Musical Notes ♫♬ (Archive)


On Eagle's Wings was composed in 1979 by Michael Joncas, a Catholic priest.  After Vatican Council II the Catholic Church began using vernacular hymns at mass.  The words are loosely based on Psalm 91 and Isaiah 40:31.  An interesting fact:  Fr. Joncas has stated that his preference for the title would be "On Eagle's Wings," indicating that the wings belong to a single eagle which is metaphorically related to God, but he said he could make an argument for "On Eagles' Wings," indicating that wings belong to many eagles, since there would be many eagles needed to lift up the multiple people in covenant with God. 

When Peace like a River is a beautiful hymn with tragic history.  The text was written by Horatio G. Spafford after two major traumas in his life.  The first was the great Chicago Fire of 1871 which ruined him financially.  Shortly thereafter, while crossing the Atlantic, all four of his daughters died in a collision with another ship.  His wife survived and sent him the now famous telegram "Saved Alone".  A few weeks later, as his own ship crossed the exact spot where his daughters died, he was inspired by the Holy Spirit with words of eternal hope, no matter what pain and grief they bear while on earth.   Philip P. Bliss wrote the tune and named it after the ship on which Spafford's daughters died,
S.S Ville de Havre.  Tragically, Bliss was killed in a train wreck shortly after composing this tune.  

In honor the Independence Day celebration we will close our service with O Beautiful for Spacious Skies (America the Beautiful)..  The poetry was written by Katherine L. Bates and the tune by organist and choirmaster Samuel A. Ward.  Bates originally wrote the words as a poem, Pikes Peak, first published in the Fourth of July edition of the church periodical The Congregationalist in 1895. At that time, the poem was titled America for publication.  Ward had originally written the music, Materna, for the 19th century hymn O Mother Dear Jerusalem in 1882. Ward's music combined with the Bates poem was first published in 1910 and titled America the Beautiful.  The song is one of the most beloved and popular of the many American patriotic songs.  From time to time it has been proposed as a replacement for The Star Spangled Banner as the National Anthem.

Gretchen Mundinger
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Daily Bible Verse

  • Malachi 4:1-6

    5Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. 6He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents, so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse.

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