November 22, 2017

4th Sunday after Trinity: Sermon and Cantata of the Week

Today, I am preaching at our first church, in East Dover, Vermont. For today’s Sunday post, I include the text of my message along with a fitting and delightful aria from Bach’s cantata, “Merciful Heart of Eternal Love” (BWV 185). • • • SERMON: Friends in the Gospel (Philippians 1:1-11) Thirty-nine years ago, I was […]

3rd Sunday after Trinity: Cantata & Pic of the Week

(Click on picture for larger image) • • • I’m deeply thrilled about our choice of worship music today. We present three movements from, perhaps, J.S. Bach’s greatest cantata: BWV 21, “Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis” (My heart was deeply troubled). Craig Smith describes this magnificent work and gives its background: Several years into his tenure […]

2nd Sunday after Trinity: Cantata & Pic of the Week

(Click on picture for larger image) • • • Internet Monk has often noted the absence of lament in much of American church culture. Today, we present an example of a Bach chorus of lament from his cantata “Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein” (O God, Look Down from Heaven). It seems, when lamenting, we humans are wont to […]

1st Sunday after Trinity: Cantata & Pic of the Week

(Click on picture for larger image) About Today’s Picture This statue of an African-American woman and her child, is part of the Black Brigade Monument in Smale Park on the riverfront in Cincinnati. It honors the courageous and city-saving contributions of a group of African-Americans who defended Cincinnati from Confederate forces in 1862. Here is a marvelous […]

Trinity Sunday: Pic & Cantata of the Week

(Click on picture for larger image) • • • Bach’s cantata BWV 194, Höchsterwünschtes Freudenfest (O greatly longed-for feast of joy), written to mark the dedication of a new organ in Leipzig on November 2, 1723, is a forty minute long piece in two parts. It is one of Bach’s largest cantatas, and sounds like […]

Pentecost: Cantata & Pic of the Week

(Click on picture for larger image) • • • Today is the great Christian feast of Pentecost, commemorating King Jesus pouring out the Holy Spirit upon his people. In honor of this great event in salvation history, we present magnificent pieces from two different Bach Pentecost cantatas. The first is the opening Chorus from Cantata BWV 172, “Erschallet, […]

Easter VII: Pic & Cantata of the Week

(Click on picture for larger image) • • • In tribute to the Coptic Christians of Egypt and all Christians being persecuted for their faith today, we present four movements from one of Bach’s cantatas for Easter VII. The text and themes are taken from the Gospel passage, John 15: 26 – 16: 4, in […]

Easter VI: Pic & Cantata of the Week

(Click on picture for larger image) • • • One of Bach’s cantatas for Easter VI is the delightful “Wahrlich, wahrlich, ich sage much” (BWV 84), based on the Gospel for the day in the composer’s time: John 16:23-30. Two pieces from this work describe a wonderful conversational relationship between the believer and God in the Word […]

Easter V: Pic & Cantata of the Week

(Click on picture for larger image) • • • Today we present the first two movements from a cantata about Jesus’ promise of a Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Bach’s cantata BWV 108, based on the Gospel passage John 16:5-15, is called “Es ist euch gut, daß ich hingehe,” translated “It is expedient for you that I go […]

Easter IV: Pic & Cantata of the Week

(Click on picture to see larger image) • • • The Gospel for this Sunday in Bach’s day was John 16:16-23, a text in which Jesus warns his disciples, “Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy.” […]