Today’s cultural moment

October 14, 2021

In honor of the birthday of e. e. cummings (1894-1962), here is a choral setting by Dan Forrest of one of his poems, sung by the Atlanta Master Chorale.


Sunday musical offering

May 16, 2021


Sunday musical offering

February 21, 2021

The latest sun is sinking fast,
My race is almost run;
My strongest trials now are past,
My triumph is begun.
O come, angel band,
Come and around me stand;
O bear me away on your snow white wings
To my immortal home.

I know I’m near the holy ranks
Of friends and kindred dear;
I brushed the dew on Jordan’s banks,
The crossing must be near.
O come, angel band,
Come and around me stand;
O bear me away on your snow white wings
To my immortal home.

I’ve almost gained my heavenly home,
My spirit loudly sings;
The holy ones, behold, they come;
I hear the noise of wings.
O come, angel band,
Come and around me stand;
O bear me away on your snow white wings
To my immortal home.


Happy birthday, Benjamin

November 22, 2020

In honor of the birthday of Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), here is “A Hymn to the Virgin” performed by The Atlanta Master Chorale.


Sunday musical offering

August 9, 2020

When memory fades and recognition falters,
When eyes we love grow dim, and minds, confused,
Speak to our souls of love that never alters;
Speak to our hearts by pain and fear abused.
O God of life and healing peace, empower us
With patient courage, by Your graced infused.

As frailness grows, and youthful strengths diminish
In weary arms, which worked their earnest fill,
Your aging servants labor now to finish
Their earthly tasks, as fits Your mystery’s will.
We grieve their waning, yet rejoice, believing
Your arms, unwearied, shall uphold us still.

Within Your Spirit, goodness lives unfading;
The past and future mingle into one.
All joys remain, unshadowed light pervading,
No valued deed will ever be undone.
Your mind enfolds all finite acts and offerings.
Held in Your heart, our deathless life is won.

When memory fades and recognition falters,
Your arms, unwearied, shall uphold us still.


Sunday musical offering

July 12, 2020


Sunday musical offering

January 26, 2020

Sweet rivers of redeeming love
Lie just before my eyes,
Had I the pinions of a dove,
I’d to those rivers fly.
I’d rise superior to my pain,
With joy outstrip the wind;
I’d cross cold Jordan’s stormy waves,
And leave the world behind.

A few more days or years at most
My troubles will be o’er;
I hope to join the heavenly host
On Canaan’s happy shore.
My raptured soul shall drink and feast
In love’s unbounded sea,
The glorious hope of endless rest
Is ravishing to me.

O come, my Savior, come away, 
And bear me through the sky; 
Nor let Thy chariot wheels delay, 
But quickly draw Thou nigh. 
Then I shall join the angel throng 
And circle round Thy throne; 
I’ll sing through all the ages long, 
And joy to be Thine own.


Musical offering for the eleventh day of Christmas

January 4, 2020

When Christ was born of maid Mary
In Bethlehem that fair city,
Angels sung e’er with mirth and glee,
Alleluia!

Some shepherds saw those angels bright
To them appeared with glorious light,
And said, “God’s son is born tonight!” 

Alleluia! 

This king is come to save His kind
In holy Scripture as we find;
Therefore this song we have in mind,

Alleluia! 

Then dearest Lord, for Thy great grace,
Grant us the bliss to see Thy face,
Where we may sing with all the human race,
Alleluia!


Happy birthday, Percy

August 4, 2019

In honor of the birthday of English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), here is Eric Nelson’s choral setting of “Music, When Soft Voices Die,” sung by the Atlanta Master Chorale with the composer conducting.

Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory;
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heap’d for the belovèd’s bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.


Happy birthday, William

June 13, 2019

In honor of the birthday of Irish poet William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), here is Z. Randall Stroope’s choral setting of “The Cloths of Heaven.”

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.


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