Sundays in Song: About this Week's Music

September through May we post the hymns and service music,

as well as the choral and instrumental music, that will be included in the 

upcoming Sunday's liturgy. You can also visit past seasons, and explore upcoming selections.


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~ Sunday, October 2 ~

The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 22)

The Feast of St. Francis (Observed)

Opening Voluntary: Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier,  by J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

Processional Hymn: Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim (Paderborn)

Song of Praise: “Glory to God in the highest" (William Mathias, 1934-1992)

Psalm: Psalm 37:1-10, sung in simplified Anglican Chant by the St. David's Singers

Offertory Anthem: Come, thou fount of every blessing, arr. Michael Rickelton (b. 1985)

Offertory Hymn: Lord, make us servants of your peace (Dickinson College)

Sanctus: “Holy, holy, holy” (William Mathias)

Communion Anthem: Gaelic Blessing, by John Rutter (b. 1945)

Communion Hymn: Be thou my vision (Slane)

Recessional Hymn: Rise up, ye saints of God (Festal Song)

Closing Voluntary:  Prelude in G Major, BWV 541, by J.S. Bach


~ Sunday, September 25 ~

The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 21)


Opening Voluntary: Toccata in C Major, from BWV 574, by J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

Processional Hymn: Immortal, invisible (St. Denio)

Song of Praise: “Glory to God in the highest (William Mathias, 1934-1992)

Psalm: Psalm 146, setting by E.C. Bairstow (1874-1946)

Offertory Anthem: How Beauteous are their Feet that Stand on Zion's Hill, by C.V. Stanford (1852-1924)

Offertory Hymn: My God, thy table now is spread (Rockingham)

Sanctus: “Holy, holy, holy” (William Mathias)

Communion Anthem: Draw us in the Spirit's Tether (1905-1958)

Communion Hymn: Lord, we have come at your own invitation (O quanta qualia)

Recessional Hymn: Tell out my soul (Birmingham)

Closing Voluntary:  Fugue in C Major, from BWV 574, by J.S. Bach


~ Sunday, September 18 ~

The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 20)


A Service of Evensong for the Feast of Hildegard von Bingen (transferred)

Opening Voluntary: Overture, from Messiah, by G.F. Händel (1685-1759)

Processional Hymn: Glorious things of thee are spoken (Austria)

Song of Praise: “Glory to God in the highest (William Mathias, 1934-1992)

Psalm: Psalm 113, setting by George Thalben-Ball (1896-1987)

Offertory Anthem: Jubilate, by Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)

Offertory Hymn: I want to walk as a child of the light (Houston)

Sanctus: “Holy, holy, holy” (William Mathias)

Communion Anthem: Give almes of thy goods, by Christopher Tye (c. 1505-1573)

Communion Hymn: There is a balm in Gilead (Balm in Gilead)

Recessional Hymn: How firm a foundation (Foundation)

Closing Voluntary:  Allegro maestoso e vivace, from Organ Sonata in C Minor, Op. 65, no. 2, by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

The Service of Evensong

Prelude Recital:
    Selections from Frauenliebe und -leben, by Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

        II. Er, der Herrlichste von allen

        IV. Du Ring an meinem Finger

        VI. Süßer Freund

        VII. An meinem Herzen     
            Claire Galloway Weber, mezzo-soprano, and Douglas Buchanan, piano

    God as she makes this earth, by Frances Pollock (b. 1990)

            Claire Galloway Weber, mezzo-soprano; Ledah Finck, violin; Irene Kim, 'cello;

            Stephanie Ray, alto flute; Brad Testerman, soprano saxophone;

            Michael Repper, conductor

Opening Hymn: I'll praise my maker while I've breath (Old 113th)

Preces and Responses: Michael Rickelton (b. 1983)

Phos Hilaron: Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585)

Gradual: Psalm 96, setting by Thomas Norris (1741-1790)

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis: C.V. Stanford (1852-1924)

Anthem: Heyr þú oss himnum á, by Anna Thorvaldsdottir (b. 1977)

Closing Hymn: When in our music God is glorified (Engelberg)

