Sunday, November 3, 2013

Remembrance/All Souls - November 10 2013

  • Organ: Nimrod (from ‘Enigma Variations’) – Sir Edward Elgar
  • Opening Hymn 528 “O God, our help in ages past” (St Anne)
  • Service Music: Holy Trinity Service – Christopher Tambling
  • God save the Queen
  • O Canada
  • Gospel Alleluia
  • Choir: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia
    All: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia
    Cantor:  Jesus Christ is the firstborn of the dead;
    to him be glory and dominion forever and ever.
    All: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia 
  • Offertory Hymn  “I vow to thee, my country” 
  • I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
    Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
    The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
    That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
    The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
    The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice. 
    I heard my country calling, away across the sea,
    Across the waste of waters she calls and calls to me.
    Her sword is girded at her side, her helmet on her head,
    And round her feet are lying the dying and the dead.
    I hear the noise of battle, the thunder of her guns,
    I haste to thee my mother, a son among thy sons. 
    And there’s another country, I’ve heard of long ago,
    Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
    We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
    Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
    And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
    And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.
  • Anthem: Their bodies are buried in peace (from ‘Israel in Egypt’) – George Frederic Handel
    Their bodies are buried in peace, but their name liveth evermore.
  • Communion Hymn 588 “Come now, O Prince of Peace” (O-so-so)
  • Concluding Hymn 573 “O day of peace” (Jerusalem)
  • Organ: Fugue in E flat (St. Anne) – J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
    Music Notes:
    The organ music at the end of this morning’s service is somewhat longer than usual, and everyone is invited/encouraged to stay and listen. The Fugue in E flat is one of Bach’s most majestic works for the organ, and you’ll recognize the theme as the opening line of “O God, our help in ages past”, although it’s unlikely that Bach was familiar with that hymn tune, composed in 1708 by William Croft, an Englishman. The fugue is in three sections, suggesting a connection with the Trinity; in fact, a great deal has been written on this subject. Here are some notes by Indra Hughes (New Zealand), perhaps of interest to those with a mathematical mind!
    The ‘St Anne’ Fugue by Bach (so called because of the coincidental resemblance of the first fugue subject to the hymn tune ‘St Anne’ [O God, our help in ages past]) is traditionally played on Trinity Sunday, because of its many mathematical and symbolic references to the number 3. 
    It is in 3 clearly delineated sections which may be understood to represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; there are 3 separate fugue subjects which combine with each other; it has 3 different time signatures and yet the beat remains proportional (suggesting, perhaps, theological ‘Unity in Trinity’). 
    The total number of bars of the three sections of the fugue is 36+45+36=117; 117 can be expressed as 13x3x3: a very Trinitarian row of numbers (1333) encapsulating Unity (1) and Trinity (three 3s). The lengths of these three sections (36/45/36) are in a proportional relationship: the Golden Section or 'proportio divine'. 
    The total of those digits (3+6+4+5+3+6) is 27, which might be expressed as 3x3x3; and indeed 2+7=3+3+3. In a further allusion to the number 27, the fugue is the 27th in a collection of 27 pieces. 
    In another reference to the number 27, the fugue contains 378 beats. 378 is the sum total of the numbers 1 to 27. It can also be expressed as a 'triangular': by writing out the numbers 1 to 378 in triangular form (a trinitarian reference in itself!), the resulting triangle has 27 rows and 27 digits in the bottom row:
    This piece is a good example of Bach’s habit of embedding ‘hidden’ theological statements in the structure of his music.

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