Holy Week Begins March 25

HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE:

Palm Sunday: March 25
Maundy Thursday: March 29
Good Friday: March 30

Easter Sunday: April 1
Sunrise Service: 6:30 am Worship Services: 9 and 10:30 am

 

 

 

Maundy Thursday Dinner and Service Dinner to be held in Guild Hall at 6:15 pm, March 29, followed by a Tenebrae Service at 7:30 pm in the sanctuary. Sign up at the Deacon’s table after worship or contact Jean Leahy in the church office at (510) 547-5700 or Jean@PiedmontChurch.org. Price is $15 for adults 18 and older before March 25, $20 thereafter. Children 10 – 17, $5. Free macaroni and cheese for children under 10.

HOLY WEEK MUSIC:

Palm Sunday, March 25

Appropriately, we’ll be presenting Orlando Gibbons’ Hosanna to the son of David, an elegant celebration of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. One of the last great polyphonic English composers, Gibbons (1583-1625) was widely regarded as the greatest organist and leading composer of his generation, and his lifetime corresponded to a high point in English music. “Hosanna,” with its complex, entwined lines for all four parts, keeps us singers plenty busy—to good effect, we hope.

Maundy Thursday, March 29

As befits the day, we will present God so Loved the World, by the British composer, Bob Chilcott (b. 1955). The piece has been described as “fresh and unsentimental,” and yet it is very tender, as befits its message. Featuring a lovely soprano solo, it sets a much-loved text (Frances Townsend) to a 19th-century anthem tune by Sir John Stainer.

Easter Sunday, April 1

Easter sunrise: Bob Chilcott again, this time with a wonderful recasting of the Irish hymn, Be Thou My Vision, which we frequently sing in church. The hymn has quite a history. The lyrics we use were translated into English in 1912, and set to the Irish folk tune, Slane, but the song is much, much older, having often been attributed to the sixth-century Irish Christian poet Saint Dallan, who was purportedly inspired by a hymn of St. Patrick’s. Just to confuse things, now historians date the text between 950 and 1100. The truth? Lost in Irish mists, it seems: what would you expect?

Easter Anthem: Ride the Chariot. This rousing spiritual was arranged by William H. Smith (1908-1944), a product of Boston Conservatory, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago—quite a pedigree. In his short life, he was an active composer and arranger, and “Chariot” is his bestknown, enduring piece—for good reason. We hope you have as much fun listening to it as we do singing it!

Easter Offertory: O, Clap Your Hands! Fasten your seat belts, folks, we’re going for a ride, courtesy of Steve Main. It’s his rousing setting of a text from Psalm 47. Now, others have attempted the same thing, notably Ralph Vaughan Williams and John Rutter, but we’re betting none of them had nearly as much fun nor made as joyful a noise in so doing. The piece perfectly captures the joy of Easter, complete with bright, proclamatory brass and crashing cymbals. It’s guaranteed to send you off to your Easter feasting with joy in your heart.