“The Seven Last Words of Christ”
The tradition of singing the Passion story (the story of Christ’s suffering) began in the early centuries of the Christian church. To add solemnity to Holy Week services (the week before the crucifixion), priests would chant the appointed Gospel rather than simply read it. By the 13th century, these intonations developed into dramatic narrations with soloists playing the key roles. Heinrich Schütz, considered the greatest Lutheran composer prior to Bach, composed his Seven Last Words in the early 17th century. Hadyn composed an instrumental work on the Seven Last Words in 1787 and later added choral parts, but no composer is known to have created a major choral setting of this unique version of the Passion story until Théodore Dubois. Dubois was an important organist, composer and teacher of music in Paris during the late 1800s. The Seven Last Words of Christ presents a compelling drama of the Passion story, leaving the listener with a foretaste of the resurrection.
Performing this sacred cantata has been a rich tradition at FLC each year during the Wednesday of Holy Week. The choral performance includes vocal soloists David Hamilton, Concordia College; Darci Bultema, Northern State University; and Dave Adams from First Lutheran Church. A 30-piece orchestra will accompany the soloists and the Cathedral Choir. David Ferreira will conduct.
Holy Communion will be celebrated following the conclusion of the cantata. Please come and share in this special First Lutheran Lenten musical tradition.