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About Sunday’s Music – Feast of the Most Holy Trinity

Blessed be the Holy Trinity and the undivided Unity!  In His great mercy, Our Lord reveals Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  The Holy Trinity is praised throughout Christian Liturgy and music.

The HYMN OF THE DAY “Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest” (498) is from the ninth century by Rhabanus Maurus (776-856).  It has been used as the office hymn for the Office of Terce, the church’s prayer at 9am.  It is sung at the ordination of candidates into the Holy Ministry.

A Pentecost hymn, it is appointed for Trinity Sunday confessing the Spirit’s relationship to the Father and Son: “Teach us to know the Father, Son, and You, from both as Three in One.” The tune is a simplification of the ancient plainsong chant (499) for the Latin text.

The VOLUNTARY (BWV 631), based on the Hymn of the Day, is by J.S. Bach (1685-1750) from his Orgelbüchlein, a collection of chorale preludes designed to teach organ technique and serve as repertoire on Lutheran chorales.

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth!   “Sabaoth” is Hebrew for “heavenly hosts.”  In place of the Offertory today, we sing “We Praise You, O God,” known in Latin as “Te Deum Laudamus.” The authorship of the Te Deum is unknown, although it has often been associated with St. Ambrose and St. Augustine. It has long been considered worthy of the status of the three ecumenical creeds.  It is both a confession of faith and a great and ancient canticle of adoration and praise.

All Glory Be to God on High   Three of the instrumental settings of hymns in Divine Service today are by Jonathan Kohrs (b. 1963), from a collection of seven Reformation hymns commissioned for the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation in 2017:

  • Kyrie, God Father in Heaven Above (942) (Entrance Hymn)
  • Isaiah, Mighty Seer (960) (Distribution Hymn)
  • All Glory Be to God on High (947) (Hymn to Depart)

Kohrs is professor of music at Concordia University Chicago, where he conducts the Schola Cantorum, and is also music director at Grace—Northbrook, IL.

The lessons are Isaiah 6.1–7; Romans 11.33–36; and St. John 3.1–15.
The hymns are: 942 Kyrie, God Father in Heaven Above; 498 Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest; TLH p. 35-37 We Praise Thee, O God (Te Deum Laudamus); 960 Isaiah, Mighty Seer; 604 I Bind unto Myself Today; 505 Triune God, Be Thou Our Stay; 947 All Glory be to God on High
Prelude: Canzon Septimi Toni # 2 –Giovanni Gabrieli
Voluntary: Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest (BWV 631) –Johann Sebastian Bach

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