Oct 27

In guilty night: Saul and the Witch of Endor (1 Samuel 28:8-20) – Henry Purcell

 

Apparition of the spirit of Samuel to Saul, by...

Apparition of the spirit of Samuel to Saul, by Salvator Rosa, 1668. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1 Samuel 28:8-20

8 And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.

9 And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?

10 And Saul sware to her by the Lord, saying, As the Lord liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.

11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.

12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.

13 And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.

14 And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.

English: Saul and the Witch of Endor (1Sam. 28...

English: Saul and the Witch of Endor (1 Sam. 28:7-25)  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.

16 Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing theLord is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy?

17 And the Lord hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the Lord hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David:

18 Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the Lord, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the Lord done this thing unto thee this day.

19 Moreover the Lord will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the Lord also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.

20 Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.

Purcell’s music text paraphrase:

Chorus:

In guilty night, and hid in false disguise,
Forsaken Saul to Endor comes and cries :
Saul:
Woman, arise, call powerful arts together,
And raise the ghost, whom I shall name, up hither.
Witch:
Why should’st thou wish me die? Forbear my son,
Dost thou not know what cruel Saul has done?
How he has killed, has killed and murdered all
That were wise and could on spirits call?
Saul:
Woman, be bold, do but the thing I wish,
No harm from Saul shall come to thee for this.
Witch:
Whom shall I raise or call? I’ll make him hear.

Saul and the Witch of Endor

Saul and the Witch of Endor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Saul:
Old Samuel, let only him appear!
Witch:
Alas!
Saul:
What, what dost thou fear?
Witch:
Nought else but thee,
For thou art Saul, alas! and hast beguiled me.
Saul:
Peace, and go on, what seest thou? let me know.
Witch
I see the gods ascending from below.
Saul:
Who’s he that comes?

Saul and the Witch of Endor

Saul and the Witch of Endor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Witch:
An old man mantled o’er.
Saul:
Oh! that is he, let me that ghost adore.
Samuel:
Why hast thou robbed me of my rest to see
That which I hate? this wicked world and thee?
Saul:
Oh! I’m sore distressed, vexed sore;
God has left me and answers me no more;
Distressed with war, with inward terrors too,
For pity’s sake tell me, what shall I do?
Samuel:
Art thou forlorn of God and com’st to me?
What can I tell thee then but misery?
This kingdom’s gone into thy neighbour’s race,
Thine host shall fall by sword before thy face.
Tomorrow then, till then farewell and breathe:
Thou and thy son tomorrow shall be with me beneath.
Chorus:
Farewell, oh! farewell.

In guilty night: Saul and the witch of Endor, Z134 (published in 1693), composed by Henry Purcell (1659-1695).

Additional scripture reminder to readers about witches, if there is a greater fascination about witchcraft at this time of year, so close to Halloween:

10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; … — Deut. 18:10-12a (New International Version)

See also: Wikipedia on the Witch of Endor.


Performed by Susan Gritton, soprano; Rogers Covey-Crump, tenor; Michael George, bass
The King’s Consort, Robert King

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MP3: In Guilty Night / Henry Purcell / William Christie, Les Arts Florissants, Claire Debono, Paul Agnew, Konstantin Wolff, Elizabeth Kenny, Anne-Marie Lasla / Warner Classics, Erato

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In Guilty Night (from Saul). By Henry Purcell (1659-1695). Published by Edition Walhall

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Oct 20

Beati Quorum Remissae [Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven] (Psalm 32:3,1,4,2,5b,7) – Zachary Wadsworth

 

525px-David's_Joy_Over_Forgiveness_(Bible_Card)

David’s Joy Over Forgiveness; as in Psalm 32; illustration from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company (1903) / Image via Wikipedia

Psalm 32:3,1,4,2,5b,7 [EnglishLatin]

3 While I held my tongue, my bones withered away, because of my groaning all day long.

1 Beati quorum remissae sunt iniqitates et quorum tecta sunt peccata. [Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.]

4 For your hand was heavy upon me day and night; my moisture was dried up as in the head of summer.

2 Beatus vir qui non imputabit Dominus peccatum nec est in spiritu eius dolus. [Blessed is the man who does not sin the Lord will not impute it and in whose spirit there is no guile.]

5b I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” Then you forgave me the guilt of my sin.

7 You are my hiding place; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.

7 Tu es refugium a tribulatione quae circumdedit me exultatio mea erue me a circumdantibus me. [see English immediately above]

Beati Quorum Remissae (2005) by Zachary Wadsworth (b. 1983)

Performed by the Yale Schola Cantorum, directed by Simon Carrington

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Beati Quorum Remissae by Zachary Wadsworth. For SSAATTBB choir, a cappella. Octavo. 14 pages. Published by Alliance Music Publications.

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Oct 13

Let thine heart (Proverbs 3:1-12) – Owain Park

 

English: Trust in the Lord. with all thine hea...

Trust in the Lord. with all thine heart, and lean not into thine own understanding. Pass under this sign whenever you enter St John’s Church Hall, Knypersley, Staffordshire, Great Britain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Proverbs 3:1-12

1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.

8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

9 Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:

10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

11 My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction:

12 For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

Let thine heart (2010 or 2011) by Owain Park (b. 1993)


Performed by the Royal College of Music Junior Department Chamber Choir, conducted by Joy Hill, with Daniel Moult, piano, and Eleanor Ruth Tinlin, oboe.
This anthem was written for the King James Bible Composition Awards 2011, and was a finalist, appearing on BBC Radio 3’s ‘The Choir’ in June 2011.

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Oct 06

If we believe that Jesus died (1 Thessalonians 4:14,18) – John Goss

Headstone in a small family cemetery, located ...

Headstone in a small family cemetery, located in the Holly Springs National Forest in North Mississippi near Baker’s Pond, the source of the Wolf River. The inscription visible in the image reads “Died Jan. 8 1907 May the resurrection find thee on the bosom of thy God.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1 Thessalonians 4:14,18

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

If we believe (first published in 1890), composed by John Goss (1800-1880)


Performed by Midlands Chorale

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MP3: Goss – If we believe that Jesus died / L’Inviti Singers / In Memoriam / WMC Records

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If We Believe That Jesus Died by John Goss. For Choral (SATB). Music Sales America. 5 pages. Published by Novello & Co Ltd.

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