by Jerry Rich, Director of Music
“Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide. The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, help of the helpless, Lord, abide with me.” This hymn—a favorite of King George V and Mahatma Gandhi, recorded by jazz legends Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane, sung on board the sinking Titanic and at the 2012 London Olympics, featured on television’s Doctor Who and Doc Martin—speaks as much to us today as it did when Henry Lyte wrote these words 168 years ago.
Reverend Lyte, vicar in the fishing village of Lower Brixham, Devonshire, England, ministered faithfully for twenty-three years to his seafaring people, writing sermons, poems and hymns. But Henry’s lungs were affected by the seaside’s damp winters, and while in his early fifties he developed tuberculosis. On September 4, 1847, age 54, he entered his pulpit with difficulty and preached what was to be his last sermon. He had planned a therapeutic holiday in Italy. “I must put everything in order before I leave,” he said, “because I have no idea how long I will be away.” That afternoon he walked along the coast in pensive prayer then retired to his room, emerging an hour later with a written copy of Abide with Me.
Shortly afterward, Henry embraced his family a final time and departed for Italy. Stopping in Avignon, France, he revised Abide with Me—it was evidently much on his mind—and posted it to his wife. Arriving in the French Riviera, he checked into the Hôtel de Angleterre in Nice, and there on November 20, 1847, his lungs finally gave out. When news of his death reached Brixham, the village fishermen held a memorial service; this was when Abide with Me was first sung.
By Ellen LaCroix, Director of Children’s Choir
Well, it’s that time of the year again. Children’s Choir is gearing up for the spring musical! On Sunday May 10, we will share with the congregation, 100% Chance of Rain by Walter S. Horsley. As the Choristers Guild website states, this musical tells “the story of Noah, his family, the ark, the flood, and God’s covenant with humanity. This rendition of Noah and the Ark incorporates lilting melodies and infectious humor with the promise of ‘100% chance of love!’”
If you are not a member of the Children’s Choir, but want to join us for the musical we would love to have you! We meet Wednesday nights 6 – 7 p.m. During the first thirty minutes, we share a meal together and then we rehearse music for the last 30 minutes. This can be a fun, engaging way to get plugged in here at Trinity and find a place in this community. During the month ahead, we will not only learn the words to songs or the melody. We will also take a closer look at the Bible story itself. What exactly is an ark? How many people and animals were on it? (Hint: the answer isn’t just two of each kind!) What is a covenant and why do we need one? It is going to be a fun and exciting time to worship God through music. I hope to see you there!