Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Hymn

Today is Palm Sunday, the day the Church remembers Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the start of Holy Week. This Sunday’s hymn is the traditional Palm Sunday hymn, All Glory, Laud, and Honor. The text goes all the way back to the year 820 when Theodulph (c. 760-821), the bishop of Orleans in France, was charged with treason and imprisoned by King Louis the Pious. Theodulph was a well-known poet as well as a founder of schools. While in prison, he wrote this poem and sang it out the window of his cell while King Louis passed by. Legend has it that Louis was so delighted with it that he set Theoldulph free. Another legend says that as Theodulph was traveling back to Orleans to reclaim his bishop’s seat he was poisoned and died.

The tune dates from much later, 1615 to be exact. The composer, Melchior Tescher, who was born in 1584 and died in 1635, was a pastor and musician who was killed in a Cossack attack.

The meter is 7 6 7 6 D, which means that there are four lines alternating between seven and six syllables each. The “D” stands for “double.” So you sing the 7 6 7 6 pattern again. This hymn contains a refrain to be sung between each verse. Here is the text:

All glory, laud and honor,
To Thee, Redeemer, King,
To Whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.

1. Thou art the King of Israel,
Thou David's royal Son,
Who in the Lord's Name comest,
The King and Bless'd One.

2. The people of the Hebrews
With palms before Thee went;
Our praise and prayers and anthems
Before Thee we present.

3. Thou didst accept their praises;
Accept the prayers we bring,
Who in all good delightest,
Thou good and gracious King.

From Hi-Fi Hymnbook:

Picture: 15th century Russian Orthodox icon of Jesus' Triumphal Entry

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook--March 23, 2010

FOR TODAY~~March 23, 2010

Outside my window...It is cold and rainy after several days of beautiful weather, but at least my flowers are blooming!

I am sweet the daffodils on my table smell.

I am thankful for...a kitchen crammed with food after grocery shopping yesterday. It is truly a blessing to have so much food available!

From the learning rooms...Act IV of Hamlet, adding fractions with different denominators, the music of George Frideric Handel, voice lesson later this week for Girl of the House

From the kitchen...hamburger stroganoff for supper tonight

I am wearing... jeans and a black cable knit sweater

I am creating...I hope to begin a springy skirt for Girl of the House soon as well as continue with Girl Out of the House’s pillows.

I am going...Nowhere today. Grocery shopping yesterday, Lenten service at church tomorrow. I love days where I don’t have to go anywhere.

I am reading... the March/April issue of Touchstone magazine and this book Man of the House got me for helping him administer the National Latin Exam to his students a couple weeks ago. There are some rooms in this book that I’d love to live in!

I am hoping...that the healthcare reform bill that just passed won’t be as bad as I fear.

On my mind…I’ve been wondering what our country will be like for my children, one of whom is still at home and one of whom is recently married and just starting out.

Noticing that…Girl of the House is improving in math. Math is not her favorite subject (and that’s an understatement!), but I can see her putting forth more effort and gaining ground.:-)

Pondering these words…”The King’s heart is a stream of water in the hands of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.”~~Proverbs 21:1

I am hearing... The house is quiet except for the sound of the dishwasher.

Around the house...Sweeping floors and touching up the bathroom. I often wish we had a second bathroom, but then I'd have to clean it! There’s always a bright side . . .

One of my favorite things...The dappled shadows of the leaves on the grass on a sunny day. I’m looking forward to seeing that in a few weeks when the leaves come out.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Schoolwork, some sewing, hopefully some gardening if the weather cooperates

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

You can see more daybooks at Peggy's!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Hymn, Spring, and Bach’s Birthday

My poor little blog has suffered lately. It’s a busy time of year for us teachers and homeschooling moms with standardized testing of various sorts, planning for next year, registration for classes opening soon, not to mention the extra time outside. Because, yes! spring is here! But more on that in a minute. First I want to pick up the Sunday hymn posts, which so far is a series of one. Lol So here goes . . .

