Music During Lent

Lent is a time for reflection, and the choir will be singing music to encourage that reflection over the next few Sundays. On March 5 the choir will sing “The Handiwork of God,” by Mark Miller. Mark teaches at
Drew University and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. He’s the director of the Gospel Choir at ISM. He’s many a valuable addition to the gospel tradition, including a musical setting of “The Lord’s Prayer” that we’ve sung a
number of times at FPCNH. He wrote both the lyrics and the music for “The Handiwork of God;” the opening lines give a sense of what it says and does:

Stitched together piece by piece,
Sewn with purpose and with care,
Scraps once thought to have no worth
Now become a sacred treasure.
A quilt of love made by holy hands,
Every pattern known by heart,
Stitched together by the sewer of our souls,
A quilt of love, a work of art.

As a complete change of pace, later in the month we’ll sing the final movement, “Agnus Dei – Dona nobis pacem” – – of Mozart’s Missa Brevis in F Major, written when the composer was only 18 years old. And, looking ahead into April, on April 2, the last Sunday before Palm Sunday and Easter, we’ll have a special treat. Our own Rory Latham, whom you may have heard sing Leonard Bernstein’s Chichister Psalms with the New Haven Symphony, and also with our choir, in the fall, will join us in a short cantata by Felix Mendelssohn, “Hear My Prayer.” Scored for boy soprano and choir, the cantata will offer an extraordinary musical reflection as we move into April, and soon thereafter into Holy Week and Easter.
-Pat McCreless, Music Director