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Hymn Meditation

Hymn Meditation | Feast of St. Francis

October 5, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: God of the Sparrow | ROEDER

So often on this day, the church talks about Francis’ love of animals and creation. We usually focus on how God loves and protects all of creation. Jaroslav Vajda, a Lutheran theologian and poet, turns these ideas around in this hymn as asks questions about how creation acknowledges God and says thank you. There is no punctuation in Vajda’s poetry – almost as though the questions go beyond what is asked here and seem to suggest that all of creation can never thank God for all the good he provides. The tune by Carl Schalk, a noted Lutheran theologian and composer, is easily singable and fits Vajda’s text beautifully. Vajda and Schalk worked on many hymns and anthems together. Their most well-known collaboration is perhaps the hymn “Now the Silence.” As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer. Both the text and music remain under copyright and are presented here for devotional purposes only.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 18

September 28, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: If Thou but Trust in God to Guide Thee | WER NUR DEN LIEBEN GOTT

This hymn tune, written by German composer Georg Neumark is one of the most frequently sung tunes of the 17th Century. Neumark wrote 34 hymns, this one being one of the most frequent. The Picardy third (a musical device that changes the last chord from minor to major) at the end of the last verse is an individual decision but reflects the hopeful nature found at the end of the text. If you look through the hymnal at German chorale tunes, you will frequently see the name Catherine Winkworth. Though British, she was born in Germany in the 19th century and had a deep love of the German chorale and ecclesiological writings. She is responsible for most of the German translations found in hymnals to this day. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 17

September 21, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: God Is Love | MANDATUM

Richard Proulx was a composer, church musician and teacher who served in several faith traditions. A composer of over 250 pieces, he was best known for serving as Director of Music at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. His compositions are sung around the country by various faith communities. MANDATUM is one of Proulx’s better known tunes and is most often used on Maundy Thursday (with which the tune shares it’s name). James Quinn’s text, also drawn from the love of God found in Maundy Thursday, is paired here with great ease. Though written for another time in the church year, Quinn’s text reflects the nature of this past Sunday’s Gospel and Sermon to share the love of Christ with everyone, without qualification. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Feast of St. James

September 14, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Lord, Who Shall Sit Beside Thee | CHRISTUS DER IST MEIN LEBEN

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we were not able to gather together to celebrate our Patronal feast in July. This Sunday, we celebrated the Feast of Saint James the Apostle – Follower of Jesus, witness to the Ascension and early Martyr. William Romanis, an Anglican Priest, wrote the text for this hymn in direct reflection on the Gospel for this Sunday and the importance of Saint James in the communion of saints. The prolific German composer Melchior Vulpius wrote many hymn tunes and was Cantor and teacher in Weimar until his death in 1615. This tune, which translates as “For Me to Live is Jesus,” is one of over 400 hymn tunes Vulpius wrote and pairs perfectly with Romanis’ text. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 15

September 7, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Thine Arm, O Lord | ST. MATTHEW

If you’ve been a regular follower of these hymn meditations, you may notice that this hymn feels fresh in your memory. Indeed, it formed the hymn meditation a few months ago (the video and audio content for this week is brand new). The poetry of hymns, however, has an ability to reflect fresh on the words that surround it. This is the case for the Rev. Deacon Julie Beals’ sermon on Sunday which invited us to love, care for and protect all of God’s children. The author of this text, Edward H. Plumptre, was an Oxford educated priest and biblical scholar. The second verse refers to a town that we don’t often talk about in hymnody. Gennesaret was a town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 14

August 31, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: O Thou Who Camest From Above | HEREFORD

As did the sermon from Sunday, the text of this hymn by Charles Wesley invites us to share in the love of God as God has perfected and shared his love with us. Wesley is well known as the father of Methodism. Like Luther before him, his original intent wasn’t to form a new denomination, but to reform and revive the Church of England. His writings and teachings ultimately led to the formation of the Methodist Church. The tune, HEREFORD, was written by Wesley’s grandson - Samuel Sebastian Wesley. The younger Wesley was an English composer in the early 19th Century and primarily wrote music for the organ and use in church services. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 13

August 24, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Shepherd of Souls, Refresh and Bless | ST. AGNES

These words of Jesus, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.” (John 6:56) formed the central tenants of Sunday’s sermon. It is through Jesus’ body and blood that he remains with the disciples and continues to abide with us today. The appointed Psalm for the day (84) adds to this as the psalmist extols how excellent it is to be in God’s presence - his dwelling place. The text of this hymn by James Montgomery perfectly fits those ideas. The third verse is particularly appropriate: “Be known to us in breaking bread, and do not then depart; Saviour, abide with us, and spread thy table in our heart.” As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 12

August 17, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Now, My Tongue, the Mystery Telling | GRAFTON

We continued this week in the lectionary hearing Jesus speak more in metaphor about being the bread of life. This week, however, is a little more complicated to hear. Thomas Aquinas, father, teach and doctor of the church, sums up the Gospel for this week well with this text which he authored. Rather than being about simply food and drink to eat, we are invited to sing out about the bread of life as we eat and drink. In these words, we proclaim that “faith alone the true heart waketh to behold the mystery” of Word made Flesh for the sake of the world. This text is more commonly sung to the plainsong tune, PANGE LINGUA. It’s inclusion in the 1925 Songs of Praise hymnal shows that it once had at least a scant popularity. The Songs of Praise hymnal was put together along broad lines because there were many that associated the relatively new The New English Hymnal with being too high church. Whether broad or high, this tune, once grasped, helps breathe life into Aquinas’ words. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 11

August 10, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: O Living Bread from Heaven | AURELIA

We continued this week in the lectionary hearing Jesus speak more in metaphor about being the bread of life. As is often in his parables, these stories have multiple meanings beyond just what they appear. As Rev. Anne said in her sermon on Sunday, this week was about “provision for the future with grace upon grace upon grace.” It is this kind of grace that this hymn text is directly about. The tune we sing here, Aurelia, is familiar to us. It is that tune that we most often sing to the hymn “The Church’s One Foundation.” As is so often the case with these different text and tune pairings, familiar music allows us to sing new text with clarity and vision to the message of the text. Hopefully this week’s pairing allows you to pray deeper about Jesus as the bread of life. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 10

August 3, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: My God, Thy Table Now is Spread | ROCKINGHAM

Written by Philip Doddridge and Isaac Watts, this text encompasses much from both the lessons and the Sermon this past Sunday. In the Gospel from last week, we heard the “I am the bread of life” parable. With Christ as the bread of life, we are drawn to the table to fed in love and send forth to share the bread of love with the world. The tune, ROCKINGHAM is a well-loved hymn tune. In addition to this text, we often sing this tune to another Isaac Watts tune: “When I survey the Wondrous Cross.” As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 9

July 27, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: O Love of God, How Strong and True | DE TAR

Written by Horatius Bonar, the text of this hymn beautifully encapsulates much of the lessons from Sunday as well as Rev. Anne’s sermon. The text explores the mysteries of God that are beyond our understanding such that we are only left with faith as we see these mysteries play out in our lives. We sang a different tune to this text on Sunday. De Tar, written by Calvin Hampton, represents a uniquely American contribution to hymnody. Yes, he was an Episcopalian, but this tune has transcended our denomination and this tune has wide support from across the broader church. Hampton was a leading musician in New York city throughout his life. From 1963-1983, he was Organist and Choirmaster at Calvary Episcopal Church in Gramercy Park, NYC. His untimely death in 1984 at the age of 45, due to complications of AIDS, brought awareness of the disease in much of the Episcopal Church. Hampton’s life may have been short, but we continue to be recipients of much of his musical output as the church continues to sing his music. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 8

July 20, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Thine Arm, O Lord | ST. MATTHEW

While taken from our hymnal, The Hymnal 1982, this tune and text are not commonly sung in the Episcopal Church, though are more common in the Church of England. In The New English Hymnal, this tune appears two times. Written by William Croft, this tune is quintessentially English. Croft was a well-respected 18th century musician having succeeded Jeremiah Clarke and John Blow as Organist at Westminster Abbey. Edward H. Plumptre was an Oxford educated priest and biblical scholar. While this text is not as familiar as “Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart,” it is full of imagery describing a healing and loving God that Rev. Gethin Wied spoke of in his Sermon on Sunday. Check our web page for the full sermon. The second verse refers to a town that we don’t often talk about in hymnody. Gennesaret was a town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 7

July 13, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Have no Fear, Little Flock | LITTLE FLOCK

The latter half of the 20th century saw many changes in the church, including in music. Spurred by linguistic changes, cultural changes and in part by the decisions of Vatican II, music in the church experienced an explosion of new hymnody. This hymn, written in 1971, is an example of that explosion in hymnody. While this hymn by Heinz Werner Zimmerman with additional text by Marjorie Jilson has only appeared in 9 hymnals, it’s lighthearted tune pairs well with the text to set an atmosphere of that alleviates fear. Rather than speak volumes of theology, this hymn invites us to relax, set fear aside, and to trust the Good Shepherd to carry us through. To put this little hymn in fuller context, be sure to listen to Rev. Dr. Michelle Baker-Wright’s sermon from Sunday. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 6

July 6, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit | SWEET SWEET SPIRIT

This hymn formed a significant portion of Susanne Wright-Nava’s sermon from this past weekend. That sermon can be found on our webpage: www.sjcsp.org. Doris Akers is the author and composer of this well beloved Gospel hymn. She is one of the best known Gospel hymn writers of her generation. Born in Missouri, she spent 25 years of her life here in Los Angeles and was director of the Sky Pilot Choir. This spiritual was written in 1962 during her time in Los Angeles. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 3

June 15, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Father, We Thank Thee Who Hast Planted | RENDEZ À DIEU

This week’s hymn meditation picks up on the Gospel’s themes this week of being planted to grow. Jesus tells the parable of the seed that’s planted and grows despite the person doing the planting not fully understanding how the seed grows into a plant. Such is our life lived through faith and trust in Jesus. We are seeds that have been planted and are constantly growing in our faith and life. From seed scattered and grown to feed us in holy communion to the seeds that are daily growth, we, like all of nature around us, are God’s own. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 2

June 8, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: In Christ There Is No East or West | McKEE

This simple and short hymn meditation this week gets to the core of this week’s Gospel message: no matter who, what or where you are, you are a part of God’s beloved family through Jesus Christ. Sometimes the lectionary fits beautifully into our common life. We celebrated our graduates this past Sunday and this overarching Gospel theme is a reminder to all our graduates that no matter where you are, you are a part of the St. James' family and God’s broader family. The author of this text, John Oxenham was an English poet, novelist, journalist and hymn writer. The name used for this text, however, is a pen name for William Arthur Dunkerley. In addition to his writing, he was a Deacon and later in life entered politics, serving as mayor of Worthington in Sussex, England. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Trinity Sunday

June 1, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Come, Thou Almighty King | MOSCOW

The hymn meditation for Trinity Sunday focuses not only on the individual branches of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), but has a deeper meaning that connects with the sermon from Sunday. The anonymous author of this text calls on each part of the Trinity to take a significant role in our daily life. This text invites us to pray for unity with God so that we may be in union with the world around us. The tune MOSCOW by Felice Giardini is also known in many hymnals as ITALIAN HYMN as its composer was born in Italy. He was a violin virtuoso and composer and was considered one of the greatest violinists of his time. Later in life, he went to Russia, but his fame did not follow him. He died in Russia in solitude in 1796. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost

May 25, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Holy Spirit, Come, Confirm Us | ALL FOR JESUS

This week’s hymn comes to us from The New English Hymnal which is the primary hymnal Church of England. The tune was written by John Stainer during the reign of Queen Victoria and is perhaps best known when paired with the hymn text that shares the same name as Stainer’s hymn. The text, however, is relatively newly written by Brian Foley in 1986. Echoing themes of our Pentecost celebration, Foley’s text is a prayer to the Holy Spirit to live with us and be among us. It is a prayer that invites God into every aspect of our daily lives by asking God to breath the Spirit into us. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Easter 7

May 18, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: See the Conqueror Mounts in Triumph | IN BABILONE

This past weekend, we transferred the feast of the Ascension to Sunday so we could celebrate this feast together. This feast concludes Jesus’ earthly ministry. Rather than a huge celebration, Jesus spends time with the disciples in the upper room before climbing the Mount of Olives to ascend to be with the Father. Next week, we’ll celebrate Pentecost; the birth of the church and the sending of the Spirit to be among us. The feast of the Ascension is closely linked with the next two weeks in the life of the Church as we look to celebrate God in Three “persons” on Trinity Sunday. We sing this Dutch tune to other texts. It wasn’t until Ralph Vaughan Williams discovered the tune in Leipzig that it became common place. Vaughan Williams included it in the 1906 version of The English Hymnal and has found a standard place in western hymnody. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Easter 6

May 11, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service | BEACH SPRING

This weekend’s Gospel (and all the lessons) were all about God’s love. The sermon by the Rev. Dr. Michelle Baker-Wright referred to God’s love as an ever-flowing tap but we can only accept that love with the vessel we have. Through prayer, the size of that vessel will grow. As our vessel is full with the risen Christ, we overflow with love and are called to serve and love one another. The text of this hymn by Albert Bayly is especially appropriate for our times of great need and great loss. Bayly’s text calls us to reflect the Gospel message this week and pour out our love for all those in need. Though this text is in our hymnal, the tune BEACH SPRING from The Sacred Harp is a more familiar and more accessible tune for us to sing this extraordinary text to. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Easter 5

May 4, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: O Blessed Spring | BERGLUND

From John’s Gospel this past Sunday, we heard the message Christ is the Vine and we are the branches. Rev. Gethin’s homily spoke at length about abiding in Christ as he abides in us. It is through the waters of baptism that we are claimed as God’s own so that Christ can dwell within us. This hymn text by Lutheran Susan Palo Cherwien beautifully explores this symbiotic nature of this relationship as it relates to a life lived through Christ the Vine. This is a newer hymn in the church having been written in the 1990’s. It is in several denominational hymn resources and comes to us from the Episcopal Hymnal supplement, “Wonder, Love, and Praise.” As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Easter 4

April 27, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: The King of Love My Shepherd Is | ST COLUMBA

We continue this week in the season of Easter with a gentler parable about the resurrection. This Good Shepherd Sunday, we heard a parable of a shepherd who was willing to lay down his life for his sheep that follow him. What John presents as a parable of Jesus, however, is an everyday reality for those of us that live into the Easter message. Christ has already laid down his life for those who follow him. As such, Psalm 23 is our prayer of hope and dedication to our shepherd for protection through all of life’s ups and downs. The hymn text we sing this week is a paraphrase of Psalm 23 by Henry Williams Baker in the 19th century. The tune, ST COLUMBA, is a lilting Gaelic melody which is most often sung to this text in modern times. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Easter 3

April 20, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: That Easter Day with Joy was Bright | PUER NOBIS

This tune is so spectacular, that The Hymnal 1982 has more than one use of it. We sing this tune during Advent, so its use here in Eastertide provides a remarkable book end to the life and ministry of Jesus as we continue to live in Resurrection joy! From an early 5th century Latin hymn, Michael Praetorius adapted this tune in the 16th century to the version that we know today (although with a modern harmonization). Praetorius’ music was revered by Martin Luther and other reformers of the church. It is no wonder that we have several instances of his writing in our hymnal still to this day. This simple lilting tune provides a joyful character to the text from the 15th century. The last verse harmonization found here is by Paul Halley. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Easter 2

April 13, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Love’s Redeeming Work is Done | SAVANNAH

Easter isn’t just one day that we pull out all the big festival music and brass, but a season. That season this week continues as we remember Thomas and the restoration of his belief in Jesus’ resurrection. In this week’s Gospel, Jesus calls blessed those who have believed though they haven’t seen his wounds themselves. Nearly 2000 years after his death and resurrection, this message of love’s redeeming work done on the cross still calls to us and forms the basis of our faith. Not often sung in many Episcopal parishes, this hymn by Charles Wesley speaks to both the mystery of the resurrection and our own jubilant expression of praise because of it. Our hymnal only carries three verses of Wesley’s text, so the other two verses provided here come from The New English Hymnal. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Easter

April 6, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing | SALZBURG

Happy Easter! If you were with us either in person or on our livestream on Easter Day, you’ll recognize this hymn as our sequence hymn for Easter. The music was written by another but harmonized by Johann Sebastian Bach. The text for this hymn doesn’t need much clarification. It’s message of Easter joy as found in Christ’s sacrificial love found in the Eucharist is central to our worship practice as Episcopalians. We pray that you carry this message with you throughout the week as you continue to celebrate Easter joy! As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Lent 5

March 23, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: O God beyond All Praising | THAXTED

This tune is perhaps one of the most well known melodies from Gustav Holst’s “The Planets.” As such, it has become part of the canon of National Hymns in England. The text, which extolls Christ, iterates the Gospel message of following him through all of life’s challenges. Especially in the second stanza, Michael Perry’s poetry portrays the hope of the resurrection lived out in our everyday life. Perry had begun academic study in science, specifically Physics, but after a year of study at the University of London, he felt a call to ministry and pursued theology and ordained ministry. This background in the sciences is portrayed in the mystery of all creation in this hymn. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Lent 4

March 16, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Come, Thou fount of Every Blessing | NETTLETON

Many consider this hymn to be uniquely an American revival hymn. While the tune certainly fits that bill despite appearing as early as 1813, the text comes from mid 18th century England. In its earliest form in the United States, the text was often fitted with the Sacred Harp tune WARRENTON. The powerful message of redemption and dedication is fitting throughout the church year but makes sense this week in light of John’s Gospel. “God so loved the world…” forms the framework around a message of redemption and hope, light over darkness, and hope over fear. A little over mid-way through Lent, we need these reminders as we prepare to celebrate Christ’s victory over death for the sake of the world. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Lent 3

March 9, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Lord Jesus, Son of Righteousness | CORNHILL

While in our hymnal, this hymn is seldom sung and is not broadly known in the Church. Hymnary.org lists The Hymnal 1982 as the only source of this tune and text. That being said, the imagery of this hymn pairs perfectly with the Gospel from this past Sunday, in which Christ reveals to his disciples that the temple of his body will rise again. Episcopal Deacon Anne K. LeCroy captures this idea with beautiful language as we look forward to Christ’s resurrection in the midst of this gloomy Lenten season. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Lent 2

March 2, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. O Jesus, I have promised | LLANFYLLIN

If this Welsh tune sounds very familiar to you, it’s because it has a sister tune that we often sing in Advent to the text “Rejoice! Rejoice, Believers”. Both the tune in this hymn and the Advent tune (LLANGLOFFAN) look very similar on the page and even sound similar. What makes these two tunes different, however, is that they are in different key signatures. The tune this week is in a major key while the Advent tune is in a minor key. This text is in our hymnal (#655​), but it is set to the early 20th century tune, NYACK. It not only works very well with the Gospel passage this week from Mark, but pairs well with the following Jesus theme from this past Sunday’s sermon. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Lent 1

February 23, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. The Glory of These Forty Days | ERHALT UNS, HERR

This hymn is thought to be authored by Pope Gregory the First, but there’s some scholarly debate on his authorship. For its origination in the 6th century, this text doesn’t focus on sin during Lent the way so many medieval texts do. Instead, it favors thanking God for this season of reflection, fasting and prayer – many of the things we focus on throughout Lent in the 21st century. The tune comes from “Geistliche Lieder, 1543” from which many of the German chorales we now sing originate. Bach uses this chorale tune in BWV 126 with the harmonization that is in our hymnal, but the text he uses is not the one we sing here. The first stanza of Bach’s “Erhalt uns, Herr” is anything but complimentary in a few ways, but the tune’s pairing with the text we sing makes logical sense. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Epiphany 6

February 16, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Christ Upon the Mountain Peak | MOWSELY

The text of this hymn has made it one of the quintessential hymns for the feast of the Transfiguration. Not only does it touch on all of the lessons for the day, but it speaks to the glory of Jesus as the Son of God as his true nature is revealed. The text was written by Brian Wren, one of the most important people in the revival of hymn writing in the 20th century. Wren is English by birth and was ordained in 1965 by what is now the United Reformed Church. He now resides in the United States where he’s active still as a hymn writer, author, lecturer and preacher. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Epiphany 5

February 9, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine | ASSURANCE

The hymn meditation for this week comes directly from the Rev. Gethin Wied’s sermon on Sunday. This hymn's refrain formed the basis for the Sermon, but the verses relate to the overall themes he preached on. Look back on YouTube for that Sermon and then relisten to this hymn. This hymn is perhaps the most well-known of all gospel hymns from the late 19th century. It’s a revival hymn by nature, but it reflects the truth of the Gospel that Jesus’ story is our story. Born out of his life and teaching, we find new life. With text by Fanny Crosby and tune by Phoebe Knapp, this hymn represents both a unique pairing of text and tune that are rarely if ever separated as well as enduring representation of women’s voices and the importance of female leadership in the Church. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Epiphany 4

February 2, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: O Love of God, how Strong and True | DUNEDIN

The text of this hymn was written in the 19th century by Horatius Bonar, a minister in the Church of Scotland (Reformed). Despite its relative age and the fact that it appears twice in our hymnal, its use is excluded from both of the modern English hymnals. Bonar explores the great depths of the love of God from strong and mighty to gentle in creation. The text speaks of God’s love in the midst of all of the darkness and temptation of the world. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Epiphany 3

January 26, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Jesus Calls Us; o’er the Tumult | GALILEE

Irish poet, Cecil F. Alexander, conceived this text originally for St. Andrew’s day. Its main themes reflect that of this past Sunday’s sermon to love all people more than anything earthly and of a commitment to following Jesus no matter what life throws your way. This hymn occurs in our hymnal using two tunes, but the tune presented here, GALILEE, is its most frequent pairing. This text is present in many hymnals and a cursory glance of hymnody shows its use with more than 35 different tunes. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Epiphany 2

January 19, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: O Day of Peace | JERUSALEM

This past Sunday, we commemorated the life of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his commitment to non-violent peaceful witness to equality for all people. His message was rooted in God’s love for all people. This 20th century text by Carl Daw pays witness to these ideals and has references to many passages in Holy scripture. The tune that Daw uses is well known, especially in England where it is one of many national hymns/anthems. Its triumphant melody shows moments of reflectiveness; an attribute that Daw expertly uses as a canvas for his poetry. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer for that promised day of peace.

Hymn Meditation | Baptism of Our Lord

January 12, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: The Sinless One to Jordan Came | SOLEMNIC HAEC FESTIVITAS

The Baptism of our Lord is one of the major baptismal feasts of the church year. In it, we are united with Christ through his baptism in the Jordan river. In the waters of the Jordan, we are washed clean of all our sin and marked as Christ’s own forever. The words of early 20th Century English Cleric, George B. Timms found in this hymn are the perfect summation of what the Baptism of our Lord means for the baptized. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Epiphany

January 5, 2021

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: O Light of Light, Love Given Birth | ELMHURST

This week, we transferred the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6) to Sunday so that we would have a chance to celebrate this major feast. The Magi finally reach Bethlehem led by the star that brightly lent its light to lead the way to the newborn Jesus. We follow that same light today and we pray shines forth within us for all the world to see. Until the publishing of The Hymnal 1982, it was most common for this 10th century Latin text to be sung to the plainsong tune known as Jesu dulcis memoria. While this tune may not be familiar to many, Cary Ratcliff’s modern setting explores the beauty of the original text with a new tune. If you don’t have a hymnal at home, you can find the text and tune together on hymnary.org. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Christmas 1

December 29, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: O Savior of our Fallen Race | GONFALON ROYAL

The hymn meditation this week offers a 20th Century melodic interpretation of a 6th Century text. On the page preceding this hymn in our hymnal, the chant melody that originally accompanied this text is present. While the text of this hymn does focus on the early church’s understanding of the Incarnation as a rebuke of sin, there are other messages for a 21st Century understanding. As Episcopalians, we don’t reject that earlier understanding of the Incarnation, but we delve deeper into the meaning of the light that Christ’s birth brings to the world. That light can’t be blocked out by anything as Rev. Gethin Wied spoke of on Sunday. Be sure to watch his sermon from this past weekend to put this hymn in greater context. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Advent 3

December 15, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Hark! The Glad Sound! The Savior Comes | RICHMOND

The hymn meditation this week is somewhat of a paraphrase of the Isaiah reading from Sunday (Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11). On Gaudete Sunday, we rejoice at the coming of the savior. The first and fourth verses of text celebrate all creation’s rejoicing at the coming of the savior while the second and third verses extoll the need of the savior to help the down trodden of humanity. If this text is not familiar but the tune is, our hymnal uses this tune not just for this Advent carol, but also an Easter Hymn (#212). As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Advent 2

December 8, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus | STUTTGART

“Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” is one of the many hymns written by Charles Wesley. The text was most likely paired with the tune STUTTGART as it is in our hymnal, but it is also common for the text to be set to HYFRYDOL or CROSS OF JESUS, the later tune often associated with Holy Week and Good Friday. Wesley’s text explores Old Testament prophecy of the coming of the Messiah. Wesley sets out all the hopes for the believer that Jesus will bring. We continue to wait in that hope this Advent season. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer. The last verse in this meditation was arranged by Paul Halley.

Hymn Meditation | Advent 1

December 1, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Lo! He Comes, With Clouds Descending | HELMSLEY

This beloved hymn of the Anglican tradition has its roots an Irish Moravian hymn. The first form of the text is not by Charles Wesley, but by John Cennick in 1750. Wesley rewrote Cennick’s text and published his version in 1758. There have been various changes and deletions from this poem over the centuries, but the version we sing is largely Wesley’s version. Wesley later paired the text with the tune HELMSLEY in 1765 which is speculated to be based on a tune by Thomas Augustine Arne. Even with a varied history, this hymn is typically sung on the first Sunday in Advent because of its imagery of the coming days. While the text is largely based in the book of Revelation, it works perfectly the Advent themes of watching and waiting for the birth of Christ. As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Christ the King

November 24, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: King of Glory, King of Peace | GENERAL SEMINARY

17th century poet George Herbert was one of the most prolific and enduring sacred poets of his time. His text for this poem praises a King not of power or dominion, but one of peace and love. He writes about a deep relationship with a King that is nurturing, sustaining and sacrificing. The poem (from The Temple of 1633) contains seven stanzas, but one was omitted for the sake of singing. Echoing the title and spirit of the poem, the stanza that is missing is: Thou grew’st soft and moist with tears, Thou relendest: And when Justice call’d for fears, Thou disentedst. The broad, sweeping music that is in The Hymnal 1982 was written by David Charles Walker, a former priest in the Diocese of Los Angeles. He served in various ministries in Southern California, including All Souls’ Parish in Point Loma (San Diego), All Saints’ Parish (Beverly Hills) and as Chaplain at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 24

November 17, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Not Here for High and Holy Things | GORONATION (alt. tune)

If you were on the patio or watched the live stream this past Sunday, you’ll notice the text of this hymn is one we sang on Sunday. The tune, however, is different than what corresponds with the number in our hymnal. Music has the uncanny ability of setting text in a different context. Using this text with the tune Coronation allows the last verse of the text by Anglican Priest, Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy to not only live fresh, but carries the triumphant tone of giving thanks to God for our blessings as we share them with others. Often garnering him wild accusations, Studdert Kennedy rejected joining a political party and distrusted most politicians, simply believing that all people were of worth in God’s sight.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 23

November 10, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Once He Came in Blessing | GOTTES SOHN IST GEKOMMEN

This hymn, not frequently sung by many Anglicans, is actually a hymn for the season of Advent. It’s still appropriate for the time late in the season of Pentecost, and especially in our world. We’re edging closer to a season of preparation for the birth of Christ, but were reminded in this week’s Gospel to “Keep awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour” (John 25:13) of his coming. This hymn reminds us to trust in the coming savior to free us from torment and heal us. Michael Weisse, a Bohemian Brethren Pastor, wrote the tune for this hymn. He was a contemporary of Martin Luther and was from a region in Silesia (modern day Poland). As always, we invite you to either sing along at home or just follow along with the text and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | All Saints

November 3, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: I Sing a Song of the Saints of God | GRAND ISLE

This past Sunday, we celebrated the Feast of All Saints, giving thanks for those holy people, both saints and ordinary folk, that have gone on to their great reward. We give thanks for the faithful cloud of witnesses that continue to lift and support us. Lesbia Scott’s poetry illuminates the cloud of witnesses in the variety of people that are counted among the saints. Though this hymn appeared in the 1940 Hymnal, it almost didn’t make it into The Hymnal 1982. The editors of the new hymnal didn’t see the merit of this hymn in the life of the church at the time. Fortunately for the hymn’s continued longevity, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church saw merit to this hymn and decided to include it in the new hymnal despite the editor’s objection. Many parishes (St. James' included) consider this hymn and Sine Nomine to be two of the hymns that must be included on All Saints' Day.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 21

October 27, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: I Bind Unto Myself Today | ST. PATRICK’S BREASTPLATE/DEIRDRE

The poetry of this hymn has its original form in a 9th century Celtic prayer. In the later part of the 19th century, Cecil Frances Alexander adapted it into the form we see today at the request of the Dean of the Chapel Royal at Dublin Castle in 1889. Comprising two Irish Melodies, this hymn was adapted and harmonized by two of the greatest composers of English Music: Charles Villiers Stanford and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Much has been written about the poetry used in this hymn. A favorite at St. James, the text invites us to bind ourselves to Christ through times of deep confusion and chaos. Search on this channel for the Rev. Canon Anne Tumilty’s sermon from this past Sunday to delve deeper into the texts that accompanied this great hymn.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 20

October 20, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: For the Fruits of all Creation | EAST ACKLAM

In the midst of all that is going on in the world, out stewardship theme this year encourages us to be Faithful Together. From the abundance of our living, we are invited to share what we have, being faithful together as a parish, in thanksgiving to the one who has provided so much to us. Fred Pratt Green’s text of this hymn is often thought of as a fall/harvest hymn. While the literal ideas of plowing, sowing and reaping may seem foreign to us in Los Angeles, they are a metaphor for what it means to be Faithful Together. If this hymn tune is new to you and you don’t have a hymnal at home, please listen and follow along with the text as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 19

October 13, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: All Creatures of our God and King | LASST UNS ERFREUEN

On Sunday, October 11, we celebrated the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi with a blessing of the animals. 2020 has been atypical for most people and this year’s blessing of the animals was held virtually. We extolled and remembered St. Francis and his love of all animals and nature. This hymn gives thanks for all of creation and praises God for the earth in its abundance of all living things.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 18

October 6, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: God is Love | ABBOT’S LEIGH.

