Pre-Performance Talk

by Fr. Zachary Thompson

The musicians of Fifth Hammer, The Church of Our Saviour and Grace United Methodist Church are joining forces to offer “If There Be Any Sorrow,” with performances at the Church of Our Saviour on March 31, and at Grace United Methodist on April 7. Before each performance, Fifth Hammer’s Jeremiah Cawley and I will have the opportunity to be in public conversation about the concert’s music, texts, and themes. We’ll even have a fish fry at Grace!

We’ll explore music of the Triduum, the last three days of Holy Week. Holy Week is the heart of the Christian year, and the Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the great Vigil of Easter) lays before us in scripture, music, preaching, and prayer, those mighty acts of God whereby Christ has reconciled the world to himself. I cannot imagine these holy days without the dynamism of sacred music—it has the capacity to lead us into a deeper contemplation of divine mysteries.

In “If There Be Any Sorrow,” we will have the Triduum in miniature on the first half. Three of Victoria’s, Tenebrae Responsories and Bach’s Cantata No. 4, “Christ Lag in Todes Banden,” move us from darkness and dereliction to a cosmic defeat of the powers of sin and death. On the second half we’ll hear a harrowing piece called the little match girl passion. The performance presents a question, what are we to make of suffering after a cosmic defeat of dark forces? There are no easy answers, or neat formulae, to settle the question once and for all. Nevertheless, we will sit with the questions in our conversation and allow the performance to do what music has the capacity to do: to pierce the veil so that something more might be understood.

Suggested donation: $15 | Reservations Strongly Recommended 
Advance tickets available through Eventbrite


Fr ZackFr. Thompson serves as Rector to The Church of Our Saviour in Atlanta, GA, and as Chaplain to Emory University. Prior to his time at The Church of Our Saviour, he served as Assistant to the Rector at Holy Innocents in Atlanta and as the Priest-in-Charge at St. James Church in Cedartown, GA.