The Second Sunday of Advent takes us to the proclamation of John the Baptist: prepare your hearts for baptism in the Spirit by one greater than he. The foretelling of Christ's birth and the arrival of Light and Peace to the world becomes this Sunday's muse.
The morning services begin with excerpts from Georg Böhm's twelve movement partita "Freu dich sehr, O meine Seele" (Rejoice Greatly, O My Soul). The tune, originally composed by Louis Bourgeois for inclusion in the 16th century Genevan Psalter as Psalm 42, is most well-known today as the Advent carol "Comfort, Comfort O My People." The playful and highly imaginative variations on this sprightly tune effortlessly evoke the affect of Baroque Joy. During the early service communion, an intimate setting of "Rorate caeli" by virtuoso French organist Jeanne Demessieux will be played from her collection Twelve Choral Preludes on Gregorian Chant Themes. "Rorate caeli" is the opening Latin text of The Advent Prose, first line translated as "Let the heavens drop dew from above," originating in the Roman Catholic tradition. At services' end, a joyous setting of the Advent hymn "Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates" by Dutch organist Jan Bender manifests well the hymn writer's exclamation in the closing verse: "Thy Holy Spirit lead us on until our glorious goal is won; eternal praise, eternal fame be offered, Savior, to thy name!"
The Chancel Choir presents "Come, Jesus, Come," an elegant setting of an insightful and contemporary text by the Reverend Carl Daw, an Episcopal priest and respected hymn writer. Organist Linda McGinn and flutist Aaron McGrew will also join.
Each week, Director of Music Mark Heiskanen writes a Music Minute previewing the upcoming Sunday's musical offerings and occasionally opines on other music-related topics.
We are blessed by an engaging music program at Plymouth!
Mark Heiskanen has been Plymouth's Director of Music since September 2017. Originally from Northeast Ohio, Mark has experience and great interest in a diverse range of musical styles including jazz, rock, musical theatre, and gospel. He is thrilled to serve a congregation and staff that values diversity and inclusion in all facets of life.