, be Thou our Stay,
Oh, let us perish never.
Cleanse us from our sins, we pray,
And grant us life forever.
Keep us from the Evil One;
Uphold our faith most holy,
Grant us to trust Thee solely
With humble hearts and lowly.
Let us put God's armor on:
With all true Christians running
Our heavenly race and shunning
The devil's wiles and cunning.
Amen, Amen, this be done,
So sing we, Hallelujah!


Triune God, O Be Our Stay
Oh, let us perish never.
Cleanse us from our sins, we pray,
And grant us life forever.
Keep us from the Evil One;
Uphold our faith most holy,
Grant us to trust Thee solely
With humble hearts and lowly.
Let us put God's armor on:
With all true Christians running
Our heavenly race and shunning
The devil's wiles and cunning.
Amen, Amen, this be done,
So sing we, Hallelujah!

Sunday of the Holy Trinity, Part VI

Athanasian Creed, Part VI

For as the reasonable soul
and flesh is one man,
so God and man is one Christ;

Who suffered for our salvation,
descended into hell,
rose again the third day from the dead;

He ascended into heaven,
He sits on the right hand
of the Father, God, Almighty;

From thence He shall come
to judge the quick and the dead.

At whose coming all men
shall rise again with their bodies;

and shall give account of their own works.

And they that have done good
shall go into life everlasting
and they that have done evil
into everlasting fire.

O Sacred Head Now Wounded


Jesus Christ is Risen Today
with Jesus Lives, The Victory's Won


The Day Is Surely Drawing Near I


The Day Is Surely Drawing Near II

Sunday of the Holy Trinity, Part V

Athanasian Creed, Part V

Furthermore it is necessary
to everlasting salvation
that he also believe rightly
the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For the right faith is
that we believe and confess
that our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Son of God,
is God and man.

God of the substance of the Father,
begotten before the worlds;
and man of substance of His mother,
born in the world.

Perfect God and perfect man,
of a reasonable soul
and human flesh subsisting.

Equal to the Father
as touching His Godhead,
and inferior to the Father
as touching His manhood.

Who, although He is God and man,
yet He is not two, but one Christ.

One, not by conversion
of the Godhead into flesh,
but by taking of that manhood into God.

One altogether,
not by confusion of substance,
but by unity of person.

Of The Father's Love Begotten

Sunday of the Holy Trinity, Part IV

Athanasian Creed, Part IV

The Father is made of none,
neither created nor begotten.

The Son is of the Father alone;
not made nor created, but begotten.

The Holy Spirit is of the Father
and of the Son;
neither made,
nor created,
nor begotten,
but proceeding.

So there is one Father,
not three Fathers;
one Son,
not three Sons;
one Holy Spirit,
not three Holy Spirits.

And in this Trinity none is
before or after another;
none is greater or less than another.

But the whole three persons
are coeternal, and coequal.

So that in all things, as aforesaid,
the Unity in Trinity
and the Trinity in Unity
is to be worshipped.

He therefore that will be saved
must thus think of the Trinity.

This is in Hong Kong, sung in the local dialect.

Sunday of the Holy Trinity, Part III

Athanasian Creed, Part III

So likewise the Father is almighty,
the Son almighty,
and the Holy Spirit almighty.

And yet they are not three almighties,
but one almighty.

So the Father is God,
the Son is God,
and the Holy Spirit is God;

And yet they are not three Gods,
but one God.

So likewise the Father is Lord,
the Son Lord,
and the Holy Spirit Lord;

And yet they are not three Lords
but one Lord.

For like as we are compelled
by the Christian verity
to acknowledge every Person by himself
to be God and Lord;

So are we forbidden
by the catholic religion to say;
There are three Gods
or three Lords.

Sunday of the Holy Trinity, Part II

Athanasian Creed, Part II

For there is one person of the Father,
another of the Son,
and another of the Holy Spirit.

But the Godhead of the Father,
of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit
is all one,
the glory equal,
the majesty coeternal.

Such as the Father is,
such is the Son,
and such is the Holy Spirit.

