Music Listing for January 2

Second Sunday after Christmas

O God, who didst wonderfully create, and yet more wonderfully restore, the dignity of human nature:  Grant that we may share the divine life of Him who humbled Himself to share our humanity, thy Son Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Jeremiah 31: 7-14

For the Lord will ransom Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they.  They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord

Psalm 84 – Plainsong, Tone ii

No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who walk with integrity.
O Lord of hosts, happy are they who put their trust in you!

Ephesians 1: 3-19a

In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will, to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.

Matthew 2: 13-23

Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:  “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”


78 O little town of Bethlehem (Forest Green)

247  Lully, lullay, thou little tiny child (Coventry Carol)

115 What child is this (Greensleeves)

117 Brightest and best of the stars of the morning (Morning Star)

90 It came upon a midnight clear (Noel)


Barnes: The Gate of the Year

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.
And he replied: Go out into the darkness and put thine hand into the hand of God.
That shall be better than light,
And safer than a known way. 

-M. Louise Haskins (1875-1957)

Proulx:  Prayer of the Venerable Bede

Christus est Stella Matutina, qui nocte saecum transacta lucem vitae, luce, sanctis promitit, et pander aeternum.

“Christ is the Morning Star, who when the night of this world is past, he gives to his saints the promise of the light of life, and opens everlasting day.”

Inscription on the tomb of the Venerable Bede (672-735) in Durham Cathedral

Music from Christmas Eve

Lisa Jennings, soprano;
Karen Kerswell, alto;
Mark Chaney, tenor;
Verdun Kerswell, Bob Lauer, and Rod Sanders, basses

Erin Althoff and Essena Setaro, violins;
Tamar Ben-Pazi, cello;
Steven Martinez, double bass;
Donna Sanders, organ (Mozart)

Click on the links below to hear music from this service. 

Handel: Pastoral Symphony from ‘Messiah’

Hymn 83: O come, all ye faithful (Adeste fidelis)

Mozart: Gloria (Missa brevis, K. 194)

Psalm 96 (Plainsong, Tone ii)

Lisa Jennings, cantor

Howells: A spotless Rose

Rod Sanders, bass

Hymn 107: Good Christian friends, rejoice (In dulci jubilo)

Mozart: Sanctus (Missa brevis, K. 194)

Mozart: Agnus Dei (Missa brevis, K. 194)

Hymn 111: Silent night, holy night (Stille Nacht)

Music in Memory of Sebron Hood

Almost all of the music at this service was chosen specifically by Sebron (who, incidentally, would have turned 80 years old today). The one exception is the final hymn “On this day earth shall ring”, which was requested by Belle Miller because it was so special to the many Christmases that they spent at Trinity.

The few selections posted here are offered not only in appreciation of his talent as a musician, but as a tribute to his ministry as a church musician and worship leader.  Church music for him was not an end to itself, but a means to worship and devotion.

I am grateful for musical legacy that he leaves to this church and to this city, and I am privileged to have called him a friend. 

Handel: I know that my Redeemer liveth, from “Messiah”

Kaye Sloan, soprano. 

Kaye was Sebron’s immediate successor at Trinity, serving as Director of Music from 1991-2008.

Purcell: Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts

This is a portion of the so-called “Funeral Anthems” from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.  It is from a group of pieces that Purcell wrote for the funeral of Queen Mary in 1694, many of which were also sung at Purcell’s own funeral the following year.  It was sung on this day as it was on those occasions, while the casket was borne into the church. 

Hymn 680: O God, our help (St. Anne)

Ireland: Greater love hath no man

Lisa Jennings, soprano; Tim Koch, baritone. 

Tim Koch’s mother was a classmate of Sebron’s at Union Seminary in the 1950’s. 

Hymn 92: On this day earth shall ring (Personent hodie)

“Christmas carol” has come to be a general term referring to any type of Christmas song.  But “On this day” is an true, honest-to-goodness, by-the-book Christmas carol.  What makes it so?  First of all, it is old.  It was published in a 1582 collection called Piae Cantiones (“Sweet Songs”), but it is much older than that; the purpose of Piae Cantiones was to write down Latin songs and carols that had been sung since Medieval times.  Second, it has a strong narrative element.  The point of singing carols in a world that was mostly illiterate was to teach, remember, and pass on stories about the faith. Third (and this is the clincher), it has a refrain.  And this carol has a particularly vigorous and memorable refain: Ideo gloria in excelsis Deo, “Therefore, glory to God in the highest.” 


