O Come, O Come Emmanuel

For the second text of Christmas this blogger gives to thee… One of the oldest texts we have for Christmas, O Come, O Come Emmanuel (alternatively Immanuel) was originally used for Latin masses before the 8th century. Translated into English by J.M. Neale in the 1800s, it was musically adopted from a fifteenth century FrenchContinue reading “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

O Little Town of Bethlehem

For the first text of Christmas, this blogger gives to thee… We begin our exploration of Christmas texts with a poem written near TWS headquarters, right here in Philadelphia! Shortly after the American Civil War, the Reverend Phillips Brooks, then the rector at Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square, visited the Holy LandContinue reading “O Little Town of Bethlehem”

Twelve Texts for Christmas

Hello TWS readers! My name is Colin. I’m a cellist and teacher who loves worshiping God. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year;” especially if you love Christmas music! Dr. Samuel Hsu, late professor of music history at Cairn University, was a passionate advocate for the “communion of the saints.” This is not justContinue reading “Twelve Texts for Christmas”

Psalm 6 and a Glance Into the Creative Process

So this morning I was reading Psalm 6 and I posted this picture to TWS’ Instagram (FYI, follow us on Instagram!). One of the ways I study Scripture is I write songs based on or inspired by the Scripture. This forces me to wrestle with presenting the Scripture in a new but true way thatContinue reading “Psalm 6 and a Glance Into the Creative Process”

Reflections on Psalm 5

With the recent release of “Refuge”, Psalm 5 has been on my mind. After reading it again, there is a reflection that stands out that I would like to share. When the Psalmist sings 3 In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice;In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. Psalm 5:3 He immediatelyContinue reading “Reflections on Psalm 5”

On Hating Songs and Reflections on “The Blessing”

One thing that most denominations hold in common is that they all tend to hate how someone else worships. If you want to experience this try clapping at a Presbyterian church or suggest a liturgical service to a Baptist. I remember one story I heard from a missionary. This particular missionary was an ethnomusicologist (someoneContinue reading “On Hating Songs and Reflections on “The Blessing””

“Be Thou My Vision” and the Importance of Hymns

It’s March! And The song of the month is “Be Thou My Vision (All That I Long For)” . This one has a special place in my heart. “Be Thou My Vision” was one of those songs that helped me fall in love with hymns. Now it would be helpful to define what a hymnContinue reading ““Be Thou My Vision” and the Importance of Hymns”

Equipping The Saints

One of the most impactful, musical, experiences in my life is playing songs for the saints who are confined to nursing homes. Many of these brothers and sisters have Alzheimer’s and dementia. They are so weak that they cannot rise from their wheel chairs and if somehow they manage to stand they are in greatContinue reading “Equipping The Saints”