hymns

Watch our August 4, 2023 Friday family night with a talk on hymn writer Fanny Crosby.

In the service we have prayer, hymn singing, “rehearse the verse”, and a short talk by Martha talked about blind Fanny Crosby and and the stories of several her hymns.

Watch our July 7, 2023 Friday family night, talk on, “Now Thank We All Our God”

Watch our July 7, 2023 Friday family night with a talk on the history of the hymn, “Now Thank We All Our God” by Martin Rinkart.

The service we have prayer, hymn singing, “rehearse the verse”, and a short talk. This year, the topic is the history of different hymns. Caleb gave a short talk on “Now Thank We All Our God” and then played and sang it.

Jean Mader Celebration of Life May 20, 2023

Watch the May 20, 2023 Celebration of Life Service for Jean Mader at The Vine Fellowship. Memories, singing, prayers, and poem. Pastor Jim and Jean Mader founded Mission Valley Community Chapel.

Sunday Services

Join us for worship and fellowship!
9:30 a.m. Breaking of Bread/The Lord’s Supper
10:00 a.m. Sunday School for all ages, Adult Sunday school – Tom Cantor
10:55 a.m. Refreshments on the Patio
11:15 a.m. Worship Service – sermon by Tom Cantor

(We have a traditional worship service including hymn singing, prayer, announcements, a musical special, and a sermon from the Bible. We dress from very casual to formal.)

“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.” (Psalm 122:1)

We are a small multigenerational church committed to exalting the Lord Jesus Christ through the Bible and missions.

Worship with Us this Easter Sunday
Worship with Us this Easter Sunday

Get directions Here

Reminder: Bring your water and soda/pop recyclables to help support Good News Clubs – Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF).

All of Mission Valley Community Chapel’s leadership is volunteer. This enables the majority of our giving to go to missionaries and evangelists in San Diego and around the world. There are opportunities for those interested in serving in including evangelism, music, upkeep, and hospitality.

I Bind Unto Myself Today (Saint Patrick’s Breastplate)

For the St. Patrick’s Day, “I Bind Unto Myself Today  (Saint Patrick’s Breastplate)”. This hymn or poem is adapted from a work attributed to Saint Patrick.

Saint Patrick was a missionary to Ireland in the fifth century. He is known as the Apostle of Ireland. You can listen to a free recording of the “Confession of Saint Patrick” On LibriVox. In it he tells of being captured by pirates, being a slave in Ireland, becoming a Christian, and becoming a missionary to Ireland.

The lyrics below were adapted by Cecil Francis Alexander (1818-1895). She was born in Ireland. Not only was she a poet and hymnwriter, she also cared for the poor and opened a school for the deaf.

You can find lyrics along with sheet music Online Here.

As with many hymns, there are different versions with different verses. Below is one. You can listen to a slightly different one than the one below here on YouTube.

I Bind Unto Myself Today  (Saint Patrick’s Breastplate)

Words St. Patrick adapted by Cecil Frances Alexander & music by Charles V. Stanford

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me forever
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river,
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb,
His riding up the heav’nly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heav’nly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave, the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord

This poem or lyric is in iambic pentameter with four feet per line (de-um, de-um, de-um, de-dum). Often at the end of the last line there is an extra unstressed beat (de-dum-de).

Stanza one about the trinity has four lines and a rhyme scheme of second and fourth line rhyming.  

Stanza two through six are eight lines each with an aba’b’cdc’d’ rhyme scheme. That is, the first and third line rhyme, the second and fourth line rhyme, the fifth and seventh line rhyme, and the sixth and eighth line rhyme.

Stanza seven is different from the other stanzas with its poetic power from the repeated words “Christ” and “me”.

Stanza seven concludes with a repetition of stanza one with four more aba’b’ rhyming  lines added.

I do not think a summary of I Bind Unto Myself Today  (Saint Patrick’s Breastplate) would do it justice. But note the scope of subjects brought up and how they all fit together with each other, Christ’s work, and the Trinity in our Christian life. It can also be helpful to see what the focus of the poem is about and what each stanza is about. The focus of the poem is taking on God and his good for Christian life and work, even battle. There are eight stanzas. The first and the last focus on the Trinity. In between these bookends, the stanzas cover the work of Christ, God’s creation, the power of God, two stanzas increasing an emphasis as to the threats to be resisted, and an interlude of sorts about Christ. Again, it concludes with the Trinity; this time in more detail. The best way to understand a poem is to read it and reread it with enjoyment.

