Choir Notes: My Shepherd Will Supply My Need

by Clarence Zuvekas

Sunday, May 12 — One of the great musical settings of Psalm 23 is the arrangement by the American composer Virgil Thomson (1896-1989) of My Shepherd Will Supply My Need. The text was penned by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), who is regarded as the father of English hymnody.

The tune arranged by Thomson is an American composition of unknown provenance. It first appeared in print in an 1828 collection of hymns, and, in a form more familiar to us, it was included in the 1854-55 Southern Harmony collection. Thomson studied music at Harvard and, like Aaron Copland and many other of his American contemporaries, in Paris, with the revered composition teacher Nadia Boulanger (whose students addressed her simply as “Mademoiselle”).

Thomson composed in almost every genre, including film scores, one of which (Louisiana Story) won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1949. He was also an influential music critic.

What’s Up @ St. Alban’s (May 5, 2019)

Benefit Concert on May 4!: Our concert fundraiser is happening Saturday, May 4, from 1:00pm to 5:00pm in the Parish Hall. It’s going to be a great time for a great cause, as all proceeds will go to support victims of last year’s hurricanes, wildfires, and floods. The music runs the gamut — from opera to bluegrass to rock, even a balalaika solo! Don’t miss it.

Stuff a Backpack: Between services on May 5, please come join us in the Parish Hall and help package weekend meals for our Belvedere Elementary School Backpack Ministry.

Episcopal 101: Find out everything you wanted to know about Episcopalianism — and maybe even some things you didn’t know you wanted to know! Our Episcopal 101 series of classes kicks off this Sunday, May 5, at 9:15am in Room 11. Whether you are new to the church or have been coming for years, you’ll find this a useful and fun series of workshops that will help you better understand our church and our faith. It runs every Sunday in May; learn more here.

Trip to the National Cathedral: Also on May 5, parishioner Debbie Rosse will be leading a group of kids and yoth on a trip to the National Cathedral in Washington. It is expected to last from 9am to 3pm (though please arrive at the church parking lot by 8:45am!), and will include a tour, service, and lunch. Contact Debbie if you would like to attend or want more information.

VBS Volunteers Needed: Actors, artists, builders, costumers, decorators and designers needed to help with VBS (happening July 29 – August 2).  Email Melanie Jillson or Ann Gates, or contact them in person.

What’s Happening: Keep up to date by keeping a close eye on our Calendar of Events.

Serving Schedule: Here’s the current two-week serving schedule.

Readings for May 5

O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Choir Notes: This Joyful Eastertide

by Clarence Zuvekas

Sunday, May 5 — Returning from our post-Easter break, we will follow tradition and sing This Joyful Eastertide, a harmonization by Charles Wood (1866-1926) of a Dutch tune published in 1685. It appears in our Hymnal as No. 192, with a text by the Anglican priest, George Ratcliffe Woodward (1848-1934).

Charles Wood was born in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, and studied with noted composers Sir Charles Villiers Stanford and Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London. Later, as a Professor at the RCM and Cambridge, Wood taught Ralph Vaughan Williams (more about him in our May 19 service) and Herbert Howells. Although best-known for his sacred music, he wrote eight string quartets, co-edited (with Woodward) three books of carols, and founded the Irish Folk Song Society.

ACCA Food Pantry Seeks Saturday Volunteers

The ACCA Food pantry is in the process of reorganizing and needs your help!

The Food Pantry is testing a new program of service to the Annandale community on Saturdays, and they need volunteer support. Volunteers will work from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm on May 11, May 18, and June 1, handling a variety of tasks necessary to keep the Food Pantry running and in order.

To participate in this special Saturday pilot program (or to learn about other ways you can support this vital service in our community), please contact David Donahue at mcclinticct@verizon.net.

The food pantry needs volunteers to:

  • Dispose of spoiled or expired food
  • Serve as a food deliverer, as needed
  • Weigh food for inventory purposes
  • Clean the Pantry – sweep, mop and remove trash
  • Recycle plastic bags and cardboard
  • Stock shelves, as necessary

The ACCA Food Pantry is at 7200 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA.  It’s on the west end of the grounds of the ACCA Child Development Center. Thank you for your support!

What’s Up @ St. Alban’s (April 28, 2019)

Alleluia, Christ is Risen! St. Alban’s was the site of a powerful Holy Week that led up to a joyous Easter celebration. Check out some selected photos from Easter, and many thanks to the dozens of parish volunteers who made the whole week so meaningful.

The Wired Word: Join us on Sundays at 9:15am in the Lawlor Library for a discussion on current events from a Christian perspective. This week’s download: Easter Services in Sri Lanka Shattered by Bombs.

