Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘hymnody’

Aside

Feast of the Epiphany

A season of four to nine weeks, from the Feast of the Epiphany (Jan. 6) through the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. The length of the season varies according to the date of Easter. The gospel stories of this season describe various events that manifest the divinity of Jesus. The coming of the Magi is celebrated on the Epiphany. The Baptism of our Lord is observed on the Sunday after Epiphany. The gospels for the other Sundays of the Epiphany season describe the wedding at Cana, the calling of the disciples, and various miracles and teachings of Jesus. The Last Sunday after the Epiphany is always devoted to the Transfiguration. Jesus’ identity as the Son of God is dramatically revealed in the Transfiguration gospel, as well as the gospel of the baptism of Christ. We are called to respond to Christ in faith through the showings of his divinity recorded in the gospels of the Epiphany season.  (From An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church – A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians by Armentrout and Slocum)

To explore the scriptures of the Feast of Epiphany, the Episcopal Hymnal 1982 is a superb resource:


Epiphany Sunday – Hymn #124 – What star is this that beams so bright – Puer Nobis
What star is this, with beams so bright, more beauteous than the noonday light? 
It shines to herald forth the King, and Gentiles to his crib to bring.

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The Baptism of our Lord – Hymn #121 – Christ, when for us you were baptized – Caithness
Christ, when for us you were baptized, God’s Spirit on you came,
as peaceful as a dove and yet as urgent as a flame.

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The calling of the disciples – Hymn #661 – They cast their nets in Galilee – Georgetown
They cast their nets in Galilee just off the hills of brown;
such happy, simple fisherfolk, before the Lord came down.

The Transfiguration – Hymn #129 – Christ upon the mountain peak – Mousley
Christ upon the mountain peak stands alone in glory blazing;
let us, if we dare to speak, with the saints and angels praise him.  Alleluia!

Let us respond to Christ in faith through the showings of his divinity recorded in the gospels and brought forth in the beauty of the hymnody of the Epiphany season. 
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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist, and her husband, David Jordan, media artist of Pro-Motion Music , are the creators and presenters of the dramatic story-driven organ and multimedia concert experiences, From Sea to Shining Sea, Bach and Sons, and Around the World in 80 Minutes.  Subscribe to our free monthly e-newsletter for more intriguing and engaging articles – click here  #DrJeannineJordan  #OrganAndMultimediaConcert

Aside

The Spiritualities of Christian Hymns – a synopsis

Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,
 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything,
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:19-20

Several weeks ago, I had the privilege to attend the Diocesan sponsored workshop, The Spiritualities of Christian Hymns presented by Dr. Carl Daw, Episcopal priest and past Executive Director of the Hymn Society in the US and Canada.  It was an inspiring, educational, enlightening, and spiritual day as we explored and sang our way through many of the glorious hymns of our 1982 Hymnal.  (As Dr. Daw questioned whether we had sung each hymn, I was able to answer in the affirmative each time thanks to the two marvelous Hymn-a-thon experiences we held at St. Bede!)

Dr. Daw reminded us that hymns

  • are sung prayer (singing with and for others is praying with and for others)
  • are a recollection of the readings
  • reinforce the thoughts expressed by the sermon (as was so evident with the hymn sung following Marlene’s sermon several weeks ago, “Come thou o traveler unknown” #636)
  • express enthusiasm for our faith
  • present scripture in new ways
  • are wonderful ways to teach our faith
  • help us experience God’s presence
  • are never simply “decoration” or “moving music” in our service but are sung in praise and glory to God

The oft quoted phrase attributed to St. Augustine, “Those who sing pray twice” means that singing adds to our praise and worship of God—that our voices are gifts, with which we can make music to the Lord.  Sung prayer expresses the joy of the heart, the happiness resulting from one who has encountered Jesus Christ and experienced his love.  St. Augustine was right—he who sings prays twice.  May we sing together—in holy worship, and in our homes—in praise and thanksgiving for all that God has given us.  (Bishop James Conley)

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist, is the Minister of Music at St. Bede Episcopal Church in Forest Grove, Oregon. She and her husband, David Jordan, media artist of Pro-Motion Music , are the creators and presenters of the dramatic story-driven organ and multimedia concert experiences, From Sea to Shining Sea, Bach and Sons, and Around the World in 80 Minutes.  Subscribe to our free monthly e-newsletter for more intriguing and engaging articles – click here  #DrJeannineJordan  #OrganAndMultimediaConcert

This is One Amazing Book

Check our pew racks and you’ll find not only a Bible and a Book of Common Prayer but another blue-covered book, The Hymnal 1982.    It is one amazing and important book.  Our hymnal draws all of us, all Episcopalians, together musically in the same way that the Book of Common Prayer draws us together in prayer and liturgy. 

Hymns are powerful expressions of our faith, powerful reminders that our Lord is with us in struggle and sorrow, powerful exaltations of joy, powerful and loving reminders of God’s grace.  Singing our praise through hymns is another form of communing with Christ and each other. 

I had many plans for this newsletter article this month, but because of visits from my family, work, practice, and most recently, the death of a dear friend, I put off writing the article until the day after our editor wanted it.  Well, now I know why.  It is so I can share a story with you about the power of hymns – the power of a hymn we sang several weeks ago, “The Lord My God My Shepherd Is.”

Two weeks ago, I learned one of my students (and a very dear friend) was diagnosed with colon cancer, a mass on the liver, and pulmonary embolisms.  A shock but I was sure with prayer and the miracles of medicine this wonderfully caring, generous, woman of God would go through and survive treatment for all the above and life would go on.  I was wrong.  She declined dramatically and quickly.

One week ago, I was teaching Paul, one of my many incredible organ students – a 54-year-old man who is a savant in some very particular ways, and also has cerebral palsy.  His lessons have been such an amazing journey for me.  He grew up in the Lutheran church the son of a pastor.  He has heard hymns all his life and amazingly can play by-ear, even with his physical limitations, almost any hymn his sister, Ruth and I can name or hum.  Not only does he know the tunes, but he knows how many verses each has.  Woe is me when I choose a Lutheran hymn that happens to have 11 verses as he will play every verse for me as he is singing that text in his mind.  His lessons are often jaw-dropping for me.  And…if I give him a word, like “shepherd,” he will create a medley of hymns that contain the word “shepherd” in some verse or other of the hymn.  Truly it is astounding seeing/hearing this man/ child share God’s glory through hymns.

And, so back to the story.  A week ago, I knew their friend and fellow-student, Karen who attends and plays the organ at Paul and Ruth’s church, was in the hospital and struggling mightily after colon surgery.  So, I decided to record Paul playing “The Lord is My Shepherd” and send it to Karen.  The response from Karen’s daughter who shared this recording with her Mom, was that Karen was at peace and smiled throughout the recording.

Today I sent word of Karen’s death to my student group.  Several expressed their sadness at losing a friend and colleague but the following response from Ruth, my student Paul’s sister, truly shows the power and glory of the many hymns, but in particular #663 from our amazing blue book, The Hymnal 1982.

“I am so grateful for you and your moment of genius last week during Paul’s lesson.  Recording him playing The Lord is My Shepherd was clearly a God-inspired moment.  I know that song brought joy and comfort to Karen and her family.  It has brought comfort to me at hearing this news.  It amazes me how you and Paul were used in this special way.  I am grateful.”

And this is the power of the great hymns of our faith. 
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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist, has a large organ studio with students of all ages and skill levels.  She is also the Minister of Music and Organist at St. Bede Episcopal Church in Forest Grove, Oregon. She and her husband, David Jordan, media artist of Pro-Motion Music , are the creators and presenters of the dramatic story-driven organ and multimedia concert experiences, From Sea to Shining Sea, Bach and Sons, and Around the World in 80 Minutes.  Subscribe to our free monthly e-newsletter for more intriguing and engaging articles – click here #DrJeannineJordan  #OrganAndMultimediaConcert

The Old Year has passed away

  The old year now has passed away;                                
We thank you, O our God, today
That you have kept us through the year
When danger and distress were near.

We pray you, O eternal Son,
Who with the Father reigns as one,
To guard and rule your Christendom
Through all the ages yet to come.

Take not your saving Word away,
Which lights and cheers our sols each day.
Abide with us and keep us free
From error and hypocrisy.

Oh, help us to forsake all sin,
A new and holier life begin!
Forgive the old year’s sins, and bless
The new year with true happiness,

Wherein as Christmas we may live
Or die in peace that you can give,
To rise again when you will come
And enter your eternal home.

There shall we thank you and adore
With all the angels evermore.
Lord Jesus Christ, increase our faith
To praise your name through life and death.

Johann Steurlein (1546-1613).  First published in Sieben und Zwantzigk newe geistliche Gesenge in 1588 in Erfurt, Germany.
Translated by Catherine Winkworth and published in the Chorale Books for England in 1863.
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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist and David Jordan, media artist of Pro-Motion Music are the creators and presenters of the dramatic story-driven organ and multimedia concert experiences, From Sea to Shining Sea, Bach and Sons, and Around the World in 80 Minutes.  #DrJeannineJordan  #OrganAndMultimediaConcert

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