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I was preparing today’s service at the organ yesterday. I had just rehearsed and timed the prelude when I thought it might be nice add a play through of the melody it was based on just before it. That way listeners could be better prepared to hear how Bach used it. As I began examining the cantus firmus in the pedal I realized that I had not prepared a piece based on the opening hymn, “If thou but trust in God to guide thee.” Instead I had been so taken with the Bach piece that I had not noticed that instead it was based on Von Gott will ich nicht lassen. This tune is not even in the Hymnal 1982. Yikes!

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I immediately found a setting by Bach of the correct opening hymn for this morning and began practicing it. Fortunately, in the today’s bulletin nowhere do I refer to the German name of the melody of the wrong prelude. Instead the prelude reads: “Chorale prelude on If Thou but trust in God to guide thee” BWV 568 by J.S. Bach. Now most of that will be true. It will just be the wrong BWV number.

I also have a music note in the bulletin. I talk about the organ music but in very general ways:

Again the organ music for the prelude and postlude is based on the opening and closing hymn today. Our opening hymn picks up on the concept of “trust” which Rev Jen prays in the opening collect: “Grant us, O Lord to trust in you with all hearts…” It’s almost as if old Bach himself was smiling and thinking of God’s trust as he wrote music for the prelude. We can hear the hardly subdued joy in the moving parts on the keyboard of the organ while the organist feet on the pedal notes sing the melody of the opening hymn in long slow tones.

I know that’s hokey but I’m trying to draw people into the music. Fortunately it’s so hokey that it will also be true of the prelude based on the opening hymn that I am madly learning at the last minute. Sheesh.

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