CPH Blog - Worship https://blog.cph.org/worship Whether you’re a church musician or pastor, you’ll sing for joy at these posts on sacred music and worship resources. Discover more about your favorite hymns and service planning resources from experts in church music. en-us Tue, 15 Nov 2022 12:00:00 GMT 2022-11-15T12:00:00Z en-us Rejoicing While Waiting for Jesus https://blog.cph.org/worship/rejoicing-while-waiting-for-jesus <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/rejoicing-while-waiting-for-jesus" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2022/advent-candles-in-church.jpg" alt="Advent candles in church sanctuary" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <blockquote> <p>“Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)</p> </blockquote> <p>Our Church Year begins with Holy Scripture’s conclusion. The Church’s celebration of the Saints Triumphant and its recognition of Christ’s second coming in the end times smoothly leads us to <a href="https://blog.cph.org/study/our-advent-prayer-come-lord-jesus">Advent, the time of waiting for our Savior’s coming</a>—past, present, and future—and the time of repentance in anticipation of His coming.</p> <blockquote> <p>“Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)</p> </blockquote> <p>Our Church Year begins with Holy Scripture’s conclusion. The Church’s celebration of the Saints Triumphant and its recognition of Christ’s second coming in the end times smoothly leads us to <a href="https://blog.cph.org/study/our-advent-prayer-come-lord-jesus">Advent, the time of waiting for our Savior’s coming</a>—past, present, and future—and the time of repentance in anticipation of His coming.</p> <p>This stands in stark contrast to the secular world’s celebration of the new year, a time of raucous partying to ring in another year full of anticipation and sincere resolutions to better oneself. Instead, Advent offers a quieter, humbler way to begin anew. In this way, we repent or turn from our sins and pray, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus!” We look to the Old Testament prophecies of when Israel expectantly awaited her Messiah. We look to Christ’s presence among us today in His Word and Sacraments. And <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/waiting-for-the-light-of-the-world">we eagerly await His coming</a> on the Last Day, when He will gather the faithful to Him in His kingdom.</p> <h3><strong>Waiting for Christmas</strong></h3> <p>The commercialized Christmas of the secular world does not want us to wait. Stores are happy to take our money now. A tension exists between the Church’s more solemn time of Advent and the secular world’s frantic pushing of holiday lights and decorations at us in October. The Church, not seeking to gain material wealth, knows that waiting is good. <a href="https://blog.cph.org/teach/advent-the-hope-factory">Waiting during Advent is hopeful</a>, but it is also repentant. We are preparing for Christmas not by purchasing decorations and presents but by preparing our hearts for Christ by turning from our sinful deeds.</p> <p>The waiting and repentance of Advent is reflected in its music and hymnody. As the Church, we don’t yet hear the celebratory music of Christmas. Instead, the music of Advent is a plea for Christ to come: <a href="https://youtu.be/TZEK58XRgUA">“Savior of the nations, come”</a> (<em>LSB </em>332:1). It is a summons to ready ourselves for His coming through repentance, a turning from our sins: “Cast away the works of darkness, All you children of the day!” (<em>LSB </em>345:1). It is hopeful music, brimming with expectant joy—but through it all, we are still waiting. It is certain of the coming Messiah, but it is not yet rejoicing that He is arrived.</p> <h3><strong>Joy at Christ’s Coming</strong></h3> <p>When Christmas Day finally arrives, we are all the more joyful for having prepared not only material goods but also our hearts for the King. We are ready <a href="https://books.cph.org/arch-book-treasury-christmas">to worship at His manger.</a> The music of Christmas Day expresses the joy of the festival: “Hail, O ever-blessed morn! Hail, redemption’s happy dawn! Sing through all Jerusalem: ‘Christ is born in Bethlehem!’” (<em>LSB </em>373:R). And the festival does not end after that day. We do not turn off the Christmas music on December 26. Instead, we celebrate for twelve days!