Weekly Musical Devotions
Trinity's Cantor, David Ruhf
Weekly Musical Devotions
Star-Snowed Fields of Sky - A Musical Devotion
Trinity's Cantor, David Ruhf, offers a musical devotion on a movement from an early work by the great English composer, Benjamin Britten, his "A Boy was Born," the variation "Jesu, as Thou Art Our Savior." Here's the paraphrase of the Phos Hilaron from the Daily Office of the Episcopal Church: Light of the world in grace and beauty, mirror of God's eternal face, transparent flame of love's free duty, you bring salvation to our race. Now, as we see the lights of evening, we raise our voice in hymns of praise; worthy are you of endless blessing, Sun of our night, Lamp of our days. Amen. Here's a link to a wonderful recording by the Gabrieli Consort of the Britten piece, the subject of this devotion: https://youtu.be/2YvPrQnc9sM Here's a link to the powerful poem, "Advent Calendar," by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, which David references: https://theadventusproject.wordpress.com/resources/poetry/rowan-williams-advent-calendar/
The Road Home - A Musical Devotion
Trinity's Cantor, David Ruhf, offers a devotion about God as our home, including a beautiful American folk hymn arrangement by Stephen Paulus. Here is the Psalm Prayer for the 90th Psalm: Eternal Father, you alone are the constant refuge of all the children of earth. Hold all our years in the day of your grace, and grant us wisdom to serve you faithfully throughout our span of life. In the hour of death, O God, receive us into the light of your steadfast love, and satisfy us in the resurrection morning with life that never ends; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. Please follow this link to the piece: https://youtu.be/Z_ond8aVhHA Here are some notes about the piece by the composer and the poet: https://stephenpaulus.com/blogs/news/17806884-work-story-the-road-home Here is the beautiful text by Michael Dennis Browne Tell me, where is the road I can call my own, That I left, that I lost So long ago? All these years I have wandered, Oh when will I know There's a way, there's a road That will lead me home? After wind, after rain, When the dark is done, As I wake from a dream In the gold of day, Through the air there's a calling From far away, There's a voice I can hear That will lead me home. Rise up, follow me, Come away, is the call, With the love in your heart As the only song; There is no such beauty As where you belong; Rise up, follow me, I will lead you home.
An Election Day Musical Devotion
Trinity's Cantor, David Ruhf, offers a musical devotion on Election Day. Here's John Eliot Gardiner's beautiful recording of a movement from Bach's Cantata, BWV 71, Gott ist mein König, (God is my King) discussed in this video: https://youtu.be/1TaTT-76UrQ Here's the prayer David offers at the end of this devotion: God of all nations, Father of the human family, we give you thanks for the freedom we exercise and the many blessings of democracy we enjoy in these United States of America. We ask for your protection and guidance for all who devote themselves to the common good, working for justice and peace at home and around the world. We lift up all our duly elected leaders and public servants, those who will serve us as president, as legislators and judges, those in the military and law enforcement. Heal us from our differences and unite us, O Lord, with a common purpose, dedication, and commitment to achieve liberty and justice in the years ahead for all people, and especially those who are most vulnerable in our midst. Amen.
Music of Grief and Consolation - A Musical Devotion
Trinity's Cantor, David Ruhf, offers a musical devotion based on the opening movement of Johannes Brahms' German Requiem, music of tremendous human empathy and healing. Please listen to the work by following this link: https://youtu.be/y8oIGMfJU9M Stanford University's Symphonic Choir has a great resource on the Brahms Requiem, with translations and the biblical sources of the texts here: https://web.stanford.edu/group/SymCh/performances/S1995/text.html David wrote about the Requiem for the Bach Choir of Bethlehem's blog here: https://bach.org/elemental-things-the-2012-spring-concert-march-18th/ Here is the prayer he shares at the end of this video: Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening into the house and gate of heav'n: to enter into that gate and dwell in that house, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light; no noise nor silence, but one equal music; no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession; no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity; in the habitation of thy glory and dominion, world without end. Amen. -John Donne (1572-1631)
The Spirit's Fire - A Musical Devotion
Trinity's Cantor, David Ruhf, discusses upcoming Spirit-filled events at Trinity for Reformation Sunday and our Confirmation Service, and shares an ecstatic chorus from one of JS Bach's Pentecost cantatas. Here's the link to the musical work: https://youtu.be/NxERDCt7-Ts Here's a prayer for the Confirmands David shares at the end of the video: Heavenly Father, you send out your Spirit to touch the hearts of all people, so that they may believe in you and in Jesus whom you sent. Look kindly on Brandon, Nathan, Ashlee, Rachael, and Kirsten as they listen to your voice. Open their hearts to your Spirit and bring to fulfilment the good work that you have begun in them. As we prepare to confirm these young people, make each of us an instrument of your love. Teach us to appreciate what is holy in others, and to be patient with what we do not understand. Deepen our faith in the Gospel and help us to pass it on by our example. We pray that you will continue to guide and sustain all of us. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Two Love Stories and a Prayer - A Musical Devotion
Trinity's Cantor, David Ruhf, reflects on the story behind a movement from Mozart's Great Mass in C-Minor, K 427, as a musical devotion. Please follow this link to a sublime performance of the work by Sylvia McNair, with members of the English Baroque Soloists, under the direction of John Eliot Gardiner: https://youtu.be/4Ij3HxHnPuM Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine. Et homo factus est. And was made flesh by the Holy Ghost from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. Here is a beautiful prayer of thanksgiving for the Incarnation by the Angela of Foligno (1248-1309): O Lord Jesus Christ, make me worthy to understand the profound mystery of your holy incarnation, which you have worked for our sake and for our salvation. Truly there is nothing so great and wonderful as this, that you, my God, who are the creator of all things, should become a creature, so that we should become like God. You have humbled yourself and made yourself small that we might be made mighty. You have taken the form of a servant, so that you might confer upon us a royal and divine beauty. You, who are beyond our understanding, have made yourself understandable to us in Jesus Christ. You, who are the uncreated God, have made yourself a creature for us. You, who are the untouchable One, have made yourself touchable to us. You, who are most high, make us capable of understanding your amazing love and the wonderful things you have done for us. Make us able to understand the mystery of your incarnation, the mystery of your life, example, and doctrine, the mystery of your cross and passion, the mystery of your resurrection and ascension. Blessed are you, O Lord, for coming to earth as a man. Amen.