Closing Volunary: Improvisation on Hildegard von Bingen's O ignis Spiritus paracliti, by Douglas Buchanan (b. 1984)

The music for this week exists at the crossroads of joy and humility, invoking the spirit of the psalmist ("Give praise, you servants of the Lord") as well as the message of the Old Testament (warning those whoe "trample on the needy") and the Gospel (the dishonest manager acting against the "children of the light"). Tye's restrained and noble anthem assures the listener that generosity to the poor will, for in doing so "the face of the Lord shall never be turned away from thee." It seems fitting, then, to open the service with a musical work that precedes messages of comfort and joy, and assurances that the "crooked will be made straight," namely, Händel's Messiah. The overture to this oratorio, which Händel completed 275 years ago this week, opens our service, beginning with proud dotted rhythms before transitioning into a fast, fugal texture.

Meanwhile, Britten's Jubilate evokes joy in its bell-like lines, encouraging all the lands to "serve the Lord with gladness and come before his presence with a song." This is particularly fitting this week, as we celebrate the opening of the Evensong series which coincides with the Feast of Hildegard von Bingen on September 17th. At this Evensong, we pay special attention to women composers and poets, featuring God as she makes this earth (created by Baltimore poet Vanessa Moody and composer Frances Pollock) in the prelude recital and Heyr þú oss himnum á ("Hear us in heaven") by Icelandic composer Anna Thorvoldsdottir as the anthem. The service ends with an improvisation performed by St. David's organist Douglas Buchanan based on Hildegard von Bingen's chant O ignis Spiritus paracliti. As a whole, the services for today embody the message of the Icelandic text: 

Síst skarta sönglist má, sé þar ekki elskan hjá.

("We cannot make a joyful song unless moved by love")

~ Sunday, September 11 ~

St. David’s Day (Transferred) and Homecoming Sunday

The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 19)


Opening Voluntary: Come, all ye Sons of Art, by Henry Purcell

       Christopher Shiley and John Ehrenburg, Trumpets

Processional Hymn: All creatures of our God and King (Lasst uns erfreuen)

Song of Praise: “Glory to God in the highest (William Mathias, 1934-1992)

Psalm: Psalm 51, v. 1-11, sung in Anglican chant (setting by William Crotch, 1775-1847)

Offertory Anthem: Let all the World in Every Corner Sing, by Richard Proulx (1937-2010)

Offertory Hymn: When in our music God is glorified (Engelberg)

Sanctus: “Holy, holy, holy” (William Mathias)

Communion Anthem: Wo ist so ein herrlich Volk, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Communion Hymn: Lord of all hopefulness (Slane)

Recessional Hymn: God of grace, and God of glory (Cwm Rhondda)

Closing Voluntary: Carillon de Longpont, by Louis Vierne (1870-1937)


At St. David’s, the first Sunday after Labor Day is Homecoming Sunday, a time to welcome back families from vacation, to start the program year, and to join with the Choir in singing hymns and psalms of praise. This year, we hold this spirit of celebration and the act of looking towards the future with the remembrance of the fifteenth anniversary of September 11th.

With this in mind, it may at first seem strange that our music today is, in general, jubilant, from the regal, triumphant nature of Lasst uns erfreuen ("All creatures of our God and King"), to the celebrated liturgical composer Richard Proulx's energetic setting of George Herbert's Antiphon ("Let all the world in every corner sing"). But, throughout our service today, the emphasis is on a people that lives, heals, and works together through music-making and community, calling on "all creatures," "all ye Sons (and Daughters!) of Art," to glorify God – the "Lord of all hopefulness...whose presence is balm" – not only through our songs, but our interactions with the world. 

This is emphasized in both our closing hymn (whose third verse implores: "Cure thy children's warring madness, bend our pride to thy control") as well as Brahms' sublime 8-part motet Wo ist so ein herrlich Volk, which weds remebrance of things past with hope for the future:

And what nation is there so great

that hath statutes and judgements so righteous

as all this law, which I set up before you this day?

Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently,

lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen,

and lest they depart from thy heart,

all the days of thy life:

but teach them thy offspring, and thy offspring's offspring.


(translation Jürgen Puschbeck)


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