Saturday, March 29, 2008

Liturgy and such

As a member of my church's choir, a very small, enthusiastic, but not all that talented, choir, I'm probably more aware of the choice of liturgy and hymns than most members in the pew. Our choir director, who is a member of the worship committee, always has us practice any hymns that might be unfamiliar to the congregation, and we always practice the liturgy if we are in for a change. Our choir anthems range from old ethnic favorites, to gospel songs, to modern adaptations of old hymns, to newly written hymns from the Catholic hymnbook; anything as long as they aren't too hard for our modest talents.

We had the green LBW hymnals for as long as they've been out. We added the blue With One Voice when it came out. Our people love the liturgies in that hymnal, so it is still in our pew racks. And last fall, we dedicated the new cranberry Evangelical Lutheran Worship, using setting three throughout the fall. This is the same setting that most people knew from the green book.

For Advent we used the Light of Christ setting from the WOV, and then for Lent, we used Setting 6 from the ELW. That is a lively, somewhat jazzy liturgy, which I liked, but I thought it was an odd choice for Lent. Now we are learning setting one in the ELW, which is supposedly the one setting everyone who used the ELW will learn. Our choir found it easy to sing through.

I've heard of churches who approach these type of changes with trepidation. We don't; we've always embraced variety. Of course, it is a great help to have a pianist who has an open mind and the talent to play many styles, and especially, the faith to play like she mean it. BTW, we also have the ELCA's African American hymnal, though we are a mostly white congregation, and those who are not white are not AA.


  1. God loves a pianist who plays like she means it! ;-)

    I hope your eyes are better and that all goes well at the appt.

  2. The Church I'm attending doesn't have the cranberry books yet.


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