William Hoffman wrote (May 31, 2015):
Bach’s four extant cantatas for the final festival in the <de tempore> half of the Christian church year represent a strong reflection of the meaning of Trinity Sunday as well as exemplars of both unity of sacred purpose, such as Lutheran teaching and chorales, as well as diversity of poetic texts and cantata forms – all emblematic of his goal of a well-ordered church music to the glory of God.
Beginning with the Protestant Reformation in 1519, the Sunday Festival of the Holy Trinity became a pivotal observance in which the Lutheran teachings through the chorales and the Catechism systematically exemplify and illustrate the biblical and doctrinal teachings, often with music. Thus, the original Lutheran hymns and Bach’s resulting cantata musical sermon settings demonstrate and celebrate the meaning and significance of this tradition as found at Trinity Sunday, now usually called the First Sunday After Pentecost.
“In the Lutheran liturgy, Trinity Sunday ends this sequence [Proprium Temporale of “proposer of the time (of Christ, de tempore)], celebrating the completed revelation of God’s triune nature and serving as a kind of symbolic ‘doxology’ to the first half of the year, says Eric Chafe in Analyzing Bach Cantatas (New York Oxford Univ. Press, 2000: 12). In a very broad sense, the dynamic of the Temporale can be described as a pattern of descent (extending from the incarnation of Jesus’ death and burial) followed by ascent (Jesus’ resurrection and ascension), after which the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, traditionally viewed as the “birthday of the church,” describes another symbolic incarnation, or descent, that returns the liturgical focus of the year to the perspective of the church on earth [omnes tempore].”
Bach four sacred cantatas as well as Latin Mass Movements most appropriate for the Sunday Festival of the Holy Trinity are:
1. Cantata BWV 165, “O heil’ges Geist- und Wasserbad” (O Holy Spirit- and water-bath); premiered in 1715, with repeats ?1716 (K. Hoffman BJ 1993:29, Boyd OCC:JSB:331) and 1724; an intimate solo (SATB) work typical of poet Salomo Franck’s sermon-text with symbols, teachings, and affections.
2. Cantata BWV 194, “Höchsterwünschtes Freudenfest” (Highest wished-for joy-feast), performed in 1724 (Part 1 only, in a double-bill with BWV 165). Cantata 194 is an extensive two-part chorus cantata parodied from a Cöthen congratulatory serenade (BWV 194a) in the style of a dance suite and originally recomposed for the service of a church remodeling and organ dedication (1723) and partially repeated as BWV 194b (1726, Movements Nos. 12, 2-5, 7, 10), 1731 (?Part 1 only), and after 1750 in Halle with Friedemann. The other dance-suite csetting, also using material from Cöthen, is pure-hymn Cantata 97, "In allen meinen taten" (In all my doings), 1734.
3. Cantata BWV 176, “Er ist ein trotzig und verzagt Ding” (It is an obstinate and hopeless thing), premiered in 1725, a chorus cantata with opening biblical dictum, alternating arias and recitatives and closing chorale, typical in form of the first group in the first cycle (1723-24), according to Alfred Dürr, <Cantatas of JSB> (2005: 27); the last in a series of nine cantatas by progressive Leipzig poetess Mariane von Ziegler, and later assigned to Bach’s hybrid, incomplete third cantata cycle (1726-27).
4. Cantata BWV 129, “Gelobet sei der Herr, mein Gott” (Praise be the Lord, my God) premiered on June 15, 1727, based on a recently-found cantata textbook (Tatiana Shabalina, Bach UK Network, Understanding Bach 4, 2009) and repeated in 1732-35, 1743-46, 1744-47, 1755 (Penzel); a pure-hymn chorale cantata like BWV 112, “Der Herr ist mein getreuer Hirt” (The Lord is my faithful shepherd) for Misericordias (Second Sunday After Easter Sunday), both belatedly composed for the Easter Season portion of the chorale cantata cycle (1724-25), BWV 112, composed 1729-31.
5. Mass sections: Sanctus in C, BWV 237 5/15/16 or 5/23/1723; Missa in B Minor (Kyrie-Gloria), BWV 232I, possibly performed in Leipzig in 1732-35); and the four Missae (Kyrie-Gloria), BWV 233-236, possibly performed in Leipzig or Dresden in 1735-38) as part of Bach’s Christological Cycle of sacred works.
