Tag: Protestant

‘Just grief, heart’s tears, plaint worthy’

By this week the UK has the highest number of deaths from the COVID-19 virus — now more than 43,000 — and the highest mortality rate per capita of all our neighbour countries in Europe. How do we mourn for so many lives lost when such vast numbers become statistics that leave us numb, tone-deaf […]

Pentecost with Tallis

For Pentecost, when the Church remembers how the followers of Jesus Christ first received the Holy Spirit, some of the best music is by Thomas Tallis (c1505-1585), the most admired English composer of the sixteenth century. He managed to pursue his long career as an organist, singer, composer and Gentleman of the Chapel Royal through […]

Tuning hearts

An anthem regularly sung in Anglican services at Eastertime is this one in six parts by Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623), composed during the period from 1602 when he was employed as organist at Chichester Cathedral. Its words, by an unknown author, are packed full of less-than-subtle references to good music-making: to finding the ideal register and […]

Alleluia! (Easter Day)

For Easter Day. This is the final post in a series of eight for Holy Week and Easter, 2020. After the austerity of Lent and the solemness of Holy Week, music for the Christian church on Easter Day bursts forth with great brightness and effusive praise to celebrate Christ’s victory over death. Multiple and repeated […]

Weren’t you with him? (Holy Week, Thursday)

For Thursday of Holy Week. This is the fifth post in a series for Holy Week and Easter Day, 2020. Peter’s three-times denial of knowing Jesus, in the hours after Jesus had been arrested and was being interrogated, is one of the most affecting and deeply personal parts of the Passion story, confronting us individually. […]

Get in the scene! (Holy Week, Monday)

For Monday of Holy Week. This is the second post in a series for Holy Week and Easter Day, 2020. With this intense 10-minute opening movement of the Passion according to St John (Leipzig, Good Friday, 7 April 1724), Bach brings us — forcefully pushes us — into the drama of the events that led […]