Since Holy week marks the last week of Lent, this is a wonderful time to deny yourself the pleasure of sugary coffee drinks. While doing so, try meditating on a few related musical selections.
Black coffee doesn’t have to be terrible. If you would like to try your coffee black this week, use a method that yields a lighter brew such as the pour-over, aeropress, or Chemex. I prefer the Chemex because of its clean and bright tasting coffee. If you are interested in learning about making black coffee more palatable, check out my post 6 Tips to Enjoy Black Coffee.
If you only own a coffee pot and don’t have a grinder, try stopping by a local roaster for a medium to medium dark (city to full city) roast. Be sure to have it ground for your pot. While you are there, try a caffé americano (since you likely can’t make a real one at home). The americano combines espresso and water to create a very smooth drink – a great entry into black coffee!
If you are new to this site and have no idea where to start with regards to coffee, check out my Coffee 101 series.
There is an abundance of beautiful music associated with the various themes of Holy week. I have selected a few personal favorites that you may enjoy.
The first selection, a choral arrangement by Maurice Duruflé, incorporates the ancient church melody Ubi Caritas. This Gregorian chant melody has long been used as one of the antiphons during the Holy Thursday Mass. Many churches will sing some version of this chant melody during Holy week. Of course, you probably won’t be so fortunate as to encounter the very fine Duruflé version. That being said, the King’s College singers chant this melody wonderfully.
Maurice Duruflé was a french organist and composer who lived between 1902-1986. Although he had a relatively small output, he was well known for obsessively polishing and editing his music. Thus, each work is a masterpiece. I highly recommend you check out other works by him.
St. Matthew Passion BWV 244
This second selection is something you may wish to leave playing in the background, as it is quite long. This work is J.S. Bach’s setting of the Passion according to Matthew. This is a great example of the German Baroque styled oratorio. Oratorios feature an operatic presentation suited for performance in a church. Many consider this work to be a masterpiece of western music. Hence, Christians and non-Christians can appreciate these selections.
If you are unfamiliar with oratorios and operas, you may notice the different styles of sung text. These different styles include arias, choruses and recitatives.
- Arias are songs featuring accompanied solo voices.
- Choruses are songs featuring multiple voices.
- Recitatives advance the narrative using sung speech.
I hope you enjoy these selections and take up the challenge of drinking black coffee for the next few days. If you haven’t already, subscribe to my email list below to stay informed.