In addition, a Picander “fourth” cycle published text exists for Trinity Sunday, June 12, 1729, “Gott will ich mich in dem Himmel haben” (God will have me in heaven). It is doubtful, however, that Bach set it because it contains no chorale and by that time Bach had virtually ceased composing new church-service cantatas; instead, he had assumed full responsibilities for the Leipzig Collegium musicum series at Zimmerman’s Coffee House.
Trinity Festival Chorales
Interestingly, Bach in his Trinity Sunday cantatas used none of the established chorale texts associated with the Trinity Festival in Leipzig as found in the Gottfried Vopelius 1682 <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (The New Leipzig Song Book). Three of these same texts also had been outlined in his earliest (1714) plan for a well ordered church music, the <Orgelbüchlein> (Little Organ Book) chorale prelude collection, which instead he focused on setting the <de tempore> chorales of the first half of the church year dealing with the major events in the life of Jesus Christ.
Instead, Bach sparingly set the Trinity chorale texts as free-standing plain chorales, used them in cantatas for the last Sunday in Easter, or adapted their associated melodies as organ chorale preludes. Meanwhile, Bach chose mostly popular hymn melodies with different, didactic texts that could relate to the original poetic texts of the Trinity Sunday cantata arias and recitatives. Bach also performed two-part and double-bill cantatas on Trinity Sundays in Leipzig. The most popular two of the four Cantatas, BWV 194 and 129, were repeated several times on Trinity Sundays and even were reperformed in the decade after Bach’s death in 1750 in Halle and Leipzig.
Festival of the Holy Trinity
The Festival of the Holy Trinity (ordered by Pope John XXII, 1332) reflects upon all of the events commemorated during the first half (<de tempore>) of the church year and celebrates them as its culmination. Whereas the other< de tempore> festivals annually observe historic events in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ (Christmas, New Year, Epiphany, Easter Sunday and Pentecost Sunday), the Trinity Festival is the expression of the great Doctrine of the Church, worshipping the Trinity of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The institution of the Trinity Festival came shortly after the end of the Crusades in 1291, emphasizing the Mystery of the Trinitarian Doctrine which previously had been expressed widely in liturgical practice such as the Baptismal Formula, Glorias, Doxologies, and the Terminations of the Collects (Paul Zeller Strodach, <The Church Year>, United Lutheran Publication House, Philadelphia PA, 1924: pp. 179-181). Ordinary Time or < omne tempore> are the 33 weeks of the seasons of Epiphany and Trinity, the second half of the Church Year.
As John Eliot Gardiner observes in his 2000 Bach Cantata Pilgrimage diary: “Cantatas for Trinity Sunday, St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwal. “Trinity Sunday does not register today as one of the more exciting of the church’s festivals. Yet in Bach’s day, it had a climactic importance: it marked the end of the Temporale, the first half of the liturgical year which celebrates the events in the life of Jesus. For Bach personally it signified the completion of the annual cantata cycles he composed in Leipzig (his first official cantata as Thomascantor in 1723 happening to be the first Sunday after Trinity), and not surprisingly drew from him works of summary significance: cantatas that were challenging even by his standards. For us in 2000 it was a half-way point, and thus a milestone to look forward to, especially as we were due to travel to the most northerly point on our pilgrimage route, to Kirkwall in Orkney.”
