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Music Director's Monthly Newsletter Message

October 2011 - Music Notes

Music Notes By Jessica Baier




Office Hours

Sunday: 7:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m.

Monday: 10:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m.

Wednesday: 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

and 4:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.


On Reformation Sunday, October 30, we will be singing a great hymn from the old red Presbyterian Hymnal, “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me.”  The text of the hymn urges us to find consolation and security in Christ, our Rock.


Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee;

Let the water and the blood, from Thy wounded side which flowed,

Be of sin the double cure, cleanse me from its guilt and power.


Not the labors of my hands can fulfill Thy law’s demands;

Could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow,

All for sin could not atone, Thou must save, and Thou alone.


Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling;

Naked, come to Thee for dress, helpless, look to Thee for grace;

Foul, I to the fountain fly; wash me, Saviour, or I die.


While I draw this fleeting breath, when my eyelids close in death,

When I soar to worlds unknown, see Thee on Thy judgment throne,

Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee. Amen.


This hymn was written by Augustus Toplady, first published in 1775, 12 years after he wrote the text.  Toplady had been traveling along the road near the cliffs in Burrington Combe in Somerset, England, when a sudden storm forced him to dash into a cave for shelter.  While waiting for the storm to pass, he began to muse on the idea of the “rock of faith” being a shelter for the “storms of life.” The words of this hymn began to form in Toplady’s head, but according to a legend, he had no paper to write on, but found a playing card in the cave which he used instead.