Friday, October 30, 2009

Requiescant in pace

That's Latin for "rest in peace," the reason that so many Halloween decorations include the abbreviation RIP. But don't worry, no more Latin from here on out.

In recognition of All Saints Day, this Sunday's choir anthem will be a selection from Rutter's "Requiem." Many people have heard it and recognize it as a favorite choral work. It has beautiful lyrical melodies, and the text is a powerful prayer of intercession as we remember family and friends who are no longer with us:

Grant them rest eternal,
Lord our God, we pray to thee.
And light perpetual
Shine on them forever.

We'll also be singing the classic hymn "For All the Saints," which was composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams. It has a great folk-song sound, and this Sunday I'll be playing several different variations on it as we sing its several verses. The concept is that the hymn will grow from a unison call to worship, symbolically like one voice in the wilderness, that will grow in intensity and volume to the final verse and its mention of the gates of heaven and all of the earth singing praise to God.

Last, a quick mention of the prelude. I'll be playing three movements from J.S. Bach's Fifth French Suite on the harpsichord. The French Suites are collections that are based on Baroque dance music. You might be able to imagine men and women in powdered wigs and period clothes. Or you can simply enjoy the upbeat music to begin your morning.

Don't forget to set your clocks back this weekend!


  1. I always love to hear music on the harpsichord. Thanks Tom!

  2. Me too, I love it when you play the harpsichord! It reminds me of being back at school.