The Lord is my Shepherd, by Thomas Matthews (1915-1999), is a beautiful anthem in an unmistakably Anglican style. Matthews tone-painted this text quite well, and I think you’ll hear everything from the dark valley to the flowing waters and the unbridled confidence in God’s providence all our days. We are blessed to have three familiar guest musicians join us for this service, Enen Yu and Gosia Leska, violinists, and Guo-Sheng Huang, violoncellist. They will bring a richness to Matthews’ anthem that I think would’ve pleased him greatly!
During Holy Communion, the choir will offer The Call by Ralph (pronounced “Rafe”) Vaughan Williams (1872-1958). These words are probably familiar to most of you by now, but they bear repeating often for their poetic illustration of a relationship with God. Vaughan William’s melody is haunting, and reminds one of a folk song - something Vaughan Williams was known for. We have him to thank not only for his original hymn tunes and anthems but his pairing of existing tunes and texts. Quite a few hymns we sing today were in some way touched by Vaughan Williams.
On Sunday, the Cathedral Handbell Choir will play our prelude music, Ring Praise, by Bob Burroughs (b. 1937). This prelude is actually a collection of three pieces for handbell choir, and you will hear interesting and varied techniques throughout. My favorite part is the last movement which uses “thumb damping,” (ringing the bell while keeping a thumb placed on it) and I think you will like its joyful sound. The handbell choir has worked hard to prepare these pieces for our celebration on Sunday, and I am grateful for their dedication.
At our Cathedral Celebration, we will be reminded of our identity as the cathedral of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast. While this is a blessing, it is also a calling. I hope our music this week will encourage us to embrace this calling with renewed energy.