François Couperin was born to a musical family. In fact, the Couperin family was one of the most famous families of musicians in Europe. Like the Bach family in Germany, the Couperin name was almost synonymous with “musician.” The family also has a special relationship with the Church of St-Gervais-et-St-Protais in Paris. Stretching back before François’ birth and continuing long after his death, members of the Couperin family were the church’s organists for 170 years! François went on to become court organist and harpsichordist at Versailles – a position that made him the foremost keyboardist in France. He died in 1733 as François Couperin le Grand, a title bestowed upon him to help distinguish him from the other members of his family.
As we worship together this week, our service is filled with familiar hymns, service music, and a favorite offertory duet, Panis Angelicus. One of the great blessings of our tradition as Episcopalians is finding inspiration from unexpected sources. It is my hope that you will enjoy Couperin’s organ music this week as it gives us a glimpse into a different era and branch of Christian musical expression.