Music to end the Day for Sunday, 25 October 2020
Good evening, everyone.
Music to end the day opens with a reflective Folk Tune by Cecil Armstrong Gibbs.
The name of Armstrong Gibbs may not be familiar,
but he was one of the most prolific English composers of the twentieth century (taught by Vaughan Williams),
with a vast portfolio of songs and instrumental works.
Armstrong Gibbs’s Folk Tune is perfect preparation for the music of Bernadette Farrell, which has its melodic roots in British folk song.
Farrell was a founding member of the Catholic St Thomas More Group in the 1980s
and served on the Roman Catholic Bishops’ Liturgical Communion for many years.
For three decades she worked as an advisor to the East London Communities Organisation.
Then, as founding organiser of London Citizens, she built an alliance across South London
and authored a report on immigration (adopted by government),
leading campaigns on safety, sanctuary, housing, wages and health.
She was the first Deputy Director of Citizens:UK.
Farrell’s contribution to hymnody include ‘Christ be our Light’, ‘God, beyond all names’, and this beautiful paraphrase of Psalm 139.
O God, you search me and you know me;
all my thoughts lie open to your gaze.
When I walk or lie down, you are before me,
ever the maker and keeper of my days.
You know my resting and my rising.
You discern my purpose from afar
and with love everlasting you besiege me
in every moment of life or death, you are.
Before a word is on my tongue, Lord,
you have known its meaning through and through.
You are with me beyond my understanding:
God of my present, my past and future too.
Although your Spirit is upon me,
still I search for shelter from your light.
There is nowhere on earth I can escape you,
even the darkness is radiant in your sight.
For you created me and shaped me,
gave me life within my mother’s womb.
For the wonder of who I am, I praise you;
safe in your hands, all creation is made new.
For our final prayer this evening, we turn to the words of German classical scholar Julius Schubring and the music of Felix Mendelssohn,
as we listen to music from the great oratorio Elijah, in a performance by our own Chamber Choir and Orchestra in 2015.
The words are inspired by verses from Psalms 25 and 55.
Cast thy burden upon the Lord
and he shall sustain thee.
He never will suffer the righteous to fall.
He is at thy right hand.
Thy mercy, Lord, is great
and far above the heavens.
Let none be made ashamed
that wait upon thee.