Easter brings the hope and joy of life eternal!  It’s our most sacred time of year and the week leading up to Easter is one of my favorite times of the season.  Holy Week provides us a chance to journey with Christ in an intimate and profound way through symbolism, scripture, and music.  The solemnity of this week is highlighted through hauntingly beautiful music provided by our choir and soloists. 

Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper and the servanthood of Christ with the ceremony of foot washing.  The music for this service will feature soprano Catherine Gaines at the 12 noon service and the full choir at the 7:30  PM service.  The choir will sing a hauntingly beautiful setting of Psalm 131 by composer Arvo Part and the timeless version of the Ubi Caritas by Maurice Durufle based on the original Gregorian Chant.  The service ends with the stripping and washing of the Altar while the choir chants Psalm 22. 

The noon-day Good Friday service takes us on the journey to the cross with music by Kenneth Leighton. We will once again hear his anthem Solus Ad Victimam (Alone thou goest) which leads us from the Cross to the laughter of Easter Day with sonorous and sometimes dissonant chords and melodies depicting the anguish and suffering of Christ.  Bass soloist Chase Wheeler will sing once again “I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked.”  This moving and heart-wrenching solo ends the first hour of the three hour service.  The evening service will feature soprano Catherine Gaines singing “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord.”

Easter Vigil is one of my all time favorite services, taking us through a mystical journey of the cosmos from creation to the Resurrection.  The music during the first part of the service is a combination of chants and congregational singing, all a cappella, with the trumpets of the organ finally sounding in fanfare to herald the new Easter Day. 

Easter Day will feature a mass setting composed by my dear friend, James Bassi which was commissioned by the Cathedral of St. John the Divine while I was Cathedral Organist. The Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei are accompanied by brass and organ and sung by the choir entirely. He dedicated this mass to the choirs and me and I’m honored to share it with you this year. Also featured will be our own Chase Wheeler, baritone, as he sings the solo on the Ralph Vaughan Williams EASTER from Five Mystical Songs.  With words by George Herbert, this is one of the most beautiful of all Easter music and Chase sings it like no other I’ve ever heard. 

It is the fervent prayer, hope and desire of the Choirs, soloists, and myself that you will be uplifted, inspired, and brought closer to the Divine this Holy Week and Easter through the music we will be sharing as we worship together.  If you would like to make a donation to help cover the costs of Holy Week and Easter Music, please use the envelopes provided or call the church office.  You support is greatly valued and appreciated!