Music Notes

The offertory for October 23rd’s service is programmed to recognize the ongoing refugee crisis in Syria. According to Amnesty International, more than half of Syria’s population is currently displaced due to the war. More than 4.5 million people are currently seeking refuge in just five neighboring countries — Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt. Unfortunately, lack of funding for the ongoing humanitarian crisis means that most of these people are forced to subsist on just $0.70 per day — less than half of the global poverty line set by the United Nations.
     The First Church will be hosting some programming related to the refugee crisis in the coming weeks. In recognition, the offertory will be O wüßt ich doch den Weg zurück by Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897), sung by community member Louise Brownsberger. The text is a poem by Klaus Groth, entitled “Homesickness II,” and is translated as follows:

Oh, if I only knew the road back,
The dear road to childhood’s land!
Oh, why did I search for happiness
And leave my mother’s hand?

Oh, how I long to be at rest,
Not to be awakened by anything,
To shut my weary eyes,
With love gently surrounding!

And nothing to search for, nothing to beware of,
Only dreams, sweet and mild;
Not to notice the changes of time,
To be once more a child!

Oh, do show me the road back,
The dear road to childhood’s land!
In vain I search for happiness,
Around me naught but deserted beach and sand!

     The Senior Choir anthem will be Bogoroditse Devo by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873 – 1943). The piece comes from his Vespers, a musical setting of the night-time prayers of Slavonic monks. The text is in Old Church Slavonic, and is a hymn to the Virgin Mary.

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