25 December 2018

And then

There is the Divine Service on Christmas Day, technically the third Mass, though we sing only the first and the last...

From the merry song of the handbells as prelude to the solemn reading of the Kalends, from the joyful "O Come, All Ye Faithful" (with Wilcox descant on trumpet and with sopranos) to relishing the Gloria in Excelsis (being a bit more awake than last night),

from the wonderful ancient and terse collect of the day (though somewhere along the line, the "new" got lost from "birth") to the choir's joyful Psallite Unigenito (delightful macaronic piece by Praetorius - we sang the original with Latin and German),

from the Gospel from John 1 to the kneeling at the incarnatus est of the Nicene, from Luther's incomparable "We Praise You, Jesus, At Your Birth" to Pastor's preaching us the comfort of that Light that no darkness of our sin or death was able to extinguish,

from Es Ist Ein Ros to the intercessions that sweep up in love the concerns and joys of all and present them in Christ to the Father,

from the solemn chanting of Our Father and the Testament of Christ to the gift of the Savior's body and blood once again touching us, forgiving us, loving us, transforming us;

from the ringing and singing of Of the Father's Love to the joyous and triumphant dance with which we waltz our way to the Kingdom: "Now Sing We Now Rejoice!" and Bach's prelude on the same as the postlude

From start to finish, from Alpha to Omega, it was all the joy of Jesus.

His incarnation for us the incontrovertible testimony of the Father's eternal and unfathomable love for the race of men.

Thank you to Pastor, to Kantor, to the many musicians, to the singers, to all who brought us such joyful gifts.

Words cannot describe the blessing of being able to worship in an Orthodox Lutheran parish, devoted to our church's rich musical and liturgical heritage and joyfully determined to hear nothing but the preaching of God's pure Word, where every song and sermon invites us to doxology: Glory to you, Lord Jesus, our new born king!

No comments: