Music for Sunday 21st January: Epiphany 3, Year B

The readings for this Sunday are:

Genesis 14:17-20
Psalm 128
Revelation 19:6-10
John 2:1-11

The reading from Genesis is Abram being blessed by Melchizedek, and Abram giving him one tenth of everything (having just returned from rescuing Lot and his family from the enemy). The reading stops before the part where Abram is then negotiating with the King of Sodom over what, and who, he should keep, so that the central event that we hear about is the blessing.

Psalm 128 is one of the songs of ascent, believed to traditionally have been sung on pilgrimage to Jerusalem; it is very much about the blessings that will be bestowed on one who fears God. Blessings again.

The reading from Revelation begins wth a great multitude praising God, and continues with an angel’s instruction to write: “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

The Gospel reading is the story of the Wedding at Cana, where at the wedding party the wine runs out (oh no!) and Jesus turns water into wine, the first public sign of his ministry.

I don’t currently have or know of any music by women specific to the Wedding at Cana: if you have a suggestion, please do use the music submission form to let me know about it! In the meantime, this might be a good Sunday for something generally Eucharistic, connecting the events at Cana to the marriage supper of the Lamb, like Stephanie Martin’s setting of ‘O Sacrum Convivium’, available from Cypress Choral Music:

[Listen to O Sacrum Convivium by Stephanie Martin on Soundcloud] [Order O Sacrum Convivium by Stephanie Martin from Cypress Choral Music]

Additionally, the Conversion of Paul is observed on 25th January, and churches dedicated to St Paul might like to include relevant music for that feast. I won’t go through the entire lectionary, but you could use the hymn tune Broomside, written for these words by Miranda Threlfall-Holmes:

1. We meet as God’s people in this holy place
And gather together across time and space
With all of Christ’s body, Christ’s building and field,
The church of all sinners Christ died for and healed.
Diverse in our gifting, no two are the same
Yet all stand united in praising God’s name.

2. The Scriptures all witness to Jesus, God’s Son,
Who died and was raised, in whose victory we’ve won.
In weakness exalted, all gains count as loss
Compared to the knowledge of Christ and his cross.
Your church down the ages proclaims and receives
This gospel rejoicing, and firmly believes.

3. Forgive us those times when we struggle to see
Beyond our conviction in some enemy.
Confront us with strangers to open our eyes,
And make us dependent on those we despised.
Then take us and use us, to build not destroy,
Co-workers together in love and in joy.

4. Fill us with your love, make us patient and kind,
To strive in your service with one joyful mind.
Send us where you veed us, like your servant Paul,
And make us receptive to hearing your call.
Inspire us to partner with all your co-heirs,
Inclusive of all in our mission and prayers.

5. Approaching our end may our faith still increase
Maturing a harvest of love, joy and peace
Rejoicing in truth and delighting in good
At last understanding as we’re understood.
For now we see faintly reflections of grace,
But then we’ll see clearly and meet face to face.

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