Trinity Sunday Liturgical Order
The Liturgical Order for Trinity Sunday involves the following:
Introit: Blessed be the Holy Sprit, and the undivided Unity:
Let us give glory to Him because He hath shown his mercy to us (Ancient antiphon, cf. Job 12;6)
Psalm: O Lord, our Lord; how excellent is Thy Name in all the earth (Psalm 8:1)
Introit: Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts: of him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things. (Isaiah 6:3, Romans 11:36)
Psalm: Or Lord, our Lord; how excellent is Thy Name in all the earth (Psalm 8:1)
Collect: <Ominpotens sempiterne Deus> (Almighty and Everlasting God); Luther’s vernacular, “Almechtiger, ewiger Gott,” Wittenberg hymnal 1533, following hymn “Gott der Vater wohn uns bei” (God, the Father, stay with us), hymns on the major festivals of the church year, Feast of the Trinity
Gradual: Daniel 29:32-34, “The Song of the Three Children
Epistle: Romans 11:33-36, Wisdom and Knowledge of God
Gospel: John 3:1-15, Nicodemus Discourse
Douglas Cowling wrote (April 5, 2011):
Musical Context of Bach's Cantatas: Motets and Chorales - Trinity Sunday
Musical Context of Bach Cantatas, Motets & Chorales for Trinity Sunday; Readings: Epistle: Romans 11: 33-36; Gospel: John 3: 1-15 (BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Read/Trinity.htm. Dates in the lifetime of J.S. Bach, including works composed for the event (Trinity Sunday), BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/Trinitatis.htm
THE MUSICAL CONTEXT OF BACH'S CANTATAS: MOTETS AND CHORALES FOR TRINITY
SUNDAY (There's a doctoral thesis waiting out there which could bring together all of the information about the other music sung each Sunday by Bach's choirs in addition to the cantata. Here's a first stab at making sense of the musical resources which were normative for Bach each week:). SOURCES: * BACH'S HYMN BOOK: Jürgen Grimm, "Das neu [?] Leipziger Gesangbuch des Gottfried Vopelius (Leipzig 1682)", Berlin: Merseburger, 1969. ML 3168 G75, * BACH'S MOTET COLLECTION: Otto Riemer, "Erhard Bodenschatz und sein Florilegium Portense" Schünigen: Kaminsky, 1927; ML 410 B67R4
TRINITY SUNDAY (Festo Trinitatis) NOTES:
* In addition to the five prescribed motets for Trinity, the Bodenschatz collection has 15 motets assigned to "all high feasts." Performance question: did the municipal brass perform with the Choirs I & II in these late Renaissance motets? [listen to the performance samples]
* The Bodenschatz motets are almost all for 8 voices, the minimum number of voices required in Bach's Choirs I & II. The presence of Italian Catholic composers such as Gabrieli, Marenzio, Orologio and Ingegneri attests to the encyclopedic design of the collection. A few of the names did not respond to a goo: please amend if known.
* In addition to the Trinity chorales, the Vopelius hymn book [NLGB] has all of the pre-Reformation Proper chants for mass. These may have been sung on Sunday by Choir III and at masses during the following weekdays.
* A setting of the Missa -- two settings of the Kyrie and the Gloria are included with Trinity Sunday.
* The Vopelius hymn book includes the chant hymn, responsary and four antiphons sung before and after chanted psalms and the Magnificat at Vespers of Trinity Sunday. They may have been sung by Choir II at the secondary Sunday Vespers.
1) MOTETS for: a) opening Introit at Mass for Choirs I & II; b) in place of the Cantata before the Sermon (at mass and vespers) for Choir II; c) during Communion (Choirs I & II). "Adesto Unus Deus" (8 voices) - Joachim Neander (1630-80); "Benedicta Sit" (8 voices) - Adam Gumpelzhaimer (1559-1625); "Duo Seraphim" (8 voices) - Marc'Antonio Ingegneri (1535 - 1592); "Te Deum Patrem" (8 voices) - Hieronymous Praetorius (1560 1629) sample: http://www.amazon.com/gp/recsradio/radio/B0017RFXUW/ref=pd_krex_listen_dp_img?ie=UTF8&refTagSuffix=dp_img; "Te Deum Patrem" (8 voices) - Christian Erbach (1568-1635).
Additonal Motets "For all high feasts": "Cantate Domino" (8 voices) - Anon.; "Cantate Domino" (8 voices) - Alessandro Orologio (1550-1633); sample: http://www.amazon.com/Cantate-Domino-canticum-novum-Jubilate/dp/B0040SZQHK; "Cantate Domino" (8 voices) - Jacob Handl/Gallus (1550-1591); sample: http://www.mp3rocket.com/mp3/-1_00/Jacob-Handl-Alleluia-Cantate-Domino-canti cum-novum.htm; "Cantate Domino" (8 voices) - Andreas Berger (1584-1656); "Exulate Deo" (8 voices) - Andrea Gabrieli (1532-1585); "Exulate Deo" (8 voices) - Dulictius (?); "Jubilate Deo" (8 voices) - Jovanel; "Jubilate Deo" (8 voices) - Luca Marenzio (1553-1599); sample:
g?ie=UTF8&refTagSuffix=dp_img; "Jubilate Deo" (8 voices) - Fr. Weisseniee (?);"Jubilate Deo" (8 voices) - Andreas Berger (1584-1656); "Laudate Dominum" (8 voices) - Hans Leo Hassler (1563-1612); "Laudate Dominum" (8 voices) - Anon.; "Laudate Dominum" (8 voices) - Cantoni (?); "Laudate Dominum" (8 voices) - Venturus (?); "Laudate Dominum" (8 voices) - Andreas Berger (1584-1656); 2) HYMN DE TEMPORE (Gradual between Epistle and Gospel readings); "Gott der Vater wohn uns bei."
[The Introit Psalm for the Trinity Festival is Psalm 27, Dominus illuminatio, The Lord is my light (KJV)< says Martin Petzoldt in his Back Commentary, Vol.2, Advent to Trinitatisfest: Bach Kommentar: Theologisch Musikwissenschaftlicke Kommentierung der Geistlichen Vokalwerke Johann Sebastan Bachs; Vol. 2, Die Geistlichen Kantaten vom 1. Advent bis zum Trinitatisfest; Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2007: 1053).]
3) PULPIT HYMN (corresponds to Offertory of Catholic mass), "Nun Bitten wir."
4) PREFACE (before Sanctus)
5) HYMNS (for Communion and Vespers): "Spiritus Sancti (plainsong), "Was alle Weisheit" (gerhardy), "Gelobet sei der Herr" (Olearius), "O Lux Beate Trinitatis" (plainsong), "Der du bist drei in Eingikeit"; "Allein Gott in der Höhe."
6) ORDINARY OF THE MASS (Missa): "Kyrie Fons Bonitatis," "Kyrie Gott Vater in Ewigkeit," "Gloria in Exclesis."
7) PROPERS OF THE MASS: Introit: "Benedicta sit Sancta Trinitas" [entrance chant of mass]; Alleluia: "Veni Sancte Spiritus" [chant between readings]; Sequence/Prose: "Veni Sancte Spiritus et Emitte" [chant before Gospel].
8) PROPERS for Vespers (and Matins?): Hymn: O Lux Beata Trinitas; Responsary: Summae Trinitatis (chant following reading); Antiphons: (Sung before and after chanted psalms); Gloria Tibi Trinitatis aequalus; Te Invocamus Adoremus; Te Deum Patrem; Tibi Decus.
Bach’s Chorale Template (original materials, William Hoffman):
Bach’s first plan for a well-ordered church music, the Orgelbüchlein chorale preludes, was established about 1714 at the Weimar Court when he began to compose church service cantatas every fourth Sunday. The project listed three chorales for Trinity Sunday, although none were set as part of the collection. OB 52. Gott der Vater wohn uns bei (NLGB 139, Luther, Z8507); BWV 748*(a)(MC) (?both, Emans); OB 53. Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr (Gloria in excelsis Deo, Greater Doxology; BWV 662-664(18); BWV 675-677(CU), BWV 715(MC)*; BWV 711(KC), BWV 716-17(MC); BWV 260 (PC), BWV 771(MC, not by Bach, possibly by Andreas Nicolaus Vetter); melody in “Der Herr ist meine gertruer Hirt, dem/halt” (Psalm 23, NLGB 251-252); OB 54. Der du bist drei in Einigkeit (O Lux beata Trinitas) (NLGB 142, Luther); BWV 293(PC); Emans BWV deest
No OB -- “Gelobet sei der Herr, mein Gott”; mel. “O Gott, du frommer Gott” (see OB 96, Christian Life); CC BWV 129
Instead, Bach set two as four-part chorales (OB 52, OB 54), while one (OB 52) also is found as a miscellaneous organ chorale prelude, and only one (OB 53), German Mass setting of the <Gloria in excelsis Deo>, is fully utilized in three cantatas, in two settings (vocal and organ) for the German Mass, and in three organ chorale prelude collections:
A. Hymn de tempore: OB 52, “Gott der Vater wohn uns bei” (God, the Father, stay with us; NLGB 139); Johann Walter melody 1524, Luther text 1524 (3 stanzas); Bach set as plain chorale BWV 317 in D Major, and as organ chorale prelude BWV 748(a) in D Major. Open Hymnal Project: “God the Father Be Our Stay”; http://openhymnal.org / Lyrics / God_The_Father_Be_Our_St...
