Savior of the Nations, come,
Virgin’s Son, make here Your home!
Marvel now, O heaven and earth,
That the Lord chose such a birth.”
We continue our celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation by choosing as the centerpiece of this year’s Christmas Concert, Bach’s Cantata 61, “Savior of the Nations, Come,” with text by Martin Luther. In Bach’s setting, rich in musical and textual symbolism, Biblical imagery, and the Lutheran chorale, Luther’s great Advent hymn is paired with part of another Lutheran hymn, “O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright.”
“O Morning Star” was written by the Lutheran pastor Philipp Nicolai around 1600, about eighty years after the beginning of the Reformation. Nicolai suffered great losses in his congregation as well as in his own family due to the plague but found the inner courage to compose texts (and tunes) of great joy and lasting value. “O Morning Star” and “Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying” are often known as the King and Queen of Chorales because of their importance and influence on later Lutheran hymnody.
Other pieces on the program include a new Christmas carol by Carl Schalk, a beautiful setting of Mary’s Song, the Magnificat, and a popular carol by John Rutter. As always, the whole assembly will sing favorite Christmas Carols and hymns. Orchestra and soloists will join the choir. Please plan now to join us for this very special Christmas event. A candlelight reception follows the concert.
The concert planning committee is asking for help preparing baked goods for our guests to enjoy at the candlelight reception. They're also asking for volunteers to help with setup, to serve our guests, and to help clean up following the reception. Contact the church office if you'd like to volunteer your time and talents.