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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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A passionate journey

Singing Bach takes me into prayer

"And when they had crucified him ..." (Matthew 27:35).

I didn't see Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ last Lent. I chose to linger in Jesus' passion differently: rehearsing and eventually performing J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion.

Like a child learning to read, I wanted to let the images emerge from my imaginative encounter with the story unfolding, rather than from an external visual display. And the Bach Passion is perfect for this journey.

For those performing and hearing it — most of all for the choir and vocal soloists who spend months "inside" the words and music in rehearsal — this three-and-a-half-hour Passion takes us into the very heart of Jesus' suffering, love and death.


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