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Presbyterians Singing Together!

On December 16th, 2022 two ensembles, Homeward Bound and Stone Soup, raised $500 for the St Thomas food bank. They would like to thank: all those who attended and supported the event, either online or in person; the Session and congregation of St James, North Yarmouth for hosting and promoting the event; and the many people in the larger community who provided their support, skills and time to help it to happen.

Homeward Bound (Herb Gale, Sheila McGugan, Tom Godfrey) would like to thank Mary Ann McVicar of Knox, St Thomas, Carl Taylor of St. James North Yarmouth, and Stone Soup (Anne Morrisey, Adele Lasson, Sheila McGugan) of Dutton, for their leadership as guest artists.

If you are interested in chatting about a musical opportunity, or if you would like to be a guest artist at future performances, please contact Tom Godfrey at revtomgodfrey@execulink.com.

Mary Ann McVicar, section leader from the Knox St. Thomas choir performed “O Blessed Mary”, written and composed by Herb Gale.

Here are the lyrics:

                                                    O Blessed Mary

O Blessed Mary, Mother of God’s Son

What was it like to bear the chosen One?

O did you worship him as from above,

Or did you give him just a mother’s love?

O humble shepherds drawn out from the night,

Out from the dark into the stable’s light,

What did you think when you beheld Christ’s face?

O could you feel the Lord’s transforming grace?

O wise men three who traveled from afar

To seek the king who lay beneath that star,

Were you perplexed when all you found instead

Was a wee babe born in a cattle shed?

Oh, ox and sheep, and donkey small and gray,

Who lingered ‘round the stable on that day

Oh, did you sense before we mortals knew,

That through this child the world would be made new?

O Blessed Mary standing ‘neath that tree,

Did you know then your son had died for thee?

Your arms once held him as a little one,

Yet midst your tears God’s loving will was done.

                              —Words and music by Herb Gale 1974 copyright symbol

Here is the backstory of Herb’s piece, in his own words:

Background for “O Blessed Mary” words and music by Herb Gale

I wrote “O Blessed Mary” while I was in seminary during a difficult time when I questioned both my calling and my fitness for ministry. These inner struggles are reflected in the carol’s minor key and the questions posed to the key participants in the Christmas story. Looking back, as difficult as that period was for me, I am grateful for that time; for I learned about the meaning of God’s grace through that period in my life, and I discovered to my surprise and joy that God’s light still shines even in the darkest times (John 1:5).