Sep 29, 2019
1 Thessalonians 3:6-4:12
6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you— 7 for this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith. 8 For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. 9 For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, 10 as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith? 11 Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. 4:1 Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives His Holy Spirit to you. 9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
The pairing of the three-fold “Holy, Holy, Holy” from Isaiah 6 with “Hosanna in the highest” from Matthew 21 is one of the oldest liturgical formulae in the history of the church. The Sanctus & Benedictus (or just Sanctus), a name derived from the first words of the text in Latin, has been used as part of the communion liturgy since at least the second century AD. Since we use the words to introduce us to the table every week here at Parish, we rotate through several different musical settings, including some really lovely ones by Greg Wilbur and Nathan George. Over this summer, we’ve been learning a new version, the CLOVERCROFT SANCTUS. In this one, the men and women’s voices overlap in simple polyphony (independent musical lines). The men lead, with a descending line, followed by the ladies in an ascending gesture, before coming together in parallel at the words “Hosanna in the highest.” As we come to a new season in the church calendar (Kingdomtide, which begins next Sunday), we’ll be setting this piece aside and returning to an older Sanctus. But I hope that you’ve enjoyed learning it over the last few months, taking a fresh approach to words that have been sung by Christians for millennia—and as we read in Revelation 4:8, words we’ll continue to sing with the angels into eternity. —Henry C. Haffner