PipeChat Digest #1064 - Monday, September 6, 1999
 
Re: Some real issues (was Amens on Hymns)
  by "Michael Davis" <michaeldavis@wykecottage.screaming.net>
decorum and directing in a chancel situation
  by "Bud/Burgie" <budchris@earthlink.net>
RE: Hymn Registration Alternation
  by "Erik Johnson" <the_maitre@hotmail.com>
Re: divided chancel controversy
  by "Bud/Burgie" <budchris@earthlink.net>
Barnby
  by "Bud/Burgie" <budchris@earthlink.net>
Re: Amens on hymns..............
  by "Shirley" <pnst@snip.net>
Re: Some real issues (was Amens on Hymns)
  by <Icorgan@aol.com>
Re: Some real issues (was Amens on Hymns)
  by <Icorgan@aol.com>
Re: Amen on the rock
  by <Icorgan@aol.com>
Re: Professional Section Leaders
  by <Icorgan@aol.com>
Wurlitzer Wanted
  by "Cory Halverson" <corylinda@sk.sympatico.ca>
Re: divided chancel
  by "Alan Freed" <afreed0904@earthlink.net>
New Century Hymnal
  by "Sand Lawn" <sandlawn@prodigy.net>
Re: New Century Hymnal
  by <douglas@blackiris.com>
Re: Some real issues (was Amens on Hymns)
  by "Erik Johnson" <the_maitre@hotmail.com>
RC organists
  by "bruce cornely" <rohrschok8@webtv.net>
Re: New Century Hymnal
  by "Erik Johnson" <the_maitre@hotmail.com>
Re: New Century Hymnal
  by "Shirley" <pnst@snip.net>
Re: divided chancel controversy
  by "bruce cornely" <rohrschok8@webtv.net>
Re: RC organists
  by "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net>
Re: New Century Hymnal
  by <douglas@blackiris.com>
 


(back) Subject: Re: Some real issues (was Amens on Hymns) From: "Michael Davis" <michaeldavis@wykecottage.screaming.net> Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 17:24:44 +0100     ----- Original Message ----- From: bruce cornely <rohrschok8@webtv.net>   > Seems that there is still a mindset among many RC priests that music is > simply to entertain people while THEY are busy or in transit.   Bruce is quite right in that this attitude still exists in some parishes, however, I believe the tide is turning - we call the entrance hymn the "Gathering Hymn" to aptly describe the gathering of the congregation, not the arrival of the priest. We never cut hymns unless they are likely to = bore one to death.   RCs have been pushed around by their clergy and > hierarchy for far too long (which accounts for many abuses to > parishoners) and the clergy are beginning to feel resistance and are > therefore pushing a little harder to maintain control. They need to > ordain women so that they can at least have someone on their own level > to fight with!! hehehehe   Splendid idea!! > >Any suggestions out there? > um... a position in a non-RC church???   Now then Bruce, the situation will never improve without decent organists who are capable of controlling delinquent clergy!! > > Bruce & the Baskerbeagles > ~~+~~+~~ rohrschok8@webtv.net ~~+~~+~~ > > When a man's dog turns against him it is time for his wife to pack her > trunk and go home to mama. -- Mark Twain > > > "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" > PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics > HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org > List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org > Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org > Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org > >      
(back) Subject: decorum and directing in a chancel situation From: Bud/Burgie <budchris@earthlink.net> Date: Mon, 06 Sep 1999 11:07:35 -0700   I think we had this discussion awhile back, but it might have been on one = of the other lists.   In the olden days, on the rare occasion when an Anglican = organist/choirmaster got out from behind the console to conduct, he (there WERE no "she's" in = THOSE days ...grin!) was to stand over against the stalls at the west end on one = side or the other (the side of the console ... it was ALSO forbidden to cross = the chancel for the purpose of conducting), NEVER in the center, and conduct = so that his hand motions could NOT be seen from the nave. And THAT was only = allowed for the Anthem at Evensong ... NEVER at the Eucharist.   The end result, as I've often pointed out, was choirs that paid ATTENTION = and choirmasters who could control their choirs with a nod; and none of this = "cult of the conductor" nonsense (grin).   Watch the best English choirmasters on TV IN SERVICE ... they still do it = that way.   Cheers,   Bud        
