Support the Café

Search our Site

A cathedral canon lays out music for the church year

A cathedral canon lays out music for the church year

In an interview with his local NPR station, Dale Adelmann, Canon for Music at St Philip’s Cathedral in Atlanta discusses the lectionary, congregational hymns, choral anthems, and the way in which the rhythm of church musical planning follows and points up the liturgical church year.

His discussion of the 1982 Hymnal particularly caught my ear:

Our current hymnal was done in 1982. It is actually a pretty remarkable collection of Christian texts; in fact, after the Bible itself, the hymnal is the richest collection of Christian texts that we have at our disposal. We have texts in here that are from the 3rd century. We have texts in here that are by Thomas Aquinas and, you know many of the great fathers of the church and we have one text in here from a Nobel Prize winner, and by modern poets.

Would you agree with his assessment of our current hymnal?

The interview includes samples of hymns, anthems, and organ improvisations from the Cathedral of St Philip.

From the interview page, an improvisation on Praise to the Lord by St. Philip’s assistant organist and choirmaster Patrick Scott. Hear more samples at the interview page.

Photo: St Philip’s choir, The Cathedral of St Philip via NPR, Hear the whole interview and more music here.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Paul Woodrum

David, congratulations on your omnicompetence.
Common Prayer means the prayer of the whole people of God, grounded in Scripture and distilled from centuries of Christian practice. Those “stupid commissions” both guard the tradition and encourage and vet the new and changing to protect the people of God from the whims of individual clergy and musicians.

David Justin Lynch

You have hit on one of the very reasons I chose to be ordained in an independent catholic jurisdictions and plant a church rather than stay in the Episcopal Church for ordination. I don’t want limitations of which you speak imposed by some stupid Commission. Not only do I use music from a wide variety of sources, but I compose it as well. Liturgy is as pastoral endeavor that has to be responsive to the needs of the community. And yes, we do provide a complete service booklet in a looseleaf binder to facilitate participation. Liturgy focuses on the local assembly, not the presider, and definitely not some stupid Commission.

Paul Woodrum

288 liturgical settings and 720 hymns in the 1982 Hymnal alone should provide adequate flexibility for most Episcopal congregations. If a new opus is being introduced, by all means print it in the bulletin. My objections are to the waste involved in reproducing what is already available, discouraging familiarity with the Prayer Book and Hymnal, and frequently imposing rites not vetted by the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music nor approved for use by General Convention.

David Justin Lynch

Service booklets allow flexibility of sources. “That’s the way we’ve always done it” should be classified as a sin, in music and everything else.

Paul Woodrum

We have Prayer Books and Hymnals whose depth only becomes familiar with use. How about old timers helping any new comers find their way and discover the riches rather than producing environmentally unfriendly weekly waste by replicating parts of these in Sunday bulletins that are only thrown away.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café