In the 5th century, Pope Leo the Great recommended that the Passion Narrative from the Gospel of Matthew be read on Palm Sunday (which we have been doing at COS the last several years) and that the Passion Narrative from the Gospel of John be read on Good Friday. One way to listen to the Passion according to the Gospel of John is to listen to the St. John Passion by J.S. Bach.
To help you understand what you are listening to, our resident Bach scholar, Cal Stapert, offers some explanation in the following video…
The following links are performances of the St John Passion by the group Bach Collegium Japan, conducted by Masaaki Suzuki. They are the best performers of Bach music in the world, and their conductor is a devout Reformed Christian from Japan. They have appeared multiple times in Grand Rapids at Calvin College.
The first link is a performance this group did recently while on tour in Germany. They streamed this performance live in front of no audience as a result of social distancing efforts in Germany.
The second link is an older performance, but includes English subtitles.
The entire text and English translation can be found HERE for you to follow along with as you listen.