Sunday Hymn~~St. Patrick’s Breastplate (I Bind unto Myself Today)

The text of this hymn is attributed to the well-known St. Patrick, a Briton who in the 5th century went to Ireland to evangelize the pagans and is now the patron saint of that country. It is a lorica, or prayer for protection, and if you think about it, it is no surprise that Patrick would ask the Lord for protection in a wild land full of people hostile to the faith. The words are powerful:

I bind unto myself today
The strong name of the Trinity
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me forever,
By pow’r of faith, Christ’s incarnation,
His baptism in the Jordan River,
His cross of death for my salvation,
His bursting from the spiced tomb,
His riding up the heav’nly way,
His coming at the day of of doom,
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself today
The pow’r of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, his might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need,
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, his shield to ward,
The Word of God to give me speech,
His heav’nly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the name,
The strong name of the Trinity
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three,
Of whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word.
Praise to the Lord of my salvation;
Salvation is of Christ of Lord! Amen!

The tune is called, not surprisingly, St. Patrick, but I have been unable to find out anything else about it except that it comes from the Liber Hymnorum (“Hymn Book”—imaginative title, isn’t it? Lol), which consists of two manuscripts kept in Dublin. The meter is irregular, meaning that there is no regular pattern of syllables for the lines. The tune has that lovely Celtic sensibility that defies definition . . . at least, I’m not able to define it!

Here’s a rendition on pipe organ:


We have had several days of gorgeous weather with blue skies and temperatures in the 60’s and even 70’s. The daffodils had been hovering on the brink of blooming, just waiting for warmth to make them pop out. And pop out they did in the past few days. My mini daffodils are blooming, and there are other signs of life as well~trees budding, the first hints of forsythia, birdsong in the mornings. I’m just beginning to realize how important flowers are to me. I’ve always loved them, but I’m beginning to sense how much they contribute to my mental well-being, and not just flowers but blue sky and sunshine too. I’m feeling a little guilty about that because I want to rejoice in the Creator, but I know that the creation points me to Him, and I think that ultimately I am rejoicing in Him but also in the good gifts He has given. It would be wrong, in fact, not to notice His gifts to us and be thankful for them, like an ungrateful child who does not recognize that his food, shelter, clothing, and all the things he needs for his well-being are his because his parents have worked hard to provide them. I’m reminded of a Lewis quote (as in Clive Staples) that I can’t recall the source of or the exact wording, but it goes something like this: The sunbeam is beautiful and is to be admired, but it leads our gaze up to the source of the light, the sun. So it is with God’s good gifts. He gives us all we need and more, and those gifts should lead our grateful thoughts to Him.


Last of all, but certainly not least of all, today is Johann Sebastian Bach’s birthday. Born in Eisenach, Germany, in 1685, he was the son of a musician in a family of musicians. Bach was not known as a composer during his lifetime. In fact, he was thought to be rather pedantic and old-fashioned, and his last employers were disappointed that their first two choices were not available. “Since the best man was not available,” they said, “a lesser man will have to do.” If only they had known that Bach would eventually be recognized as the greatest composer the Western world has ever seen!

After his death in 1750 (and often before) his music languished in obscurity until Felix Mendelssohn, a fellow Lutheran, staged a production of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in Leipzig in 1829 that birthed the Bach revival, first in Germany, then in Europe and beyond.

Bach was a devout Lutheran who wrote all his music to the glory of God. He often inscribed “Jesus, help me” or “To the Glory of God Alone” in his manuscripts. His two wives bore him twenty children, ten of whom died in childhood. (I can’t even imagine!) Several of his sons came to be composers better known during their lifetimes than he was during his lifetime. Despite the loss of many of his mansucripts, Bach has left a legacy of music that is one of the very greatest achievements of the West.

