It is Transfiguration Sunday. Today’s Bach piece is a motet: is “Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied” (Sing unto the Lord a new song). This is a fun performance of a piece that was reportedly a favorite of Mozart’s. In the video, you can watch the choirs sing:
Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 9:2-9:
After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.
Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)
Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”
Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.
As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
Here is Jesus’s Transfiguration as visualized by Peter Paul Rubens:
The text of today’s motet is available here. The second movement, an aria for chorus, contains the words: “Therefore be our protection and light” — reminiscent of the passage in Mark that Jesus’s clothes “became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them” during the transfiguration.