(back) Subject: RE: Hymn Registration Alternation From: "Erik Johnson" <the_maitre@hotmail.com> Date: Mon, 06 Sep 1999 14:14:25 EDT   Drawknob@AOL.com writes:   <<My interpretaion of hymn leaves little room for a "Standard Formula" of registration.>>   Good for you! Neither does mine! Anyone who has heard me play a hymn will know that Modulations, Bridges, Registration changes, interludes, cantus firmus in pedal or tenor, stop changes during a verse-(change in textural meaning) are all VERY common sounds comming from the N.D. choir loft.   HOWEVER.... I think we will all admit, (at least those of us with pistons) =   that we have standard registrations and add/subtract from there. (At = least the consoles that I have seen, (All Saints Worc, Our Lady of Angels, St. Pauls Catherdral) all have some hymn pistons set. It would seem to be a = plus to have some standard pistons esp. when the unexpected happens and the = most you can find and pull out in 1/2 a second it the 2 2/3 Nazard and = Tremulant - now THAT makes for a very interseting and wild hymn registration now doesn't it?!?   I have always follwed the Great Master Bach when he said, "Play the Words" = - but again we must ask ourselves how much is too much? There is a fine = line between enhancing the text by registration and showing off virtuostic ability for showmans sake! It is also nice - I must admit - to hear just = a plain ol' accompianment - no frills just good solid playing / seems like some organists can't even manage 'that'.   All the Best,   The Maitre   ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com  
(back) Subject: Re: divided chancel controversy From: Bud/Burgie <budchris@earthlink.net> Date: Mon, 06 Sep 1999 11:27:12 -0700       Alan Freed wrote:   > Bud: > > I'd thought it must have been earlier than "between the wars," and am = glad > to have your clarification, which, upon reflection, makes sense.   That was the era of the great Anglo-Catholic Eucharistic Congresses, both = here and in England. There WERE a few older Anglo-Catholic churches, but not many. = I think the controversy at Mt. Calvary was sometime around the 1880s, but that was = VERY early on for the Tractarians in this country. They were real pioneers.   > But let me > ask then (with the excuse that it's a well-enough known church): = Trinity > Wall Street. Was it built originally with a shallow non-divided choir = in > the 1840s? I've been pointing it out as an example of how FAST > Tractarianism crossed the pond--but I'll bet I was wrong.   Think so ... originally Trinity had a gallery organ (with one of the few, = if not the ONLY American-built rueckpositivs of the 19th century) and choir. The = choir moved to the chancel (but still not in stalls, I think); a small 2-manual tracker = in the chancel followed shortly thereafter. At the point where both organs were = brought under control of one console (and eventually twin consoles) via = electricity, I THINK that was the point when the choir stalls appeared. Trinity's history, of = course, is very rich and very convoluted, and I'm working from memory. But I'm SURE = the ORIGINAL choir and organ were in the west gallery. The stalls in the east = end MIGHT have happened when the choir first moved down there ... that I'm not sure = of.   > > > I'm working on "when" a Lutheran church was first built in America with > divided choir. Just post-WWII, I can cite; but earlier? > > Interesting Tractarian migration EASTward: Divided choir at Uppsala > Cathedral, Sweden. Looks original, but I'll bet it's from the 1920s = when > Canterbury and Uppsala were sleeping together.   > > > Alan   How old is Uppsala Cathedral? Was there a pre-reformation tradition of = singing the Office?   Cheers,   Bud   > > > ---------- > >From: Bud/Burgie <budchris@earthlink.net> > > > When the Oxford Movement really hit its stride in the Episcopal church = in this > > country between the wars, many Episcopal churches ripped up their = chancels > (usually > > barely big enough for a modest communion table), and in many cases = tried to > > shoehorn divided choir-stalls, an altar and the organ into space that = God > never > > intended to hold divided choir-stalls, an altar, and the organ. > > > > Organs were sawn in two and electrocuted so they could be placed on = either > side of > > the newly divided chancels. Many were discarded, ruined, shoehorned = into > chambers, > > etc. It was NOT a happy time for beautiful old tracker organs. > > > > "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" > PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics > HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org > List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org > Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org > Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org    
