February 2, 2020 + The Presentation of Jesus

Holy Eucharist Rite II at 10:30 a.m. sung by the St. John’s Adult Choir, sermon by Mr. Joel Lohr.

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Service Music:

Prelude    Robert Paoli (b.1991)
Prelude on Picardy    James Southbridge (b.1969)

Processional Hymn 324    Let all mortal flesh keep silence    Picardy

Gloria S280     Robert Powell (b.1932)

Sequence Hymn 35    Christ, mighty Savior, Light of all creation    Mighty Savior

Offertory Anthem    Set me as a seal    René Clausen (b. 1953)
Text: from Song of Solomon, 8:6a; 8:7a

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death.

Many waters cannot quench love;
neither can the floods drown it.

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death.

After the loss of his child, Rene Clausen, composer of Set me as a seal wrote: ‘Normally, when I am asked about the “inspiration” process, I laugh and deny inspiration in favor of work and effort. In this case, however, I just sat down and wrote the piece. I don’t know what is wrapped up inside these few, simple notes. I can say actually very little about the piece. Whenever I return to it, however, I am struck by the phrase “for love is strong as death,” because when I wrote it my actual feeling was “for love is stronger than death”; abiding, all-encompassing love absorbs even the pain of death. If the piece is about anything, it is about the simple but powerful conviction of permanent love that seeks to overflow the boundary between life and death. I can’t imagine a choir singing it without open hearts.’

Sanctus  S130    Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

Fraction Anthem S164    Jesus, lamb of God     Franz Schubert

Communion Anthem    Nunc dimittis    Thomas Tallis (1505-1585)
Words: The song of Simeon, Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word.
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles and to be the glory of thy people Israel.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. World without end, amen.

Thomas Tallis wrote choral music under four different monarchs with widely differing religious practices. Under Edward VI (1547-1553), it was decided that all sacred choral music should be in English and be succinctly composed.

Hymn in Procession 436    Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates    Truro

Voluntary    Processional    Robert Paoli (b. 1991)


Categories: Past Services