I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor his name. I'll do what is right; I'll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

Monday, February 20, 2017

LDS Hymn #69



In the key of C, this is one of my easier hymns to play and it even has some moving parts. Though there are parts my small hands cannot reach the span in the men's parts. Still in the Praising section, this has a more older feel to its language (and I looked at the composer and lyricist info--makes sense why!). May favorite part is all of Verse 3, mentioning the songs sung before He was crucified and resurrected, and then the songs we sing to Him now that He is exalted and asking Him to accept our praises and love now.

From the history book
I like that it mentions on what we call Palm Sunday there were crowds of joyous followers, yet after he was arrested their loyalty faded. Then it asks "Are we among those who will remain faithful to the Savior in times of persecution and hardship? This song was originally a Latin hymn that was 78 lines long! It was written in 820 A.D., intended as a processional hymn on Palm Sunday. There is a legend associated with the hymn: The author was imprisoned by an emperor because the latter thought he was conspiring against him with his relatives. During the procession in Orleans while the emperor was visiting, they happened to stop under the tower where the composer was imprisoned and a voice was heard singing this hymn over the procession. The emperor wanted to know who the unseen singer was and was moved by what he heard. He pardoned his prisoner and sent him back to being a bishop. The legend they believe is fake, but shows how popular the hymn has been--lasting well over a thousand years in Christianity. The current hymnal is the first time an LDS hymnal included this hymn. A word change to reflect our doctrine (praise and love rather than prayer). And the tune is always what is paired with this hymn, which matches a marching processional.

Lyrics

  1. 1. All glory, laud, and honor
    To thee, Redeemer, King,
    To whom the lips of children
    Made sweet hosannas ring.
    Thou art the King of Israel,
    Thou David's royal Son,
    Who in the Lord's name comest,
    The King and Blessed One.
  2. 2. The company of angels
    Are praising thee on high,
    And mortal men and all things
    Created make reply.
    The people of the Hebrews
    With palms before thee went;
    Our praise and love and anthems
    Before thee we present.
  3. 3. To thee, before thy passion,
    They sang their hymns of praise;
    To thee, now high exalted,
    Our melody we raise.
    Thou didst accept their praises;
    Accept the love we bring,
    Who in all good delightest,
    Thou good and gracious King.
  4. Text: Theodulph of Orleans, ca. 760-821
    Music: Melchior Teschner, 1584-1635

Friday, February 17, 2017

LDS Hymn #68



Much of Christianity is familiar with this hymn. I remember liking it when I was younger. Liked hearing it sung. And all those fermatas made it stand out. But then somewhere--perhaps Seminary, maybe college--when it would get sung whoever was leading would hold out those fermatas to a ridiculous amount of time, dragging out the song instead of letting it be one of praise and honor. It got to be a little frustrating for me. In recent years, I have been able to choose and lead the music. Fermatas are a director's great power in holding as long as they wish. So I would have been able to keep them shorter and not drag the song. But I discovered that I don't lead fermatas well at all. I think I only picked it once. But it isn't the song's fault that I haven't been as much a fan of it. I should reacquaint myself with the majestic words matching the majestic tune. And appreciate that it is one I am able to play fairly easily. My favorite line inspite of "our differences :-) has always been: "He overcometh all."

From the history book
The hymn dated back to 1529, with the first line etched on author Martin Luther's tomb. It is inspired by Psalm 46. Its original language was German and has been translated into many others. Luther believed in the importance of musical worship and wanted to set up congregational singing throughout Protestant churches. The book contains quotes related to that. I particularly like Luther's own stating, "music is a gift and grace of God, not an invention of men." Apparently there are 3 other verses that most hymnals include. The LDS hymnal only includes the first (which adapted version of lyrics I included here).

1. A mighty fortress is our God,
a tower of strength never failing.
A helper mighty is our God
O'er ills of life prevailing.
He overcometh all.
He saveth from the Fall.
His might and pow'r are great.
He all things did create.
And he shall reign for evermore.

2. Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side,
the man of God's own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth, his name,
from age to age the same,
and he must win the battle.

3. And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.

4. That word above all earthly powers,
no thanks to them, abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours,
thru him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill;
God's truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

LDS Hymn #67

Hymn #67 - Glory to God on High


Always liked this hymn for its praising nature, its simplicity to sing, its easiness to play, and those two unison measures in the middle to bring us together as we praise His name. Love all the words. They state messages of the Atonement. The song invites us here on earth and those in heaven to join together in one song of love. Ah--beautiful!!

From the history book
That song mentioned correlates to the one mentioned in Revelation 5:9-13, which this hymn is an adaptation of. The tune name is Italian Hymn which honors the composer's nationality. It was published in 1761 and included in most Christian hymnals, though the text is not generally the same even if it is still of praise.

