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A Little Town Of Great Renown
Fourth Sunday of Advent

from the book
Sermons on the First Readings
Series II, Cycle C

Mary S. Lautensleger

Micah 5:2-5a


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The name Johann Sebastian Bach has been familiar in church music circles for many years. Bach inscribed all his compositions with the phrase, "To God Alone The Glory." Professor Peter Schickele of the fictitious University of Southern North Dakota discovered an obscure relative, P.D.Q. Bach, known as the most bent twig on the Bach family tree. The name Bach had always been associated with fine music until P.D.Q. appeared on the scene. This fabled genius, P.D.Q. Bach, was referred to as "the worst musician ever to have trod organ pedals,""the most dangerous musician since Nero," and other things even less complimentary.1

P.D.Q. composed works that were sure to catapult him into obscurity, not the least of which was "O Little Town Of Hackensack." Phillips Brooks, the nineteenth-century Episcopal priest and bishop who penned the words to "O Little Town Of Bethlehem,"could never have imagined the cultural changes that have transpired in our country during the last century. I doubt that ...

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