As the writer of Psalm 130 relates, a journey can begin with a plea to the heavens ("Out of the depths I cry to you..."), followed by unwavering faith ("I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits...") and assurance ("...put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love...")
Songs of ascending this Sunday morning.
The inquisitive musings of a solo flute stop narrates the aptly-titled "Soliloquy" for organ by composer David Conte. A gently rocking string accompaniment cradles the quiet questioning heard above. The lone speaker seemingly becomes a chorus as the pondering intensifies only to diminish to a single humble voice once again.
A "Ode to Joy" closes our worship journey this Sunday with a gigue-like setting of the tune infamously heard in Beethoven's "Ninth Symphony" by Charles Callahan.
At the Prelude, a setting of the Genevan Psalter tune "Old Hundredth" by Baroque composer Georg Friedrich Kauffmann—joyfully enter the temple. At the Anthem, a setting of "For the Beauty of the Earth" by John Rutter sung by the Chancel Choir—marveling at God's creation. At the Postlude, "Toccata in 7" by John Rutter—walking purposefully into the world wearing our faith on our sleeve.
At 6:00 p.m., Celtic chants based on ancient Psalm texts—come seek the face of God.
The prescribed reading for this Sunday, Psalm 66, asks us to "make a joyful noise to God" and "sing the glory of his name." The annual Hymn Sing this Sunday morning should suffice then! With hymnody and the scripture in mind, chorale preludes based on one very famous tune will be the course.
The 1680 German hymn "Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren," often translated as "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, King of Creation," is a staple of Christian congregational singing and found in hymnals throughout the world, including The New Century Hymnal (hymn 22 "Sing Praise to God, Who Has Shaped"). Written by German Reformed Church teacher and theologian,Joachim Neander, the tune was likely based on a folk tune, first appearing in print fifteen years earlier. Numerous settings of "Lobe Den Herren" have been written over the centuries by namely Lutheran organ composers such as J.S. Bach, Johann Walther, and Hugo Distler. This Sunday morning, we'll hear 20th century settings by German Neo-Baroque composer Helmut Walcha and Paul Manz, the Cantor Emeritus of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.
At the outdoor 6:00 p.m. Dinner Church service, we'll sing songs interspersed with Jane Anne's creative retelling of the joyful Psalm 66. Bobby and Blair will lead the way and be joined by bassist Peter Strening and Michael Hamilton on percussion.
The reading of Psalms 42 and 43 this weekend evoke images of nature and reveals our desire to be led by the Light into eventual joy.
A whimsical setting of the folk hymn "All Things Bright and Beautiful" by Emma Lou Diemer begins morning worship. Those gathered for Summer Choir (it could even be you!) will offer a simple arrangement of Natalie Sleeth's classic anthem "Hymn of Promise". The text encourages us to have hope in God's design in nature and in our own lives. Echoing the text of the closing hymn's refrain ("We shall go out in joy, and be led forth in peace..."), 20th century French composer Jean Langlais' "Chant de Joie" (Song of Joy) closes the service on an exciting and triumphant note.
At 6:00, Bobby and Blair will be joined by the versatile Alan Skowron on guitar.