We hear three contrasting versions of this song: the first one is an organ setting by Marilyn Biery (b. 1959), played as the prelude; the second is an improvised organ voluntary during the offering; and the third is the song itself sung by the Chalice Choir. As we listen to the beautiful melody, let us be reminded of today’s first reading, which inspired the song, “those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), a German composer, pianist, organist, and conductor of the early Romantic period, was considered a prodigy and did not live a very long life. Born into a prominent Jewish family and baptized as a Reformed Christian, Mendelssohn was fascinated by German-style chorales and was influential in reviving the music of J.S. Bach (1685-1750) to the public.