Sing My Soul, His Wondrous Love
Musical Musings for Ordinary Time
by Sharon Downey
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The readings for this Sunday from Isaiah and Matthew are about nature: seeds, soil and bringing forth beauty and nourishment. In Isaiah, the rain and snow water the earth, “giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater.” The Parable of the Sower in Matthew is more about the soil in which one sows the seeds. The seeds that fall on good soil bring forth grain and lots of it. Those thrown on thorny soil are choked out. I am choosing to suggest musical selections this week that celebrate the beauty of creation and the abundance of fruit and flowers from the seeds sowed in good soil.

Perhaps one of the most well-known arrangements of “For the Beauty of the Earth” was written by John Rutter. This recording is by the Cambridge Singers and the City of London Sinfonia under his direction.
Another setting of the same text is by Philip Stopford, composed in 2003 for the choir of Belfast Cathedral. Performed here by Ecclesium in the Chapel of Keble College, Oxford, and with video footage of the West Coast of Ireland and Galway Cathedral.
“For the Beauty of the Earth”  
Philip Stopford
Here is a third setting of this text which may be found in our hymnal, The Hymnal 1982, #416.
“For the Beauty of the Earth”
Lucerna Laudoniae
Another summer Sunday hymn that reminds us of the beauty of creation is “Morning Has Broken.” The popular Cat Stephen’s arrangement is familiar to many. Here is a newer arrangement for mixed choir by Philip Stopford.

“Morning Has Broken”
Philip Stopford