Monday, February 27, 2012

Show Me the Way to Go Home...

This past Sunday, First Sunday in Lent, at my local Novus Ordo parish we started and ended with beautiful old Anglican hymns. For the processional it was Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days by Claudia F. Hernaman (1873), set to the tune St. Flavian, and for the recessional Forty Days and Forty Nights by George H. Smyttan (1856), set to the tune Heinlein. They were especially moving sung in that order. The first has a simple upbeat tune that invites us to join in the experience of Jesus in the desert while marking the transition from the outside secular "hubbub" to the reflective sacred space of the temple of God. The second repeats the theme, but to a more somber tune, sending us out in a mood to keep a holy lent in spite of the many distractions we shall face through the week.

At the offertory is was a contemporary hymn, "Hosea" by Gregory Norbet, OSB, published by the Benedictine Monks of Weston Priory in Vermont. Can't say that I remember anything from it, however I made a note at the time -- "Not bad."

The post communion hymn, "Save Your People" by Jim Farrell, was based on the Psalm Dominus illuminatio (Ps 27; 26 in the Vulgate). The refrain, with it's line "show us the way to come home," is set to a simple pleasant melody and reminds me ever so much of--
Show me the way to go home.
I'm tired and I want to go to bed.
I had a little drink about an hour ago
And it went right to my head.

There's a verse too, not that it has much of a melody to sing it to.

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