- Choral Music: Zion hört die Wächter singen – J. S. Bach (1685-1750)
- A Hymn of Peace - Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)
“Zion hears the watchmen sing,
her heart leaps for joy within her,
she wakens and hastily arises.
Her glorious Friend comes from heaven,
strong in mercy, powerful in truth,
her light becomes bright, her star rises.
Now come, precious crown,
Lord Jesus, the Son of God!
We all follow
to the hall of joy
and hold the evening meal together.”
- P. Nicolai (1556-1608), tr. ©Pamela Dellal
Used by permission.
In lieu of an instrumental highlight this week, I want to draw attention to a second choral piece that has special meaning for us this Sunday. It is, A Hymn of Peace, by Jean Sibelius (1865-1957). The tune, known as Finlandia, is found in Sibelius’ symphonic poem by the same name. The true significance for us comes from the lyrics, however. They were penned in 1934 by Lloyd Stone (1912-1993), an American poet. These lyrics express a love for our country, but they also show understanding of the patriotism of others in other lands, and they express a hope for eventual peace. Being written in 1934, the winds of war in Europe were already stirring, and so this adds even greater significance. Now, 83 years later, there continues to be tumult between nations and blind fervor continues to drive different factions toward conflict. Lives continue to be lost in wars across the world. As we remember and honor our veterans this weekend, it is our hope that Stone’s text will help us remember to work toward a day when the nations can put aside conflict and live in peace.
- Congregational Music: “Sleepers, wake!” A voice astounds us – Wachet auf