We welcome the Advent season with variations on "Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele" (Rejoice greatly, O my soul) by Baroque composer Georg Bõhm. This tune from the 1551 Genevan Psalter is most associated with the Advent text by 18th century hymn writer Johannes Olearius, "Comfort, Comfort Ye My People."
A gentle reprieve is offered at service midpoint by violinist Harmony Tucker in the "Adagio" from G.F. Handel's "Violin Sonata in F Major, HWV 370."
For Vespers this December 2, a service of Advent hymn and carols in the folk tradition with guitarist Bill Demarco.
Songs of gratitude and thanksgiving. Overflowing praise.
Invited into worship by J.S. Bach's setting of the hymn tune "Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier" ("Dearest Jesus, We Are Here"), we soon hear the virtual efforts of members of our Chancel Choir in the Shaker tune "Simple Gifts," interwoven with the infamous "Pachelbel's Canon" in an arrangement by Donald Moore.
Lastly, familiar to anyone who has owned an E. Power Biggs organ album, the rousing and triumphant strains of Sigfrid Karg-Elert's play on the ultimate hymn of thanksgiving: "Now Thank We All Our God."
The Thanksgiving Eve Vespers service offers an international expression of praise from Scotland, Taiwan, and Africa. Ukuleleist Stuart Yoshida joins us.
Join us for a hymn sing this Sunday! The age-old tradition of coming together in song may be very different these days, but we can still be together in the Spirit: same time, different location.
Consider these words by hymn writer Rev. Fred Pratt Green, who so thoughtfully captures the spiritual dimensions to music-making in worship.
When in our music God is glorified,
and adoration leaves no room for pride,
it is as though the whole creation cried,
How often, making music, we have found
a new dimension in the world of sound,
as worship moved us to a more profound
So has the church, in liturgy and song,
in faith and love, through centuries of wrong,
borne witness to the truth in every tongue:
And did not Jesus sing a Psalm that night
when utmost evil strove against the Light?
Then let us sing, for whom he won the fight:
Let every instrument be tuned for praise!
Let all rejoice who have a voice to raise!
And may God give us faith to sing always:
Two brief versets on the Gaelic tune "Bunessan" by Richard Proulx accompanies your morning coffee this Sunday morning. The melody, most associated with the lyrics "Morning Has Broken" (thank you, Cat), is initially presented in a slightly jazzy chorale setting. Following, the tune transforms into a dream-like state: a meditative repose.
A tintinnabulation ensues courtesy of the Plymouth Ringers! Sure to keep your attention, my musical setting of this term coined by poet Edgar Allen Poe in his work "The Bells" relates joy and alertness, if somewhat ambiguously...
The ecstatically triumphant "Chant de Joie" (Song of Joy) by Jean Langlais closes the service in no uncertain terms however: in hope, in faith, and, oh yes, joy.
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.