I will make you fishers of men

During the Epiphany season in most lectionary years, we hear Gospel accounts of Jesus calling the disciples to "follow me." Today (Jan. 25) we hear Mark’s account of Jesus calling Simon (Peter) and Andrew, and then James and John. One of our Communion hymns today is a beautiful hymn written by Cesareo Gabarain (1936-1991), a Spanish priest and composer of liturgical music. The melody of this tune Pescador de hombres ("Fisher of men") gently rocks back and forth, as a boat would rock upon t... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bach, Mendelssohn and the Light of the World

The Collect for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany (Jan. 18) proclaims that “Jesus Christ is the light of the world” by also using words such as “illumined,” “shine” and “radiance.” To highlight this prayer, there is perhaps no better entrance hymn than Phillip Nicolai’s (1556-1608) great chorale Wie schon leuchtet der Morgenstern, as harmonized by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), who included so many chorales in his own compositions. Then considered to be “the old style,” Baroque musi... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Sunday, January 18, 2015

Jesus' Life, All in One Hymn

Following the festal celebrations of the Nativity and the Epiphany, we now move into the Epiphany season in which we celebrate and give witness to Jesus’ life and work in the world. After John the Baptist baptizes Jesus, we hear on these successive Epiphany Sundays the Gospel accounts of Jesus calling the disciples, teaching in the synagogue, healing the sick, and proclaiming the Good News. The closing hymn today, "O love, how deep, how broad, how high," is a favorite in this parish, perha... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Monday, January 12, 2015

Following the Star

In the lectionary readings for Jan. 4, the psalmist proclaims, "Behold our defender, O God, and look upon the face of your Anointed." This is precisely what the Magi did when they followed the star first to Jerusalem, after which King Herod sent them on to Bethlehem to find the child "born King of the Jews." Today’s gospel foreshadows the sequence of events that we will celebrate this Tuesday, Jan. 6, on the Feast of the Epiphany and with the Burning of the Greens. The text of this morning’... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Friday, January 2, 2015