On Sunday 9 July, the Elm Ensemble premiered a new choral work—Come to Me—by Robert Buckley Farlee, cantor at Christ Church Lutheran in Minneapolis.
The motet is a lovely five-part arrangement of some verses from Matthew 11 (the lectionary Gospel text for that Sunday) juxtaposed with a brief excerpt from Luther’s last sermon in which Luther preaches on that same Matthew text:
Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28, 30)
Come to Christ, as he so lovingly invites us to do, and say: You alone are my beloved Lord and Master; I am your disciple. (from Luther’s last sermon preached in Eisleben only 3 days before his death)
The Elm Ensemble together with Christ Church commissioned the piece from Cantor Farlee on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation.
We hope the motet will be accessible to church choirs as well as professional ensembles. The piece is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Kay Madson, a beloved member of the Christ Church family, and was funded in part by gifts to her memorial fund.
The Elm Ensemble will be performing this new commission again at a worship service in Oneonta, New York, on Wednesday, July 26 as part of the Hartwick Seminary Summer Institute of Theology. The service is at Atonement Lutheran Church at 7:30pm and is free and open to the public.