Today, I had the great honor of leading morning worship at the 23rd annual Charles Wesley Society meeting.
The Charles Wesley Society was founded “for the purposes of study, preservation, interpretation, and dissemination of Charles Wesley’s poetry and prose.”
The annual meeting is a three day conference where “members and non-members alike present and listen to presentations and papers which seek to interpret and promote the life and work of Charles Wesley.” The place is full of folks with Phd’s from places like Duke, Yale, Harvard, Oxford, Asbury, etc.
Charles Wesley , one of the most prolific hymn writers of all time, penned over 6500 hymn texts, many still in widespread use such as “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing” and “Christ The Lord Is Risen Today”. Wesley’s body of work transformed worship, and we’re still talking about him today.
I really enjoyed reviewing Wesley songs and composed new melodies and arrangements for several.
Today’s liturgy was the “Order For Morning Prayer and Praise”on page 876 from the 1989 United Methodist Hymnal.
The songs & notes:
Rejoice The Lord is King #715
For this hymn we sang the printed melody, I added new musical material with this “tag chorus”:
I will rejoice in the Lord
I will give praise to my King
I will rejoice and give thanks
To Jesus I’ll sing
Canticle of Light & Darkness #205
This was a reading for which I composed music for this Wesley text:
Our weakness help, our darkness chase,
And guide us by the light of grace.
O For A Thousand Tongues To Song (Arrangement by Michael Mellet)
Michael Mellet’s syncopated latin-flavored arrangement was well received. We used to sing this back in the day at Belmont.
Praise The Lord Who Reigns Above #96
Again, we sang the printed melody, and I was inspired to add this “tag chorus”:
Let earth and heaven adore
Let all things praise the Lord
I got great feedback, this was my favorite:
“I never liked anything contemporary until we sang your tag choruses. They’re singable and fit the hymn! This is what we need at our church “
Hanging out With People Cooler Than Me
By the way, have you heard about my next missions trip to Sri Lanka? Read about it here.