</p> <p>Just as we rejoice on Christmas at the remembrance of Christ’s birth—the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies—we also rejoice throughout the year that Christ continues to come to us in His Word and Sacraments, offering us forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. And as we now recognize the End Times on this upcoming final Sunday of the Church Year, we pray earnestly, “Come, Lord Jesus!” Come and free us from the darkness of sin and death! After all, the season of Advent is more than preparation for Christmas. It is preparation for us to wait and wait and wait our whole lives for Christ’s second coming.</p> <h3><strong>Rejoicing at Christ’s Second Coming</strong></h3> <p>The music on that Last Day will far exceed anything we experience on Christmas Day or at anytime in our earthly lives. For the music of that day will show forth complete joy that is without end. “Joy to the world” indeed! As we will hear on Sunday, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). This will be joy without end—not for another Christmas Day that comes and goes but for the final coming of Christ, when He will reign for all eternity and make all things new.</p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span>Quotations marked </span><em>LSB</em><span> are from <em>Lutheran Service Book</em>, copyright © 2006 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span>Scripture: ESV<sup>®</sup>.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Reflect on Christ’s coming through song as you prepare to celebrate during Advent and Christmas worship services.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=894866a0-62da-4d14-bf44-af0c7c7db15e&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Shop Advent &amp; Christmas Music" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/894866a0-62da-4d14-bf44-af0c7c7db15e.png"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Frejoicing-while-waiting-for-jesus&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Advent Featured Tue, 15 Nov 2022 12:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/rejoicing-while-waiting-for-jesus 2022-11-15T12:00:00Z Marie Greenway Downloadable Sheet Music for Christmas https://blog.cph.org/worship/downloadable-sheet-music-for-christmas <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/downloadable-sheet-music-for-christmas" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2022/Downloadable-Sheet-Music-for-Advent.jpg" alt="Downloadable Sheet Music for Christmas" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p><span style="font-size: 1.5rem; background-color: transparent;">Rejoice! Rejoice! <a href="https://communication.cph.org/lutheran-church-calendar/advent-christmas">The Christmas season</a> is approaching, and these wonderful settings are a perfect addition to your plans. Take a look at the variety below and browse hundreds of other options with the <a href="http://digitalmusic.cph.org">CPH Music Subscription</a>.</span></p> <h3></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 1.5rem; background-color: transparent;">Rejoice! Rejoice! <a href="https://communication.cph.org/lutheran-church-calendar/advent-christmas">The Christmas season</a> is approaching, and these wonderful settings are a perfect addition to your plans. Take a look at the variety below and browse hundreds of other options with the <a href="http://digitalmusic.cph.org">CPH Music Subscription</a>.</span></p> <h3></h3> <h3><span style="font-size: 1.5rem; background-color: transparent;">A Baby in the Cradle | SA or TB, Piano, C Instrument</span></h3> <p>Opening with a beautiful duet between the C instrument and piano, <a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/a-baby-in-the-cradle-david-von-kampen">this calming and reflective setting</a> is perfect for candlelight Christmas services. David von Kampen’s setting would be perfect for the offertory as a time for church members to reflect and smile about Christ’s birth. The easy piano line and moving melody makes this a perfect addition to any group.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=1f43542a-cb81-468f-9de0-7ef150b93bc7&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Listen to a Preview" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/1f43542a-cb81-468f-9de0-7ef150b93bc7.png" align="middle"></a></p> <h3>Still, Still, Still | SATB, Two Soprano Instruments, Keyboard</h3> <p>This traditional German carol is complemented nicely by <a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/still-still-still-kenneth-t-kosche">a fresh setting from Kenneth T. Kosche</a>. Written for SATB and instruments, this contemplative piece will be well loved by all who gather together for worship. The peaceful and calm tone of the piece will bring believers’ hearts right to the edge of Christ’s manger.