Trinitatis XXVII

Bach Cantata Day Information:
Trinitatis XXVII or 27th Sunday after Trinitatis

27th Sunday after Trinitatis. Only occurs if it falls before Advent I. Liturgical period : Ordinary time II.

Occurrences: November 25 2035.

Music for this day

  • Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140
    (first performance 25 November 1731, Leipzig period)

Trinitatis XXVII is the 27th Sunday after Trinitatis. As you know Trinitatis XXIV and later only occur if they fall before Advent I, which becomes increasingly less likely the higher the Trinitatis number. In fact, XXVII occurs so rarely (only in 7% of years) that Bach must have looked surprised when he was informed of the liturgical calendar of 1731, and saw that there was a liturgical day for which he had never written a cantata.

That is why the creation date of this cantata is 1731, much later than his major cantata production years in Leipzig (1723 to 1727) or Weimar ten years before that. He wrote the cantata already in 1729 but the first performance was on Trinitatis XXVII 1731.

The readings of the day covers the parable of the ten bridesmaids, a call to be ready for judgment day. But Bach uses a chorale written by Philipp Nicolai, the preacher who also wrote Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern when pestilence was wrecking his town and he had to find the courage to bury the dead each day.

Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140, has become one of Bach's most popular and most performed cantatas, and especially the chorus Zion hört die Wächter singen, which also became so famous thanks to Bach's own transcription for Organ, BWV 645, the first of the six Schübler Chorales, one of Bach's best known and most loved organ works.

Extra information

The Netherlands Bach Society website has more information and a performance of BWV 140: