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Hymn Meditation

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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