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Baptism of Christ (First Sunday of Epiphany)

Thisis a compilation of suggestions sent to me for the Baptism of Jesus
(BTW I chose to use Osiander's Baptism of Jesus and Palestrina's Sicut

Try "The Word Was God" by Rosephanye Powell, based on John 1:1. Very
song (SATB a cappella). Good luck!

Gibbons: This is the Record of John.

You've probably received this info. already, but I always use "The Baptism
of Christ" (Jesus autem hodie) by Peter Hallock. It's a good anthem for
just after the holidays - the verses are sung by a soloist and the choral
refrain repeats three times. It sounds difficult but is easily sung.

1. David Johnson's rather easy arrangement of "The Lone Wild Bird" with
soprano solo and
SATB (partly unison) choir..

2. The hymn "On Jordan's Banks the Baptist's Cry Announces That the Lord
Nigh" usually sung to the tune Puer nobis nascitur. You might have
everyone sing the first stanza in unison, then men (or women) in unison on
the second, either male in unison or women SA on the third, followed by
on the fourth stanza. I do not have the full text in front of me... It is
in the LBW.

"The Baptism of Christ" by Peter Hallock, published by GIA.

Any setting of Psalm 42, "As the deer longs for the waterbrooks, my soul
longs for you, O God" - for instance the Howells, or Palestrina's "Sicut
cervus". We've also done the Alice Parker setting of "Take me to the
water" and that works great if you have a good mezzo soloist.

THIS IS MY BELOVED SON - Dan Uhl - Augsburg Fortress

I am using "Go my Children With My Blessing" by Walter Pelz. It has a
about baptism that I think makes it work.

Be sure to check out Martin Luther's hymn "To Jordan Came the Christ Our
Lord" (CHRIST, UNSER HERR). It's a strong text with a sturdy tune, yet
rarely sung in the church. You may find it in LUTHERAN WORSHIP (cph 1982)

May I suggest "The Birds" by Britten, B & H OCTB6524

I'm working from a fuzzy memory here, but I remember the "Carol of the
Baptism" by George Brandon (I think). I think it's an Augsburg
and it might be SAB voicing. It is written specifically for the Baptism
our Lord (Sunday after Epiphany).

"You Have Put On Christ," Susan Taylor Howell, Choristers Guild. Unison
mostly. Composed for the baptism of the youngest daughter of friends of
ours, who is now a teenager and a very fine harpist, so I guess it worked!

Michael Ryan-Wenger's "In the Beginning" {...was the Word} is very
simple, but extremely includes a flute obbligato...I
believe it's Augsburg...

The Baptism of Christ, by Peter Hallock (GIA 2331), for alto solo and
SATB, is especially suitable because you can learn it in one
rehearsal (of course, you can't order it in one day!). Also called
Jesus autem hodie, because the text is macaronic (the choir sings
Latin, the soloist English).

This Sunday we're singing "Spirit of God, Descend Upon my Heart" arranged
by Bradley Ellingboe. This relatively new publication is quickly becoming
choir favorite, and the text is perfect for Baptism.

We have also performed and enjoyed "Carol of the Baptism" by G. Brandon
the opening chorus and final chorale from Bach's "Christ unser Herr zum
Jordan kam" (Cantata #7).

we're going to do "O Radiant Christ, Incarnate Word" which is in the New
Century Hymnal (UCC)

One more thought. Any setting of the familiar text "Tomorrow Shall be My
Dancing Day" is perfect for the Baptism of Our Lord. (You probably know
Gardiner and Rutter settings.) Christ is the One speaking the text. "My
true love" is the one, holy, Christian, apostolic church. "Tomorrow" is
time after the resurrection, which allows the disciples to look back at
Jesus' baptism, life, suffering, and death through the filter of the
resurrection. And the "dancing day" is the entire feast of salvation in
New Testament era.

Most settings only include the Christmas and Epiphany stanzas. I think
Oxford Book of Carols inlcudes texts all the way through the ascension,
opening the musical settings to entire festival half of the church year.

J. Miller

on January 1, 2009 10:00pm
Where might I find a copy of Osiander's Baptism of Jesus?

Jim Hill