Worship & Music Ministry


What's Going On This Month

What's up at St. Mark Lutheran Church? In addition to our Saturday and Sunday services, choir, and hand bells, we've got some special things coming up. You can find more information about these 'happenings' on the Events page.

Our Hymns - A Little of the Backstory

The origins for some of the Hymns scheduled for this month are presented here. Some will be sung at one of our services. Others are suggestions to be sung as a personal 'Hymn Sing' on Sunday. Occasionally, additional worship-related musical information will be presented.

Morning Has Broken - Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965)

 

"Morning Has Broken" is a popular and well-known Christian hymn first published in 1931. It has words by English author Eleanor Farjeon and was inspired by the village of Alfriston in East Sussex, then set to a traditional Scottish Gaelic tune known as "Bunessan.”

 

The hymn originally appeared in the second edition of Songs of Praise (published in 1931), to the tune "Bunessan," composed in the Scottish Islands. In Songs of Praise Discussed, the editor, Percy Dearmer, explains that as there was a need for a hymn to give thanks for each day, English poet and children's author Eleanor Farjeon had been "asked to make a poem to fit the lovely Scottish tune." A slight variation on the original hymn, also written by Eleanor Farjeon, can be found in the form of a poem contributed to the anthology Children's Bells, under Farjeon's new title, "A Morning Song (For the First Day of Spring)," published by Oxford University Press in 1957. The song is noted in 9/4 time but with a 3/4 feel.

 

"Bunessan" had been found in L. McBean's Songs and Hymns of the Gael, published in 1900. Before Farjeon's words, the tune was used as a Christmas carol, which began "Child in the manger, Infant of Mary," translated from the Scottish Gaelic lyrics written by Mary MacDonald. The English-language Roman Catholic hymnal also uses the tune for the James Quinn hymns, "Christ Be Beside Me" and "This Day God Gives Me," both of which were adapted from the traditional Irish hymn St. Patrick's Breastplate. Another Christian hymn, "Baptized In Water," borrows the tune.

https://www.godtube.com/popular-hymns/morning-has-broken/

Jesus Loves Me – Anna Warner (1827-1915)

The Bible tells us that God loves each and every one of us, despite our sins and faults. Be comforted by the simple lyrics of 'Jesus Loves Me' and remember that our Creator is almighty and all-loving. He is with us each step of the day and will never leave our side. We may be weak, but He is our strength.

 

"Jesus Loves Me" is one of the most popular Christian hymns around the world, especially among children. The hymn was first written by Anna B. Warner as a poem. Anna's sister Susan requested a poem for a dying child and Anna wrote the wonderful words of Jesus Loves Me to bring comfort and peace.

 

Anna's poem appeared in a novel, Say and Seal, and was composed by William Bradbury in 1862.

 

"Jesus Loves Me" with its simple, direct message, is one of the first hymns missionaries teach to new converts. It was the favorite hymn of Francis Schaeffer, who recognized that ultimately what intellectuals and children alike need is the simple message of Jesus. Amy Carmichael, the Irish missionary to India, was converted after hearing this hymn at a children's mission in Yorkshire, England.

https://www.godtube.com/popular-hymns/jesus-loves-me/

Now Thank We All Our God – Martin Rinkart (1586-1649)

…most Catholics don’t know the name Martin Rinkart. But this Lutheran deacon and composer left us a beautiful testament to faith and thanksgiving: he composed the hymn “Now Thank We All Our God.”

 

German pastor Martin Rinkart served in the walled town of Eilenburg during the horrors of the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648. Eilenburg became an overcrowded refuge for the surrounding area. The fugitives suffered from epidemic and famine. At the beginning of 1637, the year of the Great Pestilence, there were four ministers in Eilenburg. But one abandoned his post for healthier areas and could not be persuaded to return. Pastor Rinkhart officiated at the funerals of the other two.

 

As the only pastor left, he often conducted services for as many as 40 to 50 persons a day–some 4,480 in all. In May of that year, his own wife died. By the end of the year, the refugees had to be buried in trenches without services.

 

Yet, while living in a world dominated by death, Rinkart wrote this timeless prayer of thanksgiving for his children:

Now thank we all our God With hearts and hands and voices;

Who wondrous things hath done, In whom this world rejoices.

Who, from our mother’s arms, Hath led us on our way,

With countless gifts of love, And still is ours today.

https://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/deaconsbench/2009/11/now-thank-we-all-our-god-the-story-behind-the-hymn.html

What a Friend We Have in Jesus – Joseph Scriven (1820-1886)

What a blessing to be able to come to God each day and hand over our worries and fears. With our friend, Jesus, our burdens can be lifted and our souls cleansed. Listen to the blessed lyrics of 'What a Friend We Have in Jesus' and learn the incredible story behind this powerful song. This is one you'll want to sing each and every day to praise His name.

 

Joseph Scriven was born in Ireland in 1820. He was educated at Trinity College in Dublin and was engage to be married. The evening before their wedding, Scriven's fiancé drowned. This tragedy coupled with difficult family relationships, caused Joseph to begin following the practices and teaches of the Plymouth Brethren. Shortly after moving to Canada to become a teacher, Scriven became engaged to Eliza Roche. Tragedy struck again and Eliza passed away from illness shortly before marriage.

 

Joseph used the tragedies and hardships in life to empathize with the elderly and poor. Scriven used his time to saw wood for the stoves of those who were handicapped or elderly.

 

Joseph wrote his famous hymn in 1855 to comfort his mother who still lived in Ireland. He did not seek to be noticed for it, and his authorship was only discovered by accident shortly before his death.

 

Scriven himself began to experience poor health, financial struggles and depression his last years of life. To this day, no one knows for sure if Joseph Scriven's death was accident or suicide. He was in serious depression at the time. A friend reported, "We left him about midnight. I withdrew to an adjoining room, not to sleep, but to watch and wait. You may imagine my surprise and dismay when on visiting the room I found it empty. All search failed to find a trace of the missing man, until a little after noon the body was discovered in the water nearby, lifeless and cold in death."

https://www.godtube.com/popular-hymns/what-a-friend-we-have-in-jesus/

Join the Fun

Make Wednesday night your music night

Consider joining one or both of these music ministries

with instrument and/or song.

A place in the choir...

We have revved up the old Victrola and start singing on a regular basis in the balcony or on the floor and occasionally ringing those bells and chimes. 


Don’t you want to be part of this incredible, fun ministry? It is our position that we present the word of the Lord in prayerful song to open the hearts, minds and ears of the congregation in order for them to receive the message of the day. We are just one instrument to deliver the good news of the love of Christ. The more instruments, the louder the band. The louder the band, the better they hear! 


Please consider joining us.  On Wednesdays, hand bells begin from 6pm-7pm and the Trinity Choir Choir from 7pm-8pm.


See Melinda or any member of the choirs for more information.  It could be the best hour or two you spend with us!

Obadiah – The nation of Edom in Mt. Seir sided against Judah, they should have known better.