The hymn meditation for this week works off of ideas from The Rev. Dr. Michell Wright-Baker’s sermon from last Sunday. Through every bit of daily earthly strife, draw strength from the eternal love and unfailing grasp of God. Cyril V. Taylor wrote this tune in May of 1941 so that the BBC could use the text “Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken” to a tune other than AUSTRIA (The Austrian National Anthem which was further used by the Nazis). The tune takes its name from a small village near Bristol, England and was first printed in a hymnal in the 1950 edition of “Hymns Ancient and Modern Revised.” It has since made its way into most denominational hymnals.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 17

September 29, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Just a Closer Walk With Thee | CLOSER WALK.

The hymn meditation for this week draws from Rev. Gethin’s sermon from last Sunday. In the midst of all of life’s struggles, Rev. Gethin encouraged us to turn to and deepen our relationship with God. So is the case with this hymn, which is not found in our hymnal, but is sung widely throughout the church. To many, this hymn may be known as the Dixieland funeral procession hymn. The text of this spiritual is a prayer that draws us closer to God through all of life’s journey.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 16

September 22, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Here, O My Lord | NYACK.

The hymn meditation for this week comes both from the Rev. Dr. Michelle Wright-Baker’s sermon from this past Sunday as well as the Collect of the day found below. “Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” – The Book of Common Prayer p. 234

Hymn Meditation | Holy Cross Sunday

September 15, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light | HOUSTON.

Susanne Wright-Nava’s Sermon for Holy Cross called on each one of us to live in the light of the cross rather than the shadow of darkness that surrounds us. Our parish uses this hymn often throughout the Church year, notably at Baptisms and during the Easter Vigil. Both of these occasions invite us to live in the light of Christ. The text and tune for this hymn were written by Kathleen Thomerson (b. 1934). She is a Lutheran organist, choirmaster, and composer based in Austin, TX. “I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light” is perhaps her best known hymn and it appears in many denominational hymnals.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 14

September 8, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling | BLAENWERN .

Reflecting last week’s sermon theme of living together as a community in love, this hymn calls on God to create something new within us, so that we may live together in wonder, love, and praise. This text by Charles Wesley is most commonly associated with the tune named "Hyfrydol" in the United States. Throughout the United Kingdom, however, it is most often associated with the Welsh tune "Blaenwern." The New English Hymnal (found throughout the Church of England) doesn’t use "Hyfrydol "for this text, preferring either "Blaenwern" or "Love Divine" by John Stainer. "Blaenwern" was written by William Penfro Rowlands during the Welsh revival of 1904-1905. The tune's name refers to a farm in Pembroke shire, where Rowlands convalesced in his youth. He composed hymn tunes and anthems and was conductor of the famous Morriston United Choral Society of southern Wales; later he served as precentor of the Tabernacle Congregational Church in Morriston.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 13

September 1, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: The Church’s One Foundation | AURELIA.

This hymn, reflecting last week’s sermon theme of being community in Christ challenged to follow Jesus, is one of the most widely sung hymns in Christendom. The text is written by Samuel John Stone, an English poet, hymn writer and priest in the Church of England.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 12

August 25, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday’s sermon. Hymn: Take My Life, and Let It Be | HOLLINGSIDE.

This hymn, a parish favorite, reflects poet Frances Ridley Havergal’s experience of prayer and blessing during a house party in which she offers herself up to God’s service with the gifts she has been given. Havergal was a musician, linguist, author of devotional literature, and editor of psalm collections and of her father’s (an Anglican rector) unfinished work.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 11

August 18, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday's sermon. Hymn: We Walk by Faith | ST. BOTOLPH.

This hymn continues on last week's theme of "walking in faith." We invite you to either sing along at home or just follow the text (by Henry Alford) and music as you continue your week in prayer.

Hymn Meditation | Pentecost 10

August 11, 2020

Organist Jason Klein-Mendoza offers a weekly hymn reflection on last Sunday's sermon. Hymn: O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee | MARYTON.

This hymn reflects on the theme of "walking with Jesus." Either sing along at home or just follow the text (by Washington Gladden) and music as you continue your week in prayer.

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