As Sundays and other feast days have specific names in the liturgical year (Fourth Sunday of Easter, Day of Pentecost, et. al), numerous Sundays and feasts have liturgical nicknames as well, and this Sunday (April 26) is one, “Good Shepherd Sunday.” The lectionary readings all point to the Resurrected Christ, Jesus the Good Shepherd, who calls each of his flock by name. In Sunday’s Acts reading, the arrested Peter proclaims himself in good health “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the one whom you crucified, the one whom God raised from the dead.”
In the First John reading, we are commanded “that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another.” And in the Gospel of John, Jesus assures us that “I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.” Psalm 23, the appointed psalm, also helps identify Sunday as Good Shepherd Sunday. Some of the hymns for this morning’s liturgy are metrical versions of Psalm 23, and the anthems for the 10:30 a.m. liturgy and the 5:30 p.m. Choral Evensong Sunday is inspired by Psalm 23 as well.
Some will recognize the Parish Choir’s morning anthem as the theme music from the BBC series The Vicar of Dibley. Contemporary English composer Howard Goodall’s setting of “The Lord is my shepherd” is a sweet, sublime setting of this beloved text, beginning and ending simply with a solo voice.
Evensong is Sunday evening at 5:30, including the music of Cooke, Statham, Friedell, Goss, and J. S. Bach. A reception follows in Cheney Parish Hall.