Lyrics

  1. 1. Glory to God on high!
    Let heav'n and earth reply.
    Praise ye his name.
    His love and grace adore,
    Who all our sorrows bore.
    Sing aloud evermore:
    Worthy the Lamb!
  2. 2. Jesus, our Lord and God,
    Bore sin's tremendous load.
    Praise ye his name.
    Tell what his arm has done,
    What spoils from death he won.
    Sing his great name alone:
    Worthy the Lamb!
  3. 3. Let all the hosts above
    Join in one song of love,
    Praising his name.
    To him ascribed be
    Honor and majesty
    Thru all eternity:
    Worthy the Lamb!
  4. Text: James Allen, 1734-1804, alt.
    Music: Felice de Giardini, 1716-1796

Thursday, February 9, 2017

LDS Hymn #66



The Praising section of the hymnbook is one of my favorites, as my favorite way to praise my Heavenly Father and my Savior is with song. And these songs allow me to do so in great fervor and spirit and joy--with all of me in the one talent I am (for now) best at. This particular hymn is sung often--in Conferences, in regular Sunday meetings. Quite often, for which I am glad. It really stands out for the measures when the music is written in unison, unifying the singers together in two ways instead of just one. But when the parts split, they just drive the message home more. And then the chorus is perfect with the words "Lift up your heart! Lift up your voice!" as it slowly ascends. Even with its dotted rhythms and accidentals (luckily in the key of C!), this is one that I have enjoyed playing and don't have too much difficulty in playing. So for me, this song excels in its composition, text, spirit, musicality, ease of play, and feeling.

From the history book
Based on the scripture Philippians 4:4. The tune was written in 1894 for these words and was given the name JUBILATE, which means "rejoice" in Latin. She also points out how perfectly suited the tune is to the text. Other hymnals have another verse: "Rejoice in glorious hope! Our Lord the Judge shall come, And take his servants up To their eternal home." Many other denominations use a different tune called DARWALL, which is what the current LDS hymnal uses for Hymn #265 ("Arise O God and Shine"), with a word change in line two to match syllables and notes. DARWALL also has an upward movement which words for the words.

Nothing said about Charles Wesley, the lyricist. According to Wikipedia, he was an English leader of the Methodist movement who wrote more than 6,000 hymns. This is the 1st of 6 of his hymns that we have in our hymnal, though I already wrote about one of the Christmas ones, and one of the the "New Year's ones" which I haven't written about yet but which my ward choir is working on right now. He writes some good rejoicing music for singers!

Lyrics

  1. 1. Rejoice, the Lord is King!
    Your Lord and King adore!
    Mortals, give thanks and sing
    And triumph evermore.
  2. (Chorus)
    Lift up your heart! Lift up your voice!
    Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!
    Lift up your heart! Lift up your voice!
    Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!
  3. 2. The Lord, the Savior, reigns,
    The God of truth and love.
    When he had purged our stains,
    He took his seat above.
  4. 3. His kingdom cannot fail;
    He rules o'er earth and heav'n.
    The keys of death and hell
    To Christ the Lord are giv'n.
  5. Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788
    Music: Horatio Parker, 1863-1919

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

LDS Hymn #65




(This confused me, since a couple of rhythms were wrong, and I wondered why the first time through he skipped the middle line unless he thought the two repeated lines unnecessary. Then I figured out he was playing the full introduction as suggested in the hymnal.)

Not an often-sung hymn in our congregations, even though it is written by Our Brother Phelps and included in the first hymnal. Perhaps it is that 2/2 time signature. Eep. Of the "normal" time signatures, I think I have discovered that one is my least favorite. Especially in a hymn like this when it has so many quarter notes, yet they aren't quarter notes. (Forgive my lack of musical theory skills and knowledge because I don't know how else to describe them.) The melody is extremely simple. And the basses get some very nice notes--my choir would be envious because I keep giving them high notes. Oops.

A nice praising song of our Lord, particularly the first 2 verses. The last 2 are more about being righteous so we can return to live with Him again. Also, this hymn could technically be shorter, since there are 3 lines, and line 2 and 3 are exactly the same in each verse. So one could find a melody that fit only line 1 and 2 of the song and make it work. (Oh! I found one!!) Apparently I played this in my early organ lesson days when I didn't have to worry so much on the pedal. I should really consider it for my choir on one of our easier months.

From the history book
Though included in the first hymnal, this song does not dwell on any of the hardships they were facing. It was simply about praising and rejoicing. She mentions how this one will appeal to those who love to sing hymns, particularly for the reference of singing praises in verse 1 and verse 4 (where we join a heavenly choir). Agreed. I as a lover of hymns and hymn singing particularly love those hymns that refer to singing praises. There is a fabulous paragraph she writes with a nod to us ward music directors, but I love her last line: "The words of this hymn are an excellent tonic for anyone who has fallen into the habit of half-hearted hymn-singing." Shame on them, though it happens too often. So I like that whether serious or slight jest, she addressed that. In verse 2, Brother Phelps simply stated in just 8 words the central message of Christianity in alluding to the Atonement and reminding us of its importance.

