Category Archives: Blog Posts

A New Metrical Translation of the Original “Silent Night”

Several days ago I placed on Facebook a new literal English translation of the Christmas carol “Silent Night” (see www.jubalslyre.com/thoughts-on-silent-night). The interest was overwhelming and several people requested a metrical translation of the original text. Here is a metrical translation that I have crafted and recrafted over many years. The intent has been to keep as much of the deep and rich theology of the original text as possible while at the same… Read More »

A Powerful Statement of Faith in Music

Fuga 4 a 5 from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier, Book I  (WTC I) is not only an amazing piece of music, but also a powerful statement by Bach of his personal faith (click here to hear this fugue and see it unfold). One would not expect to find statements of faith in a purely instrumental work such as the WTC I, but for Bach there was virtually no difference… Read More »

A Singing Faith

We find from the Bible that ours is a singing faith. The people of God are ALWAYS singing: From the shores of the Red Sea to the shores of the Promised Land; from the Book of Exodus to the last chapter of Revelation. And then there are the many songs in the Book of Psalms and all the canticles: both those from the New Testament and those from the Old… Read More »

A Treasure to Cherish, Nurture, and Share

When we are given a treasure, we are also given great responsibility. Whether the treasure we receive is of an earthly or of a heavenly nature, it always comes with a responsibility to first cherish the gift and thank the giver; to then protect, grow, and nurture the gift; and then finally to share the gift with the world around us so they too can be blessed and nurtured by… Read More »

C2: Psalm 32 – “You Are a Hiding Place for Me” (Wadsworth)

Psalm 32 is the second of the seven Penitential Psalms. This intense setting by American composer Zachary Wadsworth (b. 1983) alternates the English text with the Latin. It begins with verse 3 which relates to us the consequences of remaining silent and keeping our sins to ourselves. While I held my tongue, my bones withered away because of my groaning all day long. (Psalm 32:3) Wadsworth then alternates setting the… Read More »

Celebrate Christmas with the Peoria Bach Festival

Celebrate Christmas this year by watching the Peoria Bach Festival 2012 performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. You can find it on the Peoria Bach Festival YouTube page by clicking here or following the video links below. Although the performance is in German, English subtitles are provided making the story easy to understand and follow. The translation is a literal one so that the original meaning of the German is as accurate… Read More »

Choral Music Provides “Epic!” Expressions of the Faith

A few Sundays ago, I had the privilege of singing three settings of the Te Deum – that great text of proclamation, praise, and thanksgiving – with the Bradley Community Chorale accompanied by the Bradley Orchestra. What a great experience and great opportunity to enter deeply into that great text of Christendom and into the minds of three great composers. The settings we sang were by Franz Josef Haydn, Antonín… Read More »

Dedication of Trinity’s Musicians

Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise… Read More »

Did You Know That the Lord Rejoices Over Us?

Today’s Verse of the Day from the YouVersion Bible really struck me. We tend to think that it is our “job” to rejoice in God and what He has done for us. But, here is a remarkable passage from the prophet Zephaniah that helps us realize that actually it is the other way around. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will… Read More »

E1: Psalm 51 – “Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God” (Handel)

Psalm 51, the appointed psalm for Ash Wednesday, is arguably one of the most significant for Christians in that it provides for us an example of deep and heartfelt repentance. The story involves a king who after having an adulterous affair and getting a woman pregnant, gets wrapped up in an elaborate cover-up that leads to deceit, treachery, murder, and despair. The full story is told in 2 Samuel 11-12.… Read More »