James Canty and John Crowley, trumpets;
Steve Skillman, horn;
Marlon MacDonald, trombone;
Charles Jennings, tuba;
Steve Kirkman, timpani

Sebron Yates Hood, Jr. (1930-2010)

Sebron Hood served this church as Organist and Choirmaster from 1967 to 1991.  His funeral will be here at Trinity on Monday, December 20 at 10:30 am.   His full obituary can be found here.

The Trinity Choir will sing at the funeral, and we would like to extend an open invitation to any and all of Sebron’s friends and colleagues who wish to participate.  The schedule as follows:
Sunday 12/19
3:00-5:00 – Rehearsal in the choir room (south end of the church off 30th Ave N)
Monday 12/20
9:00 – Rehearsal in the choir loft
10:00 – Pre-service music
10:30 – Holy Eucharist, Rite I
Repertoire (all chosen by Sebron):
Ireland: Greater love hath no man
Brahms: ‘How lovely is thy dwelling place’ from German Requiem
Jennings: Springs in the Desert
Matthews:  The Lord is my Shepherd

Please e-mail Mark Chaney ( for further information.

Music Listing for December 19

Fourth Sunday of Advent

We beseech thee, Almighty God, to purify our consciences by thy daily visitation, that when thy Son our Lord cometh He may find in us a mansion prepared for Himself; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.


Genesis 3: 8, 13-15

So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you…I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Psalm 80:1-7 – Plainsong, Tone ii

Restore us, O God of hosts;
show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

Isaiah 7:1-16

Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign:  The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.

Matthew 1:18-25

“Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”


66 Come, thou long-expected Jesus (Stuttgart)

343 Shepherd of souls, refresh and bless (St. Agnes)

265 The angel Gabriel from heaven came (Gabriel’s Message)

72 Hark! the glad sound! the Savior comes (Richmond)


Magnificat (Plainsong, Tine II)

Antiphon: Drop down ye heavens, from above,
            and let the skies pour down righteousness:
            Let the earth open and bring forth salvation. (Isaiah 45:8)

Schop: How lovely shines the Morning Star


Guilmant: March on a Theme of Handel, Op. 15

NOTE:  In 1995, when I was an exchange student in the U. K., December 24 happened to fall on a Sunday.  Becasue the liturgical day begins at sundown (see Gen. 1:5, “and there was evening and there was morning, the first day” and so on) the morning service on that day was the Fourth Sunday of Advent and the evening service was Christmas Eve.  I was loose on my own in London that day and I went to church five times–Matins, Eucharist, two carol services and Midnight Mass– at Wesminster Abbey and St. Pauls Cathedral among others.  At one of the morning services the organist played this Guilmant March on a theme of Handel as the postlude, and the memory of that whole day has stuck with me so much that I have pulled it out on the Sunday before Christmas every year since.  It is a flashy piece, and it sounds harder than it actually is–after all, I can play it.  The theme from Handel is “Lift up your heads” from Messiah, but it is the same opening gesture as “Glory to God,” also from Messiah, as well as Handel’s tune “Joy to the world.”

Music from Advent Lessons and Carols

Click on the links below to hear music from this service. 

The Great O Antiphons:

O Wisdom

O Adonai

O Root of Jesse

O Key of David

O Dayspring

O King of the Nations

O Emmanuel

Other Lessons and Carols:

Ley: Come, thou long-expected Jesus

Hymn 67: Comfort, comfort ye, my people (Psalm 42)

Psaltery: Nowel Syng We Bothe Al and Som

Bob Lauer, recorder; Mary Lauer, dulcimer

arr. Lynn: Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming

Lisa Jennings and Kristine Chaney, sopranos; Donna Sanders, piano

Weelkes: Hark, all ye lovely saints

Musica Meliano Early Music Ensemble
(Bob Lauer, director; Mary Lauer, Charles Evans, Christine Wright, Sue Fink)

Dietterich: Carol of the Advent (People, look east)

Hymn 54: Savior of the nations, come (Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland)

Sung atiphonally between the recorder consort and the congregation. 

Introduction: setting by Johann Herrmann Schein (1586-1630);
Between each stanza:  settings by Johann Crüger (1598-1662), Andreas Raselius (1563-1602), and David N. Johnson (1922-1987)

Owens: He shall come down like rain

Kristine Chaney and Lisa Jennings. sopranos;
Fran Gilbert and Karen Kerswell, altos;
Stewart Haigh and Larry Wilson, tenors;
Verdun Kerswell, Bob Lauer, and Rod Sanders, basses

Nelson: The Coming of God to Earth

Hymn 57: Lo! he comes with cloudes descending

Advent Banners Inspired by the Great O Antiphons


These banners were designed and constructed specially for our Advent service of lessons and carols by members of the Trinity Choir.  Thank you to Donna Wiggin (coordinator), Beverly Henderson, Karen Kerswell, Lisa Jennings, Mary Slaby, Stella Acton-Greene, Marcia McKenna, and Fran Gilbert.  For a full description of the origin and significance of the Great O Antiphons, click here.