</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=c556b6e2-46f5-44b3-ac6c-d5805d2042c9&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Try This Setting" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/c556b6e2-46f5-44b3-ac6c-d5805d2042c9.png" align="middle"></a></p> <h3>On Christmas Night All Christians Sing | Organ</h3> <p>A fun, toe-tapping rendition of <span style="font-size: 16px;">SUSSEX CAROL</span> will make a wonderful addition to your Christmas season lineup. <a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/on-christmas-night-all-christians-sing-jeffrey-blersch">This setting by Jeffrey Blersch</a> is fun for listeners and musicians, taking them along the moving top notes that complement the melody in the lower notes. Based on <em>Lutheran Service Book</em> 377, it’s a setting you’re sure to find many uses for.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=9f6fd496-dc6e-4006-8cd6-1d0d4383e9b4&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Discover This Organ Setting" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/9f6fd496-dc6e-4006-8cd6-1d0d4383e9b4.png" align="middle"></a></p> <h3>O Little Town of Bethlehem | Organ</h3> <p>Charles Callahan takes a different approach to “O Little Town of Bethlehem” (<span style="font-size: 16px;">ST. LOUIS</span>) with <a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/o-little-town-of-bethlehem-charles-callahan">this improvisation</a>. While your worshipers may know this well-loved hymn by heart, they’ll enjoy something new to engage with as they wait for the service to begin or to start singing <em>LSB</em> 361.</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=6a32a952-3323-49b2-ac6f-2965b0c03bcf&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Play This Beloved Tune" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/6a32a952-3323-49b2-ac6f-2965b0c03bcf.png" align="middle"></a></p> <h3>Joy to the World | 3–5 Octave Handbells</h3> <p>“Joy to the world, the Lord is come!” Rejoice together with <a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/joy-to-the-world-hart-morris">this handbell setting</a> of <span style="font-size: 16px;">ANTIOCH</span>, arranged by Hart Morris. Let your members hum the familiar words to this tune as the handbells ring throughout your sanctuary. This setting is a must-have for your Christmas worship services.</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=06a98c93-b180-47d4-b02d-aeaf49035c56&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Ring This Setting" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/06a98c93-b180-47d4-b02d-aeaf49035c56.png"></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Preview and play these pieces in your church by joining the CPH Music Subscription.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=23877e6c-f867-4848-85c5-137363384724&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Subscribe Now" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/23877e6c-f867-4848-85c5-137363384724.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fdownloadable-sheet-music-for-christmas&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Christmas Featured Wed, 09 Nov 2022 12:45:00 GMT none.2@cph.org (Concordia Publishing House) https://blog.cph.org/worship/downloadable-sheet-music-for-christmas 2022-11-09T12:45:00Z Music of the Month: Advent with Minimum Pedal https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-advent-with-minimum-pedal <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-advent-with-minimum-pedal" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2022/Advent-with-Minimum-Pedal-1.jpg" alt="Music of the Month: Advent with Minimum Pedal" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>Edwin T. Childs adds to his series of settings for minimum pedal, providing a collection of hymn tunes for the season of Advent in <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-35367-advent-with-minimum-pedal.aspx"><em>Advent with Minimum Pedal</em></a>. These inventive preludes are suitable as hymn introductions, preludes, voluntaries, and postludes, and will appeal to organists with limited pedal abilities or seasoned organists that need something in a pinch.</p> <p>Edwin T. Childs adds to his series of settings for minimum pedal, providing a collection of hymn tunes for the season of Advent in <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-35367-advent-with-minimum-pedal.aspx"><em>Advent with Minimum Pedal</em></a>. These inventive preludes are suitable as hymn introductions, preludes, voluntaries, and postludes, and will appeal to organists with limited pedal abilities or seasoned organists that need something in a pinch.