Church of England Diocese of Manchester Astley Bridge

Hymns & Music for 13th June 2021 recorded by Mel, St. Paul's Church Organist

Mel, St. Paul's Church Organist, writes :

The Epistle and Gospel set for this week have inspired a large number of hymn writers. 'Come ye faithful raise the anthem' and 'Eternal Father strong to save' both have sources in St Mark's gospel. The other two derive from the epistle to the Corinthians.

In the Church of England, 'Rock of ages' has frequently been sung to the tune 'Petra' and so that is included here. However, when the hymn gets sung during "Little House on the Prairie" or by a travelling preacher with a harmonium lifted out from his covered wagon, it is more often the tune 'Toplady' that is used.

The name comes from August Montague Toplady who wrote the words. Born in Surrey in 1740, he was ordained in the Church of England after a religious experience in Ireland. He described it as follows: "Strange that I, who had so long sat under the means of grace in England, should be brought nigh unto God in an obscure part of Ireland, amidst a handful of God's people met together in a barn, and under the ministry of one who could hardly spell his name. Surely this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous". Rev Toplady became a Calvinist and argued forcibly with John Wesley. After working in a Devon parish where he wrote a great many hymns, he moved to London where he became minister of the Chapel of the French Calvinists in Leicester Fields. He died of consumption at the age of 38.

This week's bonus item is the American spiritual 'Steal away' which also has links to today's epistle.

AMNS 145 Come, ye faithful, raise the anthem - https://youtu.be/tOVdynV-fHE

AMNS 292 Eternal Father, strong to save - https://youtu.be/N1QhooteStI

AMNS 231 O for a closer walk with God - https://youtu.be/BoxOM2aD57Y

AMNS 135 Rock of ages, cleft for me (Petra) - https://youtu.be/E7SPCB8fh9Y

AMNS 135 Rock of ages, cleft for me (Toplady) - https://youtu.be/bxt5O7OVkyI

Steal away - https://youtu.be/bRDFh_zcsyY

Mel.