Showing posts from December, 2018

Christmas at Trinity

Christmas 2018 at Trinity Cathedral

At Trinity Cathedral, over forty musicians have been practicing since mid-October to prepare the glorious music of Christmas. I am privileged to serve with these dedicated singers and instrumentalists for my twelfth Christmas as your choir director and organist and my sixteenth Christmas as a communicant of Trinity Cathedral.
As we celebrate the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, we offer our time and talent to enrich and enliven worship. We invite you to join in this offering of praise and thanksgiving during these twelve days of Christmas.
What can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb. If I were a wise man, I would do my part. Yet what I can I give him - give my heart.
Hymn 112, "In the bleak midwinter," Christina Rosetti (1830-1894)
Christmas Music at Trinity Cathedral, Omaha
Christmas Eve December 24 4:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist and Pageant The Cantate and Laudate Choirs Marty Wheeler Burnett, Canon Precentor Alex Hoeflin…


The Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 23, 2018

As the Advent season draws to a close, this Sunday focuses on the Song of Mary - the Magnificat. Mary's song is found in today's reading from the gospel of Luke: 
"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever." -Luke 1:46-55

We will sing a congregational setting …


The Third Sunday of Advent
December 16, 2018

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)

Today is the Third Sunday of Advent, known as Gaudete Sunday. The name comes from the ancient Latin introit for this day, which begins with the word "Gaudete," meaning "Rejoice." We are reminded that scripture calls us to wait for Emmanuel with joyful expectation, and that the coming of the Lord is near. We light the third, rose-colored candle on the Advent wreath, and beautiful rose-colored vestments are worn on this day.

We continue to sing the great hymns and anthems of the Advent season. One of today's anthems has become a modern classic: "E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come" by Paul Manz (1919-2009). A well known Lutheran composer and professor, Manz is best known for this anthem composed in 1953.

The words were adapted from the book of Revelation by Ruth Manz, spouse of the composer. The couple's three year old son was criticall…

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

The Second Sunday of Advent
December 9, 2018

One of the most widely known Advent hymns is "O come, O come, Emmanuel." The hymn has been part of Christian worship for over 1,200 years and transports us to the monasteries of the eighth and ninth centuries. 
The Latin hymn originates from the "O antiphons," which were paired with the Magnificat (The Song of Mary) at vespers on December 17-23, the days leading up to Christmas Eve. These antiphons are rich in imagery and scriptural references from both the Old and New Testaments.
Medieval poets often created hidden meanings and clever "word games" within their work. This hymn is a perfect example. When looking at the first letter of the second word of each antiphon, you see the letters SARCORE.  Read backwards, these form the Latin words ERO CRAS, translated "I shall be present tomorrow." 
   O Sapientia    O Adonai    O radix Jesse    O clavis David    O Oriens    O Rex gentium    O Emmanuel
Only after singing …