Christian Poetry
Hymns and Songs

Acapeldridge – one man, four part harmony of hymns

Family and I found this YouTube channel AcapeldridgeThis is one Christian man, Michael Eldridge, who sings hymns doing all four parts of the harmony.

Many of the videos show him and have the lyrics at the bottom. Some of the hymns are ones I had heard before like “Send the Light”

and “Sound the Battle-Cry!

Others I had not heard before, but we’re just as good like “Sing to Me of Heaven”

and one of my new favorites “On Zion’s Glorious Summit”

Also, Acapeldridge has a number of albums without video of him singing HERE on YouTube

HYMNS

Christmas Carols – “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”

“Hark The Herald Angels Sing” is a great Christmas hymn that we sang last Sunday, with some notes about it following it.

“Hark the Herald Angels sing”
Words by Charles Wesley & music by Felix Mendelssohn

Hark the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King:
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With the angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Christ, the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb:
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with man to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

First, “hark” is an old word meaning “hear”.

Authors

Charles Wesley, who lived in the 1700s, wrote the lyrics was brother to John Wesley. They were founders of the Methodists which had a big influence in spreading Christianity including in the United Kingdom and the United States. They were a big part in spreading a revival in England during their lives.

Felix Mendelssohn, who lived in the early 1800s, wrote the music that was used for this piece. He was a classical composer and a Jewish believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is best known for the song that is commonly called “The Wedding March;” this was music he wrote to go to Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

I like the picture here that we see two believers, Jew and Gentile, whose works are used to praise the birth of the Messiah. This fits with the biblical accounts in the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke in which Jews and Gentiles did this originally.

Analysis

“Hark The Herald Angels Sing”  in the hymnal has a pattern of 77. 77. 77. 77. w/refrain. This means that it has four verses with two couplets of seven syllables each and a refrain. It is useful in seeing what other music might be used with it. This is why hymns can be song to different tunes. Of course, I can’t imagine singing this song to any other tune!

We can analyze the structure further by saying there are three verses; each verse is made up of four rhyming trochaic tetrameter couplets that end on a male stress. This is just a poetic way of saying that there are eight lines that are rhymed in groups of two. These lines each have four stressed-unstressed feet (dum-de) with the last one ending on a stress.

Something neat about the course or refrain is note all the long vowels in it. For example, see how long you can say “Hark” versus “Christ“ (first word of verse two). These allow for the words to be sustained which has a strong effect for the course. Of course, they’re not as long as the ones in the course of another Christmas song we sang last Sunday “Angels We Have Heard on High” – “Gloria In Excelsis Deo,Gloria In Excelsis Deo.” But it’s hard to beat Latin for long vowels!

The content of this song is really good, too, and that’s a key that makes it a good song. The first verse calls all to proclaim the birth of Christ; the second tells of his incarnation and birth; and the third of his glorious work. There is significant biblical language and theology in this. For example, note verse three-

“Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!”

Prince of Peace is one of the titles of Messiah given in Isaiah 9:6

“Hail the Sun of Righteousness!”

Sun of Righteousness is another title for the Messiah at his glorious second coming giving in Malachi 4:2

“Light and life to all He brings,”

This is a reference to the Gospel of John (1:4, 9) where the Lord Jesus is said to be the light gives life to all.

“Ris’n with healing in His wings.”
This is another reference to the Prophet Malachi 4:2 speaking of the work of Messiah at his return.

“Mild He lays His glory by,”

This seems to be a reference to the Apostle Paul‘s Epistle to the Philippians (2:6-8). This passage (2:6-11) may actually be an early hymn of the church.

“Born that man no more may die,”

This seems to be another reference to the Gospel of John, the account of the raising of Lazarus (John 11:26).

“Born to raise the sons of earth,”

This looks like a reference to a dialogue of the Lord Jesus Christ recorded in the Gospel of John (6:40).

“Born to give them second birth.”

This refers to the Lord Jesus’ dialogue with Nicodemus in the Gospel of John chapter 3.

There are a number of ways to sing and enjoy songs like this. One way is to sing it as if you’re singing it for the first time and you’ve never heard of any of it before. Another way is to sing it with the knowledge of all the references and all that is stated and implied in each reference forming a sort of spiritual counterpoint to the experience.

Hymns and Songs