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Doors Open for Good Friday Cantata

During the time that Johann Sebastian Bach served as cantor in Leipzig, he was responsible for music in two large Protestant churches located close together in the center of the town. He was employed by the city council as a "music director" to plan and provide music for all services. During Holy Week, the tradition was to have a sacred cantata on Good Fridays. Bach of course wrote the cantatas. When he started his work in Leipzig in 1724, he resurrected a cantata entitled "Christ Lag In Todes Banden" (Christ Lay in the Bonds of Death).

His choir was joined by the city orchestra and area professional soloists. The church was always full, about 2,500 people. The pastor usually gave a sermon that was approximately 60 minutes in length.

In preparing our cantata, I researched this 1724 era and learned that the pastor instructed the sexton to lock the outside doors to the church when it was time for the sermon. This stopped people from entering and also stopped people from leaving. I wonder when that tradition was discontinued.

Please join us for worship on Good Friday at 7:00 pm. Our service includes Bach's famous cantata with choir, soloists, and orchestra and the traditional liturgy for Good Friday. I have been assured that our doors will be unlocked.

--Jack

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