A TABLE OF OCCASIONS FOR THE SACRED WORKS
This table gives with a brief summary the Epistle and Gospel
Sunday and festival for which Bach composed a vocal work. The works
appear in relative chronological order after each occasion.
SUNDAYS AND MAJOR HOLY DAYS
First Sunday in Advent: BWV 61, 62, 36.
Rom. 13:11-14: Our Salvation is near.
Mt. 21:1-9: Entrance into Jerusalem.
Second Sunday in Advent: BWV 70a.
Rom. 15:4-13: The Ministry to the Gentiles.
Lk. 21:25-36: The Second Coming of Christ.
Third Sunday in Advent: BWV 186a.
1 Cor. 4:1-5: The Stewardship of the Apostles.
Mt. 11:2-10: John in Prison.
Fourth Sunday in Advent: BWV 132,
Phil. 4:4-7: Joy in the Lord.
Jn. 1:19-28: The Testimony of John the Baptist.
Tit. 2:11-14: The Grace of God is manifest.
Or: Is. 9:2-7: To us a Child is born.
Lk. 2:1-14: The Birth of Christ.
Second Day of Christmas (St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr, 26
December): BWV 40, 121,
Tit. 3:4-7: The Washing of Regeneration.
Or: Acts 6:8ff. and 7:54-59: The Martyrdom of
Lk. 2:15-20: The Shepherds at the Manger.
Or: Mt. 23:34-39: The Slaying of the Prophets.
Third Day of Christmas (St. John, Apostle and Evangelist, 27
December): BWV 64, 133,
Heb. 1:1-14: Christ is higher than the angels.
Jn. 1:1-14: In the beginning was the Word.
Sunday after Christmas Day (Last Sunday of the Civil Year,
in every year): BWV 152,
Gal. 4:1-7: Christ frees us from the Law.
Lk. 2:33-40: Simeon and Anna's Words to Mary.
New Year's Day (Feast of the Circumcision and Naming of
January): BWV 190,
Gal. 3:23-29: By Faith we are children of God.
Lk. 2:21: The Circumcision and Naming of
Sunday after New Year's Day (not present in every year):
1 Pet. 4:12-19: The Sufferings of Christ.
Mt. 2:13-23: The Flight into Egypt.
Is. 60:1-6: The Conversion of the Gentiles.
Mt. 2:1-12: The Wise Men from the East.
First Sunday after Epiphany: BWV 154,
Rom. 12:1-6: The Christian Rules of Life.
Lk. 2:41-52: The Twelve-year-old Jesus in the
Temple. Second Sunday
after Epiphany: BWV 153,
Rom. 12:6-16: The Christian Rules of Life.
Jn. 2:1-11: The Marriage Feast at Cana.
Third Sunday after Epiphany (not present in every year):
Rom. 12:17-21: The Christian Rules of Life.
Mt. 8:1-13: The Healing of a Leper and a Man
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany (not present in every year):
Rom. 13:8-10:Ý Love is the Fulfilment of
Mt. 8:23-27: Jesus calms the storm.
Septuagesima Sunday: BWV 144,
1 Cor. 9:24-10:5: Preparation for the Footrace;
The Baptism of
Moses in the Red Sea.
Mt. 20:1-6: The Parable of the Workers in the
2 Cor. 11:19-12:9: The Perfection of God's
Power in Weakness.
Lk. 8:4-15: The Parable of the Sower.
Estomihi (Quinquagesima, or the Sunday before Lent): BWV
1 Cor. 13:1-13: The Praise of Charity.
Lk. 18:31-43: The Journey to Jerusalem and
Healing of a Blind
Oculi (Third Sunday in Lent): BWV 54,
Eph. 5:1-9: Exhortation to a Pure Life; the
Children of Light.
Lk. 11:14-28: The Casting Out of a Devil.
Palmarum (Palm Sunday): BWV 182.
Phil. 2:5-11: Be of one mind with Jesus.
Or: 1 Cor. 11:23-32: The Last Supper.
Mt. 21:1-9: Entrance into Jerusalem.
The Passion of Christ.
Easter Sunday: BWV 4, 31, 249.
1 Cor. 5:6-8: Christ, our Paschal Lamb.
Mk. 16:1-8: The Resurrection of Christ.
Second Day of Easter (Easter Monday): BWV 66, 6, VI.
Acts 10:34-43: Peter's Sermon to the Centurion
Cornelius on Christ's
Lk. 24:13-35: The Journey of the Disciples to
Third Day of Easter (Easter Tuesday): BWV 134,
Acts 13:26-33: Paul's Sermon in Antioch.
Lk. 24:36-47: Jesus appears to the Disciples in
Quasimodogeniti (First Sunday after Easter):Ý BWV
1 Jn. 5:4-10: Faith overcomes the World.
Jn. 20:19-31: Jesus appears to the Disciples
and Doubting Thomas.
