Area church offers Good Friday Cantata
STACEY SOLT/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Members of the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church Sanctuary Choir prepare for a performance of the cantata "The Lenten Sketches."
Members of the community are invited to observe Good Friday by attending a Good Friday Cantata and service at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lehighton.
The Trinity Sanctuary Choir will perform "The Lenten Sketches" at 7 p.m. this Friday during the church's Good Friday Evening Service.
A short service with hymns and scripture will take place, and a freewill offering will be taken.
Accompanying the choir will be a 14-piece orchestra, including members of the Allentown Symphony Orchestra and several local musicians.
"The Lenten Sketches," created by sacred composer Joseph M. Martin, was inspired by sacred art depicting the last days of Christ's life, including Michelangelo's "Pieta" and "Portrait of Grace."
A PowerPoint presentation will run during the performance, depicting an engraving of each piece of art which inspired the composition.
It is this mix of art and music that first inspired Martin to write this Cantata, explained Trinity's choir director, Susan Lovejoy, who is responsible for organizing and conducting the event.
Martin has always been inspired by sacred art and wished to combine his love of music with art.
He noted during a foreword to the performance that "no canvas can capture (the mysteries of faith) and no song can fully express its beauty and emotion. … From poets and painters to singers and sculptors, the human spirit has long labored to convey through artistic expression the deep, deep things of faith."
"When I saw this piece, I thought that it would be a meaningful performance," said Lovejoy. "This could give our community a very meaningful Good Friday, and we'd like to offer it to more than just our congregation."
While Trinity's Sanctuary Choir has performed with an orchestra a few times in the past, this will be the first time that the choir combines art and song.
"It adds another aspect to the Passion Week. It's another expression of what Jesus went through," she added. "To have a visual and an audio component may expand our appreciation for this Passion."
She also noted that an orchestra accompaniment is fairly rare in this area and would be a treat for local musicians and those interested in music. The engravings of sacred art also represent a part of culture that the area rarely experiences.
In addition to "Pieta" and "Portrait of Grace," other sacred art selections featured in "The Lenten Sketches" include "Behold, the King of Zion Comes," "From an Open Room," "Scenes from Gethsemane" and "Tableau of Sorrow."
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church is located at Third and Iron streets, Lehighton.