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155

As He Gathered at His Table

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

The narrative of John 13:1-30 is embedded in this hymn.

Stanza 5 – see Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26 for the record of their entrance to the garden.

Stanza 6 – the account of their experiences in the garden is found in Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, and Luke 22:39-46.

155

As He Gathered at His Table

Call to Worship

God of love,
as we prepare to remember the events of this poignant night,
open our eyes to see the beauty of Jesus’ self-giving love,
and by your Spirit work in our community a desire and commitment
to serve each other and our hurting world.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Covenant God,
we bless and thank you for the gift of the meal
that Jesus commanded us to share.
We thank you for this sign of your presence with us
and your love for the world that Jesus came to redeem.
We long to feast with Jesus in the fullness of the coming kingdom.
May our worship today deepen our anticipation of that glory. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord ;
let the humble hear and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord , and he answered me,
and delivered me from all my fears.
O taste and see that the Lord is good;
happy are those who take refuge in him.
—Psalm 34:1-4, 8, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Blessing/Benediction

God of love, truly we see your glory in the face of Jesus Christ,
who offered himself in humble service to his disciples
even on the night he was betrayed.
Truly you shine in our hearts
when we show your love to others
in Christlike acts of service and fellowship.
We leave this place eager to reflect the glory of Christ,
our source of hope and life, our Teacher and Lord,
who laid down his life so that we might live. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

Covenant God,
we bless and thank you for the gift of the meal
that Jesus commanded us to share.
We thank you for this sign of your presence with us
and your love for the world that Jesus came to redeem.
We long to feast with Jesus
in the fullness of the coming kingdom.
May our worship today
deepen our anticipation of that glory.
Amen.
155

As He Gathered at His Table

Tune Information

Name
STUTTGART
Key
F Major
Meter
8.7.8.7

Recordings

155

As He Gathered at His Table

Hymn Story/Background

This communion hymn was written to relate the events in the Upper Room and Gethsemane to our own experience at the Lord’s table. The narrative stanzas begin with “as he” in retelling the biblical story. Each concludes with a phrase beginning “still” to demonstrate the importance of that part of the sotry to our situation. This structure shows the connection between what Jesus taught the disciples and what we may learn. The final stanza emphasizes the intimacy and immediacy of this relationship: “still Christ welcomes to his table; still Christ serves us at his meal.”
 
Though this hymn might be used at any celebration of the Lord’s Supper, it is especially appropriate for a Maundy Thursday service. Paul Richarson also composed the tune STUART for this text; they were first published together by the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada.  He also suggested STUTTGART as an alternate tune.  
— Paul Richardson

Author Information

Paul A. Richardson (b. 1951) was Professor and Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies in the School of Music of Samford University in Birmingham, AL, where he taught voice and church music. A past-president of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, he served on the editorial committee for The Worshiping Church and wrote for its Worship Leader's Edition. He also contributed to Handbook to The Baptist Hymnal and The New Century Hymnal Companion. Together with Harry Eskew and David Music, he is joint author of Singing Baptists: Studies in Baptist Hymnody in America and edited an expanded edition of Erik Routley's A Panorama Of Christian Hymnody. His principal current project is an extensive revision, with Michael Hawn of Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, of Sing with Understanding, a textbook for congregational song by Harry Eskew and Hugh T. McElrath.  He has also participated in several conferences funded by grants from the Lilly Endowment: "Christian Scholarship and Academic Culture," "Teaching Theology through Music," "Teaching Hymnology," and "Singing What We Believe."
— Hope Publishing (http://www.hopepublishing.com)

Composer Information

Christian F. Witt (b. Altenburg, Germany, e. 1660; d. Altenburg, 1716) was an editor and compiler of Psalmodia Sacra (1715), one of the most significant hymnals in the early eighteenth century. About 100 (of the 774) tunes in that collection are considered to be composed by him, including STUTTGART, which was set to the text "Sollt' es gleich." Witt was chamber organist and later Kapellmeister at the Gotha court. He composed vocal and instrumental music, including some sixty-five cantatas.
— Bert Polman

When he was nine years old, Henry John Gauntlett (b. Wellington, Shropshire, England, 1805; d. Kensington, London, England, 1876) became organist at his father's church in Olney, Buckinghamshire. At his father's insistence he studied law, practicing it until 1844, after which he chose to devote the rest of his life to music. He was an organist in various churches in the London area and became an important figure in the history of British pipe organs. A designer of organs for William Hill's company, Gauntlett extend­ed the organ pedal range and in 1851 took out a patent on electric action for organs. Felix Mendelssohn chose him to play the organ part at the first performance of Elijah in Birmingham, England, in 1846. Gauntlett is said to have composed some ten thousand hymn tunes, most of which have been forgotten. Also a supporter of the use of plainchant in the church, Gauntlett published the Gregorian Hymnal of Matins and Evensong (1844).
— Bert Polman
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