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.