   O Wisdom,
       proceeding from the mouth of the Most High,
       Pervading and permeating all creation,
       mightily ordering all things:
   Come and teach us the way of prudence.


   O Adonai
       and Ruler of the house of Israel,
       Who appeared to Moses in the burning bush
       and gave him the Law on Sinai:
   Come with an outstretched arm and redeem us.


   O Root of Jesse,
       who stands for an ensign of the peoples,
       Before whom kings are mute  
       and to whom the nations will do homage: 
   Come quickly to deliver us.


    O Key of David 
        and Scepter of the house of Israel, 
       You open and no one can close, 
       You close and no one can open:  
   Come and rescue the prisoners who are in darkness
       and in the shadow of death.


  O Dayspring,
       Splendor of Light everlasting: 
   Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness
       and in the shadow of death.


  O King of Nations,
       The Ruler they long for, 
       the Cornerstone uniting all people:
   Come and save us all, whom you formed out of clay. 


    O Emmanuel, 
       our King and our Lord,
       The Anointed for the nations and their Savior:
   Come and save us, O Lord our God.


The banners have been hung (in the correct order) over the balcony where we can enjoy them for the rest of Advent and Christmas:

Lessons and Carols for Advent

Wednesday, December 15
5:45 – Dinner in Gravely Hall  (free)
6:30 – Service of Lessons and Carols

This event is being offered as a sort of an Advent family night of fellowship and worship.  It is meant to be a quiet moment of reflective preparation amid the fuss and bother of this hectic season.  Through our fellowship, our prayer, and our singing I hope that the evening will be useful tool in making our hearts and minds ready for the celebration of Chrsitmas.  Childcare is provided, and a snazzy poster for the evening is avaiable here; please feel free to download and distribute freely.   

Aside from the readings and the singing, a notable feature of this service will be a set of seven banners with symbols for each of the Great O Antiphons.  The banners were designed specifically for this service and they were made (traced, cut, sewn, ironed, appliqued, hemmed, and otherwise lovingly wrought) by women in our choir.   They will be processed into the church one by one as the service progresses, and after the service we will hang them over the balcony for the remainder of Advent and Christmas. 

The symbols on the banners, derived from the Old Testament, are as follows: 

O Wisdom – Scroll
O Adonai (“Lord and Ruler”)- Burning Bush
O Root of Jesse – Tree
O Key of David – Key
O Dayspring – Rising Sun
O King of the Nations – Crown
O Emmanuel (“God with us”) – Star and Manger

I don’t want to give away all the cookies, but I can tell you that they are beautiful.  I will post pictures of them on this blog after the servce next week.

Advent Purple

One of the things I love about being a church musician is the rhythm and flow of the church year, the way that the Sundays and seasons tell the story of Jesus’s life and the life of the church.  I delight in the things that we do (or don’t do) at a particular day or season that point to some aspect of our faith.   The colors of the various seasons are helpful signposts for me on this yearly journey: white for light and purity, green for growth, red for fire (or, in some cases, blood), purple for royalty.

I also appreciate how carefully, lovingly, and beautifully our altar and sanctuary are appointed for worship.  All of the paraments that we use at Trinity are beautiful, but I find the purple hangings that we use during Advent and Lent to be particularly stunning.  The cloth on the altar itself covers the table on all for sides (not just the front) and the embroidery on the crown of thorns is extraordinary.  In a chance conversation with a friend who is a long-time member of Trinity, I came to find out the story behind how these hangings came to be here. 

Alexander William (Bill) Kennedy and his wife, Fran, came to Trinity in 1981 when they retired to Myrtle Beach from the New York area.  Fran died in 1996 and Bill passed away in 2001, having sung tenor in the Trinity Choir for 20 years.  Bill was the son of poor Irish immigrants who settled in New York City and had few opportunities for an education.  But what Bill did have was a wonderful singing voice, and his mother was able to arrange for him to audition for the renowned St. Thomas Boy Choir, where he lived and performed for many years and gained a fine education.  When Bill died, he especially wanted to leave his beloved church with some tangible legacy, resulting in the gift of the aformentioned altar hangings.  I have always enjoyed the beauty of these vestments; knowing the story of where they came from only adds to my appreciation of them.

Above: The Trinity Choir in the late 1980’s, during the years that Sebron Hood (back row, far right) was Organist and Choirmaster.  Bill Kennedy is in the back row, second from the left.  Notice that picture was taken in the old church, where the present choir room is.