Patterico's Pontifications

1/10/2021

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 37

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 1:14 pm



It is the first Sunday after the Epiphany. The title of today’s cantata is “Wer da gläubet und getauft wird” (He who believes and is baptized).

Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 1:4-11:

And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

The Baptism and Testing of Jesus

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him 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 cantata is available here, and contains these words:

Faith creates the wings of the soul,
so that it may soar to heaven,
baptism is the seal of grace,
that brings us to God’s blessing;
and therefore he is called a blessed Christian
who believes and is baptised.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

1/3/2021

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 122

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 9:53 am



It is the second Sunday of Christmas. Today’s Bach cantata is “Das neugeborne Kindelein” (The new-born infant child):

Today’s Gospel reading is John 1:(1-9), 10-18:

The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.

The text of today’s cantata is available here, and contains these words:

The new-born baby,
the heart’s-beloved little Jesus,
now brings a new year
to the chosen flock of Christians.

. . . .

The true year of jubilation has been brought,
why then should we continually mourn?
Up, revived! now it is the time to sing,
since little Jesus turns aside all sorrow.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

12/27/2020

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 83

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 9:34 am



It is the first Sunday after Christmas. The title of today’s cantata is “Erfreute Zeit im neuen Bunde” (Joyful time in the new covenant):

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 2:22-40:

When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

The text of today’s cantata is available here, and contains these words:

Yes, though your faith still sees much darkness,
your Savior can part the shadows of doubt;
indeed, when the night of the grave
makes the last hour terrifying,
you will certainly
perceive His bright light in death itself.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

12/25/2020

Merry Christmas! Enjoy Some Bach: Cantata BWV 121

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 11:08 am



Merry Christmas! Here is some Bach to help you enjoy the day: “Christum wir sollen loben schon” (We should praise Christ highly):

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 2:1-14, (15-20):

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

The emphasis is mine, and is explained here.

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

We should already be praising Christ,
the Son of the pure girl Mary,
for as long as the dear sun shines
and reaches to the end of the entire world.

. . . .

John’s joyful leaps
already acknowledge You, my Jesus.
Now where an arm of faith embraces You,
then, away from the world,
my heart will fervently hasten to Your manger.

Yet how can it behold You in Your manger?
My heart sighs: with lips trembling and almost closed shut
it brings its thankful offering there.
God, that was so immeasurable,
takes on poverty and the form of a servant.
And since He has done this for our sake,
then with the angel choruses
let us hear a jubilant song of praise and thanks!

Praise, honor, and thanks be said to You,
Christ, born from the pure maid,
together with the Father and the Holy Spirit
from now on to eternity.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

12/20/2020

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 1

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 9:36 am



It is the fourth Sunday of Advent. Today’s Bach cantata is “Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern” (How beautifully the morning star shines):

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 1:26-38:

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

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

You, very son of God and Mary,
You, king of the chosen ones,
how sweet is Your living word to us,
by which our forefathers already
counted years as well as days,
that Gabriel joyfully
promised there in Bethlehem!
O sweetness, o bread of heaven,
that neither grave, danger or death
can wrest from our hearts.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

P.S. The final verse of the New King James Version of today’s Gospel reading reads as follows:

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

The words of Jesus’s mother Mary saying “Let it be” to her according to God’s word cannot help but remind the reader of these lyrics:

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

Paul McCartney says he did not intend this to be a religious song. It came to him in a dream, and he believed it related to his mother, whose name was Mary. That’s fine. Maybe it was a dream, and maybe it was an angel.

12/13/2020

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 30, Part 2

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 9:52 am



It is the third Sunday of Advent, and the title of today’s cantata is “Freue dich, erlöste Schar” (Rejoice, redeemed flock), Part 2. Last week we heard a selection from Part 1.

Today’s Gospel reading is John 1:6-8, 19-28

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

. . . .

Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”

They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

He answered, “No.”

Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”

Now the Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

“I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing..

The text of today’s cantata is available here. It contains this passage:

The glory of your happiness,
the time of your contentment and peace
will never reach an end.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

12/6/2020

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 30, Part 1

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 9:19 am



It is the second Sunday of Advent, and the title of today’s cantata is “Freue dich, erlöste Schar” (Rejoice, redeemed flock), Part 1.

Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way”—
“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”

And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

The text of today’s cantata is available here. It contains this passage:

The herald comes and announces the King,
he calls; therefore do not delay
and arouse yourselves
with a hasty gait,
hurry after this voice!
It shows the way, it shows the light,
by which that blessed pasture
we shall surely behold one day.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

11/29/2020

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 61

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 4:35 pm



It is the first Sunday of Advent. Today’s Bach cantata is “Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland” (Now come, Savior of the heathens):

Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 13:24-37

“But in those days, following that distress,

“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

“At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

The Day and Hour Unknown

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.

“Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”

The text of today’s cantata is available here and contains these words for our new church year:

The Savior has come,
has taken our poor flesh and blood
upon Himself
and claims us as blood-brothers.
O Highest Good,
what have You not done for us?
What do You not do
still daily for Your own?
You come and allow Your light
to shine full of blessing.

Come, Jesus, come to Your church
and grant a blessed new year!
Support the honor of Your name,
uphold the sound teachings
and bless the chancel and altar!

. . . .

Amen! Amen!
Come, you lovely crown of joy, do not delay,
I await you with longing.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

11/22/2020

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 116

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 9:57 am



It is Christ the King Sunday, and the end of our church year. A new year begins next Sunday with Advent. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “Du Friedefürst, Herr Jesu Christ” (O Prince of peace, Lord Jesus Christ):

Today’s Gospel reading is Matthew 25:31-46, the parable of the sheep and the goats:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

The text of today’s cantata is available here, and contains these words:

O Prince of peace, Lord Jesus Christ,
true human and true God,
you are a strong helper in need
in life and in death.
Therefore only
in your name
do we cry to your Father.

Alas, the agony is unspeakable
as is the threat of the enraged Judge!
Scarcely, since we still suffer this terror
that you, O Jesus, yourself have undergone,
can we cry to God in your name.

Yet consider,
O Jesus, that you are still
called a Prince of peace!
You wished to send us your word out of love.
Will your heart turn away from us now,
which otherwise revealed such great assistance?

. . . .

Illumine our minds and hearts as well
through the spirit of your grace,
so that we do not spread mockery about,
that would be harmful to our souls.
O Jesus Christ,
it is you alone
that can make this right.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

11/15/2020

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 14

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 10:02 am



It is the twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit” (Were God not with us at this time):

Today’s Gospel reading is Matthew 25:14-30, the parable of the bags of gold (or the parable of the “talents”):

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

“‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”

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

Were God not with us at this time,
— so Israel shall say —
Were God not with us at this time,
we would surely have despaired,
such a poor flock as we are,
scorned by so much of mankind,
that all set themselves against us.

. . . .

God, under Your strong protection
we are safe from our enemies.
When they, like wild waves,
confront us out of fury,
Your hands are with us.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

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