She talks about the rhythm and measures and such, but she used just enough theory jargon to put it out of my un-theory trained understanding. Brother Cornwall said "The rhythm of this hymn tine is the musical reason for its inclusion," and yet I feel that is the reason it is no longer sung! But well done to William Bradbury for something unique, even if I don't understand it.

Lyrics

  1. 1. Come, all ye Saints who dwell on earth,
    Your cheerful voices raise,
    Our great Redeemer's love to sing,
    And celebrate his praise,
    Our great Redeemer's love to sing,
    And celebrate his praise.
  2. 2. His love is great; he died for us.
    Shall we ungrateful be,
    Since he has marked a road to bliss
    And said, "Come, follow me,"
    Since he has marked a road to bliss
    And said, "Come, follow me"?
  3. 3. The straight and narrow way we've found!
    Then let us travel on,
    Till we, in the celestial world,
    Shall meet where Christ is gone,
    Till we, in the celestial world,
    Shall meet where Christ is gone.
  4. 4. And there we'll join the heav'nly choir
    And sing his praise above,
    While endless ages roll around,
    Perfected by his love,
    While endless ages roll around,
    Perfected by his love.
  5. Text: William W. Phelps, 1792-1872. Included in the first LDS hymnbook, 1835.
    Music: William B. Bradbury, 1816-1868

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

LDS Hymn #64



Another praising song with Alleluias! This time they are not scattered in the verse like Hymn #62, but are the opening part of the chorus. I adore the chorus of this song! All about rejoicing through song. That always gets to my heart. And the tune of this one is fabulous--goes perfectly with the attitude of praising and joy. Generally sung on Sundays because of the reference to being in a place of worship. But often sung in General Conferences and other times we meet together as Saints. Text and music written by the same composer of Hymn #63.

From the history book
Dr. Robertson was the chairman of the General Church Music Committee. At the time, youth choruses were being encoraged, so he wrote this song for them in hopes of bringing "music of great quality to the youth of the LDS Church." What we have in our hymnal is abridge and adapted from his original anthem. Generally Brother Robertson set already written words to music, but he wanted to write the words for this as well. His daughter said, "My father always loved to set to music the Hebrew word Alleluia, probably because of its inherently beautiful sounds, its historical importance, and its meaning." And he does a wonderful job at it!

His daughter also pointed out that the three basic elements of a hymn are that it is 1) a song 2) of praise 3) to the Lord. And this song is all 3.

Here is another video with the song sung a little more reflective than general, which is not only beautiful because of that, but because it is our BYU choir men. *Sigh* Anything sounds better with men who can sing singing it! :-) PLUS! I believe this was one of Dr. Staheli's last performances as a conductor before he retired. I miss singing under his leadership.

Lyrics

  1. 1. On this day of joy and gladness,
    Lord, we praise thy holy name;
    In this sacred place of worship,
    We thy glories loud proclaim!
  2. (Chorus)
    Alleluia, Alleluia,
    Bright and clear our voices ring,
    Singing songs of exultation
    To our Maker, Lord, and King!
  3. 2. Open wide the fount of Zion;
    Let her richest blessings flow
    To the Saints who nobly serve thee
    In the gospel here below.
  4. 3. May we labor in the kingdom--
    By the prophets long foretold--
    Where the children of the promise
    Shall be gathered in the fold.
  5. Text and music: Leroy J. Robertson, 1896-1971
    (c) 1980 IRI

Monday, February 6, 2017

LDS Hymn #63


A hymn not often sung in our congregations. A fairly simple melody and only two verses. Seems like an obvious choice to me, but, well..... Yeah. Part of the praising songs. The first verse works especially well for the close of a meeting because, at least for me, that is how I feel after being fed by the Spirit--longing to raise my heart in prayer and praise.

From the history book
It points out that the hymn unites two thoughts--prayer of gratitude and then our realization that the wonders of nature also praise God. This connects with Psalm 145:10--"All they works shall praise thee, O Lord." She also quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson when he said "Therefore is Nature ever the ally of Religion: lends all her pomp and riches to the religious sentiment." So true!

Lyrics

  1. 1. Great King of heav'n, our hearts we raise
    To thee in prayer, to thee in praise.
    The vales exult, the hills acclaim,
    And all thy works revere thy name.
  2. 2. O Israel's God! Thine arm is strong.
    To thee all earth and skies belong,
    And with one voice in one glad chord,
    With myriad echoes, praise the Lord.
  3. Text: Carrie Stockdale Thomas, 1848-1931. (c) 1948 IRI
    Music: Leroy J. Robertson, 1896-1971. (c) 1948 IRI