St. John’s Church - Savannah, GA

March 29, 2020 Morning Prayer & Sermon, 11am (Lent 5; Passion Sunday)

March 30, 2020

This is a recording of the service offered at St. John's Church in Savannah on Sunday, March 29, 2020, at 11am. Because no public gathering was possible, the service was broadcast live via our Facebook site.  The ministers and staff in attendance maintained appropriate spacing for reasons of health and safety.  The service begins and concludes with organ voluntaries from our organist & choirmaster, Steven Branyon (see his note on the musical choices below).  You may view, print, and/or follow along with the Service at Home Booklet here;  for essays, Sunday School instructions, and parish announcements, please see our Parish Paper for this day.  To read, download, or print Fr. Dunbar's sermon given today, click here .

A note from our Choirmaster and Organist, Steven Branyon:

On Sunday, March 29, we will use the small two-rank organ in St. Mary’s Chapel for the livestream service. Our music for this Passion Sunday is a sampling of chorales – dignified, simple hymn-tunes that have been set and harmonized many times over the centuries. I must admit that I am sometimes amazed – but pleased – that present-day worshippers are drawn to these German chorales: most hymnals contain a small percentage of these tunes overall. Perhaps it is that master composers such as Bach, his predecessors and his contemporaries, had such creative abilities, and were able to treat these chorale melodies in such a variety of imaginative ways, using familiar forms, but developing and exploiting them to the fullest. For the opening voluntaries, I will offer three settings of two chorales (found in the volume Eighty Chorale Preludes – German Masters of the 17th and 18th Centuries):

Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein – Johann Pachelbel
(Ah God, look down from heaven and still have mercy on us.)
Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir – Samuel Scheidt & Friedrich Wilhelm Zachau
(A paraphrase of Psalm 130 – “Out of the Depths have I called to you, O Lord”)

The offering for the closing voluntary, a tune you may recognize, is:
Herzlich tut mich verlangen –(My heart is filled with longing) -- Johann Gottfried Walther

Most hymnals now use this last tune to accompany the text: “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded”.
– Steven Branyon