Our commissioning hymn this Sunday is nick-named Saint Andrew’s hymn due to its second verse: “As of old, Saint Andrew heard it, by the Galilean lake, turned from home and toil and kindred, leaving all for His dear sake.” Here is its back-story.
Bradford Congregational Church is only a few miles south of Vermont’s Caledonia County, so the old hymns of the Scots-Irish are a big part of our tradition. Continue reading Saint Andrew’s hymn
On Sunday, January 14, 2018 our commissioning hymn is the well-known “We Shall Overcome,” which is now most often associated with the Rev. Martin Luther King march on Washington. This song’s history is deeply entrenched in the very fields of injustice it spoke to. Voices from cotton fields, tobacco houses, labor unions, and then civil rights. Weaving it’s way through houses of worship as God’s guiding hand was praised and implored. Continue reading We Shall Overcome
Our opening hymn on this first Communion Sunday of 2018 is “All Creatures of Our God and King,” the tune and words of which are very familiar to us. Click here for a roof-raising rendition of choir, descants, orchestra, organ and congregation. Wow! Now THAT is a hymn-sing! Continue reading January 7, 2018
Tonight’s concert by Full Circle is postponed until next Friday, Dec. 29. It will be just as joyous and fun a few days after Christmas when a winter snowstorm is not engulfing New England!
Organist John Atwood’s prelude for our worship on December 17th will be Johann Michael Bach’s delightful arrangement of In Dulci Jubilo, which means “In Sweet Rejoicing.” Johann was the first cousin once removed and father-in-law of J.S. Bach.
In Dulci Jubilo was composed in the early 1300s by a German mystic who, the legend says, heard angels sing the words … and then joined them in a dance of worship. Continue reading Upcoming Worship Dec 17, 2017
Cellist Phyllis Shea will be our guest musician for the morning worship service on December 17th.
She has been improvising on the cello for fifteen years, playing harmony and bass lines with local musicians. She plays every week at the Colatina Exit and Salt Hill in Hanover, and she frequently plays at Peyton Place, the Greenhouse, First Night venues, and other places.
Phyllis lives in Bradford and works at Oxbow High School as the school nurse.
For this Sunday the Prophet Isaiah reading is from chapter 40, verses 1-11 (read them here). Listen with your heart for the comfort, listen to the call to hear that voice in the wilderness, listen to the assurance that “he will feed his flock like a shepherd.”
Those familiar with Handel’s Messiah know these verses very well as a good portion of his epic oratorio comes from the promises revealed to Israel (and us!) through Isaiah and the good news (Gospel) of their fulfillment. Continue reading Upcoming Worship Dec. 10, 2017
When we come together this 1st Sunday of Advent and sing “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” we will be participating in a sacred Advent ritual more than a thousand years old. It takes us back to monastic life in the 8th- or 9th-century. For the week leading up to Christmas, they would sing a sequence of Latin “O antiphons” (an antiphon is a short chant like a refrain based on scripture). The purpose of these O antiphons was to concentrate the mind on the coming Christmas with a sequence of scriptures. Each day was a different O antiphon, climaxing with this one. Click here for a lovely rendition of the Latin original.
Yet there’s more to this particular antiphon than just its advanced age. Continue reading Upcoming Worship Dec 3, 2017
Pastor Jeff says the sermon for Thanksgiving Sunday will be developed from the Matthew 25:14-30 and the key focus will be that Thankfulness should not be limited to what we have received, but should include what we are called to do.
The service will also be a musical offering of thanks and thanksgiving, ranging from the delightful Shaker “Simple Gifts,” to the Netherlands’ folk tune we know as “We Gather Together,” to J. S. Bach’s intricate interweave of “We All Believe in One God.” Continue reading Upcoming Worship Nov. 19 Thanksgiving Sunday
Pastor Jeff says: There are two ways to look at Advent. The first and probably most common way is to see it as a past event – you know, shepherds keeping watch by night, a choir of angelic hosts, the manger and all the rest. This is an important and proper way of commemorating Advent. The second way to view Advent is to see it as a future prediction of Christ coming again, of remembering the promise that God is not done yet. Continue reading Upcoming Worship, Nov. 12, 2017