With Memorial Day weekend past, we are now shifting into the summer schedule, starting this coming Sunday, June 5th. Last Sunday, Carl said to me, “This is my last 3-service Sunday!” referring to his being at the two morning services (8:00 and 10:30 am) and 9:00 pm Compline service. We switch to a single morning service (9:15 am) for the summer (June 5 through August 21), with choir warm-up at 8:15 am on June 5 and June 12. It will be a Feast Day with the Ascension Day propers, with music spanning at least four centuries!
My organ prelude, postlude and communion voluntary will be movements from “L’Ascension,” by the twentieth-century French composer, Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992). I was first introduced to his music when I was a teenager, and was drawn to its mysticism, rhythmic complexity and harmonic lushness.
The liturgical music (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei) will be by William Mathias (1934-1996), a child prodigy who played the piano at three and started composing at age five! I didn’t realize that he was such a prolific composer of organ, choral and orchestral music.
In contrast to this, the choir will sing the ancient propers (chants) for Ascension Day, translated into English by Carl Crosier, and Tudor composer Orlando Gibbons’ “O clap your hands” for double choir. There are several versions of this on YouTube but none that I could find where the two choirs are separated physically so that you can hear the clear division of voices as when the LCH choir performs it.
Keane Ishii, baritone, will sing “The Call,” by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) as a solo during the communion. The text of this piece is actually found in the Evangelical Lutheran Worship hymnal (No. 816).
My Iolani colleague, The Rev. Diane Martinson-Koyama, will be subbing for Pastor Jeff Lilley, and it looks to be an interesting service, full of variety and contrasts. Don’t forget to bring your T-Shirt order forms and checks!