Thursday, March 3, 2011


The Epiphany season ends this week; the Brazilian Carnival begins on Saturday.  We won't have a party quite that crazy this week, but we will celebrate the Transfiguration with a range of festive music.  We open and close on big hymns to match the festival: "Oh, Wondrous Image, Vision Fair" (ELW 316) and "Immortal, Invisible" (ELW 834).  Also, at communion we'll sing "Beautiful Savior" (ELW 838), which is naturally dear to the heart of this St. Olaf alum.  For most of the hymns and the liturgy, we'll have a guest trumpet player adding to the celebration.

In addition, the choir will be singing two pieces.  The anthem is built solely on the text of Mark 9:7, "This is my Son, whom I love.  Listen to him!"  It is a very modern piece, as different as possible from the Renaissnace music of the last two weeks.  (In rehearsal, I warned the choir to beware musical whiplash as we move from style to style.)  The music has many cluster chords to give it a different sound from anything you're used to hearing us sing.  It also uses long rests to draw the listener's attention to the importance of the word "listen."  The second choir piece will be sung at communion, and it's a melodic tune titled "With This Communion We Thank You."  Even if the first piece stretches your ear too far for comfort, I know the communion piece will be a more pleasing, though still modern, tune.

The bell choir will also be playing this week, offering "Amazing Grace" as the prelude for the late service.  Our dedicated ringers are back already with only one week off.  As always, it's a pleasure to conduct such talented and dedicated volunteers!

1 comment:

  1. It was a beautiful service, beginning with the Bell Choir's Amazing Grace. The choir's anthem, and both simple communion hymns,"With This Communion We Thank You" and "Beautiful Savior" made it especially meaningful (goose bumps) for me. I loved singing those with the choir. Why is that for me simplest hymns draw me closer to Jesus?