About the prelude: North Carolina native Joseph M. Martin is a pianist and composer of sacred and secular instrumental and choral works. Of his “On the Blue Ridge” he writes, “North Carolina will always be my ‘home.’ . . . The mountains appear blue-gray, half covered by mist and shrouded in quiet mystery. They echo the ancient drums of the Cherokee and the hymns of the early pioneers who settled the region. There is a sense of the sacred in these mountains and there is more music there than can ever be heard in this lifetime.”
The hymn “Holy Manna,” the tune of which is used as our meditation hymn, is attributed to William Moore, who first published the song in his Columbian Harmony (a shape-note hymnal) of 1829. Our postlude is Martin’s original composition “Dignity,” which he dedicates to his father. It was written for those who “walk tall against the odds.” (Composition notes taken from the volume Songs of the Journey, published by Shawnee Press, 1996).