… she would come over Christmas Eve after the midnight service and we would just sing all kinds of things.

Martha Crowell

Martha Crowell knew she wanted to be a music teacher by the time she was twelve. “It’s just where my heart is,” she says. Listen to Martha now as she sings her favorite Christmas song.

When I got asked what my favorite Christmas piece of music was, I thought, “Oh, my goodness. About 800 of them.”

But the thing that comes to me the most is “Child of God.” And the reason for that is my choir director and elementary music teacher and recorder-consort director and basic second Mom named Pat Brown, who was just an incredible force in my life musically. Not only did I see her in all those venues, but she would come over Christmas Eve after the midnight service and we would just sing all kinds of things. So everything is connected to her.

But the thing that mattered the very most to her was children.

So “Child of God” is: “If anybody asks you who I am, tell them I’m a child of God.”

And that is the most essential thing of anything about Christmas, which is the Incarnation. And then, by extension, all of us being children of God.

I’ve sung it with many many children now, and their faces as they sing it – how deeply they know when they’re singing it, makes it more of a favorite than anything else that I can imagine.

I understand that it’s in the African American tradition and I’ve known it most of my life. I’ve always loved the tune and the rhythm is kind of catchy. And it goes like this:

If anybody asks you who I am, who I am, who I am,
Tell them I’m a child of God.

The little cradle rocks tonight in glory, night in glory, night in glory.
Christ Child born in glory.

Peace on earth, Mary, rock the cradle, rock the cradle, rock the cradle.
Peace on earth, Mary, rock the cradle.
Christ child born in glory.

The Christ Child passing, singing softly, singing softly, singing softly
The Christ Child passing, singing softly,
Christ Child born in glory.

Don’t you hear the foot on the treetop, foot on the treetop, foot on the treetop?
Don’t you hear the foot on the treetop,
Soft like the south wind blows?

If anybody asks you who I am, who I am, who I am.
Tell them I’m a child of God.

Regular Sunday Service Schedule

8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist with music
10:00 a.m. Parish Forum & Kairos
10:15 a.m. worship.together
Holy Eucharist for families with young children
11:15 a.m. Choral Eucharist

Other Days

Morning prayer is offered at 7:30 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Silent morning meditation is offered at 8:15 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Mid-week Eucharist is offered at 12:15 p.m. Wednesdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Compline is offered at 7:00 p.m. on 2nd & 4th Wednesdays, in the Church.

Choral Evensong is offered at 5:00 p.m. on 1st Sundays, in the Church.

We would love to have you join us.

Location

This Episcopal church is located in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, five blocks west of Germantown Avenue at the corner of St. Martin’s Lane and West Willow Grove Avenue.


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