On this Pentecost Sunday, the ancient Latin hymn “Veni Creator Spiritus” (Come Creator Spirit) forms the basis for several musical offerings. This Invocation to the Holy Spirit is believed to have been composed by 9th century theologian and scholar Rabanus Maurus and is sung in Gregorian Chant. The morning services begin with Prelude and Passacaglia: “In Festo Pentecostes” (1981) by James Woodman. The Prelude is based on the chant melody which appears again in the fifteen-variation Passacaglia section over the recurring “ground bass,” played in the pedal. The service concludes with J.S. Bach’s setting of the Luther hymn, “Komm, Gott Schöpfer, heiliger Geist” (Come, God Creator, Holy Ghost). From the Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes, BWV 667 was composed in the last year of Bach’s life in 1750. Veni Creator serves as the cantus firmus, played in the pedal, while the manuals dictate an intricate ritornello figure above. Lastly, my celestial setting of the tune for handbells and choir will be heard as the introit at 11:00.
In the spirit of Pentecost, all of our current musical ensembles will be present together for both morning services. The Chancel Choir will offer Anton Bruckner’s “Locus iste,” an anthem written for the dedication of the votive chapel of Linz Cathedral, Austria in 1869. The text is the Latin Gradual for the anniversary of the dedication of a church, itself based on the biblical stories of Jacob’s Ladder and the burning bush. At 9:00, the Youth Bells will return for their last appearance this season. The Plymouth Ringers will present an arrangement by Bill Ingram of the spiritual “Every Time I Feel the Spirit” at 11:00.
And come experience the Fire of Pentecost at 6:00 in world music renditions of hymns of the spirit. Vocalist Blair Carpenter and Stuart Yoshida on ukulele and more will accompany Bobby in sounds of the spirit from around the world.
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.