Monday, October 17, 2022

388. Advent 1 (Series B)

Now that all the invariants of the LSB 3-year series have been sorted – hymns written for the major feasts – as well as one hymn per Sunday of Year A, it's time to tackle Year B. In contrast to the first year's emphasis on Matthew's gospel, this one focuses on Mark with a smattering of John. Right out of the gate, for the First Sunday in Advent – excuse me, Advent 1 – it hits with a bit of awkwardness. The lessons are Isaiah 64:1-9, 1 Corinthians 1:3-9 and either Mark 11:1-10 or Mark 13:24-37, which means (to start) that if I want to lean into the Gospel lesson, I must either choose between two readings or treat them both. I'm glad to report that the only other "either/or" scenario in Series B, besides the feasts (which I'm so over), is the last Sunday of the church year, a.k.a. Proper 29. Won't that be something to look forward to. Also, this service shares its Epistle lesson (mostly) with Epiphany 6 of Series A.

The tune, which happens to take its title from Isaiah 64:1 (OK, it's not a coincidence that I chose it), is O HEILAND, REISS DIE HIMMEL AUF, from the Rheinfelssisch deutsches catholisches Gesangbuch of Augsburg (1666). The corresponding hymn, "O Savior, rend the heavens wide," was set to it in LBW, LW, CWALH, ELHy, LSB and CWH. Also, LW, CWALH and LSB assign it to Martin Franzmann's "Preach you the Word and plant it home," while CWALH additionally sets it to "The star proclaims the King is here." I think it's a fabulous demonstration of the energy and strength (not sadness) inherent in the Dorian mode.

Hosanna! Blest be David's Son,
Who on the Lord's behalf has come,
Not to ascend an earthly throne
But see His saving purpose done.

Spread palms and clothes upon His road;
Welcome God's dear begotten God!
Highest hosannas be our ode,
That He with men makes His abode!

Oh, that the skies at last would break,
The oceans boil, the mountains shake!
At His next coming, all shall wake,
When He of death an end shall make.

Think we our works as festal flags?
Our finest deeds are filthy rags!
O Christ, Your people meekly begs:
Spare us Your fury and sin's plagues!

No God like You has e'er been seen,
Who saves the sinner, so unclean!
On You we wait; our hope is keen,
For on Your gentle love we lean.

Yet no one knows the day or hour
When You will strike with lightning pow'r.
So help us watch, Your scriptures scour,
Your testament a royal dow'r.

Come soon, and carry home Your bride!
Present us holy at Your side
Where, stings withdrawn and tears all dried,
Mankind with God will e'er abide.

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