On Easter Sunday the Adult Choir and the Singers will both participate in worship, singing at both the 8:30 and 11 o’clock services. They will combine to sing the introit, “He Is Risen,” by Michael Joncas. The Singers will also sing the anthem, “I Know that My Redeemer Lives,” by Austin Lovelace, an arrangement of a Sacred Harp tune. The Adult Choir’s anthem is “Christ Is Risen,” an arrangement by Michael Burkhardt of a chorus from Bach’s Cantata 207a. Amy Walder and Leah Patek, violinists, join the choir for this piece, as does Max Patek, who will play timpani.
This year’s Good Friday service will follow the traditional liturgy of Tenebrae for Holy Week, with readings from the Psalms and Thomas Tallis’s setting of the Lamentations of Jeremiah. In the contemplative service of Tenebrae (Latin for “darkness”), music serves as a reflection on the texts being read, and a candle is extinguished after each reading, until only one is left. Five singers, four drawn from the choir — Megan Sharp, Steve Patek, Jonathan Schakel, and Winston Barham — along with guest Emily Stubbs, will sing music from the Renaissance by Tallis, William Byrd, Giovanni Croce, and Lodovico Viadana.
We are offering members the opportunity to donate funds to purchase Easter lilies for display during worship at the 8:30 and 11:00 services on Easter Sunday, April 1. Lilies may be designated as memorials or in honor of loved ones. The cost is $20 per plant. If you wish to participate, call Mickie Elzinga at the church office (293-3133), or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you may put your check in the offering plate with your dedication. Deadline for participation is 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 23.
This week the choir sings an anthem based on the freedom song, “We Shall Overcome,” arranged by Tom Trenney. “We Shall Overcome” was a popular rallying song during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, but its roots extend deeper into the past. Lyrically, the song is thought to be a descendant of the gospel hymn, “I’ll Overcome Some Day,” written by the Methodist minister Charles Albert Tindley of Philadelphia in 1900. Musically, the first half of “We Shall Overcome” resembles the African-American spiritual, “No More Auction Block,” while the second half is more or less identical to the 19th-century hymn, “I’ll Be All Right.” Some version of the song was used in a miner’s strike in 1908 and again in the mid-1940s during a strike by tobacco workers in South Carolina. Several participants of that strike brought the song to the union stronghold Highlander Folk School, where Zilphia Horton made it a regular part of each meeting. Pete Seeger learned the song from Horton, changed the first line to “We shall overcome” (instead of “We will overcome”), added several more verses, and spread the song to other folk singers and activists. The song’s popularity exploded during the 1960s, and its first line was quoted in speeches by Lyndon Johnson and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This week the choir sings the anthem, “A New Magnificat,” by Carolyn Jennings. The anthem combines the text of Mary’s Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) with the Song of Hannah (1 Sam. 2:1-10). The similarity between these two biblical texts is brought into sharp focus: the two mothers, one from each testament, sing to each other about the graciousness of God’s salvation. Jennings is professor emeritus at St. Olaf’s College, Northfield, Minnesota, where she taught for many years.