Sacred Song Service to focus on ‘firm foundation’ as theme

The Chautauqua Choir, under the direction of Joshua Stafford, the Jared Jacobsen Chair for the Organist and director of sacred music, performs while Nicholas Stigall, organ scholar, plays the Massey Memorial Organ during Sacred Song Service last Sunday in the Amphitheater. Brett Phelps/Staff Photographer

Mary Lee Talbot
Staff writer

“How Firm A Foundation,” is the theme for the Sacred Song Service at 8 p.m. Sunday in the Amphitheater. The service will feature the Chautauqua Choir under the direction of Joshua Stafford, director of sacred music and Jared Jacobsen Chair for the Organist. Nicholas Stigall will provide accompaniment on the Massey Memorial Organ. The Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, senior pastor for Chautauqua, will preside.

The opening hymn, “How Firm a Foundation” ‘K’ in John Rippon’s A Selection of Hymns, will be followed by a poem, “Lines on the Building of a Church” by Park Benjamin. 

The second hymn is “Let Us Build a House” by Marty Haugen. A reading from II Samuel 7: 5-13, about David’s desire to build a temple for God will be followed by the anthem “Unless the Lord Build the House” by Alfred V. Fedek.

In the next reading, from I Corinthians 3:10-17, the apostle Paul reminds the Corinthians that they are God’s temple and God’s spirit resides in them. The anthem is “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with us,” music by William H. Harris and text from the Sarum Antiphon for the Dedication of a Church.

This anthem will be followed by a reading from T. S. Eliot’s poem “The Rock” and the hymn “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less,” music by William Batchelder Bradbuy and text by Edward C. Mote.

The last reading is from Matthew 16:13-20, where Jesus calls Peter the rock on which the church will be built. The final hymn-anthem is “Upon this Rock/The Church’s One Foundation.”

The service will begin and conclude with the “Day is Dying in the West,” “Now the Day is Over” and the “Largo” from Xerxes on the Massey.


The author Mary Lee Talbot

Mary Lee Talbot writes the recap of the morning worship service. A life-long Chautauquan, she is a Presbyterian minister, author of Chautauqua’s Heart: 100 Years of Beauty and a history of the Chapel of the Good Shepherd. She edited The Streets Where We Live and Shalom Chautauqua. She lives in Chautauqua year-round with her Stabyhoun, Sammi.