Monday, November 07, 2005

let us now sing the praises of famous
(and not-so-famous) folk

Yesterday, we celebrated all the saints, past and present. The service was about 1 hr 45 minutes long. We processed around the church singing "For All The Saints." There were baptisms. Incense. A remembrance of a long-time parish member who died this summer.

The choir sang Schutz's Cantate Domino canticum novum (Sing to the Lord a new song, Psalm 149) for the Psalm. And we sang Bainton's And I saw a new heaven, a wonderful, over the top piece, with the comforting lines from Revelation: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be anymore pain, for the former things are passed away.

And we sang Mozart's Laudate Dominum (Psalm 117), from his vespers -- one of the baptismal candidate's godmother was a wonderful soprano from New York who sang the solo part.

And the congregation also sang I sing a song of the saints of God. It wouldn't be All Saints without it, would it?

I sing a song of the saints of God,
Patient and brave and true,
Who toiled and fought and lived and died
For the Lord they loved and knew.
And one was a doctor, And one was a queen,
And one was a shepherdess on the green:
They were all of them saints of God
-- and I mean, God helping, to be one too.

They loved their Lord so dear, so dear,
And his love made them strong;
And they followed the right, for Jesus' sake,
The whole of their good lives long.
And one was a soldier, And one was a priest,
And one was slain by a fierce wild beast:
And there's not any reason, no, not the least,
Why I shouldn't be one too.

They lived not only in ages past,
There are hundreds of thousands still,
The world is bright with the joyous saints
Who love to do Jesus' will.
You can meet them in school, or
In lanes, or at sea, In church, or in trains,
Or in shops, or at tea,
For the saints of God are just folk like me,
And I mean to be one too.

Lesbia Scott (1898-1986)written 1929 © 1940 Lesbia


Hugh said...

That Bainton makes me cry whenever I hear a recording of it, especially, "and God shall wipe a-waaaaay all tears from their eyes"

Don said...

I agree. That anthem, and particularly that section, lingers long past the singing of it.

Rob said...

No, it wouldn't be All Saints without that hymn. My first clegy conference my then boss and I sang that song together, only we changed the words to make it sing that it was bishops that we wanted to be.