“My pierced side, O Thomas, see,”The HYMN OF THE DAY, “O Sons and Daughters of the King” (470) recounts the Gospel lesson, St. John 20.19-31. This anonymous seventh-century text was translated into English by John Mason Neale (1818-1866) around 1851. The tune is by Melchior Vulpius (1560-1615), kantor in Weimer, who published five collections of hymns, and has four of his tunes included in our hymnal.
The introduction to the hymn is by Paul Kickstat (1893-1959).
The PRELUDE is a setting of “O Sons and Daughters” by Healey Willan (1880-1968). James Healey Willan was a music educator, choral director, church musician, and composer of countless choral and organ works. Born in England, he moved to Toronto in 1913 where he served as organist and choirmaster and taught at the Toronto Conservatory of Music. In 1938 he became Professor of Music at the University of Toronto until his retirement in 1950. In his retirement, he wrote over 100 pieces of music for organ, including the composition we hear today.
Willan’s work reflects the compositional craftsmanship and musicianship for which he was known. He once remarked: “Music has been my chief delight, and if at any time I have been able to share this delight with others, I am content.”
The VOLUNTARY is a setting of this tune by Flor Peeters (1903-1986). Peeters was a Belgian composer who was a student at and later taught at the Lemmens Institute in Mechelen. He was the organist at St. Rumbold’s Cathedral in Mechelen. His compositions reflect his study of music ancient – Flemish polyphony of the Renaissance – to modern – polyrhythms and polytonality.