Two women come looking for the burial site of the Alleluia, as the Gospel of Matthew’s account of Resurrection Morning is read (28:1-8). Finding it beneath the altar, they unfurl the banner and quickly carry it to the procession waiting to enter the church with joyful singing of countless Alleluias! Organ music returns full-throated with deep foundations and brilliant trumpet sounds.
A Threefold Alleluia is the refrain for the Canticle: “Pascha nostrum: Christ our Passover is sanctified for us; therefore let us keep the feast!” We sing our most festive setting of the “Sanctus: Holy, holy, holy” by William Mathias and of the “Pater noster: Our Father” by David Hurd.
The text and tune of Hymn 192, “This joyful Eastertide,” is the basis for the choir’s anthem by Joseph Goodman, my composition teacher in graduate school. It gives the men a vocal workout.
Concluding my nine-week series of preludes and fugues is today’s “Prelude & Fugue” by Belgian composer Joseph Jongen, also finishing my playing here at Church of Epiphany, all his works I’ve been able to find. The “Prelude” is a toccata, fast finger bell-like figures above a happy tune for the feet. The “Fugue” has a sprightly, dance-like subject for celebration.
Ending the series of Helmut Walcha’s compositions on Lutheran hymns is “Christ ist erstanden: Christ is arisen,” during communion.
Another toccata is the postlude: “O filii et filiae: Ye sons and daughters” (Hymn 203) by the late Canadian virtuoso, Lynnwood Farnam.
John Roberts, Organist and Choirmaster
Church of the Epiphany, Norfolk, VA