First Presbyterian Church of Urbana, a Member Church of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and More Light Presbyterians

Palm/Passion and Special Music

Sunday April 14, 2019

Sunday will begin beautifully as we gather in the Narthex with our palms in hand. We will say together, as did those first disciples, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” We will process into the sanctuary together, led by our handbells, re-enacting in our small way, the Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. That’s when the tone of the service will shift from the joy and celebration of the entry, to the drama of the passion of Jesus. It’s a shift that will be reflected in the Bach Cantata our choir will sing, “Jesus Gathered the Twelve to Himself.” All along, the disciples have misunderstood who Jesus really came to be and how he would accomplish our salvation. They were anticipating the victorious Messiah. Jesus came to be the Suffering Servant. Join us on Sunday to hear beautiful music, to hear a dramatic reading of Luke’s Passion Narrative, and to mark the shift from the joy of Palm Sunday to the passion of Holy Week.” – Pastor David

“The Three Crosses,” by Rembrandt, at the Princeton University Museum of Art, Princeton, New Jersey.

About Sunday’s Special Music: In J.S. Bach’s position as Cantor and Music Director in Leipzig, he was expected to compose a new cantata for each Sunday of the church year. Bach composed today’s cantata, Jesu nahm zu sich die Zwölfe (BWV 22), in 1723 as part of his audition for this job. Instead of creating a flashy showpiece with large choir or virtuosic playing, Bach chose to show just how much variety and drama he could create with only a handful of musicians. By borrowing forms from opera and introducing an Evangelist (narrator) and Jesus to help tell the story, Bach takes us on an emotional journey to Jerusalem. We will hear the disciples lament their uncertainty, but end with a celebration of unquestioned faith.

Sunday you will also hear an aria excerpted from a different cantata (BWV 127), titled Die Seele ruht in Jesu Händen. This addition to the program emphasizes the idea that our Lenten journeys may be difficult and demanding, but hope and fulfillment await us. 

Featured Musicians:

Angela Tammen, oboe

Trevor Thompson, violin

Julie Saxton, violin

Daniel McCarthy, viola

Kimmy Chuang, cello

Renata Caceres, bass

Molly Abrams, soprano

Sadie Cheslak, mezzo soprano

Andrew Turner, tenor

Scott Cuva, baritone

Sunday’s Prelude was inadvertently left out of the bulletin.  The music is Improvisation on ‘Herr Christ, der einig Gotts Sohn’ by Ted Turner.