Today was the last Sunday of the Christian Year, when we observe Christ the King Sunday. It is a fitting conclusion to the Church year, and also a wonderful prelude to Advent, where we look back at the first coming of Christ, as well as look forward to his return to reign as King in the new heaven and earth.
At St. Bartholomew‘s we began our service today with the first two verses of “Rejoice, the Lord Is King! (tune; GOPSAL) segueing to “Crown Him with Many Crowns (vs. 1, 3, 5 in The Hymnal 1982) as our processional.
The appointed Psalm was 100 – I chose the metrical setting in the hymnal “All People That on Earth Do Dwell (OLD 100th). I utilized the accompaniment from the choral arrangement for choir and congregation by R. Vaughan Williams composed for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. The 3rd verse with just voices and the solo “trumpet” from the organ was especially nice.
Our sequence hymn was the first two verses of “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” – our only direct nod to Thanksgiving.
During the offertory, the Chamber Singers offered C.H.H Parry’s “My Soul, There Is a Country” with beauty, precision, and conviction. Hats off to director David Madeira and the choir!
During communion we sang “Grace Alone” (Nelson/Brown), and introduced a new song (composed by my assistant director David Madeira) “High King of Heaven,” with text based on passages from Psalm 98 and Isaiah 11 and 49. I’ll be using this for Advent, but it fit Christ the King Sunday as well it seemed a good time to introduce it to the parish. Communion concluded with Tom Howard (my former assistant director) and Gary Sadler’s “King of Love,” a song rich in imagery of Christ as King, both suffering and reigning, and “At the Name of Jesus” to my hymn tune BELLE RIVE, first published in the the GIA hymnal Hymns for a Pilgrim People.
If your church observes Christ the King Sunday, what music was chosen?