As many of our parishioners have noticed, Ross Wood has been accompanying the choir here on a regular basis for the past few months, and it is with great pleasure that I announce that he has agreed to join the music staff of the parish as Associate Organist. For many years Ross was the organist at two distinguished parishes here in Boston: Trinity Church on Copley Square, and Church of the Advent on Beacon Hill. Ross also had a parallel career as a librarian at Wellesley College. His skills as an accompanist are unrivaled, and we are so blessed by his presence. If you have not yet met Ross, please introduce yourself and welcome him to our parish.



In April, the All Saints’ Choir of Men and Boys will join forces with the Harvard Glee Club to perform a new mass that was written specifically for the two choirs. The mass, written by local composer Carson Cooman will be performed first at Memorial Church at Harvard by both choirs, and then repeated here on April 15 in the context of the 10:00 Solemn Mass. The mass is subtitled “The Davison Mass”, in memory of Archibald T. Davison, organist of this parish from 1906-1910.

In our copies of the hymnal, often a hymn is printed with more than one tune assigned to it. As you are preparing to sing a hymn, make sure to notice the tune name of the hymn before it begins. The tune name is the word in all caps that is right underneath the hymn number on the page in the hymnal. There are sometimes as many as three different tunes assigned to certain hymns, so be sure to check to see that you are looking at the correct tune before the hymn begins. Pay attention to the contour of the melody line as the hymn is being introduced on the organ. Feel free to hum during the introduction to warm up your voice. A bit of insider information for those that can read music and like to sing in parts: it is considered standard practice at this church to sing the melody of the hymn in unison on the first and last stanzas, and to sing in harmony on the inner verses. Join us in singing the harmonies on the inner verses and the melody in unison on the outer! Of course, if you are not a fluent music reader and would prefer to sing the melody throughout, that is also welcome.

What is a hymn, anyway? Now that we have our newly-printed copies of the hymnal in the pews, I have been pondering this question quite a bit recently. Is the hymn that which is printed on the page? Is the hymn then the words, the poem, sometimes in original form, sometimes translated from an ancient language? Is the hymn the melody we sing? Is the hymn the organ music undergirding it? A hymn is all these things and it’s also much more. A hymn is whatever happens when we stand together and sing. A hymn is not a sheet of paper in a new (red) hymnal - it’s an experience that we have together. For a hymn to be a hymn, YOU are required!