From Heavenly Harmony

Made Clean by His Body

by Ken Myers

The term "Passion" is used to describe both the sufferings of Jesus on the Cross and a genre of pictorial, dramatic, or musical works recounting those sufferings. Musical Passions typically follow the narrative structure of one of the Gospel accounts of the events of Holy Week. They present a narrated story—the characters portrayed by singers often include an Evangelist as a narrator sharing the stage with Jesus and Judas, Peter and Pilate.

Early Passion settings were simply chanted, but by the late fifteenth century, more elaborate "through-composed" settings began to emerge, which made room for distinctive musical devices to provide an expressive interpretation of the events. With the emergence of the . . .

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Ken Myers is the host and producer of the Mars Hill Audio Journal. Formerly an arts editor with National Public Radio, he also served as editor of Eternity, the Evangelical monthly magazine, and This World, the quarterly predecessor to First Things. He also serves as music director at All Saints Anglican Church in Ivy, Virginia. He is a contributing editor for Touchstone.

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