January 12, 2020 + The First Sunday after Epiphany
Holy Eucharist Rite II at 10:30 a.m. sung by the St. John’s Adult Choir, sermon by the Rev’d Margie Baker.
Voluntary Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness
Opening Hymn 76 On Jordan’s bank, the Baptist’s cry Winchester New
Gloria S280 Robert Powell (b.1932)
Sequence Hymn 339 Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness Schmücke dich
Music at the Offertory Jesu, joy of man’s desiring Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Jesu, joy of man’s desiring,
holy wisdom, love most bright;
drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring
soar to uncreated light.
Word of God, our flesh that fashioned,
with the fire of life impassioned,
striving still to truth unknown,
soaring, dying round Thy throne.
Through the way where hope is guiding,
hark, what peaceful music rings;
where the flock, in Thee confiding,
drink of joy from deathless springs.
Theirs is beauty’s fairest pleasure;
theirs is wisdom’s holiest treasure.
Thou dost ever lead Thine own
in the love of joys unknown.
In his final job as Cantor of the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, Bach had the unenviable task of composing, rehearsing, directing, and performing nearly 60 sacred cantatas a year. Over his lifetime he would write some 400 of these, though sadly nearly half are lost. The Cantata No. 147 (Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben) was first performed on July 2, 1723. The final chorale is Jesus, des Menschen Freude, or Jesu, joy of man’s desiring. The work is in the form of a cantus firmus chorale prelude, where the melody appears in long notes within an inner voice which is orchestrated below a more elaborate triplet melody woven contrapuntally around it. Bach was not considered a saint by his students and contemporaries in Leipzig. However, he was obviously sincere when he wrote, “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul. If heed is not paid to this, it is not true music.”
Sanctus S130 Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Fraction Anthem S164 Jesus, lamb of God Franz Schubert
Music at Communion Like as the hart desireth the waterbrooks Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
Words: Psalm 42: 1-3
Like as the hart desireth the waterbrooks,
so longeth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul is athirst for God,
yea, even for the living God.
When shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
My tears have been my meat day and night,
while they daily say unto me,
“Where is now thy God?”
A powerful, pleading “where is my God” is the central message of the Howells Psalm setting, but even more powerful is the imagery of the deer in placid fields, yet thirsty. From the first notes of the introduction, the listener is drawn into a musical landscape, which sounds as if it was already in progress long before we began hearing it.
Closing Hymn Shall we gather at the river At the River
Voluntary Andante largo in D for trumpet John Stanley (1713-1786)