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This Sunday’s prelude, The Call sung by Nathan Hylan, is one of the Five Mystical Songs written for solo baritone by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958). The text is a poem by George Herbert (1593-1633), the Welsh-born poet and Anglican priest. The opening phrase, “Come, my way, my truth, my life,” is a reference to John 14:6, where Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” These words are found in the Gospel reading this Sunday and in the Prayer of the Day.
David Haas (b. 1957) is a contemporary American composer of liturgical music. He set the opening words of this Sunday’s Gospel text from John 14, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” We will hear an original arrangement of Haas’ hymn by Melanie Donnelly, alto and Eric Ritter, guitar.
This joyful Eastertide (Hymn 192) is a text by George Woodward (1848-1934), an English parish priest who wrote and translated a large number of hymns. His words are paired with a Dutch tune that was originally a 17th-century popular song. This pattern occurs often in hymn writing, where new words are set to a familiar tune to make it easier to sing. Although we may not be feeling especially joyful during this year’s Eastertide, this hymn brings a message of the hope that is ours through faith in the “Lord of all life.”