Although we may think of it as “Three Kings Day,” Epiphany celebrates the revelation of God incarnate through Christ’s physical manifestation to the Gentiles. Without this we would not have the genius of St. Paul or St. Thomas Aquinas linking Greek metaphysics to Christian spirituality. All this to say we may take Epiphany’s revelations for granted but certainly we enjoy the hymns and music: How bright appears the morning star, We three Kings, and many other Epiphany hymns.
At the prelude John Murphy performs John Rutter’s Candlelight Carol. This melodic, flowing Carol, written in 1985, has a Pittsburgh connection. Rutter dedicated it to the Church of the Assumption in Bellevue and its music director, John Romeri, who also served as music director for the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese. The lyrics of the second verse reflect today's celebration: "Shepherds and wise men kneel and adore him, Seraphim round him their vigil will keep; Nations proclaim him their Lord and their Savior, But Mary will hold him and sing him to sleep.”
At the offertory the choir sings the lovely 15th c. lullaby-Coventry Carol but danger lurks in the second verse, “Herod, the king, in his raging, charged…all young children to slay.” Mark Seido’s setting captures the poignancy of this text with haunting choral parts in parallel canonic fifths.
This month’s Friends of Music Chamber Music Concert number two.
Sunday, January 21, 2018, 4pm: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra members Carolyn Edwards (violin) and Alexandra Thompson (cello) join Anne Carper Smith, organist at Bower Hill Community Church, to present a recital featuring duos by Kodaly, Saint-Saens, Rheinberger, and others. Please come and enjoy an hour of exceptional chamber music. Suggested Donation; $10