Friday, September 11, 2009

Choir notes from Cassie

Long throughout myth and legend has man searched for the fountain of youth, looking for the answers to immortality. From our well known Ponce De Leon and his supposed Floridian discoveries, to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, we see the desperate actions and tales scraping for this ultimate goal of eternity. Unfortunately, those characters grasp for continuing a mortal life destined to end, for Christ paradoxically states, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:34-35).

This Sunday, the Choir will be singing the anthem O God of Youth, containing the final verse:

May we be true to him, our captain of salvation,
Bearing his cross in service glad and free,
Winning the world to that last consummation
When all its kingdom shall His kingdom be.

What does this hymn have to do with youth? As you will hear on Sunday, the word “youth” is only mentioned once in the hymn, yet was deemed so important as to be placed in the hymn’s first phrase. Virtues connected with Christ (our God of Youth) are sprinkled throughout the text in the form of prayer. Prayer for steadfastness, zeal, bravery, valiance, and His “clear-eyed” faith and light all reflect the virtues of youth needed to bear one’s cross through this life.

The melodic structure of this hymn also reflects the nature of the text’s message. You will hear the choir sing long, beautiful, flowing phrases-- phrases not confined to any one consistent meter. These lines produce the musical image of free-flowing streams and rivers that run on endlessly to that true fountain of youth where “all its kingdom shall His kingdom be,” and ages shall drop in it like rain.


  1. Yes, we are fascinated by youth. What is the last product you saw advertised that would make you appear older? Age brings both physical and mental problems that often cannot be resolved, although perhaps less today than in the past. Still it is good to know that these are not part of the reality most religious people consider a part of the afterlife. While we're waiting, however, we should consider visiting those elderly who are in homes or institutions so they can tell us about their youths.

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