Each week in our Eucharistic prayer we enjoin our voices with “angels, archangels and all the company of heaven” giving glory to God. We never imagined how thin the veil between heaven and earth would be when as we commended Lisa Stockard, beloved at St. Paul’s Beaufort to the One in whose image and likeness she was so fearfully and wonderfully made. Together with her husband Matt, they served St. Paul’s together; he as priest, she as artist and musician. Together they built a legacy of creativity and possibility that remains alive and well. Lisa’ s watercolors of the church in all their myriad of renderings adorn the walls of our parish house, our offices and our homes. Each is different yet fully vibrant capturing the essence of what together they so faithfully nurtured in others. We prayed to know how best to honor Lisa and her legacy of art and music. Linda Laughton our organist and choral director used her gifts and those of her friends from around the world to uniquely express our gratitude for Lisa’s life and our continued thanksgiving for Matt whose priesthood still shapes the souls of those who sit in these pews. Those very souls join angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven” as we offer unto God our exceeding joy for the gift of Lisa Stockard. May you know the same as you listen with gladness and singleness of heart.
Rev. Tambria E. Lee, Rector, Saint Paul’s Beaufort “Unto God My Exceeding Joy” is a composition for SSATB choir and organ written by Hridar Ingi Thorsteinsson for The Hallgrimskirkja Motet Choir in Reykjavik, Iceland. From 2003 to 2006, my husband was assigned duty at Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland. While there, I served at the base Chapel of Light as organist, choir director and handbell director and we visited Hallgrimskirka many times. In 2015, one of my choir members travelled from North Carolina to Iceland and visited Hallgrimskirka where she bought a single copy of this octavo for me. In 2021, several parishioners gave funds to add 25 octavos to the permanent music library at St. Paul’s to honor Matthew Stockard, a previous rector whose wife, Lisa, died in February. This performance was produced as a virtual choir project during May and June of 2021, while still under Covid pandemic restrictions on choral singing. It has been a very special joy for me to compile this Icelandic music composition with the stunning photographs of Iceland by my friend, Kathryn Yanacek Mason. Our thanks to the fifteen singers who contributed vocal tracks, to Kathryn for her photographs, and to Hridar Ingi Thorsteinsson, composer, for his permission to perform and stream this piece. Linda Laughton, Music Director firstname.lastname@example.org