Choir Taking a Break: Reminder, the choir is taking a well-deserved break this week following their hard work during Holy Week.

Caregivers’ Support Luncheon: If you provide physical, emotional, financial, or spiritual support for a loved one, please join us on April 28 at noon in Room 11 for resource sharing, support, and lunch. RSVP to the parish office or Deacon Theresa.

Benefit Concert is Next Week: Our concert fundraiser is happening Saturday, May 4, from 1:00pm to 5:00pm in the Parish Hall. It’s going to be a great time for a great cause, as all proceeds will go to support victims of last year’s hurricanes, wildfires, and floods. We are also still seeking some help in the kitchen, as we will also be selling hot dogs, hamburgers and drinks. If you can help out for an hour or so, please contact Fr. Jeff.

Episcopal 101: Find out everything you wanted to know about Episcopalianism but were afraid to ask! Our Episcopal 101 series of classes will be held on Sundays in May, starting May 4, at 9:15am in Room 11.

Trip to the National Cathedral: On May 5, parishioner Debbie Rosse will be leading a group of kids and adults on a trip to the National Cathedral in Washington. It is expected to last from 9am to 3pm, and will include a tour, service, and lunch. Contact Debbie if you would like to attend or want more information.

What’s Happening: Keep up to date by keeping a close eye on our Calendar of Events.

Serving Schedule: Here’s the current two-week serving schedule.

Readings for April 28:

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

2019 Easter at St. Alban’s

Alleluia, Christ is Risen! St. Alban’s was the site of a powerful Holy Week, culminating in a joyous Easter celebration last week. Many thanks to the dozens of volunteers who made the week such a success!

Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

(Photos by Barbara Hallman)

What’s Up @ St. Alban’s (April 21, 2019)

Holy Week Continues: Today, April 19, is Good Friday, with two services of Holy Eucharist at noon and 7pm. Tomorrow, April 20, is the Great Vigil of Easter at 7pm. (Father Paul explains why you should attend the Great Vigil here.) And Sunday, April 21, is Easter Sunday with Holy Eucharist at 8:15 and 10:15; the 10:15 service features choir and brass.

Bring Your Basket: Our annual Easter Egg Hunt happens after the 10:15am service on April 21. Join us in the Parish Hall, and don’t forget your basket!

Caregivers’ Support Luncheon: If you provide physical, emotional, financial, or spiritual support for a loved one, please join us on Sunday, April 28 at Noon in Room 11 for resources sharing, support, and lunch. RSVP to the parish office or Deacon Theresa.

A Lot Going On: Check our Calendar of Events and make sure you don’t miss anything.

Benefit Concert: Don’t miss the 2nd Annual St. Alban’s Benefit Concert on Saturday, May 4, from 1 to 5 p.m.in the Parish Hall. Our musical lineup includes a wide range of musical styles, from classical piano to gospel to rock — even a balalaika solo. Admission is by donation, and we will have opportunities to contribute even more in the form of tips for acts or numbers you particularly like. We’ll also be selling food and drinks. All proceeds benefit victims of last year’s hurricanes, California wildfires, and Midwestern floods.

Last year’s concert raised $3,000. Can we top that this year?

Can You Help?: As noted above, we’ll be selling hamburgers, hot dogs, and cold drinks during the May 4 Benefit Concert, and we need volunteers to take orders, serve, and work the grill. If you can help out, perhaps for an hour or so in the afternoon, please contact Fr. Jeff.

Readings for April 21

The Great Vigil of Easter: Un-bury the Alleluia!

Most people are familiar with Easter Sunday, with its familiar readings and hymns, and its feeling of joyful celebration. Along with Christmas Eve, it’s one of two services that are attended even by people who almost never go to church the rest of the year.

Less well known, though, is a very important service that takes place the evening before Easter, which we call the “Great Vigil.”

It begins in darkness, with lighting of the New Fire, from which the Easter (Paschal) candle is lit. That one small flame grows as it is passed from one person to another, and the first part of the service happens by the light of many candles, during the gathering dusk.

Through readings from the Old Testament, the Vigil tells the whole story of salvation, beginning with the creation in Genesis; and continuing with the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, as well as memorable words from Hebrew prophets.

The early Christians welcomed new converts through Holy Baptism primarily during the Easter Vigil. This year, we will continue that tradition — it’s always a joy to welcome a new person into the family of God! And we will all renew our own baptismal vows, and be sprinkled in Jordan River water.

