Friday, September 4, 2009

Rousing hymns for Rally Day

This Sunday, we get to sing some of my favorite hymns, great rousing tunes from the ELW. The opening hymn will be "Rise Up, O Saints of God." I can think of no better way to start the "new season." I always think of back-to-school season as a second opportunity for resolutions. For students especially, it's a chance to set new goals and make big changes.

At communion, we'll sing "Around You, O Lord Jesus." Its text is a beautiful statement of coming together as a community, and it's tune is a third waltz - in addition to the new hymn of praise and the choir anthem.

The closing hymn is "Earth and All Stars," the St. Olaf hymn. I've heard some people say the text is not focused enough on faith, but I think it's great that it lists so many of the mundane aspects of life that can all celebrate and praise God. Even our classrooms and labs, even loud crashing cymbals, everything, every person, and every sound is part of the symphony of creation.

I also want to mention the prelude (Andantino by David Wehr), because of its metrical contrast with the waltzes and marches that constitute so much of the service. It's a modern piece with mixed meter, but the predominant meter has seven beats to the measure. That unique chocie by the composer will make it feel almost like there is no meter - just a constant flowing chant. It has a laid back, relaxed feeling that should provide a meditative environment before the service. I hope you enjoy.


  1. The Earth and All Stars selection fits so well with the choir anthem, in that it sees God in all creation. The mystical perspective is so often lost in our rational explanations. Each has its place, I hope.

  2. Tom, the Wehr was gorgeous! It certainly provided the meditative atmosphere you were trying to achieve. --And the end of that Andantino,-- it was just perfect.