Bach Cantata of the Week

J.S. Bach, one of the greatest composers who has ever lived, was actually a Lutheran! He spent most of his life working as a musician and composer for the Church. During his lifetime, Bach composed several works of music for use on Sunday mornings. Each of these works, called cantatas, relates to the Scripture readings assigned to a particular Sunday. On this page, you can listen and read along with what Bach wrote for the Sunday's assigned readings used at St. John's!


Exodus 33:12–23

Romans 12:6–16

John 2:1–11

Jesus’ First Miracle Reveals God’s Glory

The coming of the Messianic kingdom means the restoration of creation. The sign of this restoration is that “the mountains shall drip sweet wine.” When the elements of a fallen creation fail and run short at a wedding feast, our Lord Jesus steps in to restore creation and miraculously changes water into an abundance of the very best wine. With this sign, Christ manifests His glory. The “back” of God is revealed to those who believe. The hour will come when Jesus will again manifest His glory by taking creation’s curse into His own body to release us from its power. The Bridegroom will give His life for the Bride, and from His side will flow water and blood, the holy sacraments by which she is cleansed and made one with Him. Through this sacrificial love of Christ we are enabled to “love one another with brotherly affection . . .” and to “outdo one another in showing honor.

J.S. Bach, BWV 155 (translation from

1 Recitative [Soprano]

Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

Mein Gott, wie lang, ach lange? My God, how long, ah how long? Des Jammers ist zuviel, my misery is too much, Ich sehe gar kein Ziel I see no end at all Der Schmerzen und der Sorgen! to my sorrows and anxieties! Dein süßer Gnadenblick Your sweet look of mercy Hat unter Nacht und Wolken sich verborgen, is hidden beneath night and clouds, Die Liebeshand zieht sich, ach! ganz zurück, your loving hand, alas, has been completely withdrawn, Um Trost ist mir sehr bange. I am most anxious about my comfort. Ich finde, was mich Armen täglich kränket, Each day in my wretchedness I find something that pains me, Der Tränen Maß wird stets voll eingeschenket, my cup of tears is always filled to overflowing Der Freuden Wein gebricht: but I have no wine of joy Mir sinkt fast alle Zuversicht. Almost all my reassurance sinks.