If you are new to Bach, I suggest starting with his Brandenburg Concertos. There are six, and they are all fun. Go on to the orchestral suites from there. If you have several hours to spare, try the B Minor Mass or the St. Matthew Passion. The solo cello suites are elegant simplicity. There is more wonderful music than I can list here, but these are a start.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Housewifery 101

“It is only in recent generations that society does not recognize the importance of the person making a home.”

This quotation from Brenda reminded me of something that I have been noticing the last several years as I read books more than, say, fifty years old or watch movies based on those older books. My observation is this: Until the feminist revolution, people generally regarded the home and all that goes with it, including children, as so undeniably important that they thought it necessary that someone~the wife~be there to oversee it, to guide it, and to guard it. The feminists have tried to convince women (and they’ve been largely successful, more’s the pity) that we have been held back and chained down through the ages by our homemaking responsibilities, but the reality is that women were given the privilege of performing the incalculably essential tasks of homemaking. Today, we tend to think of the home and all its attendant duties as unimportant, at least not as important as a career, but men especially regarded it as a sacrifice that they gladly made for the women in their lives to be the ones who left home each day for office, shop, factory, or fields. The women held the privileged position of getting to stay home.

This attitude is evident in many older books. An example that comes readily to mind is from Anne of Green Gables. When Anne is relating to Marilla the circumstances of her birth, she says that her mother was a teacher before she married, but of course, she gave that up when she tied the knot because a husband was enough responsibility. Dickens presents us with the a counter example in Bleak House in the personage of the slovenly and preoccupied Mrs. Jellyby. She is so busy doing charitable work for the unknown Africans across the sea that her household and children are in utter and complete shambles due to her negligence. The message is very clear: Don’t be like Mrs. Jellyby! Your family is too important not to receive your ample attention! Widowers and bachelors regularly hired housekeepers to maintain their homes in the absence of a wife because they knew they couldn’t do the job themselves. They valued their homes and domestic condition enough to hire someone to look after what they themselves couldn’t.

It’s not drudgery to make a home. It’s a privilege and blessing, and every wife whose husband values her work enough to give her that privilege and blessing ought to thank him for it!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


You can tell how my busy my week has been by the fact that I haven’t posted since last Thursday. Actually, the last two weeks have been exceptionally busy. Helping Man of the House with the National Latin Exam and keeping up with my own duties both domestic and academic left no time for blogging or much else fun. And the week before that was standardized testing for our local homeschool support group. I missed posting the weekly hymn last Sunday and the Simple Woman’s Daybook on Tuesday (again!). Whew! I’m glad to be coming up for air!

But look! Lookee what bloomed last week! Spring is here!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

More from My Commonplace Book

“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.”~C.S. Lewis

“You are indeed the heirs of a remarkable legacy~a legacy that has passed into your hands after no little tumult and travail; a legacy that is the happy result of sacrificial human relations, no less than of stupendous human achievements; a legacy that demands of you a lifetime of vigilance and diligence so that you may in turn pass the fruits of Christian civilization on to succeeding generations. This is the essence of the biblical view, the covenental view, and the classical view of education. This is the great legacy of truth which you are now the chief beneficiaries.”~Arthur Quiller-Couch

“And she vastly preferred writing a letter and walking with it to the post to using the telephone and hearing with horror her voice committing itself to things she would never have dreamed of doing if she’d had the time to think.”~Elizabeth Goudge, The Herb of Grace

“A man’s pocketbook is the last piece of him to be converted.”~Martin Luther

Picture courtesy of (Young Girl Writing at Her Desk with Birds by Henriette Brown)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Welcome, Friends from Femina!

Femina is hosting a blog party, and I just want to say welcome to all Femina visitors! I'm new to blogging, but I hope you enjoy your visit! Please leave a comment so I know you've been here. Thanks!

Catching Up

Lake Michigan--gorgeous! It really has been two months since I last made a blog post!  This summer has been full of traveling, gardening...

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