First Lutheran’s acclaimed Bach Vespers series continues on Saturday, October 28 with the centerpiece of the series: a Vespers service commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. When Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Schloßkirche on October 31, 1517, he began a movement to reclaim the centrality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ within the life of the Church—a movement that continues 500 years later. The Bach Vespers series celebrates that movement and that Gospel: that our sins are redeemed by grace alone, through faith alone, on account of the merit of Christ alone, as confessed in Scripture alone—to God alone be the glory! It truly is still all about Jesus.
On Saturday, October 28 at 5:00pm, the FLC Choir and Baroque Orchestra will present Vespers with Johann Sebastian Bach’s monumental chorale cantata Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 80, based on what has become the most iconic hymn of the Reformation. The text and tune, both by Luther himself, describe how, even though the evils of the world overtake us, the Gospel triumphs and Christ reigns supreme. Bach’s music, lavishly orchestrated, vividly paints these truths. The Magnificat setting will be Heinrich Schütz’s opulent Uppsala Magnificat. In addition, the choir will present two motets on the text of Luther’s motto, Psalm 118:17: one by Luther himself, and one by his friend Ludwig Senfl. The Reverend Ingo Dutzmann, Pastor of First Lutheran, will preach and preside.
The Vespers service will be preceded by a prelude recital at 4:30, played by organist Andrew Sheranian of All Saints Church in Ashmont. Following the service, we’ll all gather in the courtyard for a dessert and coffee reception. If you’d like to contribute a dessert, contact Jonathan at music [at] flc-boston [dot] org.