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November 5, 2017: Rejoice, Give Thanks, and Sing!

by Father Jadon

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! - Philippians 4:4

We will rejoice in your salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners! - Psalm 20:5

Edward H. Plumptre was an Anglican scholar, author, theologian, preacher, and poet who served for many years as chaplain of King’s College, where he also taught pastoral theology and New Testament exegesis. For the last ten years of his life (1881-91) he served as the Dean of Wells Cathedral. Earlier in his life, in one of his many capacities, he was preparing the liturgy for an annual choir festival in the majestic, towering cathedral of Peterborough.  Needing a long and celebratory processional to give the many participating choirs time to process down the aisles, he composed the eleven stanzas that make up the popular the hymn known as Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart.  This year I have selected this hymn to unite our celebrations of All Saints and All Souls, Thanksgiving, and Christ the King (the last Sunday of the church year, on November 26) as well as our 2018 stewardship campaign. We will sing a version of this hymn every Sunday this month!  I hope you will find it a meaningful text for reflection.

In our hymnal Plumptre’s text can be found set to two different tunes, #556 - Marion and #557.  – Vineyard Haven. The text of the hymn is inspired by verses (above) from Philippians 4 and Psalm 20. From stanza to stanza, Plumptre beautifully weaves together themes of festal rejoicing, thankfulness, and commitment to the work of the church now and throughout the ages.  I find the hymn to be a particularly poignant and uplifting meditation as we journey to the end of the church year and prepare for celebrations of new beginnings at Advent.  I am reminded that last year at this very time we discerned a mutual call to minister with each other and I began preparing for the move to DC to become your eighth rector. It has been a fruitful, busy, and rewarding year for me personally. I am so thankful to be here with you, and I look forward to rejoicing with you heartily as we celebrate All Souls now and for many years to come.

Last Published: November 17, 2017 9:30 AM
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