Bach and the Baptist

On this Solemnity of Saint John the Baptist, in 1724, Bach first presented one of several cantatas he composed on the great saint and precursor of Christ, Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam (Christ our Lord came to the Jordan). Unlike other more iconoclastic Protestants, Lutherans kept much of the iconography, statuary and saints of the Catholic Church, and we may praise God for such, that the genius of J.S. Bach was there to present these ‘Catholic’ glories so gloriously: