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Music for Judica-Fifth Sunday in Lent (Passion Sunday)

Come nigh and see what Love has done!   The PRELUDE is Johann Sebastian Bach’s (1685-1750) setting of “O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß” from the Orgelbüchlein (BWV 622). As today’s VOLUNTARY, the choir sings the chorale (BWV 402) set by Bach in the translation: “O sinner, come thy sin to mourn.”

 Therefore I will forever, Give glory unto Thee   In thanksgiving to Our Lord for the gift of forgiveness through His Son, Christians continually give Him glory.  The ENTRANCE HYMN, “When O’er My Sins I Sorrow” (The Lutheran Hymnal 152) by Justus Gesenius (1601-1673), leads us in thankful praises to Our Lord.  From His throne on high, He becomes a man to shed His blood and die.

Gesenius, after graduating from the University of Jena in 1628, became pastor of St. Magnus Church in Brunswick and later the Cathedral in Hildsheim.  An accomplished theologian and influential, famous preacher, he was the editor of a number of hymnals that served the area around Hanover.

   The tune is by renowned musician Michael Praetorius (1571-1621), kantor in Lüneberg and later served the Duke of Brunswick at Wolfenbüttel.   His major work was a three-volume encyclopedia on the art and practice of music entitled Syntagma Musicum.  It is considered one of the most remarkable examples of musical scholarship in existence.

Where deep for us the spear was dyed, Life’s torrent rushing from His side,

To wash us in the precious flood, Where flowed the water and the blood.

     The HYMN OF THE DAY, “The Royal Banners Forward Go” (Lutheran Worship 104) is a sixth-century hymn by bishop Venantius Fortunatus (530-609).  This magnificent hymn calls Christians to meditate on Jesus on the cross.  The mystery of the incarnation finds its fulfillment in the atonement: God reigns in triumph from the tree.  The tune is an ancient plainsong Vexilla Regis.

The lessons are Genesis 22.1–14; Hebrews 9.11–15; and St. John 8.42–59.
The hymns are: TLH 152 When O’er My Sin I Sorrow
LW 104 The Royal Banners Forward Go
610 Lord Jesus, Think on Me
450 O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
655 Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word
571 God Loved the World So That He Gave
   The Fifth Sunday in Lent (Passion Sunday) takes its name “Judica” from the first word of the Introit in Latin, “Judge” (Psalm 43.1) (also translated Vindicate).  Today begins Passiontide, the final two weeks of Lent.  Crucifixes are veiled in violet to teach that, in suffering, Our Lord hides His glory.  Also during Passiontide, the Gloria Patri “Glory be to the Father…” is omitted.

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