Sep 16, 2018 • 9:30 am

The Rev. Dr. Scott Black Johnston, preaching.

Kirkland Chapel

Sep 16, 2018 • 11:00 am

The Rev. Dr. Scott Black Johnston, preaching.


Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

Senior Pastor Scott Black Johnston continues his Fall Sermon Series, Matriarchs & Patriarchs: The Roots of Authentic Faith, on the ancestral stories of Genesis.

Sermon: "Melchizedek Blesses"

Text: Genesis 14:8-20

Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out, and they joined battle in the Valley of Siddim with King Chedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of Goiim, King Amraphel of Shinar, and King Arioch of Ellasar, four kings against five. Now the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits; and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them, and the rest fled to the hill country. So the enemy took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way; they also took Lot, the son of Abram’s brother, who lived in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner; these were allies of Abram. When Abram heard that his nephew had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred eighteen of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. He divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and routed them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. Then he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his nephew Lot with his goods, and the women and the people.

After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). And King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, maker of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” And Abram gave him one tenth of everything.


Berceuse á la mémoire de Louis Vierne • Pierre Cochereau (1924–1984)

Os Justi • Anton Bruckner (1824–1896), Text: Psalm 37:30-31 

Jubilate Deo • Herbert Howells (1892–1983), Text: Psalm 100

Fête • Jean Langlais (1907–1991)

Worship Notes

The composer of this morning’s Anthem, Anton Bruckner, was born in 1824 in the northern Austrian town of Ansfelden. Bruckner loved and assiduously studied the music of Renaissance Italian polyphonic masters such as Palestrina, as well as German Baroque composers, especially J.S. Bach. These diverse elements are brought together, along with the boldly Romantic aesthetic inherited from Wagner, in Bruckner’s sacred motets. Os justi was composed in 1879, the same year that he began work on his sixth symphony. This extraordinary motet, which sets Psalm 37:30-31, is set in the Lydian mode, and Bruckner achieves striking harmonic effects without using a single sharp or flat note.

Herbert Howells was one of the most influential composers of English choral music in the 20th century. Born in Gloucestershire in 1892, Howells began his musical studies with the great Herbert Brewer at Gloucester Cathedral. In 1912 he won an open scholarship at the Royal College of Music, where he studied with Charles Villiers Stanford and Charles Wood, joining the faculty himself in 1920. He succeeded Gustav Holst in 1936 as director of music at St. Paul’s Girls School (a post he held until 1962), and was appointed professor of music at London University in 1950.

The setting of Jubilate Deo  sung this morning was composed as the second in a set of two morning canticles (along with a famous setting of the Te Deum ) that Howells wrote for the choir of King’s College, Cambridge (known in Latin as Collegium Regale ). This collaboration turned out to be remarkably fruitful: in addition to the morning canticles, Howells composed a set of evening canticles (Magnificat and Nunc dimittis) for the King’s College choir, as well as a setting of the complete Anglican communion liturgy. Howells’ evocative and utterly distinctive compositional voice is at the height of its maturity in these pieces, and their sound arguably redefined the aesthetics of church music going forward.

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