Friday, October 9, 2009

Search this Blog?

OK, so I added in the "Search this Blog" gadget to the sidebar.  I am not sure how it works, as I have searched words that I know are in the blog, and nothing came up!

There is a disclaimer that says, "New posts may not be readily available."  No problem, I searched for "translation" since it was in my first post.  There were no results for this blog.

I am going to leave it up for a few weeks and test it out from time to time.

BBC goes Bach!

The BBC has done a nice biography of JS Bach.

You can read Pastor Peters' post at Pastoral Meanderings and leave a comment there as well.

The BBC has broken down the bio into 6 parts, around 10 minutes for each part.


Modern Lutheran Classics, Part I: "E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come"

Pastor Peters over at Pastoral Meanderings has a post about the Paul Manz choral piece, E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come.

You can head over there and find background information and links to the recordings as well.

This particular piece is wonderful for the coming weeks, as we head into All Saints Day and the Last Sundays of the Church Year.  This is the time of the church year where we focus on the second coming of Jesus.

Our focus as Christians, though, is not on the judgment, but that Christ is returning to take us home.  Christ already suffered our final judgment for us, so we look forward to the second coming with great hope and expectation!  We do not fear this, but long for it.  This second coming will put an end to wars and tribulation, and we will forever be with Jesus.

As the last section of the text states,

E'en so Lord Jesus quickly come
And night shall be no more
They need no light, no lamp, nor sun
For Christ will be their All!

Kantor/Cantor, what is a Kantor, Cantor? Part II

Southern Lutheran Kantor adds this to the conversation about kantors.

...If I could add one thing: Kantors also tend to have theological training, in addition to musical training. As Bach said (and I paraphrase), "A church musician music be a theologian first." In fact, there is a growing trend of kantors being ordained pastors, as well as trained musicians. Both seminaries have one (Kantors Resch and Gerike), as well as church such as Hope Lutheran in St. Louis.

Lest I forget this important distinction!  A kantor in the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod usually studies at an institution of the Concordia University System and/or one of two seminaries.  A music class with a theological bend might focus on what liturgy and music teach us about our faith.

To paraphrase Carl Schalk, topics are covered from the perspective of liturgical theology because most dogmatics books don't touch on these things.  If they do, it is way in the back of the book, right after The Last Things.

Of course, not all kantors come through the Concordia system.  These kantors might attend workshops and lectures sponsored at the local, district, synod or university/seminary level.  Another option is a masters program in church music through one of the Concordias.

Kantor/Cantor, what is a Kantor, Cantor? Part I

Kantors/Cantors have a long tradition in the church.  The term is derived from the Latin (canto means "to sing").

The spelling is interchangeable. Kantor with a "k" is a German spelling, while cantor with a "c" is an English spelling.

Kantors such as Southern Lutheran Kantor, Chris at Lutheran Kantor and Cantor Magness at Fine Tuning, not to mention Kantor Henry Gerike at the St. Louis Sem act as overseers for the music life of the church.

You might find your kantor conducting the choir, worship planning with the pastor, playing the organ, teaching a new song before service, organizing instrumentalist for Easter Sunday, teaching music in a church's grade school, or composing music for a worship service.

There is another type of kantor/cantor, though, and this one is normally spelled with a "c".  A church may have a cantor just to lead in the singing of the psalms, hymns with a verse and refrain, gospel acclamations, and other selections.  Generally, you might find this type of cantor singing from the front of the church, either at the lectern or perhaps off to the side.

This kind of cantor most likely wears just one hat.  This cantor's participation in a given psalm might look like this:

Cantor introduces the antphon: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Congregation repeats: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Cantor chants verses 1-3 of psalm 23.
Congregation repeats: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Cantor chants verses 4-6 of Psalm 23.
Congregation chants the Gloria Patri (if a psalm tone is used) and repeats the Antiphon

For the purposes of this blog, "kantor" with a "k" will refer to the person who oversees the music in a parish or educational institution, and "cantor" with a "c" will refer to the person who leads the congregation in singing.

Kantors and cantors have held parish positions going all the way back to ancient Israel.  For a five minute preview of cantoral contributions at the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days, click here.

One famous Kantor was Johann Sebastian Bach.  During one of his tenures, he composed one cantata per week for the Sunday service.

Like I always say, "If it ain't baroque, fix it!"