Interactive hymn sing honors class of 2020
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church will stream an interactive hymn sing on Pentecost Sunday, May 31, at 4 p.m. In the words of the Rev. Whitney Altopp, rector of St. Stephen’s, “We can’t sing together in the church, but we can sing together wherever we are.” To participate, go to http://www.ststephensridgefield.org to be directed to the live streaming link. Words to the hymns will be scrolled on the screen.
The hymn sing will feature the St. Stephen’s Virtual Choir, St. Stephen’s Choristers, music minister Alcee Chriss III on the organ, and Rev. Altopp. To honor members of the class of 2020, Dr. Chriss will open the concert with an organ voluntary, Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstances March No. 1, a mainstay of commencement ceremonies. The Virtual Choir and small ensembles will sing familiar hymns and anthems, and the young Choristers will sing the lively spiritual “This Little Light of Mine.” The closing piece will be an organ voluntary by Marcel Dupre, “Resurrection” from Symphonie Passion.
In keeping with Pentecost, the chosen hymns and anthems celebrate the Holy Spirit. Dr. Chriss noted that in the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”
A hymn sing may be especially meaningful in today’s environment. “Music instructs and inspires us simultaneously,” said Rev. Altopp. “A piece can voice our deepest feelings when we choose it to do so. It can also attend to our deepest feelings when it wells up inside us subconsciously. The need to keep singing is essential for our physical and emotional health.”