Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. (Matthew 14:19-21)
This week’s musical selections are all about this event depicted in Matthew.
The prelude and postlude will be movements from the same work by Anthony Giamanco (b. 1958). His Partita on Land of Rest features one of my favorite hymn tunes in different styles. The definition of partita has changed throughout history, but here it means "a multi-movement work remaining in one key". The hymn tune will be familiar to you as “I Come with Joy to Meet My Lord” or “Jerusalem, My Happy Home.” I would like for you to think of the second verse of the former --
“I come with Christians far and near to find, as all are fed,
The new community of love in Christ’s communion bread.”
The sequence hymn will keep this theme -- “Bread of the World.” Richard Heber, the author of the hymn, originally subtitled it “Before the sacrament.” Although we do not physically come together for communion as we did a few months ago, we are virtually gathered as we hear the miracle of the five loaves and two fishes.