Friday, December 2, 2011

"Have mercy upon us, O Jesus."

The Opening Chorus of Bach's St. Matthew's Passion is our Friday traditio for two reasons:

1) It is a truly lovely composition

2) Because Damian Thompson, writing today about a performance he recently attended, had this to say: "This week I attended an amazing performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion. It was an appropriate time of year to hear the piece: Bach’s thorny harmonies reminded us that Advent is a penitential season," thus showing that I am not the only Roman Catholic who refuses to buy into attempts to make liturgy abstract. A liturgical season with no concrete praxis is no season at all. You might as well just pour the nog and join the hootenanny, which is already well under way and will conclude well short of the season of Christimas. This is intended in no way to denigrate hootenannies. Personally, I love a good one.

Come, ye daughters, help me lament,
Behold! Whom? The Bridegroom.
Behold him! How? Like a lamb.
Behold! What? Behold his patience.
Behold! Where? Behold our guilt.
Behold Him, out of love and graciousness,
Himself carrying the wood of the cross.

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