The Front Page

Welcome to the Front Page, the digital cover of the Wayne Press.  Here we will share with you things that can't be captured in our newsletter--videos, music, color photographs--as well as articles that reflect on faith and life.  

 

"Where charity and love are,

God is there."  "Ubi Caritas et Amor, Deus ibi est" begins this ancient Christian hymn.

As we prepare for tonight's Maundy Thursday service, this text and tune have been on my mind.  Both are favorites of mine and this ancient hymn is a source of inspiration for many of today's choral composers.  From Maurice Durufle's setting to Ola Gjeilo's recently published arrangement to the composed setting by Paul Mealor sung at the Royal Wedding, more octavos using this text (and often tune) are being published.

For me its relevance today is amplified by its traditional use in the Maundy Thursday service.  Long associated with communion, it is one of the first early hymns (by "early" I mean only 3 digits in the composition year!) that does not make a direct scriptural quotation.  As we worship around the communion table this evening, remembering Jesus and his disciples at that Last Supper, the affect of text and tune draw me into the impending weekend events:  "Where charity and love are, God is there.  Christ's love has gathered us into one. Let us rejoice and be pleased in Him. Let us fear, and let us love the living God. And may we love each other with a sincere heart."  The second and third stanzas implore us to come together as a body of believers and prepare ourselves for the Heavenly Kingdom. 

As we move into the services of this weekend, I invite you to set the initial tone by meditating on this text and listening to some of its musical settings.  You will find plenty of choices on YouTube!  And as we culminate with the Resurrection celebrations on Sunday, the old quote comes to mind, "Never place a period where God has placed a comma."  Christ will be raised again.  Alleluia!  Just not quite yet.

For a beautiful rendition of the original chant, hear it HERE.
Click HERE to read the hymn text with English translation.
And finally, one of many choral arrangements, this one by Durufle.  Click HERE.

Posted by Tim Evers at 6:00 AM
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