Misericordias Domini (Second Sunday after Easter or Good
Sunday): BWV 104,
1 Pet. 2:21-25: Jesus, the Shepherd of the Lost
Jn. 10:12-16: The Good Shepherd.
Jubilate (Third Sunday after Easter): BWV 12, 103,
1 Pet. 2:11-20: The Duties of God's Servants to
God and to Human
Jn. 16:16-23: Your Sorrow shall be turned into
Joy. Cantate (Fourth
Sunday after Easter): BWV 166,
Jas. 1:17-21: All perfect Gifts come from
Jn. 16:5-15: Jesus departeth, the Comforter
Rogate (Fifth Sunday after Easter or Rogation Sunday):
Jas. 1:22-27: Be not Hearers, but Doers of the
Jn. 16:23-30: On Prayer in Jesus' Name.
Ascension Day (sometimes called Holy Thursday): BWV 37, 128,
Acts 1:1-11: The Final Commission and Ascension
Mk. 16:14-20: The Commandment to Baptize and
Exaudi (The Sunday after Ascension Day): BWV 44, 183.
1 Pet. 4:8-11: On Christian Service in Good
Jn. 15:26-16:4: The Prediction of the
Persecution of the Disciples.
First Day of Pentecost (Whitsunday): BWV 172,
Acts 2:1-13: The Descent and Appearance of the
Jn. 14:23-31: If ye love me, keep my
Second Day of Pentecost (Monday in Whitsun Week): BWV 173,
Acts 10:42-48: The End of Peter's Sermon to
Cornelius and the
Baptism of the Gentiles.
Jn. 3:16-21: God so loved the world, that he
gave his only-begotten
Third Day of Pentecost (Tuesday in Whitsun Week): BWV 184,
Acts 8:14-17: The Reception of the Holy Ghost
Jn. 10:1-11: The Good Shepherd.
Rom. 11:33-36: God's Wisdom.
Jn. 3:1-5: Jesus's Conversation with Nicodemus.
First Sunday after Trinity: BWV 54
(also Oculi), 75, 20, 39.
1 Jn. 4:16-21: God is Love.
Lk. 16:19-31: Dives and Lazarus.
Second Sunday after Trinity: BWV 76, 2.
1 Jn. 3:13-18: On Brotherly Love.
Lk. 14:16-24: The Parable of the Great Supper.
Third Sunday after Trinity: BWV 21, 135,
Sunday after Trinity).
1 Pet. 5:6-11: Cast your care upon God.
Lk. 15:1-10: The Parables of the Lost Sheep and
the Lost Coin.
Fourth Sunday after Trinity: BWV 185,
Rom. 8:18-23: Salvation through the Hope of the
Lk. 6:36-42: Be merciful; Judge not, and ye
shall not be judged.
Fifth Sunday after Trinity: BWV 93,
Neumeister's Der Segen des Herrn machet reich ohne Mühe, 88.
1 Pet. 3:8-15: Patience in Suffering.
Lk. 5:1-11: Peter's Miraculous Draught of
Sixth Sunday after Trinity: Neumeister's Wer sich
an dem wird sich der Herr wieder rächen, BWV 170,
Rom. 6:3-11: Deliverance from Sin through
Mt. 5:20-26: Christ's Reinterpretation of the
Seventh Sunday after Trinity: BWV 54 (Oculi), 186,
Rom. 6:19-23: The Fruits of the Service of God.
Mk. 8:1-9: The Feeding of the Four Thousand.
Eighth Sunday after Trinity: BWV 136,
Rom. 8:12-17: Those led by the Spirit of God
are the sons of God.
Mt. 7:15-23: The Warning against False
Ninth Sunday after Trinity: BWV 105,
1 Cor. 10:6-13: Warning against Idolatry and
Lk. 16:1-9: The Parable of the Unjust Steward.
Tenth Sunday after Trinity: BWV 46, 101,
1 Cor. 12:1-11: Concerning Spiritual Gifts.
Lk. 41-48: The Prophecy of the Destruction of
Jerusalem; the Driving-out
of the Merchants from the Temple.
Eleventh Sunday after Trinity: BWV 199,
1 Cor. 15:1-10: The Resurrection of Christ and
the Apostolic Mission
Lk. 18:9-14: The Parable of the Pharisee and
Twelfth Sunday after Trinity: BWV 69a,
2 Cor. 3:4-11: The Letter killeth, but the
Spirit giveth life.
Mk. 7: 31-37: The Healing of the Deafmute.
Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity: BWV 77, 33, 164.
Gal. 3:15-22: The Promise to Abraham and the
Lk. 10:23-37: The Good Samaritan.
Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity: BWV 25, 78, 17.
Gal. 5:16-24: The Works of the Flesh and the
Fruits of the Spirit.
Lk. 17:11-19: The Healing of Ten Lepers.
Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity: BWV 138,
Gal. 5:25-6:10: Exhortation to Gentleness and
Mt. 6:24-34: Be not anxious for the morrow.
Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity: BWV 161,
Eph. 3:13-21: Paul prays for the strengthening
of the faith of
Lk. 7:11-17: The Young Man of Nain Brought Back
Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity: BWV 148,
Eph. 4:1-6: Exhortation to Unity of the Spirit
in the Bond of
Lk. 14:1-11: The Healing of the Man with the
Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity: BWV 96, 169.
1 Cor. 1:4-9: Paul's Thanksgiving for the Grace
of God Given to
Mt. 22:34-46: The First and Great Commandment;
and David's "Lord."
Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity: BWV 48, 5, 56.
Eph. 4:22-28: The Renewal in the Spirit of the
Mt. 9:1-8: The Healing of the Man with the
Twentieth Sunday after Trinity: BWV 54
(also Oculi), 162,
Eph. 5:5-21: Submit yourselves one to another
in the fear of God.
Mt. 22:1-14: The King's Wedding Banquet for his
Son; Many are
called, but few are chosen.
Twenty-first Sunday after Trinity: BWV 109,
Eph. 6:10-17: Put on the whole armor of God.
Jn. 4:47-54: The Healing of the Son of a
Nobleman at Capernaum.
Twenty-second Sunday after Trinity: BWV 89, 115,
Phil. 1:3-11: Paul's Prayer for the
Mt. 18:23-35: The Parable of the Unfaithful
Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity: BWV 163,
Phil. 3:17-21: Our citizenship is in heaven.
Mt. 22:15-22: Deceitful Pharisees; the Parable
of the Tribute
Penny of Caesar.
Twenty-fourth Sunday after Trinity: BWV 60, 26.
Col. 1:9-14: Paul's Prayer for the Colossians.
Mt. 9:18-26: The Raising of Jairus' Daughter.
Twenty-fifth Sunday after Trinity: BWV 90, 116.
1 Th. 4:13-18: The Coming of Christ and the
Raising of the Dead.
Mt. 24:15-28: The Coming of Christ, the End of
Twenty-sixth Sunday after Trinity: BWV 70.
2 Pet. 3:3-13: The Certainty of Christ's
Mt. 25:31-46: Jesus' Description of the Last
Twenty-seventh Sunday after Trinity: BWV 140.
1 Th. 5:1-11: Preparation for the Last
Mt. 25:1-13: The Parable of the Ten Virgins.
FEASTS OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
The Purification (The Presentation of Christ in the Temple,
2 February): BWV 161
after Trinity), 83, 125,
(also 3rd Day of Easter).
Mal. 3:1-4: The Lord shall suddenly come to his
Lk. 2:22-32: The Presentation of Jesus in the
Temple and the Song
The Annunciation (25 March): BWV 182
(also Palmarum), Siehe, eine Jungfrau ist schwanger, 1.
Is. 7:10-16: The Prophecy of the Birth of the
Lk. 1:26-38: The Angel Gabriel announces the
birth of Jesus to
The Visitation (2 July): BWV 147,
Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn.
Is. 11:1-5: The Prophecy of the Messiah.
Lk. 1:39-56: Elizabeth's Salutation to Mary and
Mary's Song of
FEASTS OF THE SAINTS AND OTHER SPECIAL OCCASIONS
The Nativity of St. John the Baptist (June 24): BWV 167,
Gelobet sei der Herr, der Israel, 30.
Is. 40:1-5: The Voice of One Crying in the
Lk. 1:57-80: The Birth of John and Zacharia's
Song of Praise.
St. Michael and All Angels (29 September): BWV 130,
Rev. 12:7-12: Michael's Battle with the Dragon.
Mt. 18:1-11: The Angels of Children in Heaven.
Reformation (31 October): BWV 76
2nd Sunday after Trinity, 80, 79.
2 Th. 2:3-8: Steadfastness against the Lawless
Rev. 14:6-8: Exhortation to Fear God.
Dedication of an Organ: BWV 194.
Jubilee of the 200th Anniversary of the Augsburg Confession
27 June 1730): BWV 190a,
Per ogni tempo (For Any Occasion): BWV 21, 51,
Unspecified Occasion: BWV 131,
(Anh. 5), XXI
(Anh. 15), 192,
A TABLE OF OCCASIONS FOR SECULAR WORKS
The works performed for each type of occasion are listed in relative
Inauguration of the New Town Council.
Ceremony for Members of Noble Houses: BWV 208,
(Anh. 6), XII
(Anh. 7), XXII,
(Anh. 8), 249a,
(Anh. 9), 193a,
IV (Anh. 12), 213,
(Anh. 13), 208a, 1127.
Ceremony for the University and Members of the University:
Ceremony for School and Council: BWV 36c,