Fourth Sunday after Easter (“Cantate”)

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Psalms from the Daily Office
Motets and cantatas



Cantate Domino. Psalm 98
O sing unto the Lord a new song, alleluia: for the Lord hath done marvelous things, alleluia: in the sight of the nations hath he shewed his righteous judgments, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. With his own right hand, and with his holy arm: hath he gotten himself the victory. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen. O sing unto the Lord . . .

Men of the choir of All Saints Anglican Church


St. James 1:17-21
Dearly beloved: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.


St. John 16:5-15
At that time, Jesus said unto His disciples: Now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.

A recording of a cantata by J. S. Bach inspired by this Gospel text is presented below, under Motets and cantatas.


O be joyful in God, all ye lands; sing praises unto the honor of his Name: O come hither, and harken, all ye that fear God, and I will tell you what things he hath done for my soul. Alleluia.

A choral setting of this text (sung in Latin) can be heard below, under Motets and cantatas.

Psalms from the Daily Office for this week

Below are plainsong renditions of the Psalms as published in the Saint Dunstan’s Plainsong Psalter.

MORNING PRAYERPsalm 116 (Tone II 1)
Dilexi, quoniam exaudiet Dominus
EVENING PRAYERPsalm 18:1-20 (Tone I B 2)
Diligam te, Domine, fortitudo mea
MORNING PRAYERPsalm 110 (Tone III A 2)
Dixit Dominus Domino meo
EVENING PRAYERPsalm 111 (Tone IV 6)
Confitebor tibi, Domine, in toto corde meo
MORNING PRAYERPsalm 124 (Tone VII 7)
Nisi quia Dominus erat in nobis
EVENING PRAYERPsalm 121 (Tone I B 4)
Levavi oculos meos in montes
MORNING PRAYERPsalm 128 (Tone III A 5)
Beati omnes qui timent Dominum
EVENING PRAYER Psalm 135 (Tone VII 2)
Laudate Nomen Domini
Memento, Domine, David
EVENING PRAYERPsalm 145 (Tone V 1)
Exaltabo te, Deus meus rex
MORNING PRAYER Psalm 143 (Tone VII 1)
Domine, exaudi orationem meam
EVENING PRAYERPsalm 130 (Tone IV 6)
De profundis clamavi
MORNING PRAYERPsalm 146 (Tone IV 6)
Lauda, anima mea, Dominum
EVENING PRAYERPsalm 148 (Tone VII 2)
Laudate Dominum, de cælis

Motets and cantatas

Offertory motet by Palestrina
Bach cantata BWV 166, “Where goest thou?”

Offertory by Palestrina

The Offertory for this Sunday is from Psalm 66: “O be joyful in God, all ye lands; sing praises unto the honor of his Name: O come hither, and harken, all ye that fear God, and I will tell you what things he hath done for my soul. Alleluia.”

In Latin: “Jubilate Deo universa terra, psalmum dicite nomini eius. Venite et audite, et narrabo vobis omnis qui timetis Deum quanta fecit Dominus animae meae. Alleluia.”

Here is a setting of this Offertory text by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594). It is sung by the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, conducted by Richard Marlow.

A Bach cantata inspired by the Gospel reading

In May 1724, Johann Sebastian Bach composed Wo gehest du hin? (“Where goest thou?”). The text to the cantata (BWV 166) was inspired by Jesus’ explanation that he will soon depart from this world, but that his leaving would be to the disciples’ benefit. (The entire text is available here.)

As part of their 2000 Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists performed this cantata on this day in 2000. A recording of their concert is embedded below. Conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, the performance featured soloists Robin Tyson, alto; James Gilchrist, tenor; and Stephen Varcoe, bass.

This YouTube presentation of the performance was released on the Fourth Sunday after Easter during the quarantine of 2020, and is prefaced with some remarks by the alto soloist Robin Tyson. A score for the cantata is available here.