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Today (July 28) is the anniversary of the death of Johann Sebastien Bach, perhaps the most well-known church musician who ever lived; he is probably the greatest composer who ever lived.

He spent his life as a church organist and choir director. He was a devout Lutheran, and most of his works were composed for worship. Like every church choir director, one never knows who might turn up on any given Sunday to sing. I've always thought this reality accounts for many of the odd combination of voices that are employed throughout his body of sacred music: he composed for whoever showed up!

Here is one of his most famous cantatas composed for use in a worship service, based on the parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). It's almost 30 minutes long, but there are English subtitles to accompany the original German. It is offered today for your prayer.

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