Easter Sunday, Sun., April 1 @ 8:15 am and 10:45 am
Easter Cantata “Five Mystical Songs” by Mark Gould, Music Coordinator
Poem texts by Rev. George Herbert (1593-1633, Anglican Priest)
Musical Setting by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958, British Composer)
“The most important festival of the Christian year, Easter, celebrating the resurrection of the crucified Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, will be celebrated at Christ the King with two Sunday services of Word and Sacrament. The CTK Sanctuary Choir with soloists Eric Bergendahl (tenor) and Mallory Jordan (soprano) will present the “Five Mystical Songs” Easter cantata throughout the services. This set of five songs based on sacred classic poems by Rev. George Herbert from his collection The Temple: Sacred Poems (1632). The set kicks off with Easter with its primary message “Rise heart, Thy Lord is risen!” This is cause for our immediate and eternal praise and the primary motivation for sacred Christian music.
The next three poems are more introspective and soloistic: “I brought me flowers” (Eric), “Love bade me welcome” (Mallory) and “The Call” (Eric). These move us the declaration of the Easter Gospel to our response in faith and service as well as Christ’s sacramental support to nourish us for this mission. “I brought me flowers” confesses the singular importance of Jesus, the Son of God, and his resurrection. There are ”300 suns” that compete with his saving claims, but “there is but one and that one ever.”
“Love bade me welcome” is a classic prophetic call. The soloist articulates many reasons for their inadequacy and unworthiness to respond to the calling of Love (God). Love has a response to each. The marred eyes filled with shame are still made by God and a gift from this very God who wants us to use them in God’s service. Finally the soloist gives in and declares, “then I will serve.” Immediately God (Love) strengthens the response in faith with the offer of sacramental food: O sacred banquet in which Christ is received, the memory of his passion is recalled, the mind is filled with grace, and the pledge of future glory is given to us. Alleluia! The choir hums this chant (O sacrum convivium) in dialogue with the soloist who sits and eats this sacred feast. This solo is the dramatic midpoint and so central to the struggles all of us on the journey of faith experience.
“The Call” is the most famous of the Herbert texts and the RVW setting is found in our ELW hymnal (#816). This marvelously constructed poem weaves together the many acclamations of Christ Jesus: my Way, Truth, Life, Light, Feast, Strength, Joy, Love, Heart. This Lord kills death, makes us his guest and joys in love.
The cantata concludes with the glorious hymn of praise sung by the entire choir without a soloist. Let all the world in every corner sing: My God and King. This declaration of faith will resound forever! You did hear a preview of this with brass and organ at our Reformation Concert in October 2017.
Ralph Vaughan Williams has given the Church a huge legacy of sacred music and hymn tunes including beloved tunes for hymns like “For all the saints”. His tunes and musical style were profoundly influenced by English folksong traditions and the Tudor golden age of British music. He also moved harmonies away from the German traditions incorporating some of the impressionistic styles of his French composition teacher, Maurice Ravel. RVW is innately tuneful and knew great hymn tunes. He edited multiple editions of Hymns Ancient and Modern, the standard bearer of British hymnody.
Please join us for Easter worship and invite a friend to share in Word, Sacrament and song in our central pillar of faith, “Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed!” Come sing God’s praise without delays!
Music is an important part of CTK’s ministry. Ensembles regularly provide musical leadership on Sunday mornings. Occasionally, they provide music for other events. Musicians are invited to be a part of CTK’s music program. Instruments, strings, winds, and keyboardists are engaged regularly in worship. CTK’s Musical Groups Include:
- Handbell Choir
- Children’s (Youth) Choir (click the image below to watch the video from a performance on Sunday, August 20)
Why Sing? A message from Mark Gould: Each year I ask the question, “Why sing?” Or “Why ring?” Or “Why play an instrument at Christ the King?” Each year seems to get busier and there are plenty of distractions that leave us wondering, “Is there anything that I want to add to my already full plate?” Before one could appeal to your response of faith to all God’s blessings and grace. Wouldn’t you want to sing God’s praise with others? After all, we have the biblical mandate, “It is good to sing praise to our God.” (Psalm 146:1) “Praise God with trumpets, harps, lyres, drums, dancing, harps, flute, cymbals (and by extension handbells)!” (Psalm 150) Making music in praise of God was getting ready for the eternal, heavenly choir where we can praise God with angels for eternity. No one has a better chance of a positive response to an appeal to a more immediate return on investment. Borrowing from an area church musician, John Paradowski, I will share his list of “Health Benefits of Making Music!” I might retitle it as “Why making music is as beneficial as a workout at the Y.” The health benefits of singing are both physical and psychological: 1. Singing and ringing have physical benefits because it is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the bloodstream and exercises major muscle groups in your upper body, even while sitting. 2. Your body produces “feel good” hormones called endorphins, which rush around your body when you make music which is linked to our sense of emotional well-being. 3. When people make music together they feel an increased sense of community, belonging and shared endeavor. 4. Good breathing practices increase lung capacity, improves posture, helps to clear respiratory tubes and sinuses and increases mental alertness through greater oxygenation. 5. Boost immunity by promoting the healthy lymphatic system. 6. Lowers blood pressure (most of the time). So to sum it all up, improve your well-being, keep calm and sing/ring for joy! We have opportunities for all ages to be engaged in singing, ringing and playing instruments from age 8 to 80 (and beyond). See music coordinator, Mark Gould (email@example.com) or come on out on September 13th when our Wednesday rehearsal schedule kicks off. Hand bells meet from 5.30 to 6.30 pm. The adult (including high school youth) choir meets Wednesdays from 7 to 8.30 p.m. Children will rehearse as a choir Sundays starting September 17th from 10.30 to 11.00 am. All God’s children got a place in our choirs. Make a present and eternal investment in the community, better health and last but not least, praising God who gave you the breath and voice. To participate in an ensemble, contact CTK’s Music Ministry Coordinator, Mark Gould, visit us at a rehearsal or feel free to reach out to an ensemble member. Rehearsals are regularly noted in worship bulletins and newsletters. You can also find them listed on CTK’s calendar.