James Weldon Johnson, Poet


Click image to listen to the Metropolitan Baptist Church Choir (Largo, MD)
sing “Lift every voice and sing” by James Weldon Johnson

Today (June 25th) the Episcopal Church remembers James Weldon Johnson.

James Weldon Johnson was born in 1871 in Jacksonville, Florida…. In 1900, he collaborated with his brother, Rosamond, a composer, to create “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.” Written in celebration of President Lincoln’s birthday, the song, still popular today, has become known as the “African American National Anthem.” Read the entire post at Holy Women, Holy Men

As we remember, we pray:

Eternal God, we give thanks for the gifts that you gave your servant James Weldon Johnson: a heart and voice to praise your Name in verse. As he gave us powerful words to glorify you, may we also speak with joy and boldness to banish hatred from your creation, in the Name of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen. Source: Holy Women, Holy Men

On Trinity Sunday we read “The Great Commission” (Matthew 28:16-20). In James Weldon Johnson we have a wonderful example of using God-given gifts to glorify God and benefit the community and we pray that the same may be true in us. God will surely hear that prayer–are we ready to work with God’s grace and for God’s glory?

Lyrics for “Lift every voice and sing” by James Weldon Johnson

Lift every voice and sing,
till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.

Sing a song full of the faith that the
dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
bitter the chastening rod,
felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
yet with a steady beat,
have not our weary feet
come to the place
for which our fathers died?

We have come over a way that with tears have been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
out from the gloomy past,
till now we stand at last
where the white gleam
of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
thou who hast by thy might led us into the light,
keep us forever in the path, we pray.

Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee;
lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee,
shadowed beneath thy hand,
may we forever stand,
true to our God,
true to our native land.

Source: Gospel Music Lyrics

A Proper 8 Art for Readings 6/25/2011


Rembrandt van Rijn (artist)
Dutch, 1606 – 1669
Click to open National Gallery of Art Artist Biography and to explore other works by this artist.

Abraham’s Sacrifice, 1655
etching and drypoint
sheet (trimmed to plate mark): 15.7 x 13.4 cm (6 3/16 x 5 1/4 in.)
Rosenwald Collection
1943.3.7161
Click to open National Gallery of Art display page.
 Click on their image to enlarge/fit page etc.

A Trinity: Art for readings 06/19/2011

ANDREA DEL SARTO
Click to open Web Gallery of Art Artist Biography and to explore other works by this artist.

Disputation on the Trinity
1517
Oil on wood, 232 x 193 cm
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The Apostles’ Creed

Listen to the Apostles’ Creed sung by a choir of Tongan youth in the Uniting Church Sydney Australia.

What is the Apostles’ Creed?

The Apostles’ Creed is the ancient creed of Baptism, it is used in the Church’s daily worship to recall our Baptismal Covenant.

An Outline of the Faith: The Book of Common Prayer, p. 852

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

For further reading and reflection

The Symbolum Apostolorum was developed between the second and ninth centuries. It is the most popular creed used in worship by Western Christians. Its central doctrines are those of the Trinity and God the Creator. It has been called the Creed of Creeds.
Legend has it that the Apostles wrote this creed on the tenth day after Christ’s ascension into heaven. That is not the case, though the name stuck. However, each of the doctrines found in the creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period. The earliest written version of the creed is perhaps the Interrogatory Creed of Hippolytus (ca. A.D. 215). The current form is first found in the writings of Caesarius of Arles (d 542).
The creed was apparently used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Hence it is also known as The Roman Symbol. As in Hippolytus’ version it was given in question and answer format with the baptismal candidates answering in the affirmative that they believed each statement.

Source: http://www.creeds.net/ancient/apostles.htm

Note: the link will take you to a page devoted to the Apostles’ Creed including additional links to the text of the creed in Latin and Greek, historical notes and much more

A Pentecost: Art for readings 06/12/2011

GIOTTO di Bondone
Click to open Web Gallery of Art Artist Biography

Scenes from the Life of Christ: Pentecost
1304-06
Fresco, 200 x 185 cm
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 Click on their image to enlarge/fit page etc.

Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua
Click to open Web Gallery of Art location/setting information.

A Easter7: Art for readings 06/05/2011

GIOTTO di Bondone
Click to open Web Gallery of Art Artist Biography

Scenes from the Life of Christ: Ascension
1304-06
Fresco, 200 x 185 cm
Click to open Web Gallery of Art display page.
 Click on their image to enlarge/fit page etc.

Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua
Click to open Web Gallery of Art location/setting information.