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Palm Sunday 2020

Dear Friends,

Sadly we can't be together in church singing and listening to beautiful music this week so I thought I would offer you some musical reflections each day of Holy week. Today you can listen to the traditional entrance hymn for Palm Sunday by clicking here.

My second musical choice for you today is an anthem by Thomas Weelkes, who was  active as an organist and composer at the cusp of the 17th Century. This was a time of great change in the Church, not least for musicians, as the reality of the Reformation began to take effect in the consciousness of the English people. Weelkes’ prodigious output included madrigals (secular songs for unaccompanied voices) alongside music for the Church, but he is perhaps best known for his dismissal from the post of organist at Chichester Cathedral due to drunk and disorderly behaviour at the organ console (including foul language during Divine Worship). We can rest content that such behaviour has never been known in the organ loft at St Pancras. 
Hosanna to the Son of David, taking verses from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke which themselves find a source in Psalm 118, describes the response of jubilant crowds to Our Lord’s entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The psalm would have been well known to that First Century crowd as it formed part of the pilgrim liturgy on entry to the Temple. In welcoming Jesus as the one ‘that cometh in the name of the Lord’, they understand that they are greeting their Messiah, the one they trust will save God’s chosen people. Weelkes’ setting gives bravura treatment to the text, effectively word-painting the people’s ecstatic acclamation, as it emerges at different times from different voices before an extraordinary coming together on the word ‘Hosanna’. As we today acclaim Jesus as our Messiah, we hold in our hearts not just the story of Palm Sunday but of the entirety of Holy Week. We know that as we greet him, so Jesus - as Lord and Saviour - greets us and welcomes us to into his body, the Church, where he will make himself known in the breaking of bread and the prayers of the saints. Click here to listen.

Look out for more music from me tomorrow
With love,
Our Lady, S.Pancras and all the Saints Pray For Us
Copyright © 2020 Parish of Old St Pancras, All rights reserved.

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