Music

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Psalm 95:1

From the earliest times, music has played an important role in Christian worship, as well as in the worship of the Church’s predecessor, the Jewish Church (e.g., Exodus 15:20-21). Anglicanism in particular has a rich musical heritage.

Our music is considered sacred and an integral part of most of our worship services. With texts dating as early as the 2nd century and tunes as early as the 6th century, our service music includes ancient Hebrew psalms, plainsong, and traditional Anglican chant.  Our 1940 Hymnal includes sources ranging from the medieval to the Carolingian era, from Latin and Eastern Church canon to choral and symphonic works, and from the great hymnists of the 17th – 20th centuries.  It is indeed a “richly varied treasure bequeathed us from every age of the Church” through which we may “make the words the utterance of our own souls; the music the expression of our own personal worship, our own joy or sorrow or brave determination.” [From the Preface of the 1940 Hymnal, p. vi.]
 
We are constantly looking for voices and musicians; if you are interested in the music ministry, please get in touch with us.
 

Featured Hymn

In Christ There Is No East or West (Tune: McKee)

 

Gal. 3:28 – There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: For ye are all one in Christ.

So declares St. Paul, a lesson beautifully reflected in our hymn “In Christ There Is No East or West” (No. 263 in our Hymnal). This is a mission hymn by William A. Dunkerley, (1852-1941), written under the name John Oxenham in 1908 as a script for a traveling mission play called “Pageant of Darkness and Light,” part of an exhibition sponsored by the London Missionary Society that toured in Europe and the U.S. from 1908 to 1914. Ultimately it was viewed by at least a quarter of a million people. In 1913 Oxenham published this text in a book of his verses, Bees in Amber, which became a best-seller with sales of over 286,000. The first American appearance of this verse was in 1925 in Hymns of the Living Age, by H. Augustine Smith.

The tune McKee originated as an Irish tune that traveled to the U.S. and was adapted by African American slaves in the spiritual, “I Know the Angels Done Changed My Name,” published first in The Story of the Jubilee Singers with Their Songs, 1876. In 1939, H. T. Burleigh, (1866-1949), adopted the tune as a setting for Oxenham’s text “In Christ There Is No East or West,” especially for our 1940 Hymnal. Burleigh studied at the National Conservatory of Music, NYC, where he met the Conservatory Director Antonin Dvorak, and supplied him with the African American themes Dvorak used in his “New World Symphony.” A prolific composer and fine baritone, Burleigh was best known as a vocal arranger of African American spirituals. In a composing career that began in 1899, he wrote almost 300 works.

 
 
 
 

Playlists

Random Hymns

Enjoy a random selection of hymns.