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EPIPHANY VIII (Quinquagesima)
Quinquagesima is the name for the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. The name originates from Latin quinquagesimus (fiftieth), referring to the 50 days before Easter Day. Bach wrote four cantatas for this Sunday, BWV 22, BWV 23, BWV 127, and BWV 159.
Today’s choice from BWV 22, “Jesus took the twelve to himself,” is fitting for those who are preparing for the beginning of Lent. This season marks Jesus’ journey to the cross, and this alto solo speaks of following Jesus up to Jerusalem to join him in his suffering.
This deeply personal expression of devotion is enhanced and given emotional force by the lovely oboe obligato melody which accompanies it.
Mein Jesu, ziehe mich nach dir,
Ich bin bereit, ich will von hier
Und nach Jerusalem zu deinen Leiden gehn.
Wohl mir, wenn ich die Wichtigkeit
Von dieser Leid- und Sterbenszeit
Zu meinem Troste kann durchgehends wohl verstehe!
My Jesus, draw me after you,
I am ready, I want to go from here
and up to Jerusalem to your suffering.
Happy am I, if the importance
of this time of suffering and death
I can thoroughly understand for my consolation.
Text by Richard Stokes
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Photo by David Cornwell at Flickr. Creative Commons License