Come, Women ComeMark Alan Filbert, Hymnology Consultant
This month we continue our Hymn of the Month series in which one or more hymns drawn from collections published by Wayne Leupold Editions will be posted on the opening page of the website for consideration by pastors and musicians who may wish to introduce the hymn to their congregations the following month. The Hymn of the Month will often be thematically appropriate for a particular season of the church year or it may be related to a more general theme about the church’s mission in contemporary society. Thus, pastors and/or musicians may wish to have the choir introduce the hymn on the first Sunday of the month or season and then invite the congregation to join with the choir in singing the hymn on each of the remaining Sundays. Additional hymns will occasionally be suggested for a particular Sunday in the church year or for annual commemorations, such as the liturgies of Holy Week; such hymns may only be appropriate on the designated day, or they might be used as a Hymn of the Month in anticipation of or in response to the particular day observed on the church calendar.
As with the March Hymn of the Month, the April Hymn of the Month might more aptly be considered a Hymn of the Season for Early Easter. If introduced by the choir on Easter Sunday (or on the Second Sunday of Easter since Easter Sunday may not be the best day for introducing a new hymn), the hymn could appropriately be sung by the congregation on the following three Sundays. The hymn for early Easter in 2022 is Come, Women, Come, a delightful text by John Core (1951-2017) focusing on the role of women in announcing the resurrection to the male disciples and paired with a well-crafted and accessible tune by V. Earle Copes (1921-2014). Core was born at Camp (now Fort) Rucker, Alabama, and earned a B.A. in Speech Communication from West Virginia University in Morgantown, where he served as a Library Associate cataloging music from 1975 until his death in 2017. Core was a member of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and published four collections of texts with Wayne Leupold Editions. Copes attended Davidson College in North Carolina and Union Theological Seminary in New York, from which he received both the M.Div. and M.S.M. degrees. He served as minister of music in a number of United Methodist churches and taught organ and church music classes in several colleges and universities. He also served as a consultant for the 1966 revision of The United Methodist Hymnal, and his hymn tunes are now found in the hymnals of numerous denominations.