Musical Notes: for Sunday after Ascension June 2, 2019


Musical Notes:

for Sunday after Ascension June 2, 2019

Prelude                   Meditation on “Salve feste dies”           Charles Callahan

The hymn “Hail thee, festival day” (whose Latin title is in the Prelude) is a 6th century Latin poem with verses appropriate for Easter, Ascension and Pentecost. The author is Venatius Honorius Fortunatus, an Italian priest and bishop of Poitiers, France. Charles Callahan (b.1951), Vermont choral/organ composer, places the tune in the pedals on a high flute with strings accompaniment.


(Psalm 27:7a, 8-9a) Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: Hallelujah.

When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face: my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me: Hallelujah. (Psalm

27:1a) The Lord is my Light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear?

The Sunday after Ascension (this past Thursday, 40 days after Easter) is known as Exaudi Sunday, the last Sunday of Eastertide. The term comes from the Latin word “exaudio” (“hear, listen, understand”), taken the Introit from Psalm 27:7 (“Exaudi Domine”). We recall that was the time when the disciples, who saw the ascent of Christ into heaven happen suddenly, were awaiting the Holy Spirit, who also would arrive suddenly.


(Psalm 47:5-6) God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. Hallelujah.

Aria                        G. F. Handel

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), German composer who lived in England, wrote opera and oratorio, as well as instrumental music. The arrangement by Englishman Caleb H. Trevor of the aria is from Handel’s 12th Concerto Grosso for small orchestra.

Postlude              Fanfare in D        Craig Sellar Lang

Lang (1891-1971), New Zealand born English composer/organist, wrote his fanfare contrasts a loud reed stop against the organ ensemble resources.

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