Hymnfest - "Some Assembly Required"

A one-event summary (July 26, 1998) of so much that came together in nine years at Church of the Annunciation, Minneapolis (1989-1998)

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More by John Seboldt
Hymnfest leaflet (PDF)

Complete hymnfest audio

Individual Selections:
From Springs of Living Water
Text: Delores Dufner, OSB (commissioned)
Tune: DIAMOND LAKE, John Seboldt (commissioned)
assembly, organ
Restless Is the Heart
Text: Psalm 90/St. Augustine
Music: Bernadette Farrell
choir and assembly, unaccompanied
How Wonderful the Three-In-One
Text: Brian Wren
Tune: Prospect (Southern Harmony)
assembly in alternation, organ/piano
Meditation on Prospect
synth/organ instrumental
Haleluya! Pelo tsa rona
Text/music: South African
assembly, talking drum

The Song of Christ's Glory
Text: Philippians 2:6-11)
Music: André Gouzes (Sylvanes Abbey)
assembly, choir

To Serve Is to Reign
Text: Lk 22:27; Mt 20:27-28; Ignatius Loyola; Jn 12:26
Music: Christopher Willcock, S.J.
cantor, assembly, choir, piano
Jesu, Jesu
Text: John 13:3-5; Ghana folk song, tr. Tom Colvin
Tune: CHEREPONI (Ghana)
assembly, Orff instruments, keyboards

God Has Chosen Me
Text: Luke 4; Bernadette Farrell
Tune: Bernadette Farrell
assembly, piano/organ
Sing A New Church
Text: Delores Dufner, OSB
Tune: NETTLETON, American
assembly, organ

Sinfonia from Cantata 29
Music: J.S. Bach
Alignment of purpose...

What made these years work? Well, for me it started with things close to a church musician's heart, and moved to the bigger picture...

... an extraordinary acoustic space... a small but noble-sounding organ... a tradition of concert series presentations... a parish background of classic hymnody... a very solid all-volunteer music ministry... confronting the various challenges of diverse musical styles in the Roman Catholic tradition... a staff with a good internal grasp of the evolving Vatican II church... a parish convocation for vision and mission... a process to study worship space renovation that led to a proposal from noted architect Ed Sovik... a 75th anniversary celebration. Grace, chance, serendipity, flexibility, staff relationships of trust were certainly additional ingredients in the mix.

Against that backdrop, this hymnfest (though not every item is truly a "hymn!") just shaped itself in about an hour of reflection. Existing repertoire just seemed to grow organically around the vision and mission statement then in place (link here). (The parish adopted a different statement in 2004.)

What is "living the Paschal Mystery?" It's a strand of thinking about sacramental living, deeply rooted in the early church, one of the major concepts revitalized in the reforms of Vatican II. For a few introductory links, see: