Music for March 8, 2015
Prelude: “Andante Sostenuto” from Symphonie Gothique, C.M. Widor
Offertory: If Ye Love Me, Thomas Tallis
Communion: A New Commandment, Richard Shephard
Postlude: “Allegro” from Symphonie Gothique, C.M. Widor
#803 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
#806 O God, My Faithful God
#326 Bless Now, O God, the Journey
Thomas Tallis’ (1505-1585) “If Ye Love Me” easily may be the composer’s most famous and recognizable motet. This motet is usually associated with Pentecost (or Whitsunday as it was known in Tallis’ day) because of Christ’s promise to send the “Holy Comforter”. However, in the Old Testament reading for this Sunday, we hear the Law that was given to Moses on the mount, the Ten Commandments. Yet we are reminded in this motet that Christ tells us “If you love me, keep my commandments…” Richard Sheperd’s “A New Commandment” recalls Christ’s new commandments to love God and to love neighbor — that those two commandments are the fulfillment of the entire Law.
The hymns for Sunday reflect the themes of the Epistle and Gospel readings for the day: that the message of the cross (Christ crucified and risen) is foolishness to those who do not believe, but for those who put our fait in the saving acts of Christ it is the ultimate power of God.