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Music of the Month: Praetorius Chorales for SAB Choir

This three-volume set edited by William Braun includes the SAB chorale settings of Michael Praetorius, making this collection accessible to most choirs. The settings may be used as a complete selection by the choir, as an anthem, or in alteration with the congregation for the Hymn of the Day.

The Liturgy of Back-to-School Routines

In this “Back to School!” time of year, what are your routines? You may be back in school already or preparing for its arrival in the coming weeks. It is this time of year that—whether or not we are actively involved in a school as a student, teacher, parent, administrator, church worker, or volunteer—we tend to pay attention to a change in routines. Summer’s coming to a close and the rapidly approaching autumn signals a return to stricter schedules and more involved days.

The Heritage of Music during the Reformation

This blog post has been adapted from an article that appears in Lutheranism 101: third edition.

Music of the Month: Chorale Preludes of Georg Philipp Telemann

The new music collection features an assortment of nineteen wonderful preludes by Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767) and edited by Sam Eatherton. Telemann composed chorale preludes that were typically set twice, the first in three voices and the second alio modo or aliter (“in another way”) consisting of two voices (bicinium), making these settings valuable to student and seasoned organists alike. This collection of chorale preludes was carefully selected and edited by Sam Eatherton to be compatible with Lutheran Service Book and other hymnals. These settings provide a fresh alternative that will appeal to church organists looking for new ways to present these German chorale tunes.

The Tedious Work of Musicians and Christians

I periodically see a meme floating around the internet jokingly mimicking those who praise musicians with phrases like “Wow, how did you get such great talent?” and “How do you play so beautifully?” The musician responds every time: “Practice.”

This meme expresses the truth of every great artist. Certainly, some possess a certain knack for particular arts and we hear about prodigies every once in a while, but the truth is that those who succeed in any area, whether music or otherwise, succeed because they put in the hard work of learning to do something well.

The Psalms in Christian Worship

This blog post is excerpted from Engaging the Psalms: A Guide for Reflection and Prayer. 

The Psalter was ancient Israel’s hymnal, and it was the hymnal for Jesus and His disciples. From earliest times, Christians continued to use the psalms to give voice to their prayer and praise. The psalms have had an immense influence on Christians and their worship.

Music of the Month: The Good Shepherd by Jonathan D. Campbell

Jonathan D. Campbell has arranged a medley, or three hymn tunes, associated with Christ the Good Shepherd, including BROTHER JAMES’ AIR, BRADBURY, and RESIGNATION. Arranged with accessibility in mind, the setting is scored for two-octave handbells. Several meter and tempo changes provide variety and contrast, while the optional addition of handchimes adds to the gentle nature of the piece. Level II.

The Name of the Lord in the Liturgy

This blog post is adapted from Blessed Be His Name by Rev. Dr. Kevin S. Golden.

Scripture teaches us to call upon the name of the LORD, bless His holy name, give thanks to His name, praise His name, and hallow His name. In doing so, we worship Him because He and His name are inseparable. This worship focuses upon what He has done for us and upon His delivering the benefits of His work to us. The apostle John proclaims the benefit we receive from the name of the LORD: “These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31). Life is bound up in the name of Christ. The life of Christ, eternal life, victory over death, is given you in His name. The Church’s liturgy, therefore, delivers His name so that you have life.

Church Musicians Need Rest Too

For many church musicians, summer is a time of rest from the rigors of the rest of the year. Music teachers find a respite in their school schedule, lesson teachers find that students take more time off during the summer, and church music directors, cantors, and organists often take the summer to break from the usual choir rehearsals and demands of festival Sundays. We need rest.

Building Disciples through the Worship Service

Coming to church on Sunday, whether in person or virtually, is important for Lutheran Christians. Participating in the liturgy allows believers to come together to receive forgiveness, offer prayers and thanksgiving, and engage in God's Word and Sacraments. Read an excerpt from Walking Together: Simple Steps for Discipleship below to understand why worship and its routine is important, unique and sacred.

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