Pentecost III – July 3
Please click on the links below to hear music from this service.
Bach: In your mercy, Lord, you called me (Cantata 147)
‘In your mercy, Lord, you called me’ is of course not the original text to this familiar and beloved music.
For all of Robert Bridges’s prowess as a translator of hymns (Ah, Holy Jesus, O sacred head now wounded, All my hope on God is founded, and so forth) I don’t think that ‘Jesu, joy of man’s desiring’ reflects his best work:
Word of God our flesh that fashioned
with the fire of love impassioned,
striving still to Truth unknown,
soaring, dying round thy throne.
What does that mean, exactly? And for heaven’s sake don’t let’s sing this “Truth unknown” business on a Sunday when the Gospel lesson is “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.”
On the other hand, I am very fond of Josiah Conder’s tender and introspective text ‘In your mercy, Lord, you called me,’ and I think it is unfortunate that it has been paired with the almost laughable unsingable tune Halton Holgate (number 706 in the 1982 hymnal).
So what we did here was to take the text we liked and the music we know and, because the number of syllables matches up, just put them together. Bach would likely not have approved (though he is not in a position to protest), but I think that the result is reasonable successful.
arr. Whalum: Sweet home
Kristine Chaney, soprano
“Man does not live on bread alone:” nor can one, I think, subside on a steady diet of spirituals. But this one is a particularly sweet one, and if you listen carefully to the “B” section you will hear Horatius Bonar’s familiar text, ‘I heard the voice of Jesus say’ (Hymn 692).
Hymn 718: God of our fathers, whose almighty hand (National Hymn)