From the Bench: Pentecost

Notes About Sunday’s Music


May 20th, 2018 - Pentecost

All of the music today is centered around the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The text of our opening hymn reminds us that though Jesus, the Son, has Ascended into heaven, his spirit is still very much among us, and therefore he, as a member of the Trinity, is still with us. The Offertory song reminds us that with this Spirit we are called to continue Jesus’ work in our daily lives. The recessional sends us forth with praises of the Spirit and implores the Spirit to continue to guide us as we go out into the world.

They Were All Filled with the Holy Spirit by Christopher Walker

The antiphons are a set of texts and music that correspond to the church year. They are found in  a Latin song book entitled The Graduale Romanum. In this book there is a prescribed text and chant for the entrance, Offertory, and Communion as well as many other chants. Though use of these texts fell out of fashion following the Second Vatican Council, they have made a resurgence in recent years. Many composers have sought to set English translations of theses texts to new music. This choral piece comes from one such collection by Christopher Walker. Though I can’t say for sure, I’d guess that it’s flowing melodic structure and layering are meant to evoke an image of the spirit wind among us.

Ubi Caritas by Ola Gjielo

 Where charity and love are, God is there. The love of Christ has gathered us together. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Let us revere and love the living God, and from a sincere heart let us love one another. Amen.

To me, the text of this piece embodies Jesus’s command to “Love one another as I have loved you.” In today’s church, our love and charity can often speak louder than simply quoting the Bible. The text of this piece helps me to remember that the Spirit lives through us every day, guiding us to love and charity in our actions, words, and thoughts.



544 Come, Holy Ghost


545 Living Spirit, Holy Fire


They Were All Filled with the Holy Spirit


940 Take and Eat

Ubi Caritas


936 O Spirit All Embracing