Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘Hymn’

Soli deo Gloria

Soli Deo Gloria – To God alone the glory

Where have you seen this Latin phrase, Soli Deo Gloria?  We worship weekly at St. Bede Episcopal Church in Forest Grove, Oregon with these words in front of us.  Have they blended into the fabric of our worship space?  Where are they?  This Latin phrase is emblazoned in gold near the top of the organ case.  Why is this phrase on the organ case?

It all goes back over 333 years ago to Johann Sebastian Bach, arguably the greatest organist and composer in the history of Western music.  You see, this man of faith believed that music was a “refreshment of spirit”, and a powerful tool for the proclamation of the gospel.

Johann Sebastian routinely marked the tops of his scores with the initials “J.J.” and ended his compositions with the initials, “SDG”.  Let’s take a minute to look at these two sets of initials.

The initials, JJ were for, “Jesu, Juva” or “Jesus, Help”.   This man, with amazing talent and ability, was praying for help from the very beginnings of his creative impulses. His work was underscored by his deep need and faith.  The humility of a great artist towards his Creator God, knowing that he was watched over, heard, and loved.  God was intimately involved in his work (and more importantly ~ in him).   What a powerful testament for everything we do – Jesu, Juva!
Lord, help me make this my prayer.

And what about the letters, SDG?  Ultimately, Bach believed that music brought glory to God.  At the end of most of his scores, Bach bearing witness to his faith and humility, left the initials SDG, the abbreviation for Soli Deo Gloria, or “To God alone be glory”.  What a powerful testament we have so prominently displayed before us in our sanctuary.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist with her husband David, media artist, are the creators and performers of Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes — live organ concerts with multi-media.


The Gift of Love

The Gift of Love

a setting of

1 Corinthians 13

Though I may speak with bravest fire,

and have the gift to all inspire,

and have not love, my words are vain,

as sounding brass, and hopeless gain.

Though I may give all I possess,

and striving so my love profess,

but not be given by love within,

the profit soon turns strangely thin.

Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control;

our spirits long to be made whole.

Let inward love guide every deed;

by this we worship, and are freed.


Text written by Hal Hopson in 1972.

Sung to the tune O WALY WALY, an English tune from the early 1700’s.


Published in 25 hymnals

Arrangements: organ, choral, handbells, piano/organ, and other instruments



Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist with her husband David, media artist, are the creators and performers of Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes — live organ concerts with multi-media.  Dr. Jordan is also a life-long church musician.


A Lenten Meditation

A Lenten Hymnal Meditation – Now Quit Your Care

Last year during Lent, I discovered a hymn that was new to me and one that had not been sung as a congregational hymn in all my years of church work.  I am sharing it here as a Lenten devotion.

The hymn is found on page 145 in The Hymnal 1982 and was written by Percy Dearmer, one of the compilers of The English Hymnal of 1906.

Now quit your care and anxious fear and worry;
for schemes are vain and fitting brings no gain.
Lent calls to prayer, to trust and dedication;
God brings new beauty nigh;
reply, reply, reply with love to love most high;
reply, reply, reply with love to love most high.

To bow the head in sack-cloth and in ashes,
or rend the soul, such grief is not Lent’s goal;
But to be led to where God’s glory flashes,
his beauty to come near.
Make clear, make clear, make clear where truth and light appear;
Make clear, make clear, make clear where truth and light appear.

For is not this the fast that I have chosen?|
(The prophet spoke) To shatter every yoke,
Of wickedness the grievous bands to loosen,
oppression put to flight,
To fight, to fight, to fight till every wrong’s set right. 
To fight, to fight, to fight till every wrong’s set right.

For righteousness and peace will show their faces|
to those who feed the hungry in their need,
and wrongs redress, who build the old waste places,
and in the darkness shine.
Divine, divine, divine it is when all combine! 
Divine, divine, divine it is when all combine! 

Then shall your light break forth as doth the morning;
your health shall spring, the friends you make shall bring
God’s glory bright, your way through life adorning;
and love shall be the prize. 
Arise, arise, arise! And make a paradise! 
Arise, arise, arise! And make a paradise! 

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist with her husband David, media artist, are the creators and performers of Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes — live organ concerts with multi-media.  Dr. Jordan has been involved in church music ministry throughout her life.


Scripture for Advent and Christmas

In Mid-November David and I attended a performance of the Advent and Christmas portions of Georg Friedrich Handel’s Messiah.  Yes, November 19th seemed a bit early to hear this “seasonal” music, but what amazing timing it was.  As the secular craziness of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday hit with force, our hearts and minds were prepared with the glorious scriptural and spiritual texts of prophesy, promise, and joy.  I invite you to make these texts your own this month of December – this season of Advent and Christmas.

From Isaiah:

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.  Prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Ev’ry valley shall be exalted, and ev’ry mountain and hill made low;  the crooked straight and the rough places plain.

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together:  for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Emmanuel, God with us.

Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

From Luke:

Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying:  Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will towards men.

From Matthew:

Come unto Him, all ye that labour, come unto Him that are heavy laden, and He will give you rest.  Take his yoke upon you, and learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.


Looking for New Hymn Tune Arrangements for the Organ?

It is summertime!  The time to look for new music.  I invite you to check out the organ collections on DARCEY PRESS.

Testimonials for the DARCEY PRESS organ collections:

“I have been learning, using and enjoying “83 Musical Gifts Parts 1, 2, & 3” and “120 More Musical Gifts Parts 4, 5, 6, & 7” edited by Adrienne Tindall.  These books are a collection of hymn arrangements submitted to Adrienne Tindall from organists across the country.  The variety and quality of these hymn tune arrangements is truly a musical gift.

For me, selecting music for church service has become a matter of which music to present since I use the Musical Gifts as a resource when preparing my musical offering.  Also, many of the hymn arrangements are ‘recital’ or ‘special music’ caliber.

When I present variations of a hymn as ‘special music’ I describe the history of the hymn tune or text, urge the congregation to look up the hymn and read the text as I play or describe some of the soundscapes I am using.  When reading hymn text or listening for particular sounds or tempo as I play, engages the congregation with the music.  Also, I have had a narrator read a verse of the hymn text between hymn variations which is very effective.

Adrienne Tindall has put together a wonderful collection of hymn tunes that are sure to please any church organist.”

…………..Shelley Stoll, organ student of Dr. Jeannine Jordan   

“I have used Adrienne Tindall’s Musical Gifts books many times for worship services.  It is nice to have a collection arranged by hymn-tune name which include arrangements of each tune by many well-known composers.  Biographical information is included in the front of each book about each of the composers.

The books are plastic comb bound so they stay open, and are designed to reduce page turns, including fold-out pages. I have played several of the arrangements during services and find the books to be a valuable addition to my music library.”

.…………..Gayle Gaddis, organ student of Dr. Jeannine Jordan

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, church and concert organist

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