</p> <h3>Organ Music for Advent</h3> <p>The Church Year begins anew with the season of Advent. The long nonfestival half of the church calendar ends, and the blue and purple paraments, Advent wreaths, and meditations on Christ’s incarnation return to the Church.</p> <p>Along with the reappearing of these beloved symbols and themes come some familiar Advent hymns and tunes such as “Savior of the Nations, Come” (<i>Lutheran Service Book </i>332); “Once He Came in Blessing” (<i>LSB </i>333); “Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending” (<i>LSB </i>336); “On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry” <i>(LSB </i>344); and “<a href="https://youtu.be/rGpGfHSXM_g">Comfort, Comfort Ye My People</a>” (<i>LSB </i>347).</p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0px; max-width: 560px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qOfcd5u4Knw" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <p>Childs’ settings for minimum pedal are thoughtfully composed and provide church organists with Advent hymn preludes that make minimum but effective use of the pedals without sounding simplistic.</p> <p>These settings allow organists developing their pedal skills to <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/downloadable-sheet-music-for-advent">explore Advent hymn tunes</a> in an approachable way. They also provide opportunities to explore organ registration on individual instruments and use the settings in a variety of ways throughout the church service and season.</p> <h3>“Come quickly, Lord! <em>Maranatha!</em>”</h3> <p>The word that perhaps best captures the Church’s Advent sentiment is <i>Maranatha, </i>which is an Aramaic word that means “Come quickly, Lord!” Although you probably won’t find this word frequenting the Church’s liturgy and hymnody, its fervor is everywhere in Advent.</p> <p>The cry of <i>Maranatha! </i>has been the Church’s prayer throughout the ages. The Old Testament Church eagerly awaited Christ’s incarnation, clinging to the promise that God would send His Son to be the Savior. These prophecies are still heard throughout Advent today.</p> <p>The Church cries <i>Maranatha! </i>as she waits for the <a href="https://blog.cph.org/read/what-lutherans-teach-about-christs-second-coming">second coming of Christ</a> on the Last Day. But those cries aren’t simply a hope for the end of the world. Those cries are heard and answered when Christ comes to His people now in Word and Sacrament.</p> <h3>Seeing the Three-Fold Coming of Christ</h3> <p>The Advent hymn “Once He Came in Blessing” (<i>LSB </i>333) illustrates this three-fold coming of Christ beautifully. First, He came in human flesh, born of Mary, to bear the sins of the world by His death on the cross:</p> <blockquote> <p>Once He came in blessing,</p> <p>All our sins redressing;</p> <p>Came in likeness lowly,</p> <p>Son of God most holy;</p> <p>Bore the cross to save us;</p> <p>Hope and freedom gave us. (<em>LSB</em> 333:1)</p> </blockquote> <p>But after His birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, He hasn’t left His Church as orphans. Today, He comes to us through the power of the Holy Spirit in His Word and in His flesh and blood in the Sacrament of the Altar:</p> <blockquote> <p>Soon will come that hour</p> <p>When with mighty power</p> <p>Christ will come in splendor</p> <p>And will judgment render,</p> <p>With the faithful sharing</p> <p>Joy beyond comparing. (<em>LSB</em> 333:3)</p> </blockquote> <p>The hymn concludes with the <i>Maranatha:</i></p> <blockquote> <p><i>Come, then, O Lord Jesus,</i></p> <p>From our sins release us.</p> <p>Keep our hearts believing,</p> <p>That we, grace receiving,</p> <p>Ever may confess You</p> <p>Till in heav’n we bless You. (<em>LSB</em> 333:4; emphasis added)</p> </blockquote> <p>Church organists probably feel that the season of Advent comes and goes quickly. It lasts just four weeks. Amid the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas, it’s worth taking a moment to contemplate the coming of our Lord at Bethlehem today and on the Last Day. And, of course, a new set of approachable hymn preludes will make the season more manageable too.</p> <p style="font-size: 14px;">Quotations marked <em>LSB</em> are from <em>Lutheran Service Book</em>, copyright&nbsp;© 2006 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Discover the joys of Advent hymns played on the organ with Edwin T. Childs’ new collection, <em>Advent with Minimum Pedal</em>.</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=6e1c2ac3-a676-4344-a7fd-76d8cec3e680&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order the Collection" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/6e1c2ac3-a676-4344-a7fd-76d8cec3e680.