This Sunday is indeed the Second Sunday of Lent but also the Feast of Saint Patrick. And it is to the latter that the musical selections this week take their primary cue.
Plaintive organ settings on ancient Gaelic tunes such as Bunessan ("Morning Has Broken") and St. Columba ("The KIng of Love My Shepherd Is") will be heard. For the Postlude, an excerpt from the final movement of Irish composer Charles Villiers Stanford's "Sonata Celtica" will be offered. The entire movement is based on the 19th century hymn tune St. Patrick's Breastplate, which was set to text translated from a 5th century prayer of protection attributed to St. Patrick himself. Composed in 1918, the sonata is characteristic of organ works of this period: dramatic, virtuosic, and occasionally sentimental, a vestige of the 19th century.
At the 11:00 a.m. service, the Chancel Choir will sing a benediction, an "Irish Blessing" by Bob Chilcott. The well-known text, "May the road rise to meet you..." is a loose translation of an ancient Gaelic prayer. Chilcott's intimate setting has become a staple in our choir's repertoire. Finally, a few traditional Irish slip jigs will find their way into the service as well, courtesy of Harmony Tucker and her fiddle.
At 6:00 p.m., join fiddler Abigail Steidley, guitarist Scott Steidley, bassist Peter Strening, Blair and Bobby as they lead you in ancient Celtic songs and present lively jigs and reels. Afterwards, join us all for a well-deserved pint or two at McClellan's.
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.