Patterico's Pontifications

3/17/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 46

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It is the second Sunday in Lent. Today’s Bach cantata is “Schauet doch und sehet, ob irgend ein Schmerz sei” (Behold and see, if there be any sorrow).

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 13:31-35:

Jesus’s Sorrow for Jerusalem

At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”

He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words, echoing the Gospel reading’s lamentation for Jerusalem, and the image of Jesus gathering the righteous lovingly, like a hen gathers her chicks:

Lament then, O destroyed city of God,
you poor heap of stones and ashes!

. . . .

You did not heed Jesus’ tears,
now heed the tidal wave of passion
that you have built up over yourself,
for God, after much patience,
breaks his staff in judgment.

. . . .

Yet do not imagine, o sinners,
that Jerusalem alone
above all others is full of sin!

. . . .

Yet Jesus will, even in punishment,
be the shield and supporter of the righteous.
He gathers them as his sheep,
Lovingly, as his little chicks;
when storms of vengeance reward sinners,
He assures that the righteous live securely.

This is a beautiful cantata. Note that Bach considered the music of the initial chorus fine enough to adapt for the “Qui tollis peccata mundi” section of his Mass in b minor:

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

3/10/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 54

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It is the first Sunday in Lent. Today’s Bach cantata is “Widerstehe doch der Sünde” (Just resist sin).

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 4:1-13:

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”

The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

The text of today’s piece is available here. It is a short piece for a solo voice, sung here by a contratenor (a male with a singing range similar to that of a female contralto). It contains these words, urging resistance to Satan and his temptations:

Just resist sin,
lest its poison seize you.
Don’t let Satan blind you;
for those who defile God’s honor
will incur a curse that is deadly.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

3/3/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Choral Movement BWV 50

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It is Transfiguration Sunday. Today’s Bach piece is a choral movement thought to be part of a lost cantata, called “Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft” (Now is come salvation and strength).

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 9:28-36, (37-43a):

The Transfiguration

Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

Now is the salvation and the power and the kingdom and the might of our God and of His Christ come, since he is cast down who accused them day and night before God.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

2/24/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 24

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It is the seventh Sunday after Epiphany. Today’s Bach cantata is “Ein ungefärbt Gemüte” (An open mind).

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 6:27-38:

Love for Enemies

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Judging Others

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words, echoing the “Golden Rule” announced by Jesus in today’s Gospel:

If you desire God as a friend,
then do not make your neighbor into an enemy
through falsehood, treachery and deceit!
A Christian
should imitate the manner of doves
and live without falsehood and tricks.
Make yourself into such an image,
as you would have your neighbor be!

Now all that you want the people to do for you, do even so for them.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

2/17/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 20

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It is the sixth Sunday after Epiphany. Today’s Bach cantata is “O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort” (O eternity, you word of thunder).

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 6:17-26:

Blessings and Woes

He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.

Looking at his disciples, he said:

“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.

“Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.

“But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort.
Woe to you who are well fed now,
for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

O eternity, you word of thunder,
o sword, that bores through the soul,
o beginning without end!
O eternity, timeless time,
I know not, before such great sorrow,
where to turn.

. . . .

Perhaps this is your last day,
no one knows when he might die.
How easily, how soon
many are dead and cold!
Even this night can
the coffin be brought to your door.
Therefore before anything else
be considerate of the health of your soul!

. . . .

O humanity,
stop immediately
loving sin and the world,
so that this torment,
where howling and teeth-gnashing are,
might not eternally plague you!
Ah, mirror yourself in that rich man,
who in his suffering
not even once
could have a drop of water!

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

2/10/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 88

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 10:20 am



It is the fifth Sunday after Epiphany. Today’s Bach cantata is “Siehe, ich will viel Fischer aussenden” (Behold, I will send out many fishers).

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 5:1-11:

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

Behold, I will send out many fishers, says the Lord, which shall angle for them. And afterwards I will send out many hunters, who shall pursue them upon all the mountains and all the hills and in all the rocky crevices.

. . . .

Jesus said to Simon:

Do not be afraid; for from now on you will catch people.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

2/3/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 181

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 11:22 am



It is the fourth Sunday after Epiphany. Today’s Bach cantata is “Leichtgesinnte Flattergeister” (Light-minded frivolous spirits).

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 4:21-30:

He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.

Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’”

“Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”

All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words, criticizing the insincere and hardhearted:

Light-minded frivolous spirits
rob themselves of the Word’s power.
Belial with his offspring
seeks nevertheless to obstruct it,
so that it is of no use.

. . . .

O unfortunate condition of deluded souls,
who are, just as we, on the way;
and who yet can tell of Satan’s trickery,
as he steals the Word out of hearts,
which, blind in understanding,
neither perceive nor believe the harm?
They become hearts of stone,
so wickedly contrary,
that they scoff at their own salvation
and eventually are brought down.
Indeed Christ’s last word had such force,
that rocks themselves split open;
the angel’s hand moved the grave stone,
yes, and Moses’ staff can there
bring forth water from a cliff.
Will you, o heart, be yet harder?

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

1/27/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 143

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It is the third Sunday after Epiphany. Today’s Bach cantata is “Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele” (Praise the Lord, my soul)

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 4:14-21:

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

We don’t get to the punchline until next Sunday, when the crowd drives Jesus out of Nazareth.

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

Think, Lord, at this time on Your office,
that You are a Prince of peace,
and graciously help us all together
now and at this moment;
let us henceforth
speak Your divine word
yet longer in peace.

We have previously listened to a cantata (BWV 69) with the same title, but this is a different piece. Both concentrate on the theme of Jesus as the Prince of Peace.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

1/20/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 155

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 8:56 am



It is the second Sunday after Epiphany. Today’s Bach cantata is “Mein Gott, wie lang, ach lange?” (My God, how long, ah, how long), composed for the second Sunday after Epiphany in 1716:

Today’s Gospel reading is John 2:1-11:

Jesus Changes Water Into Wine

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

Jesus knows the right time
to cheer you with help.
When the troubled times disappear,
His whole heart will be open to you.

. . . .

Then be, o soul, be at peace!
If it appears to your eyes
as if your dearest Friend
has departed completely from you;
if He has left you for a brief time,
heart! believe firmly,
it will be only a little time,
before instead of bitter tears
He will grant you the wine of comfort and joy
and flowing honey in place of wormwood!

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

1/13/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 123

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 12:06 pm



It is the Baptism of Our Lord. Today’s Bach cantata is “Liebster Immanuel, Herzog der Frommen” (Dearest Emmanuel, duke of the pious).

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 3:15-17, 21-22:

The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

. . . .

The Baptism and Genealogy of Jesus

When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

If storms rage,
Jesus sends me from above
rescue and light.

. . . .

You, Jesus, You are mine, and I am Yours;
I will prepare myself for You away from the world;
You shall be in my heart and my mouth.
My entire life
shall be dedicated to You,
until one day I am laid in the grave.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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