Friday, April 27, 2007

Worship Notes 27 April 2007

This Sunday is our fifth, and final Sunday, to sing Jesus Shall Reign (Psalm 72) —our Psalm for the month of April at Parish Pres. Our Psalm for the month of May will be Call Jehovah, Your Salvation (Psalm 91) written in 1822 by James Montgomery and set to an original melody in 1996.

James Montgomery was born in 1771 in Scotland where his father was a pastor in the Moravian Church. At the age of five, the family moved to Ireland, and by the age of seven, James’ parents sent him to York to begin seminary training.

In seminary, Montgomery began to write poetry and planned to write two epics after the style of John Milton. Not called to the ministry, he worked through various apprenticeships until he eventually became the editor of the Sheffield Iris for more than thirty years. Having drifted from the church, Montgomery recommitted himself to Christianity at the age of forty-three, and began to be active in Abolition work, the Bible Society, and various missionary endeavors.

Montgomery turned his poetic gift to writing hymns and metrical Psalms—about 400 published in three volumes. In addition, he started the study of hymn writers, lectured at the Royal Institution, and continued to publish other volumes of his poetry and anti-slavery works.

He never married, and died quietly in his sleep at the age of 83. The people of Sheffield honored him with a public funeral, a statue in the cemetery, and a stained glass window in the parish church. His best known hymns include: Angels from the Realms of Glory, Shepherd of Souls Refresh and Bless (which we sang last week), Stand Up and Bless the Lord, and Hail to the Lord’s Anointed.


Jason Parolini said...

Sent to seminary at age 7 ??? WOW. Maybe this had something to do with "Not being called to ministry". My 7 year old son is definitely a budding theologian, but he also can't decide from day to day if he wants to be Jim Hawkins, King Arthur or Huckleberry Finn. The seminary might look dimly upon such adventures.

CSUF Rock Star said...

Cool story! But who wrote the original melody in 1996? Was it you?

AJ Harbison
The Matrix Has You

Greg said...


Yes, I did write the music for the Montogomery text.


Joseph Forster said...

Is there a way I could get your setting of that Psalm, and maybe some of the other music you have written for congregational worship? My church really enjoys your setting of "The Son of God Goes Forth to War" out of the Cantus Christi.