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Wednesday’s Music – Wednesday of Judica

The seven last words of Christ have served as a focus for a number of composers for musical settings over the centuries.

X  Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
X  Today you will be with me in paradise.
X  Behold your son: behold your mother.
X  I thirst.
X  My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
X  It is finished.
X  Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

In that tradition, a hymn focuses on these seven last phrases of Our Lord on the cross: ‚ÄúOur Blessed Savior Seven Times Spoke‚ÄĚ (The Lutheran Hymnal¬†# 177), or the more literal translation:

As Jesus hung upon the cross and His body was wounded
with such bitter pain,
consider in your heart the seven words that He spoke there.

Author Johann Boschenstain (1472-1539/40) was a priest who was known as an expert in the Hebrew language, serving as professor in Wittenberg and Augsburg.  He was the author of a Hebrew grammar as well as four hymns.

The hymn was printed in 1515 in nine stanzas, and enlarged to ten for the 1646 Hanover Gesangbuch.

BWV 621

The PRELUDE is a setting¬†(BWV 621)¬†by Johann Sebastian Bach¬†(1685-1750)¬†from his Orgelb√ľchlein.¬†¬†The opening notes of the pedal line are seen to look like the image of the cross, and the chains of syncopated rhythm representing Christ‚Äôs languishing on the cross.

A recording of the Prelude:

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