(back) Subject: Barnby From: Bud/Burgie <budchris@earthlink.net> Date: Mon, 06 Sep 1999 11:35:22 -0700   "O Lord, How Manifold" is in my choir folders for Thanksgiving (grin).   Cheers,   Bud   "John L. Speller" wrote:   > Alan Freed wrote: > > > > Isn't it amazing? Poor Joe Barnby wrote so many things, 99% so = thoroughly > > forgettable--and then comes along this one, really eminently fine. > > I have a story about Barnby. When they took the organ at St. Paul's > Cathedral in London off the screen and buried it in the chancel the > organist, Sir John Goss lamented "My poor organ is done for!" His > friend Sir Joseph Barnby commented: "They might just as well take a > grand piano and stick it up the chimney!" "When morning gilds the > skies" is also one of my favorite hymns, and I also enjoy singing some > of Barnby's Anglican chants that we sometimes use at our church. > > John Speller, > St. Louis, Mo. > > "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" > PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics > HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org > List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org > Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org > Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org    
(back) Subject: Re: Amens on hymns.............. From: Shirley <pnst@snip.net> Date: Mon, 06 Sep 1999 16:25:58 -0400   At 11:04 PM 9/5/99 EDT, you wrote: >In a message dated 99-09-04 23:08:28 EDT, sandlawn@prodigy.net writes: > ><< The New Century Hymnal, 1995, Pilgrim Press has no Amen's printed. >> > >Just possibly that hymnal may consider the a-MEN too sexist! >Jerry, the Seattle Puritan     Hahaha! Interesting thought, since all hints of ANYTHING sexist or racist have been removed from that hymnal. Even the Christmas carols have been rewritten!   I *hate* that hymnal! Give me the middle-of-the-road Presbyterian hymnal any time! :)   --Shirley  
(back) Subject: Re: Some real issues (was Amens on Hymns) From: Icorgan@aol.com Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 17:17:43 EDT   In a message dated 09/05/1999 6:50:01 PM Central Daylight Time, rohrschok8@webtv.net writes:   << I have been told by priests that the entrance hymn is for the "entrance"of the priest who is "Lord for an hour", >> I find a statement such as this shocking. I'm equally shocked that any = priest or minister would utter it aloud. It seems to me that when the minister becomes the central focus of the worship then the church should either = close its doors or get a new minister. That includes Catholics and Baptists and =   everyone in between.   I've said for a long time that it seemed to me that ministers were on a = giant ego trip. (Before you get out the flame throwers, I know that doesn't = include all of them). Maynard  
(back) Subject: Re: Some real issues (was Amens on Hymns) From: Icorgan@aol.com Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 17:17:54 EDT   In a message dated 09/05/1999 6:50:01 PM Central Daylight Time, rohrschok8@webtv.net writes:   << bishops have too much power and not enough knowledge (not to mention sense!) >> Just one more proof that Prof. Peter was right. Maynard  
(back) Subject: Re: Amen on the rock From: Icorgan@aol.com Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 17:18:12 EDT   In a message dated 09/05/1999 5:38:19 PM Central Daylight Time, runyonr@muohio.edu writes:   << "... and sound the great 'Amen'! >> We're not going to get into that "Lost Chord" thing again, are we? :) Maynard  
(back) Subject: Re: Professional Section Leaders From: Icorgan@aol.com Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 17:18:18 EDT   In a message dated 09/05/1999 10:32:23 AM Central Daylight Time, DudelK@aol.com writes:   << Does she likewise feel that ministers shouldn't be paid? >> Funny you should mention that. I was a little slow to catch on, but those =   were my exact thoughts as I walked out of the church...after the service = was over, of course. I'm sure she would not agree. How else would she pay = for her condo and all those vacations she seems to take? Maynard  
(back) Subject: Wurlitzer Wanted From: "Cory Halverson" <corylinda@sk.sympatico.ca> Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 15:30:21 -0600   I am looking for a Wurlitzer pipe organ. I would prefer something around 3/12 Please send info on whatever you may have. Parts or a complete instrument. Thank You Cory Halverson      
(back) Subject: Re: divided chancel From: "Alan Freed" <afreed0904@earthlink.net> Date: Mon, 06 Sep 1999 18:40:43 -0400   Oh, it's pre-Reformation, of course. And of course there must have been. Matins is now said in a side chapel, but not in choir by monks, but just = as a congregational office.   I'll see what I can dig up on that.   Alan   ---------- >From: Bud/Burgie <budchris@earthlink.net>   > How old is Uppsala Cathedral? Was there a pre-reformation tradition of = singing the > Office?  
