‘At the Ninth Hour’ is Palm Sunday cantata




The Palm Sunday service at Faith Community Covenant Church will engage participants “in what’s said and sung,” commented the Rev. Michael Zabel, pastor.

The choir will present “At the Ninth Hour,” a Palm Sunday cantata, to enhance the worship experience.

Charlotte Good, choir director, said, “The choir sings to God and for the congregation.”

The cantata, said the choir director of 18 years, reflects on the last week of Jesus’ life, starting with Palm Sunday and concluding on Easter Sunday.

“Music adds to worship,” Pastor Zabel said, adding “It engages us in the story of Jesus in a musical way that expresses emotion and creates thought.”

The pastor continued by noting, “There is an element of music that reflects more of who we are than the spoken word.”

Good said the 18-member choir usually presents cantatas in the Christmas and Easter seasons. “We do something special for those times,” she said of the dedicated singers. Some choir members have devoted 40 years to singing in church. One 90-something choir member “is an example of dedication,” Good said.

The children’s choir also will sing. Good and Ed Phillips, organist, will play a duet.

Pastor Zabel said the service will include pictures on a screen that depict scenes from Jesus’ life. “Pictures will connect to song and narration as we go through the last week of Jesus’ life,” he said. “Pictures on the screen will add to worship as people listen and look.”

“We hope the music helps people understand the sacrifice of Jesus ... hear what happened and see pictures on the screen,” Good said. “The music goes along with pastor’s message.”

The pastor said he hoped worshippers would “understand the depth” of the actions of Jesus and what his death did for them.

Pastor Zabel said the week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday “is a roller-coaster experience.”

“There’s the high point on Palm Sunday,” he said, “then the roller coaster that follows and plunges to a depth on Good Friday.

That’s followed by the sky-high experience of Easter and the Resurrrection.”

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