[Apologies! My original post stated May 4th! That is because I heard so many ‘May the Fourth be with you’ jokes today!] This Sunday, May 7th, is Good Shepherd Sunday and is so named because of the Gospel reading of the day—the story of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, willing to lay down his life for his sheep. In my previous job as a parish administrator of an Episcopal church, every week I’d be constantly on the lookout for images which could be used as bulletin cover art. So many images of Jesus the Shepherd showed him with the lamb around his neck, as displayed in the painting by Jean Baptiste de Champaigne, to the left.
Hey, do you realize how heavy a lamb might be? I think it may be way heavier than a dog.
This is what I found out from 4-H clubs who raised lambs for showing at fairs:
Our four lambs were then 3 months old and weighed between 78 and 87 lbs.
Wow! Imagine carrying that much weight around your neck! Or, see this answer for a full-grown lamb:
Getting back to Good Shepherd Sunday, I immediately think of the hymns: “Savior, like a shepherd lead us”; “The king of love my shepherd is”; and “My shepherd will supply my need.” There are nice organ settings of these hymns by American composer Dale Wood which I’ll be playing on Sunday at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church.
I’ll also be playing Wood’s setting of “Wondrous love” for the prelude, and throw in his setting of “I know my Redeemer liveth” for the postlude.
On Sunday afternoon at 5:00 pm, the Lutheran Church of Honolulu Choir, Men’s Schola, Bach Chamber Orchestra, and guest soloists will present “Cantate” featuring captivating works by Grieg, Schubert, Bach, Mendelssohn, and others.
Under the direction of Scott Fikse, the LCH Choir will perform Bach’s pastoral Cantata 104, Du Hirte Israel, höre with the Bach Chamber Orchestra (Darel Stark, concertmaster) and soloists Renson Madarang and Jeremy Wong. The program continues with the lesser known Fire Salmer by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.
Adding diversity to a rich program of mostly choral music, Darel Stark and Sachi Hirakouji (who happens to be my organ student!) will perform the last movement of Grieg’s 2nd violin sonata III. Allegro animato. Organist Mark Wong will also play the finale (and Hawaii premier) of Grieg’s Sonata in E minor, Op. 7.
The Men’s Schola will offer three settings of Psalm 23 and then combine with the LCH Choir and soloists for the final selection, Grieg’s Guds Sön har gjort mig fri.
You can listen to a preview of Bach Cantata 104 here in a performance by the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, directed by Ton Koopman.