The Seven Deadly Sins - Anger and How to Sing About it
Michael Bos is doing a sermon series here at West End on the Seven Deadly Sins. Believe me, it’s not easy finding choral music that fits the topic, but there is one for this week’s deadly sin, Anger, that I think is perfect. “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God” by T. Tertius Noble will be sung by the West End Choir on Sunday, October 1. The anthem is a setting of Ephesians 4:30-32 and opens wit...h a tenor solo that will be sung by our newest member of the tenor section, Benjamin Robinson.
Here is the text:
“Grieve not the holy spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”
Who was T. Tertius Noble? And what sort of a name is Tertius? What does the ‘T’ stand for? He was the founder of the noted St. Thomas Choir School in New York City. “T” is for Thomas; both his father and grandfather were called Thomas as well. So he was the third Thomas Noble—hence, Tertius.
When Noble assumed the post at St. Thomas in 1912, he was already at the top of his profession in England. He was the organist at York Minster and, at that time, the sanity of leaving ‘Old’ York for New York was seriously questioned by many. When Noble’s successor at York Minster, Edward Bairstow, was asked about it he supposedly quipped that he would ‘rather go to the devil’ than to America!
T. Tertius Noble was probably most famous (to church music folks, at least) for his book of “Free Organ Accompaniments.” This is a practice of altering the harmony on certain verses of hymns, usually the last, to avoid monotony and to stir the congregation to sing with more gusto.
He writes, “It is hoped that this collection of additional accompaniments may likewise be useful in carrying out the Psalmist’s injunction to “sing merrily unto God our strength; make a cheerful noise unto the God of Jacob.”