God the Father Be Our Stay (also known as God the Father With Us Stay or God the Father With Us Be), addressed to the Holy Trinity: God the Father, Jesus Christ, and Holy Ghost, as well as the alternate Triune God. “God the Father, be our Stay, When hell's dread pow'rs assail us; Cleanse us from our sins, we pray, Nor in our last hour fail us. Keep us from the Evil One; Firm in the faith abiding, In Christ our Savior hiding, And heartily confiding. Let us put God's armor on: With all true Christians running Our heav'nly race and shunning The devil's wiles and cunning. Amen, Amen, this be done, So sing we, Hallelujah!”
Words: 15th Century Litany, adapted by Martin Luther, 1524. Translated by Richard Massie, 1854, alt.; Music: 'Gott Der Vater, Wohn Uns Bei' from Walter's Geistliche Gesangbüchlein, 1524.
Setting: composite from Landgraf Moritz, 1612 and "Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book", 1931.
copyright: public domain. This score is a part of the Open Hymnal Project, 2009 Revision.
Contemporary Sources: Lutheran Book of Worship (Lutheran Church in America, 1978, “Green Hymn Book”), No. 308, “God the Father, Be Our Stay” (Repentance Forgiveness); New Lutheran Hymnal (LCMS, proposed>, “Triune God, oh, be our Stay, ”LW170 - TLH247, http://www.lutheran-hymnal.com/nlh/NLH8.html.
B. Hymns: communion and vespers: OB 53, “Allein Gott in der Höh’ sei Ehr’” (To God alone on high be glory); Nikolaus Decius 1526 (Trinitarian hymn, Luther text modification, 3 stanzas) German Mass Gloria, NLGB 145) melody in Cantatas BWV 85/3, 104/6, and 112 (all for the Sixth Sunday After Easter [Exaudi]), 128/1 (Ascension); BWV 260 (for the Deutsche Messe); and as organ chorale prelude in the “Great 18 Leipzig” collection (BWV 662-664), Clavierübung III “Organ Mass” (BWV 675, 676), Kirnberger Miscellaneous (BWV711), and the general Miscellaneous collection (BWV 715-717). Text and Francis Browne English translation, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale092-Eng3.htm. Chorale Melody, BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Allein-Gott-in-der-Hoh.htm
[No. 53, “Allein Gott in der Höh’ sei Her” not set; organ chorale, fuga super BWV 716
Cantata 128, “Auf Christi Himmelfahrt allein” (On Christ’s Hjourney alone), begins with the Ascension chorale as a chorale chorus (with trumpet and two horns). This is Bach’s only use of this chorale set to the text by Sonnemann/Wegelin, 1661/1636, 3 stanzas, with melody “Allein Gott in der Höh’ sei Ehr” (To God alone on high be glory) by N. Decius, 1526, based on the Latin< Gloria in excelsis Deo> (Glory to God in the Highest).
<Bach’s Chorals. Part I>: 2 The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the Cantatas and Motets, by Charles Sanford Terry (Cambridge University Press, 1915-1921). 3 vols. Vol. 2.
[“Der Herr ist mein getreuer Hirt, dem ich”; Becker, 3 stanzas (mel. Allein Gott in der Hoh) <E2> [E2/V(C)H], 104/6(S.1) E2, 85/3(S.1) E2; 112/1-5, E2
The melody of the third movement (BWV 85/3) is Nicolaus Decius’ (or Hovesch) “Allein Gott in der Höh’ sei Ehr’,” first published, with Decius’ rendering of the “Gloria in excelsis,” in Valentin Schumann’s Geistliche Lieder auffs new gebessert und gemehrt (Leipzig, 1539). The melody was formed by putting together phrases 3-4, 7-8, 11 of the “Gloria paschalis.” Its association with Becker’s Hymn (infra) is very general.
