Drop, Drop, Slow Tears
Words: Phineas Fletcher, 1582-1650; composed 1633
Music: Georg Frideric Händel, 1685-1759
Arrangement: Dean McIntyre, 2013
Scripture: Luke 7:38
(4th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, June 16, 2013)
This well-known and often-set text is by Phineas Fletcher, a poet who wrote in the style of Spenser and Milton and who served the church at King's College, Cambridge. It is based on the biblical text in Luke 7:38, in which a sinful woman comes to the Pharisee's house where Jesus is eating, brings ointment, stoops and bathes Jesus' feet with her tears and dries them with her hair. She continues, kissing his feet and then anoints them with the ointment. Jesus goes on to contrast the lack of water and oil provided to him by his host and by Simon with the sinful woman's gift of bathing his feet with tears and anointing them with ointment. "You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet." Jesus went on to forgive the woman saying, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
The music is adapted and arranged from Handel's Sarabande from his harpsichord Suite No. 4 in D Minor, HWV 437, pub. 1733.
Two settings are provided:
Solo or unison congregation with accompaniment and
SATB hymnal or choral arrangement a cappella