(back) Subject: New Century Hymnal From: "Sand Lawn" <sandlawn@prodigy.net> Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 18:38:17 -0700   I certainly didn't mean to stir anything up by praising the NCH. It's a good hymnal that reflects the feelings of the congregation. The decision = to use that hymnal took much thought and prayer. I know it would not be appropriate in some churches, but don't "hate" it. Just acknowledge that it would not be appropriate for all churches.   Sand Lawn   -----Original Message----- From: Shirley <pnst@snip.net> To: PipeChat <pipechat@pipechat.org> Date: Monday, September 06, 1999 1:26 PM Subject: Re: Amens on hymns..............       >Hahaha! Interesting thought, since all hints of ANYTHING sexist or = racist >have been removed from that hymnal. Even the Christmas carols have been >rewritten! > >I *hate* that hymnal! Give me the middle-of-the-road Presbyterian hymnal >any time! :) > > --Shirley >        
(back) Subject: Re: New Century Hymnal From: douglas@blackiris.com Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 19:08:35 -0500   > >Hahaha! Interesting thought, since all hints of ANYTHING sexist or > >racist have been removed from that hymnal. Even the Christmas carols > >have been rewritten!   Yes! Isn't it wonderful? Beautiful new lyrics for some of our most beloved =   melodies (many of which were secular in origin) by contemporary poets and scholars and fresh intelligent new translations of classic german and = other language hymn texts, faithful to the original language context and = meanings instead of the stodgy old lingustically incorrect ones we have had to live =   with all these years. Plus many lovely new hymns found in no other contemporary hymnal. I think it's a fantastic hymnal and am proud of my church for choosing it.   Douglas W. McMurry - Music Director Holy Cross Metropolitan Community Church Pensacola, Florida     *********************** Douglas McMurry email: <douglas@blackiris.com>      
(back) Subject: Re: Some real issues (was Amens on Hymns) From: "Erik Johnson" <the_maitre@hotmail.com> Date: Mon, 06 Sep 1999 20:10:31 EDT     ><< I have been told by > priests that the entrance hymn is for the "entrance"of the priest who = is > "Lord for an hour", >> >I find a statement such as this shocking. I'm equally shocked that any >priest >or minister would utter it aloud. It seems to me that when the minister >becomes the central focus of the worship then the church should either >close >its doors or get a new minister. That includes Catholics and Baptists = and >everyone in between. > >I've said for a long time that it seemed to me that ministers were on a >giant >ego trip. (Before you get out the flame throwers, I know that doesn't >include >all of them).   I agree with Maynard and the truth can be found in our Pastor and = Asscociate Pastor. Fr. G (pastor) loves singing, all verses, speaks objectivily and sticks to the script - a real pleasure to work for and with. However, = when he's away.......... The Associate pastor, Fr. L - hates anything that makes him look = unimportant (good music), wishes I only played 2 verses, ad libs thru the whole Mass - =   adding- bantering - yada yada yada, and told me (verbatim) "Turn your Microphone up louder, I have to hear every syllable you say - I don't care =   if it sounds un-musical, hymns aren't supposed to be musical." - needless = to say- I avoid the rectory when Fr. G is out for the day!   Solution: Read the hymns for Fr. L - no music at all for those masses, or........ pehaps a tour of the top of the 210 ft tower complete with express down..... ooops did I say that!?!?! ;-)   All the Best, The Maitre   (Just kidding about the express down stuff!)   ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com  
(back) Subject: RC organists From: rohrschok8@webtv.net (bruce cornely) Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 20:17:55 -0400 (EDT)   >we call the entrance hymn the "Gathering > Hymn" to aptly describe the gathering of the > congregation, not the arrival of the priest. Unfortunately, we in the USA somehow labour under the false idea that changing the label will solve the problem. The "entrance" hymn was so called in Vatican Documents to mark the entrance of the people into worship. That didn't make any difference either! I sincerely hope "Gathering" helps.   >Now then Bruce, the situation will never > improve without decent organists who are > capable of controlling delinquent clergy!! Seems that bishops are not even capable of controlling delinquent clergy (if they cared to!). Better to cut your losses and run! ;-)   Bruce & the Baskerbeagles ~~+~~+~~ rohrschok8@webtv.net ~~+~~+~~   When a man's dog turns against him it is time for his wife to pack her trunk and go home to mama. -- Mark Twain    
(back) Subject: Re: New Century Hymnal From: "Erik Johnson" <the_maitre@hotmail.com> Date: Mon, 06 Sep 1999 20:27:51 EDT   UGH - I very much Dis-like this hymnal!!!!!   1. Tampering with texts. Alright, I think this whole inclusive language thing has gone way too far. The Mother/Father God thing is foolish as = well. And as far as historical items: we do know that Jesus was a man - so = why think otherwise, He was not an IT!!! 2. Text un-poetic. Yes poetic! Hymns are more than just any old words applied to a given melody. Go read the text of the 1940 Hymnal and see = the beauty of the lines and flow of the text. Even without the music - it = sound beautiful. I bring to your attention a Catholic Hymnal with the Hymn, "A mighty fortress" which has been P.C. changed to "God is Our Fortress and = our Rock" - how utterly not-singable - to end the phrase on the word Rock. = UGH - also in the same arrangment - we see the new text - ..."the bombs and nuclear might - do cease to cause a fright..." - oh give me a break! Martin Luthers text is wonderful the way it is! What are we going to do = in the year 2100... "the cyber space and light - will make our Space dome bright....?" PLEASE! 3. The music is Banal. The rich harmonies found in many GOOD hymnals are missing from the NCH. I beleive chord symbols are even included! The harmonies are much simplified and do not carry the musical weight thier former counterparts did. Seem the UCC church is begining to desire = musical mediocrity just like the Catholics - and just when some of the Catholics = are getting fed up with it and wanting back real music. How odd! 4. Hymns left out. Seems even the UCC church has decided the music was = too churchy - better throw out some of those sturdy old hymns that resound through the building and replace them with fun, exciting praise stuff the kids will like. And those English Hymns - ooooh now those MUST go - Ultra Churchy! 5. Psalter. What is that, you wont find much of it here in the NCH even though it is part of the heritage of the UCC church! Strange how = Catholics threw out Gregorian Chant years ago and are starting to pick it up again. =   The kids don't want Glory & Praise - that is, "hippy stuff mom and dad liked" the kids want Chant - they told me - I guess chant is HIP now. Again, go figure!   The NCH is not the hymnal of choice for churches wanting Thriving and Musical Congregations - before coming to N.D. I worked for a UCC church considering the NCH - we all, minister, music committee and myself ALL thought it stunk!   All the Best, The Maitre   ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com  
(back) Subject: Re: New Century Hymnal From: Shirley <pnst@snip.net> Date: Mon, 06 Sep 1999 20:46:03 -0400   At 07:08 PM 9/6/99 -0500, you wrote: >Yes! Isn't it wonderful? Beautiful new lyrics for some of our most = beloved >melodies (many of which were secular in origin) by contemporary poets and =   >scholars and fresh intelligent new translations of classic german and = other >language hymn texts, faithful to the original language context and meanings (...)   As much as I dislike that book, I have to agree with you here, up to a point. On hymns which have been rewritten, *some* of the lyrics are inspiring.   --Shirley  
(back) Subject: Re: divided chancel controversy From: rohrschok8@webtv.net (bruce cornely) Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 20:44:50 -0400 (EDT)   Well, I feel extremely lucky to have the best of ALL worlds! The choir at First Methodist -- Gainesville, is at the same height as the West Gallery (about 10' above nave floor) with three levels of seating across the East wall directly in front of the organ screen (the swell is at choir level, with the pedal; the great and positive are 10' above the floor with the positive behind he screen and great in front of the screen). There are also two rows of seating along the North and South walls, giving the entire choir loft a U shape. In the cleft of the U and three feet below choir level is the instrument and console level. There is a wall behind the console, the top of which is removabe to expose the manuals of the console. The console is on a moveable platform and can be moved from side to side. The chancel level is about two steps lower than the console level. The chancel is standard liturgical: pulpit, lectern and communion table, and is separated from the nave by a communion rail. By having moveable seating we can accommodate choir, handbells, brass and tympani. And, best of all, it still looks like a church. For worship, the choir sits in the North and South stalls, basses, tenors and altos on the North side, sopranos and altos on the South side. They are able to hear each other, and by turning toward the congregation project their blended voices into the nave.   Bruce & the Baskerbeagles ~~+~~+~~ rohrschok8@webtv.net ~~+~~+~~   When a man's dog turns against him it is time for his wife to pack her trunk and go home to mama. -- Mark Twain    
