How are you liking it so far?The lyrics in the finale1 of the Palm Sunday cantata, Come to the Cross and Remember, are based on Philippians 2,6-11:
At the name of Jesus, ev'ry knee shall bow. At the name of Jesus, ev'ry tongue confess that the name of Jesus is high above all names.Not recognizing it, an alto next to me at Tuesday's rehearsal tried for a rhyme with "confess," substituting "the rest" for "all names." I get that hymns typically rhyme and I considered the attempt fair. But I also thought, well, doesn't the slightly odd phrase just roll out from familiarity?
Sunday's service featured a rite, the installation of an ordained elder and deacon, and two sacraments, the baptism of their daughter and the Lord's Supper by intinction. I wondered why their daughter had not been baptized already but I'll never know. I haven't got the hang of how the Reformed understand sacraments. The baptism was a big deal, a happy occasion: the young girl walked up and down the aisle, so everyone could see and the grandmother was beaming at her, so pleased.
The minister explained intinction to the congregation. I can't know how many were unfamiliar and in need of explanation. Or whether it had ever been practiced before. The catch was that they had to leave their seats and process forward. By their reaction, which was audible grumbling and physical reluctance, this is not anything that they are accustomed to doing.
I stayed in the back corner pew, aware my "sitting it out" would be impossible to miss. Everyone, and I mean everyone, went forward! Ladies from the kitchen preparing a post-service turkey dinner came out, also, at just the right time to join the communion line. One dipped the bread into the cup too far and looked to shake off the excess grape juice only to, after catching my eye, wipe it absentmindedly on clothing.
I glimpsed the choir director peek above the piano, perhaps to assess how the line was moving. He finished one hymn and went into the next, "One Bread, One Body." I opened each of the two hymnals at the index to find it, even though I know it by heart. Neither one had it2. I was near tears because it was so appropriate. The choir director really knows his stuff.
He said that he picked all the songs for this morning. I planned to leave early, immediately after the sermon, again from the local reverend, my spiritual director. But I hung around long enough to join in "Alleluia, Sing to Jesus." Snow threatens to cancel Tuesday's rehearsal.
1 Scroll down to #14 "Every Knee Shall Bow," page 81.
2 the newer, purple one seems to have it.