A string quartet heightens our worship experience this week. The lively Capriol Suite by British composer Peter Warlock appears in movements for the opening voluntary, communion music, and closing voluntary. Our opening hymn Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence will feature the strings and a choir descant on the last verse. The choir will also sing Prepare the Way, O Zion by Kenneth Dake with violin and organ.
This week the adult choir will sing In Paradisum, a movement from the Requiem written by French composer, Gabriel Fauré. The translation of the Latin text is “May the angels lead you into paradise; may the martyrs receive you at your arrival and lead you to the holy city Jerusalem. May choirs of angels receive you and with Lazarus, once a poor man, may you have eternal rest.” For the offertory the choir will sing O Jesus, King Most Wonderful by American composer, Gerald Near. Jonathan Schakel will play two versions of Now Thank We All Our God, one by J. S. Bach and the other by Sigfrid Karg-Elert, a German composer of the early 20th century.
This week both the Singers and the Choristers will help lead worship. The Choristers are singing a song by Mark Patterson called This Is the Day, based on Psalm 118. For the Offertory, the Singers will sing Now Join We to Praise the Creator by Michael Bedford. Both of these anthems explore the theme of thanksgiving, for God’s creation and for the blessings of the harvest while lamenting hunger and misuse of land. Roger Authers is our guest organist this Sunday. He is playing Prelude on ‘Down Ampney’ by British composer Henry Ley. Down Ampney is a hymn tune that you might know with the words Come Down, O Love Divine. Roger is also playing Alla Breve by French composer Nicholas Gigault.
This fall a dozen adults have made the effort to try something new. On Thursday mornings we have met together to sing, move and play instruments during Life-Long Song. We began meeting weekly on September 8 from 11:00 am-noon. We will conclude with our last meeting of the semester on November 10. The participants have enjoyed the singing, the fellowship, and the joy of making music. When the group reflected this morning on the benefits of this gathering they expressed how this is not an intimidating group, the fellowship and fun are primary, and that really, one does not need any particular skills to enjoy this time together. You are encouraged to consider joining us when we reconvene on Thursday, March 9 at 11:00 am in room 208.
In honor of All Saints’ day, that occurs every November 1st, the adult choir is singing a traditional song from South Africa, Ipharadisi. The translation of the text is: Paradise, where all the dead are living, may we one day join them all there. The choir will also sing the well-known African-American spiritual Every Time I Feel the Spirit, arranged by William Dawson. This anthem was chosen to culminate our stewardship season, with a celebration of the Spirit on our pledge dedication Sunday.
The organ music during communion this morning is a setting of “Nun rühen alle Wälder” by the Dutch organist Jacques van Oortmerssen. This chorale — “Now all the forests are quiet” — is an evening hymn by the 17th-century theologian Paul Gerhardt. The same melody was also used for the chorale “O Welt, ich muß dich lassen” (“O world, I now must leave thee”). Van Oortmerssen was organist at the Waalse Kerk in Amsterdam and professor of organ at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. He died unexpectedly last November. His chorale setting was a contribution to the Orgelbüchlein Project, an ongoing project to provide organ settings by contemporary composers of all of the chorales which Bach had planned to include in his Orgelbüchlein but never finished.