Music for Sunday, 6th May: Easter 6, Year B

The readings for this week are:

Isaiah 55:1-11
Acts 10:44-48
Psalm 98
1 John 5:1-6
John 15:9-17

It’s still Easter, so you still need the reading from Acts as the first or second reading.

Isaiah 55:1-11 is an invitation to everyone thirsty to drink, to everyone hungry to eat: of that source of all being which is God.

In the reading from Acts, some Gentiles receive the Holy Spirit, much to the surprise of the existing (Jewish) believers. Peter takes this as a reason that the Gentiles should be baptized, too.

Psalm 98 is an excited instruction to sing and praise the victorious God who will come to judge the earth.

1 John is still emphasizing that God is love — and “The love of God is this, that we obey his commandments”. He also makes a point that faith in God is what conquers the world. Then he identifies Jesus Christ as having come by water and blood, not just water, and asserts that the Spirit is the truth.

The Gospel reading has Jesus continue his speech to the disciples, telling them to keep his commandment to love one another, and calling them friends rather than servants, and referring back to the vine imagery with “I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last”.

There is a Cantate Domino by Williametta Spencer, but it appears to be out of print; the best bet if you haven’t got it in a music library somewhere is probably to contact her via her website.

There’s also the SSA piece CONTEMPLATIONS 21, 22 by Hilary Tann, using parts of Psalm 98 and a poem by Anne Bradstreet, an American Puritan poet. Available to order from Brichtmark Music (scroll or search the page to find it). Here’s an excerpt: