Summer hymn sing to focus on cathedral etchings

Jul 22, 2017

Marion — The annual summer hymn sing of the First Congregational Church of Marion will be held on Sunday, July 30, at 10 a.m.

The hymns will be set to tunes whose names are associated with cathedral towns pictured in etchings by James Alphege Brewer. Etchings of the cathedrals will be on display in the church.

“A lot of hymn tunes are named after cathedral towns, like Canterbury, York, and Rheims,” said Ben Dunham, chairman of the church’s music committee, “and they fit together with the etchings of this popular early 20th-century British artist.”

“Some of our favorite hymns have these associations” Dunham continued. “The hymn ‘Onward Christian Soldiers,’ for instance, is set to a tune called “St. Gertrude,” and St. Gertrude was the godmother of St. Gudule, the patron saint of the cathedral in Brussels, Belgium.”

According to the Rev. Dr. Sheila Rubdi, pastor of the church, “There will be no sermon per se but rather commentary on some of the hymns texts and a bit of background on the artist. We invite everyone in the community to come early or stay after to admire the etchings.”

A website devoted to the life and work of the artist may be visited at www.jalphegebrewer.info. The First Congregational Church, located at 28 Main St. at the corner of Front and Main in Marion, is handicapped accessible. The organist of the church is Beverly Peduzzi.

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