Holy Week Music Notes

Dr. Barbara Leighton
March 20, 2018

Lutheran music ministers give up peace and calm for Lent. This is especially true for new music ministers like moi planning their first ever Holy Week services. You have been gentle on me; I am not responsible for the community Easter Vigil service, and for that I am grateful. The Music and Worship committee and I have finished wrestling with issues like why-are-so many-versions-of-Christ-humbled-himself-as hard-as-Anton-Bruckner's-8-part-Christus-factus-est; the music is now chosen. Four brave volunteers (Beth Johnson, Jim Luedeke, Dierdre Kildow, Pastor Rick Egtvedt) have agreed to join the Holy Week Choir (HWC), plus my daughter Rachel Dowling on Easter. Now all I have to do is rehearse with the choir, pray that everyone stays healthy, find an armband to hold my cell phone/pitch pipe that matches my Palm Sunday outfit, and practice, practice, practice! Oh, and finish writing these music notes. Here is a synopsis of the music for the SOTH services.


Palm Sunday The service will start at the back of the church, or maybe outside. The HWC will lead us in singing Hosanna to the One who Comes in the Name of the Lord. We will process into the church while singing All Glory Laud and Honor. The congregation will sing the Gospel Acclamation refrain before and after Jim Luedeke sings a Franz Schubert setting of Christ Humbled Himself. The reading of the Passion Gospel will be punctuated by verses of the Hymn of the Day, My Song is Love Unknown. We will sing the Schubert Holy, Holy and Lamb of God which we sang during Epiphany.


Maundy Thursday The Maundy Thursday service will feature lovely French and Celtic music. The HWC will introduce the Celtic Kyrie; Holy, Holy; and Lamb of God that we will also sing after Easter. We will sing 2 versions of Where Charity and Love Prevail (Ubi Caritas). The HWC will chant Of the Glorious Body Telling during the footwashing, and I will sing an Agnus Dei by Maurice Durufle during communion. The service ends with Pastor Rick reading Psalm 22, punctuated by a choral refrain.


Good Friday We gather in silence for prayer and reflection, then sing O Sacred Head, Now Wounded. After the readings, psalm, and gospel, we will sing In the Cross of Christ I Glory before the Procession of The Cross and the Adoration of the Crucified. We will then sing Sing, My Tongue before ending the service in silence and meditation.


Easter The HWC starts the Easter festivities with an Alleluia by Wolfgang Mozart. After the Thanksgiving for Baptism we will sing Jesus Christ is Risen and This is the Feast (from ELW (red book) setting 3, aka LBW (green book) setting 1). After the children's sermon, the congregation will sing the Gospel Acclamation refrain before and after Jim Luedeke sings the Celtic Alleluia for Easter Day. We will sing a mostly Celtic version of Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands after the sermon. Now the Green Blade Riseth will be introduced during the offertory and sung by all during communion. The sending hymn will be Thine Is the Glory, followed by a postlude by JS Bach.


Looking forward to worshiping with you!

© 2019 by Shepherd of the Hills.


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