The melody occurs also in Chorale Cantata 112(1,5) for Misericordias (Easter 2), and Cantata 128 for Ascension. There is a harmonization of it in the Choralgesänge, No. 12 (BWV 260). Bach’s version shows slight variations of the original. For the second and third notes following the middle double bar there is early (1545) authority. For his version of the final phrase of the tune in the concluding Choral of Cantata 112 there appears to be none. Organ Works,” BWV 662 (GL18), 663, 664, CU III 675, 676, Kirnberger 711, Misc.715-717: BWV 662: Chorale Prelude for Organ [BWV 651-BWV 668 Weimar with revision in Leipzig 1739-1750 NBA IV/2 „The Great Eighteen Chorales“]; BWV 663 Chorale Prelude for Organ (with melody highlighted)
BWV 664 Chorale Prelude (Trio) for Organ; BWV 675 Chorale Preludes from Part 3 of the Clavier Übung NBA IV/4; BWV 711 Chorale Preludes for Organ NBA IV/3; BWV 716 (not accepted by the NBA) ] Chorale contemporary usage: <Evangelical Lutheran Worship> (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2006), No. 410, Holy Trinity
C. Hymns: communion and vespers: OB 54, “Der du bist drei Einigkeit” (Thou, who art Three in Unity; NLGB 420); Johann Hermann Schein music 1627, Luther text 1543 (3 stanzas); imitation of Gregorian hymn <O Lux beata Trinitas>; found as BWV 293 plain chorale in G Major;
Der du bist Drei in Einigkeit (Thou, who art Three in Unity) An imitation from the Gregorian hymn, “O lux beata trinitas.” Translation adapted from R. Massie. Harmony in von Tucher, 18—.
1. Der du bist drei in Einigkeit,
Ein wahrer Gott von Ewigkeit;
Die Sonn’ mit dem Tag von uns weicht:
Lass leuchten uns dein göttlich Licht.
2. Des Morgens, Gott, dich loben wir,
Des Abends auch beten für dir,
Unser armes Lied rühmt dich
Jetzt und immer und ewiglich.
3. Gott Vater, dem sei ewig Ehr,
Gott Sohn der ist der einig’ Herr,
Und dem Tröster heiligen Geist,
Von nun an bis in Ewigkeit.
1. Thou who art Three in Unity,
True God from all eternity,
The sun is fading from our sight,
Shine thou on us with heavenly light.
2. We praise thee with the dawning day,
To thee at evening also pray,
With our poor song we worship thee
Now, ever and eternally.
3. Let God the Father be adored,
And God the Son, the only Lord,
And equal adoration be,
Eternal Comforter, to thee.
Hymns of Martin Luther, Online Library of Liberty - XXXVI.: Der du bist Drei in Einigkeit ... http://oll.libertyfund.org / ?option=com_staticxt&sta... (Scroll down to XXXVI).
Bach’s Main Hymnbook Source
All three chorales designated in the Orgelbüchlein are also found in <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (NLGB, 1682, Gottfried Vopelius). This chorale book, which Bach utilized extensively in Leipzig, also includes the following as Trinity Sunday hymns to be sung by the congregation:
A. Mass Ordinary: Kyrie fons bonitatis (NLGB 144), Latin hymn, later adapted in the German Mass);
Kyrie Gott Vater in Ewigkeit (NLGB 144b), BWV 371 (Deutsche Messe); BWV 669, 672 Organ Mass. Both texts, http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/Lieder/kyriegot.html
Gott Vater in Ewigkeit!
Gross ist dein' Barmherzigkeit,
Aller Ding ein Schöpfer und Regierer!
Kyrie, God Father in heaven above,
Great art Thou in grace and love;
Of all things the Maker and Preserver.
2. Christe aller Welt Trost!
Uns Sünder allein du hast erlöst;
Jesu Gottes Sohn!
Unser Mittler bist in dem höchsten Thron,
Zu dir schreien wir aus Herzensbegier!
Kyrie, O Christ, our King,
Salvation for sinners Thou didst bring.
O Lord Jesus, God's own Son,
Our Mediator at the heav'nly throne,
Hear our cry and grant our supplication.
Gott heiliger Geist!
Tröst, stärk' uns im Glauben allermeist,
Dass wir am letzten End'
Fröhlich abscheiden aus diesem Elend!
Kyrie, O God the Holy Ghost,
Guard our faith, the gift we need the most;
Do Thou our last hour bless;
Let us leave this sinful world with gladness.