The Father uncreated,
the Son uncreated,
and the Holy Spirit uncreated.

The Father incomprehensible,
the Son incomprehensible,
and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

The Father eternal,
the Son eternal,
and the Holy Spirit eternal.

And yet they are not three eternals
but one eternal.

As also there are not three uncreated
nor three incomprehensible,
but one uncreated
and one incomprehensible.

"Holy, Holy, Holy" in Greek

Sunday of the Holy Trinity, Part I

Today is the celebration of the Holy Trinity.

I commend to you the Athenasian Creed for an accurate summary of this doctrine.

English speaking churches often replace the word "catholic," which means "universal" with the word "Christian" in the Nicene Creed. In this creed, however, the word has been retained for 500 years.

Athanasian Creed, Part I

Whosoever will be saved,
before all things it is necessary
that he hold the catholic faith;

Which faith except every one do keep
whole and undefiled,
without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

And the catholic faith is this:
That we worship one God in Trinity,
and Trinity in Unity;

Neither confounding the persons
nor dividing the substance.

Monday, May 24, 2010

See you next Sunday!

I will be busy this week and taking a little internet fast, so look for the next post sometime around Trinity Sunday, which is next Sunday.

Also, if your comment has not been moderated, look for that to happen by Trinity Sunday as well.

For now, enjoy this interesting setting of Veni Creator Spiritus from a choir in South Korea.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Feast of Pentecost: Veni Creator Spiritus and Veni Sancte Spiritus

The chant Veni Creator Spiritus, or "Come, Creator Spirit" is often sung on the Day of Pentecost, which marks the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church, as Jesus had promised.

Another classic chant is Veni Sancte Spiritu, or "Come, Holy Spirit."

You can hear both of them back-to-back below, in simple Gregorian chant.


Here is Maurice Duruflé's "Prelude, Adagio & Choral Varié" on Veni Creator Spiritus.


This Gregorian tune also inspired the German chorale, Komm, Gott Schöpfer. Here is a wonderfully simple arrangement for a small brass ensemble.


Here is an orchestral arrangement with the Berliner Philharmoniker.


Here is Bach's organ arrangement played on a beautiful Austrian instrument.


Veni Sancte Spiritus is the "Sequence" for Pentecost. It is a special liturgical text to highlight the festival day. It is usually sung before the Alleluias, which in turn precede the Gospel Reading. While the plainsong chant is simple, it seems Mozart had grander plans for the text.


With all that pomp, my favorite setting comes from the Taize Community. I have used this setting with as few as three parts and a solo. The verse here is sung in English, and is a good translation of the text. As Pentecost marks the nations hearing the disciples in their own languages, you will find other languages intertwined in this setting.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

About Those "Alleluias"

All for Hymn commenter Steve left this note about singing Alleluias during "A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing."  I find it appropriate as we close out the Easter Season to meditate on this wonderful word, which was put away for Lent and brought back out in all its glory for Easter.

Find me a person who doesn't love the "Alleluia." They're pretty irresitable...

I often wonder how many people REALLY understand what they are singing when they sing or respond with an "Alleluia." They obviusly know they've sung it countless times and feel the joy and satisfying peace it creates in their soul somehow. Perhaps for some it's just a peace due to it's familiarity to them. As humans, we all naturally tend to migrate to those familiar things or surroundings to find peace, rest and comfort.

But do they realize the word "Alleluia" is Hebrew for "praise the Lord" (though in its Greek spelling). It is a word of joy and gladness. So, when we sing or speak that "Alleluia" we are really saying - "praise the Lord!".

So how much more powerful could our "Alleluia's" be in knowing that? Even greater! As Christian's those "Alleluia's" come from deep within. They come from that place where God himself has written HIS name our hearts marking us as his own.

Now those "Alleluia's" become even more familiar to us. Not just in history and repition, but in knowing we are a child of God. Chosen and saved by his redeeming grace. In knowing and believing that, is when we find our TRUE sense of peace. What more could we ask for? There is nothing more. As a Christian, we have everything we need. What overwhelming peace, joy and comfort that is.


Here are some musical settings that contain this special word. Some classic, some modern, some traditional, some contemporary.


Randall Thompson
Performed by
Trinity College Konzertchor


Antonio Vivaldi
Sung by countertenor Andreas Scholl


Sing Alleluia, Allelu
Asian Children's Choir
African/Gospel Style


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sung by 6th, 7th and 8th Graders


Celtic Alleluia
This is used
before the Gospel Reading
during the Mass
The Alleluias remain constant,
but the verse changes
with each given Sunday.


Agnus Dei

Michael W. Smith
In spite of the title,
which means, "Lamb of God,"
there are a ton of alleluias in this song!


Les Archanges
"Souffle de Vie" Chanson #7


African Alleluia

arranged by Jay Althouse


George Fredrick Handel
performed by the Bethany College Choir
Bethany, Virginia

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Global Lutheran Choir Now Forming!

Virtual Choirs can be pretty awesome. Check out this recording by composer and conductor Eric Whitacre.


Lux calida gravisque
pura velut aurum canunt
et canunt angeli
canunt molliter natum
modo natum.

A virtual choir is now forming. Details are sketchy but Dan from Lutheran Time Out and Matthew from Radical Grace Radio are involved, along with yours truly.

We will start with just recorded voices, so a simple headset and free software on your home computer will do. Video may come later in the project.

What you will need:

If you are interested in participating in this project, join our facebook group! Please let us know what part you sing or what instrument you play.

In the mean time, here is another setting of Lux Aurumque. Translation will follow in a future post. My Latin resources are limited right now.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Ascension of our Lord: A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing

The Ascension is often a forgotten festival. 40 days after our Lord's resurrection, he ascends into heaven. The church celebrates this in real time, which makes to day the 40th day after Easter Sunday.

My favorite hymns for this day are "A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing" and "Up Through Endless Ranks of Angels." I was unable to locate video for the latter, but the tune for the former has many settings available. While most settings are joyous and exuberant, there are a couple of surprisingly meditative setting towards the latter half of this hymn.

The text from Lutheran Service Book is under copyright, so here is the public domain text as found on the original Cyber Hymnal.


A setting by Paul Manz


A hymn of glory let us sing
New songs throughout the world shall ring
Alleluia, Alleluia.
Christ, by a road before untrod
Ascendeth to the throne of God.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

A setting of the tune for brass and organ


The holy apostolic band
Upon the Mount of Olives stand
Alleluia, Alleluia.
And with His followers they see
Jesus’ resplendent majesty
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

The organ at the Chapel of our Lord
Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois


To Whom the angels drawing nigh,
“Why stand and gaze upon the sky?”
Alleluia, Alleluia.
“This is the Savior,” thus they say.
“This is His noble triumph day.”
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Setting for Ocarina
based on Ralph Vaughn Williams


“Again ye shall behold Him so,
As ye have today seen Him go.”
Alleluia, Alleluia.
“In glorious pomp ascending high
Up to the portals of the sky.”
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Classic hymn setting
with a little improv here and there.


O grant us thitherward to tend
And with unwearied hearts ascend,
Alleluia, Alleluia.
Unto Thy kingdom’s throne, where Thou
As is our faith, art seated now,
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Organ Improvisation/Meditation


Be Thou our Joy and strong Defense,
Who art our future Recompense,
Alleluia, Alleluia.
So shall the light that springs from Thee
Be ours through all eternity,
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Setting for Bagpipe and Drum


O risen Christ, ascended Lord,
All praise to Thee let earth accord,
Alleluia, Alleluia.
Who art, while endless ages run,
With Father and with Spirit One,
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Setting by Dan Miller
This one uses interesting rhythms

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lena Horne: June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010

Legendary songstress Lena Horne passed away on Sunday. Lena broke through the color barrier early in her career and later participated in the civil rights movement of the 60's.

Here's the AP news release (please pardon the commercial that precedes it) and perhaps her most famous song. Following those, a few things just for fun. I vote for Moon River as tops in this group!


