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Music for the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15)

My soul doth magnify the Lord   The PRELUDE is a setting of plainsong tone I, to which Mary’s Song (St. Luke 1.46-55), known as the Magnificat in Latin, may be sung.  Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707) wrote his variations on the Magnificat in a fantasia style that quotes the chant tune twice in its entirety, with several other portions of it throughout the composition.  The variations throughout this piece use contrasting registrations that make full use of the organ’s unique stops.

Sing of Mary, Sing of Jesus   The ENTRANCE HYMN, “Sing of Mary, Pure and Holy” (insert) is by Canadian author Roland F. Palmer (1891-1985).  The author of several devotional books, his hymn, written around 1914, was published in 1938.  It recounts Mary’s involvement in Our Lord’s life from His birth until His crucifixion.  It remembers Mary’s humble devotion to Our Lord, and focuses on Jesus’ work for our salvation: “Word made flesh, our Very Brother,” who “Took our nature by His birth.”  The introduction is by Wilbur Held (1914-2015).

Rejoice we all in the Lord   The INTROIT is an ancient plainsong setting arranged by Matthäus Ludecus (1527-1606).  He was a government official in Prignitz, Lüneberg, and Prenzlau.  As a musician, he published four collections of Lutheran liturgical works in 1589, from which today’s Introit is taken.

 

The introduction to the DISTRIBUTION HYMN, “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” (621) is by Paul Manz (1919-2009).  The introduction to the HYMN TO DEPART, “O Lord, We Praise Thee” is by Jan Bender (1909-1994).

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