Sermon for RSCM Music Sunday

Here’s what I said on Sunday evening for the Royal School of Church Music – Music Sunday Massed Choirs Evensong

Video available here.

Just a few thoughts before our prayers – a few thoughts about what we are doing here tonight.

I had it in mind to preach such simple things tonight. I was going to take as my starting place the story we heard of David playing his lyre to sooth Saul’s soul when Saul the King got crazy with his violent rages.

My intention was to come up with a great paean of praise to music itself. For we do celebrate Music Sunday here.

I was going simply to stand here and list the glories of the West End Festival that those of us who live in this city are enjoying and to sing the praises of the Royal School of Church Music under whose banner so many good things happen.

I had it in mind to stand here like the conductor at the end of the Last Night of the Proms and to list the glories of our summer days. Of concerts and happenings and sung services and festival masses. And to cry for the glories of music, for music is inherently good.

But something happened as I was sitting down to write this rhapsody of words in praise of music. [Read more…]


I suggested in this morning’s sermon that a spiritual practise to try this week is to take Mary’s song (the Magnificat) and to pray it through each day when eveing comes.
Here is the text which can be found in the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel:

‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’

[New Revised Standard Version – the translation of the Bible which we read in St Mary’s each week].