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Music for the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity

What God Ordains is Always Good Samuel Rodigast (1649–1708) wrote today’s HYMN OF THE DAY (760) presumably for the man who wrote the tune, Severus Gastorius (1646–1682) when he was sick and desired a hymn for his funeral.  It contains Christ’s teachings clearly, especially the Holy Gospel from St. Matthew 6.

St. Paul says that we should teach and admonish one another with hymns (Colossians 3.16).  This hymn teaches and admonishes to consider the providence of God.  Since we know God as our friend and Father through Jesus, we know that he will provide for us and take care of us in every circumstance.  Singing this hymn exercises our faith as we consider the fourth petition (give us this day our daily bread), and the third petition (Thy will be done).  This hymn asserts that no matter what happens (joy or woe), “Someday I shall see clearly / That He has loved me dearly,” and that “No poison can be in the cup / That my Physician sends me.” It changes our anxieties about the present and future into confident expressions of faith in God’s goodwill towards us in Christ.

The PRELUDE is a partita on this hymn by Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706). Pachelbel’s music represents the height of the south German organ tradition, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude make him one of the most influential middle Baroque composers.  Pachelbel served as organist in a number of German cities, concluding his career in Nuremberg.

Kyrie eleison   Today, the choir sings a setting of the Kyrie by Michael Praetorius (1571-1621).  He served in Frankfurt and Wolfenbüttel.  His musical compositions, both sacred and secular, include his nine-part Musae Sioniae.  He is known for integrating elements of Italian musical style into his work.  His greatest contribution to musical scholarship in his three-volume Syntagma Musicum, an encyclopedia of music history, theory and musical instruments.  Today’s setting of the Kyrie is from his Missodia Sionia of 1611.

Watch o’er Thy Church, O Lord, in mercy   Today’s HYMN TO DEPART, “Father, We Thank Thee” (652) is a paraphrase of texts from the early church document called Didache.  This paraphrase is by F. Bland Tucker (1895-1984), which was first published in The Hymnal 1940.

“The Eucharistic theme relies heavily on the post-Supper prayer in the Didache:

You, O Master Almighty, created all things for the sake of your name, and gave both food and drink to humans for their refreshment, that they might give you thanks.  And you graciously provided us with spiritual food and drink, and eternal life through your child.  Above all we thank you because you are powerful.  To you be the glory forever.

[Another] eucharistic reference… is based on the Didache’s blessing of the bread:

As this fragment of bread was scattered upon the mountains and was gathered to become one, so may your church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom.  For the glory and the power are yours through Jesus Christ forever.

The scattering of the Israelites upon the hills and God’s reassembling them were prominent themes in the writings of the prophets (Isaiah 11:12; Jeremiah 31:10; Ezekiel 11:16-17).  Jesus also explained that in His miraculous feedings, He broke a few loaves into many pieces, and then the many scattered fragments were gathered into a few baskets (Mark 6:41-43; 8:6-8, 19-20).  Both allude to the people of God, who, through they are dispersed throughout the world, are nonetheless united in the meal of the Church (Matthew 8:11).” (Lutheran Service Book: Companion to the Hymns, 825-826.)

The lessons are 1 Kings 17.8-16; Galatians 5.25-6.10; and St. Matthew 6.24-34.
The hymns are: 754 Entrust Your Days and Burdens
760 What God Ordains is Always Good
732 All Depends on Our Possessing
861 Christ Be My Leader
624 The Infant Priest Was Holy Born
652 Father, We Thank Thee
Prelude: Partita on What God Ordains is Always Good -Johann Pachelbel
Voluntary: We Praise Thee, O God (Te Deum Laudamus) -Healey Willan
Choral setting of What God Ordains is Always Good by J.S. Bach

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