AP News Release


"Stormy Weather"
Full version from 1943


"It's Not Easy Being Green"
Lena Horne and Kermit the Frog


"I Got Rhythm"
Lena Horne (source unknown)


"I Feel So Smoochy"
Original 1940's recording
Re-released in 1958

This one was for my dad.
"Smoochy" sounds like a word in his vocabulary!

Sound of Majesty Bonus: The Glen Ellyn-Wheaton Chorale

Those of you who are in the Chicagoland area can check out the 25th Anniversary Concert of the Glen-Ellyn Wheaton Chorale this Friday or Saturday. Tickets are just $15 in advance, with discounts for students and seniors.

The chorale is directed by Sound of Majesty host Greg Wheatley.


Promotional Video
featuring Greg Wheatley


Excerpt from Vivaldi's Gloria
The Glen Ellyn-Wheaton Chorale

Monday, May 10, 2010

Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Chorus @ Martin Luther College

Here's the concert of the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Chorus at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota.

These are schools of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod and their sole purpose is the training of church workers.

Please let All for Hymn know of any other sacred concerts available for embed on the net. You can drop the suggestion in any comment box.

Bob Dylan, Wierd Al and Palindromes: What a combination!


One side topic I wanted to incorporate with this blog was usage and grammar.  I don't see many people writing about this, so I do not have a reference point to go off of (please excuse the dangling participle!).

On a side note, if you know of blogs or other sites that deal with these subjects, feel free to leave a link in the comments.

Back to the topic at hand, facebook friend Bob posted this video from Weird Al Yankovic.  It is a parody of a Bob Dylan song that uses all palindromes.  A palendrome is a word of phrase that is spelled the same forwards and backwards.  Simple palendromes include the word, "noon" and the name, "Bob."  A classic palendrome sentence is, "Able was I, ere I saw Elba."  Another example (provided by Weird Al) is found at the top of this post.

This literary device does not get used much in the church realm, but it does get you thinking about creative writing, so here is Weird Al's "Bob" followed by the original Bob Dylan work, "Subterranian Homesick Blues."


"Bob" by Weird Al Yankovic


"Subterranean Homesick Blues" by Bob Dylan


Note: Can someone explain to me what They Might Be Giant's "I Palindrome I" has to do with Palindromes?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

... to Jewish mothers everywhere!  No, my mother is Jewish (at least going back a couple generations) but these boys happen to be singing to their Jewish mothers.

I once noted to a Jewish friend, some of us are Jewish by blood, others are Jewish by our baptism.  In other words, God chose the ancient Hebrews as His people out of all the other nations.  He preserved a blood line that stretched from Adam all the way to Jesus.

God's plan of salvation was not exclusive to the ancient Hebrews though. He continues to call people from every tribe and nation.  To those who are called later in life, He plants faith in their hearts through the spoken or written Word and forgives and seals them through the "external Word" of Baptism.  To those who are called from birth, Baptism imparts faith and forgiveness and places God's seal on the individual.  In human terms, these infants or young children are not able to believe for themselves, yet with God's promise carried out through the ancient prophets of the Hebrews and fulfilled in our Lord, Jesus Christ faith is imparted into these individuals through the miracle of Baptism.

Here's Shmacapella with the African Freedom Song (Siyahamba, or We are Marching in the Light of God) and a little Mother's Day surprise in the middle.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Deep River: Paul Robeson or William Warfield?

Facebook friend Aaron noted that "Deep River is best with Paul Robeson."

What about William Warfield?" I wondered.

I will leave it to my readership to decide, thanks to the miracle of modern youtube and an old wind-up record player. Cast your votes in the comment box.

Paul Robeson from the 1936 version of Showboat


William Warfield, probably around 1951,
the year MGM's Showboat was released.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Off Topic: Tigers Broadcaster Ernie Harwell Tribute

If you lived in or around Michigan or could pick up the Tigers broadcast over WJR Radio in Detroit, you would most likely hear the voice of Ernie Harwell behind the mic. He began broadcasting for the Tigers in 1960.

The Lord called Ernie home a few days ago. Ernie's speaks of God's work in his life at this tribute to him before a game in September, 2009.