Music: Sun Feb 10

In keeping with this morning’s sermon on Grief and Denial and their connection to the Babylonian Captivity, a musical depiction of the 137th Psalm—“By the Rivers of Babylon”—is featured in the Centering Music. The composer is French orthodox Jew Charles-Valentin Alkan, who is purported to have died when crushed under the weight of the Talmud, which tumbled upon him from his bookshelf, when he reached for a volume. Also included in the Centering Music is a tribute to Black History Month, in the form of a charming early work by Afro-Cuban composer Tania León. The Offertory acknowledges Valentine’s Day this week, with “portraits” of two of the important women in the life of Robert Schumann, Clara Wieck (who would become his wife), and an earlier romantic partner, Ernestine von Fricken. As if brokering a peace between the two rival lovers, the composer Chopin makes a fleeting appearance. The CUUC Choir is also on hand with a favorite American folk song and a Valentine message attributed to the Roman philosopher Seneca: “If you want to be loved…..love!” Read on for programming details, and see below for the complete text of Psalm 137.

Centering Music: Adam Kent, piano
Rondo a la Criolla
                                                            Tania León
Super Flumina Babylonis*
                                                            Charles-Valentin Alkan

Anthem: CUUC Choir directed by Lisa N. Meyer and accompanied by Georgianna Pappas
Traditional American, arr. by Brad Printz

From Carnaval, Op. 9
                                                            Robert Schumann

Si vis Amari*
Jerry Estes
*Translation: “If you want to be loved, love.”

*Based on Psalm 137
By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
    when we remembered Zion.
There on the poplars
    we hung our harps,
for there our captors asked us for songs,
    our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
    they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
How can we sing the songs of the Lord
    while in a foreign land?
If I forget you, Jerusalem,
    may my right hand forget its skill.
May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
    if I do not remember you,
if I do not consider Jerusalem
    my highest joy.
Remember, Lord, what the Edomites did
    on the day Jerusalem fell.
“Tear it down,” they cried,
    “tear it down to its foundations!”
Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
    happy is the one who repays you
    according to what you have done to us.
Happy is the one who seizes your infants
    and dashes them against the rocks.

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