(back) Subject: Re: RC organists From: Bob Scarborough <desertbob@rglobal.net> Date: Mon, 06 Sep 1999 17:58:19 -0700   At 08:17 PM 9/6/1999 -0400, you wrote: >>we call the entrance hymn the "Gathering >> Hymn" to aptly describe the gathering of the >> congregation, not the arrival of the priest.<snip>   Having been playing for RC churches in the early days of congregational singing, I remember the number one problem was exactly as was stated on this list before...priests used the entrance and recessional hymns as "travellin' music"! They'd seem imposed upon if they actually had to WAIT until the end of at least the first verse of a recessional hymn! Of course, hymns in general were a "tack on" feature of Vat II, so I really don't think anyone paid any attention to their application, nor to the musical enlightenment of the congregation! It was a joke. Usually, the priest would bail right after the recessional hymn would start up, and by the end of the first verse, =BE of the "faithful" were off the battle each other in the usual Viking war in the parking lot! To amuse those that would stay, I'd do modulations and creative registrations...even in there was a paucity of 'vox populi' to go with it!   It does me good, however, to hear that places the the National Shrine, directed most ably by Scoot Fop., have real music programs in place. Of course, they've also got a real organ...a rarity in RC diocesan churches out here! If one had an Allen, one was lucky!   DeserTBoB    
(back) Subject: Re: New Century Hymnal From: douglas@blackiris.com Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 20:09:16 -0500   > 1. Tampering with texts. Alright, I think this whole inclusive language > thing has gone way too far.   Point well taken, although you have to look at the whole piucture of what they were trying to do with the NCH - some concessions have to be made in order to have the widest appeal - in this age of disenfranchised person= s when so many people are becoming dissillusioned with religion and not even attending church, anything that makes my congregation more comfortable and wish to take part in hymn singing is a good thing as far a= s I am concerned. Indeed, some hymns in the NCH are even verbatim or little changed from their current other hymnal counterparts. As far as tampering with the text - the popular american translation of Ein' Feste Burg by Frederick H. Hedge, 1805-1890 is the least linguistically correct:   Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott, Ein gute Wehr und Waffen; Er hilft uns frei aus aller Not, Die uns jetzt hat betroffen. Der alt' b=F6se Feind, Mit Ernst er's jetzt meint, Gro=DF' Macht und viel List Sein' grausam' R=FCstung ist, Auf Erd' ist nicht seingleichen.   or:   A mighty fortress is our God, A sword and shield victorious; He breaks the cruel oppressor's rod And wins salvation glorious. The old evil foe, Sworn to work us woe, With dread craft and might He arms himself to fight. On Earth he has no equal.   or:   A mighty Fortress is our God, A trusty Shield and Weapon; He helps us free from every need That hath us now o'ertaken. The old evil Foe Now means deadly woe; Deep guile and great might Are his dread arms in fight; On Earth is not his equal.   or the ever popular:   A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing; Our helper He amid the flood Of mortal ills prevailing; For still our ancient foe Doth seek to work us woe; His craft and pow'r are great, And armed with cruel hate, On earth is not His equal.   >The Mother/Father God thing is foolish as well. And as far as historical= items: we do know that Jesus was a man - so > why think otherwise, He was not an IT!!!   When referring to Jesus, the NCH generally uses HE, LORD, SAVIOR and other properly desciptive terms. In the original hebrew of the old testame= nt there are places where God is described in a Male sense as well places where Feminine sense is used, the most prevalent being of course, the incomprehensible and indescribable sense which is both and neither.   I do understand your point of view - heck, I'm a dyed in the wool Episcopa= lian, but after much prayer, review of every possible hymnal, and much deliberation with the church leadership and congregation, we felt the NCH best filled our needs. The other 2 most liked choices were the new Presbyterian hymnal which was pretty good, and then the Celebration Hymnal (Turn on the tremulants & Tibias and run for the hills!) It's certa= inly not for everyone, but neither is every translation of the bible - however = we generally don't condemn or deride any of our brethren for using different interpretations of the word of God (at least I don't think we do?).     *********************** Douglas McMurry email: <douglas@blackiris.com>