"9/11 | Coming Together" 20th Anniversary Special

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November 10, 2021 | #131 Piping Up! Organ Concerts at Temple Square

Piping Up! Organ Concerts at Temple Square is streamed online every Wednesday at 12:00 noon MDT. Piping Up! can be viewed on TheTabernacleChoir.org, the Choir’s YouTube channel, the Choir’s Facebook page, and Broadcasts.ChurchofJesusChrist.org. When concerts are concluded, they are available for on-demand viewing on the Choir’s website, YouTube and Facebook.

These programs continue the tradition of noon organ recitals at Temple Square—a tradition that has lasted for more than a century. The concerts are produced without an audience and comply with all COVID-19 guidelines. Each concert will feature a different Tabernacle or Temple Square organist and is hosted by Luke Howard.

Repertoire

Organist: Linda Margetts

1. Glory to God On High . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Felice de Giardini
2. a. Es ist das Heil uns kommen her . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Paul Speratus
    b. Carillon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Leo Sowerby
3. a. Come, Come, Ye Saints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . arr. by organist
    b. I Stand All Amazed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Charles H. Gabriel
4. Triumphal March . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dudley Buck

Focus Piece

An on-going feature of Piping Up! Organ Concerts at Temple Square is a focus piece with additional inspirational background on a specific repertoire selection. Written by host Luke Howard, a professor of music at Brigham Young University, the focus piece connects the music in a unique way to lift and inspire listeners.

“Es ist das Heil uns kommen her” (Speratus, arr. Annonymous)

The German priest and hymnwriter Paul Speratus was a close associate of Martin Luther in the early 16th century, and worked with Luther to prepare the first Lutheran hymnal, sometimes called the Achtliederbuch, published in 1524. This title translates into English as the “Eight-Song Book”; this hymnal had only eight hymns in it, four of them written by Martin Luther himself, and three by Paul Speratus.

Like Luther, Speratus endured some trials that tested and strengthened his commitment to his beliefs. He was excommunicated from the Catholic Church in 1522, imprisoned and condemned to death in 1523. He escaped, but was banned from re-entering the country. It was while in prison that Speratus is thought to have written the text “Es ist das Heil uns kommen her,” or “To Us Salvation Now Is Come.”

Some of the most vigorous theological disagreements during the Reformation centered on whether grace alone or good works were the principal benchmark that qualified Christians for salvation. Many at the time felt it was important to delineate where one stood on these issues of doctrinal difference. The polemic often became quite pointed, and this was also expressed through these new hymn texts that reinforced one’s own beliefs while criticizing contrasting beliefs.

“Es ist das Heil uns kommen her” makes its case very firmly for the principle that God’s grace alone saves us. But in some of the later stanzas, Speratus marks out some common ground with the opposing camp. He writes:

“Faith gives thee peace with God above,
But thou thy neighbor, too, must love,
If thou art new created…

“Faith to the cross of Christ doth cling
And rests in Him securely;
And forth from it good works must spring
As fruits and tokens surely.”1

Good-hearted Christians might still disagree on some tenets of faith. But there’s no question that when our faith inspires us toward good works, toward loving and serving our neighbor, as it should, we become more Christ-like.

  1. English translation from The Lutheran Hymnary (1913). See https://hymnary.org/hymn/LHPN1913/205