This is the weekend when our parish pilgrimage to England was scheduled to depart. The choirs of St. John’s and Church of the Nativity (Huntsville) were also embarking on their 12-day tour to the UK to serve as choir in residence at Ely Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. Both pilgrimages have been rescheduled due to the pandemic. However, in celebration of this partnership and with hope that new things will come from this challenging time, the combined choirs bring you their ﬁrst-ever virtual partnership this weekend, the inspiring hymn, “All my hope on God is founded” by Herbert Howells.
The story of the text reminds us of God’s grace during difﬁcult circumstances. Howells was at the breakfast table opening mail, and received a note from Dr. Thomas Feilden, Director of Music of Charterhouse School, requesting a composition. Howells composed the entire tune while sitting at the breakfast table, and he titled the music “Michael,” the name of his son, who died in childhood. As Howells wrote this hymn text for a school, he must have thought about the memories of his son and the difﬁculty surrounding his death. Fr. Wallace Marsh reﬂected on this story by sharing, “His words remind us of the power of hope and God’s presence, even when our hearts are broken.”
Follow this link to our YouTube channel where you can watch our collaboration with the Church of the Nativity.