Part of what makes the Easter Vigil fun is the fact that the service rarely stays in one place for long. Here at St. Alban’s, we start by lighting the New Fire in the Memorial Grove, and then the Old Testament readings and baptism happen while we gather around the font in the center of the church.

After the Resurrection is joyfully announced, we will all ring bells, the brass will play, and we will sing the Gloria in Excelsis for the first time since Lent began. The focus of the service then moves to the front of the chuch, where we celebrate the first Holy Communion of the Easter season.

Way back at the start of Lent — on Ash Wednesday — many of the children of St. Alban’s attended the children’s service, in which we “buried” the Alleluia under the Altar at the front of the church. At the Easter Vigil, we hope many of the children of St. Alban’s will come and help to UN-bury the Alleluia! And the children will help the celebrant announce the joyous moment when we recognize the resurrection of Jesus.

The Great Vigil of Easter includes a lot of memorable elements: fire, flickering candles, sprinkling of baptismal water, joyful music with a brass ensemble and choir, fragrant incense … and, of course, meeting the Lord at the altar in the consecrated bread and wine of Eucharist.

The Great Vigil is truly worship for all the senses.

I hope that you and your family will consider joining us this year for the Easter Vigil. It’s my favorite service all year long. You might just find you agree with me!

The 2019 Great Vigil of Easter begins at 7pm at St. Alban’s on Saturday, April 20.

Choir Notes: Holy Week

by Clarence Zuvekas

Sunday, April 14

At the beginning of the Palm Sunday service, we will sing Ride On, Jesus, a traditional spiritual arranged by Jens Klimek (b. 1984), a prolific German choral composer and director. Our anthem will be O Mortal Man—the traditional Sussex Mummers Carol—arranged by John Scott (1956-2015). Scott spent 26 years at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, where he was named organist and director of music in 1990. In 2004 he moved to New York to occupy the same posts at St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue.

Thursday, April 18

On Maundy Thursday we will be singing Anthems at the Mandatum, composed by Nicholas White (b. 1967) specifically for the foot washing on this day. Mandatum is the Latin word for commandment. The text of this composition is from the 13th Chapter of St. John’s Gospel and Psalm 85.

Born in London, White moved to the United States in 1989. One of his posts was assistant organist and choirmaster at Washington National Cathedral (1994-98). In addition to composing, White has been active as a conductor, singer, organist and pianist.

Friday, April 19

Our anthem for Good Friday is Crux Fidelis, the text of which is attributed to the Italian poet Venantius Fortunatus (c. 530/540-c. 600/609). The music is thought to be composed by King João (John) IV of Portugal (1604- 1656). When not busy seeking alliances (especially with France) to preserve Portuguese independence from Spain, John IV busied himself with hunting, music and other artistic pursuits.

The music for Crux Fidelis was edited by the English conductor and composer of church music, John Rutter (b. 1945).

Saturday, April 20

Christus Vincit (“Christ Has Conquered”), by Joseph Noyon (1888-1962). is our anthem for the Easter Vigil Service. Noyon served as organist and/or choir director at several Parisian churches and also directed the choirs of French Radio and Television Broadcasting. His Christus Vincit has been arranged by the American organist, choir director and composer, Gerre Hancock (1934-2012).

Sunday, April 21

Our Easter anthem is He Is Risen, by the English organist and composer Percy Whitlock (1903-1946). Whitlock’s goal was to be a cathedral organist, but as an organist in Bournemouth (from 1930), he is remembered more for “pops” performances in a municipal series than for his post at St. Stephen’s Church. Likewise, as a composer he is known mainly for “light” music, although he wrote a symphony for organ and orchestra and other more substantial works. As usual, we will close the service with Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.

Sunday, April 28

The choir will take its traditional post-Easter break.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Episcopal Church

What does it mean to be an Episcopalian? What does it mean to be an Anglican? How do we differ from other Christian denominations or faiths? What do we believe? Why do we worship the way we worship?

We’ll tackle these, and all your questions, during our Episcopal 101 series beginning Sunday, May 5th, and continuing through Sunday, May 26th. Episcopal 101 meets during Sunday school time at 9:15 in Room 11.

Whether you’re new to the Episcopal Church, or you’ve been around a long time and are still puzzled by what we believe or the way we do things (or wondering what everybody is doing up at the altar during the Eucharist), you’ll find these sessions both worthwhile and fun.

May 5, 2019
Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi” … prayer shapes our belief. An introduction to the Book of Common Prayer.

May 12, 2019
The Eucharist … spiritual food and drink.

May 19, 2019
What does it mean when we say, “Holy Scripture is the Word of God, and contains all things necessary to salvation … ”

May 26, 2019
The Anglican Communion … one big happy family?