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January 29, 2023 - #4872 Music & the Spoken Word

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Conductors: Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy
Organist: Andrew Unsworth
Announcer: Lloyd D. Newell

“Let All the World in Every Corner Sing”
Music: Ryan Murphy
Lyrics: George Herbert

“Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy”1
Music and lyrics: Philip Paul Bliss
Arrangement: Ryan Murphy

Prelude on “Middlebury” (organ solo)
Music: Dale Wood

“O Splendor of God’s Glory Bright”
Music: German hymn tune
Lyrics: St. Ambrose
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“The Sound of Music” from The Sound of Music
Music: Richard Rodgers
Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II
Arrangement: Arthur Harris

“Awake and Arise, All Ye Children of Light”
Music: Welsh melody
Lyrics: David Warner
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Redeemer of Israel”2, 3
Music: Freeman Lewis
Lyrics: William W. Phelps
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

  1. From the album Let Us All Press On.
  2. From the album Called to Serve.
  3. From the album Then Sings My Soul.

The Spoken Word

The Precious Gift of Books

(Recorded at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland)

Books have been a centerpiece of civilization for centuries. And nowhere is the precious legacy of books more apparent than here at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, home to one of the most impressive libraries in the world. Especially remarkable is a room called “the Long Room”—a two-story chamber more than 65 meters long filled with over 200,000 of Trinity’s most ancient books. Among them is the Book of Kells, a revered illustrated manuscript of the four Gospels of the New Testament, created by monks more than 1,200 years ago.

This library has been in operation since 1732, almost 300 years. At first, the Long Room had only one level, but eventually the room was expanded, and this dramatic barrel-vaulted ceiling was built to make room for the rapidly growing collection. This was necessary because since 1801, the library has had a right to a free copy of every book published in Britain and Ireland.

Contemplating Trinity College’s amazing library, you can’t help but wonder about the place of books in our modern world. Their place in history is undeniable, but with the ease and popularity of internet searches and viral social media videos, is there room or reason for books in our lives? Or are books destined to become artifacts of an earlier day?

It’s true that watching a short video clip or reading a quick social media post is faster and easier than turning page after page in a book. But there’s something irreplaceable in the effort and patience that reading a book demands. Books, whether they be e-books or the old-fashioned paper-and-leather kind, invite you to slow your pace in this hectic world. The time you invest in reading a good book is richly rewarded with a heightened imagination, enhanced empathy, and the thrill of peering into the minds of some of the world’s best thinkers.

One of these great thinkers was philosopher and poet Henry David Thoreau, who wrote, “Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.”1

Libraries exist because we still believe that this treasure, this inheritance is worth preserving—not just for its historical value but also for its current value. Today is a good day to open a book.

  1. Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1910), 135.