Music and text connoting peace, eternal light and life, and the Church Triumphant will be presented this Totenfest and All Saints' Sunday morning.
An elegy can be defined as a lament for the dead, a sad poem. This literary term, as with many other literary terms, have musical counterparts as well. Such an example is the meditative "Elegy" by George Thalben-Ball, his most well-known work. It was conceived during a live religious service broadcast on BBC radio during World War II. The service ended earlier than planned and so he improvised a piece which, due to interest by listeners, was reconstructed and published as "Elegy". And so this Sunday's services begin in an introspective space as we remember those who have passed on over the year. For the closing voluntary, a joyous setting of the hymn tune "Lasst uns erfreuen" (Let us rejoice most heartily) reminds us of the bliss that awaits. The tune has been paired with several texts over the centuries. Our Doxology this fall is an example as are the hymns "Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones" and "All Creatures of Our God and King."
On this special Sunday of the liturgical year, we will also hear two choral offerings by two of Plymouth's vocal ensembles.
The Chamber Choir, an auditioned group of Plymouth members and fine vocalists from the community, offer the sublime "Illuminate (Lux aeterna)" by Matthew Wheeler at both morning services. The anthem was composed in memoriam to his father and expresses a journey from the shadows of despair to the promise of Light's return. "Lux aeterna" (Latin for "perpetual light") and additional select texts from the traditional requiem mass are interwoven into the English text creating a tapestry of personal feelings of loss and hope with an ancient liturgical underpinning. At 11:00, the Chancel Choir sings "We Are Surrounded" by Joseph Martin. The words by J. Paul Wiliams, based on Hebrews 12.1-3, call us to heed the will of God as those saints before us have done so well.
At 6:00 p.m., join us for a service of simplicity and peace as we share a humble meal together and sing chants from the Taizé tradition. Bobby and Blair are joined by flutist Aaron McGrew for this beautiful service of evening prayer.
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.