Bach’s Cantata 78 and other stuff

I’ve been listening to my children perform in concerts for 20 years, since that very first chorus in Vicky’s preschool, through band concerts and symphonic bands; choral festivals with Christy and then Jonathan; and even musical theater with all three. Every performance was delightful, but in the last years, when they were young adults, the quality and the commitment of the students changed. Their concerts were more than annual recitals — the were beautiful performances with talented artists. I didn’t realize how much I had missed that since Jonathan’s graduation last year.

The Georgia Tech Glee Club is a talented group of young men who perform some amazing arrangements of popular songs. And of course, they are hulluva engineers. To my surprise, this “incorrigible” group of guys invited the Sotto Voce group from Agnes Scott College to sing with them. It was lovely. Absolutely lovely.

And something that spoke to me in the midst of this season of Lent:

here’s a somewhat loose translation:

Jesus, by Thy Cross and passion, by the bitter pain Thou bore;
Save me when temptation threatens death in hell to suffer sore.
Mightily away Thou bore me with a haven safe before me;
Through Thy Word, contentment sweet; Thou art still my sure retreat.

We hasten with eager, yet faltering footsteps, O Jesu, O Master, unto Thee.
Thou faithfully seekest the ill and the erring.
Ah! Hear us, we pray! Our voices exalt Thee! O help us, we pray Thee.
Now grant us Thy grace and Thy merciful favor, we pray, O God.

Ah! I am a child of sin.  I wander far and near.  This sinful burden, on my spirit
weighing, will never leave me while this life shall last.  My sinful inclinations rule
me.  My soul cries out, “Ah! Who is there to save me?”  But to conquer flesh and
blood and to attain a life of virtue is far beyond my feeble strength.  Though I
admit my every failing, I cannot count the sum of my offenses.

And so I take my deep distress and pain; I take my many burdens, the burdens
that torment my soul, and bring them to you, Jesus…sighing.  By your grace,
forgive my sins, and shield me from God’s wrath to suffer.

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5 thoughts on “Bach’s Cantata 78 and other stuff

  1. We were at the monastery yesterday listening to our daughter sing in the UGA chorus. They performed Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. I love Bach.

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