About Today’s Music – 3 November 2019 – All Saints Sunday

We are so thankful for the many musical gifts of our SAKLC members. This coming Sunday, Carey Morrison will play two hymn tune arrangements by Thomas Keeseckers during our worship services. Thank you, Carey!

As we celebrate All Saints Sunday, we will utilize the hymn “For all the saints” at both Sunday worship services. This hymn is a commentary on the article in the Apostles’ Creed, “I believe in the Communion of Saints.” Within the protestant tradition, the relationship with the faithful on earth —The Church Militant — and the saints in heaven — The Church Triumphant— is paramount. This hymn emphasizes this union. For more background on this hymn, click here.

During the month of November, our liturgical setting will change to one based on the hymn tune, Land of Rest, an American folk tune with roots in the ballads of northern England and Scotland. It is most well-known as the tune for the hymn “Jerusalem, my happy home”. The tune was known throughout the Appalachians; a shape-note version of the tune was published in The Sacred Harp (1844) and titled New Prospect as the setting for “O land of rest! for thee I sigh.” The tune was published again with that same text in J. R. Graves’s Little Seraph (Memphis, 1873). The name Land of Rest derives from the tune’s association with that text. The tune was known to Annabel M. Buchanan (b. Groesbeck, TX, 1888; d. Paducah KY, 1983), whose grandmother sang it to her as a child. She harmonized the tune and published it in her Folk Hymns of America (1938), noting similarities between this tune and the tune for “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” (616). Known especially as a musicologist of American folk music, Buchanan was educated at the Landon Conservatory, Dallas, Texas, and the Guilmant Organ School, New York City. She taught at several colleges, including Stonewall Jackson College, Abingdoll, Virginia. Buchanan published numerous articles on folk traditions of the Appalachian area of the United States. She also lectured widely on this topic and gave recitals of folk music. Her own compositions also show the influence of folk music.