Eleison, eleison! Amen
Contemporary usage: Evangelical Lutheran Worship (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2006), No. 409, Holy Trinity
*B. O Lux beata Trinitas (O Trinity of Blessed Light, NLGB 140), Latin Vespers hymn;
This Latin hymn is ascribed to St. Ambrose (340-397) and is used for Sunday Vespers for the second and fourth weeks of the Psalter in the Liturgy of the Hours. The hymn appears in the Roman Breviary under the title of Iam sol recedit igneus (As fades the glowing orb of day), where it is the Vespers hymn for the ferial office on Saturdays and Trinity Sunday.
1. O LUX beata Trinitas,
et principalis Unitas,
iam sol recedit igneus,
infunde lumen cordibus.
O TRINITY of blessed Light,
O Unity of sovereign might,
as now the fiery sun departs,
shed Thou Thy beams within our hearts.
2. Te mane laudum carmine,
te deprecemur vespere:
te nostra supplex gloria
per cuncta laudet saecula.
Thee our morning song of praise,
to Thee our evening prayer we raise;
Thee may our glory evermore
in lowly reverence adore.
3. Deo Patri sit gloria,
eiusque soli Filio,
cum Spiritu Paraclito,
et nunc, et in perpetuum.
All laud to God the Father be;
all praise, Eternal Son, to Thee;
all glory, as is ever meet,
to God the Holy Paraclete.
[From the Liturgia Horarum, translation by J. M. Neale (1818-1866)]
Recent usage: (Lutheran) Service Book and Hymnal (1958, “Red Hymn Book”), “O Trinity of Blessed Night,” Plainsong Melody, Mode VIII, arr. by Ernest White, No. 133, Trinity Sunday.
C. Mir ist ein geistliche Kirchelein (NLGB 141), no Bach setting;
D. Mass ordinary: Kyrie eleison, Gloria in excelsis Deo, Laudaumus te (MISSA, NLGB 143) Trinity Sunday Mass chants;
E. Summae Trinitatis (NLGB 147): Primo Nocturno (First Division of Matins), Responsory 3: CAO 7718 Summae Trinitati, simplici Deo, una divinitas, aequalis gloria, coaeterna majestas, Patri Prolique san toque flamini Qui totum sub dit suis orbem legibus.
Other Trinity Sunday Vesper hymns: Summæ Parens clementiæ (O God, by whose command is swayed); Tu, Trinitatis Unitas (O Thou, who dost all nature sway); O Deus, ego amo te (My God, I love Thee, not because)
Chorales in Trinity Sunday Cantatas
Bach’s Trinity Sunday cantata settings of chorales involve the following:
1. “Nun laß uns Gott dem Herren” (Now let us to God the Lord, NLGB 222, Communion); melody Nikolaus Selnecker 1587; BWV 165/6 closing chorale with Ludwig Helmbold 1575 text No. 1 (same incipit), S6, “Sein Wort, sein tauf, sein Nachtmahl” (His Word, His Baptism, His Communion); BWV 194/12, closing chorale with Paul Gerhardt 1647 text No. 2, “Wach auf, mein Herz und singe (Wake up, me heart, and sing, NLGB 553), stanzas 9 and 10.
2. “Treuer Gott, ich muß dir klagen” (Faithful God, I must grieve you, NLGB 297; Cross, Persecution & Challenge), Cantata BWV 194/6; Johann Heermann 1630 text, stanzas 6, 7); melody “Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele” (Rejoice much, O my soul) Louis Bourgeoise 1551 (NLGB 358, Psalm 42, Death & Dying);
3. Was alle Weisheit in der Welt (not in NLGB) Paul Gergardt 1653 text (Stanza 8): Cantata BWV 176/6, “Auf daß wir also allzugleich”; Johan Walther melody “Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kamm” (NLGB 176, Catechism: Baptism; Bach’s probable source)
4. Gelobet sei der Herr, mein Gott (not in NLGB); text Johann Olearius 1665; Ahasverus Fritsch (1679) Melody 3 variant, “O Gott, du frommer Gott” (Johann Heermann 8-stanza text, 1630; NLGB 202, Evening Song) Chorale Cantata BWV 129/1-5 (Olearius pure-hymn text-setting).