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fmusic-of-the-month-advent-with-minimum-pedal&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Advent Organ Featured Tue, 01 Nov 2022 17:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-advent-with-minimum-pedal 2022-11-01T17:00:00Z Nathan Grime The Story That Inspired “Thy Strong Word” https://blog.cph.org/worship/story-of-thy-strong-word <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/story-of-thy-strong-word" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/ThyStrongWord-final.png" alt="The Story That Inspired “Thy Strong Word”" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>&nbsp;“Thy Strong Word” is a Reformation Day favorite for many churches. Composed for a special purpose, the lyrics were based on the Concordia Seminary motto, “Light from above.” Read on for the full story behind this hymn, which is recorded in <em>Eternal Anthems: The Story Behind Your Favorite Hymns</em>.</p> <p>&nbsp;“Thy Strong Word” is a Reformation Day favorite for many churches. Composed for a special purpose, the lyrics were based on the Concordia Seminary motto, “Light from above.” Read on for the full story behind this hymn, which is recorded in <em>Eternal Anthems: The Story Behind Your Favorite Hymns</em>.</p> <h2>Listen to “Thy Strong Word”</h2> <h4>Hymn 578 in <em>Lutheran Service Book<br></em></h4> <h3>Text: Martin H. Franzmann&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Tune: Thomas J. Williams</h3> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0px; max-width: 600px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.5%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AeWq2_8JEr0?feature=oembed" allowfullscreen width="200" height="113" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-32634-thy-strong-word-behnke.aspx">Buy this setting by John A. Behnke on CPH.org »</a></p> <h2>Learn the History of “Thy Strong Word”</h2> <p>“Thy Strong Word” is an example of an occasional hymn, written upon request for a specific event. Walter E. Buszin (1899–1973), a <a href="https://www.csl.edu/">Concordia Seminary</a> colleague, friend, and neighbor of Martin Franzmann, had encountered the tune<br><span style="font-size: 16px;">EBENEZER</span>. Enthusiastic about its potential, he prevailed upon Franzmann to write a text to the tune, relating it to the work and mission of the seminary, with the intention of using it at the seminary commencement ceremony in 1955. Franzmann elected to base the text on the seminary’s motto, “Light from<br>above” (see <a href="https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+4%3A16&amp;version=ESV">Matthew 4:16</a>). The result, “Thy Strong Word,” initially comprising only four stanzas, was first sung in a seminary chapel service in October 1954 at which Buszin preached.</p> <p>At some point, Buszin observed that the hymn would not be long enough for a commencement processional and seems also to have suggested to Franzmann that the necessary additional text should have a “Cross emphasis.” Franzmann responded to the request with the stanza “From the cross Thy wisdom shining,”<br>originally placing it third after “Lo, on those who dwelt in darkness.” The closing doxological stanza, added several years later in 1959, may have been at the initiative of the author or suggested by Buszin, who also attached importance to the doxological expression of a hymn.</p> <p>“Thy Strong Word” was sung as a processional hymn at Concordia Seminary commencement exercises every year from 1955 to 1997 and several times thereafter.</p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="color: #1d1c1d;">Blog post adapted from <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34779-eternal-anthems-the-story-behind-your-favorite-hymns.aspx" style="font-style: italic;">Eternal Anthems: The Story Behind Your Favorite Hymns</a>, page 165–66, copyright © 2022. Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;">Quotations marked <em>LSB</em> are from <em>Lutheran Service Book</em>, copyright © 2006 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.</p> <h4 style="text-align: center;"><em><img src="https://blog.cph.org/hs-fs/hubfs/_music/2022/eternal-anthems/992318.png?width=150&amp;name=992318.png" alt="992318" style="width: 150px; float: left;" width="150">Eternal Anthems: The Story Behind Your Favorite Hymns</em></h4> <p style="text-align: center;">Learn more about the words you love to sing in <em>Eternal Anthems: The Story Behind Your Favorite Hymns</em>.</p> <a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=61c01b93-91f6-4482-bc5f-02e6f8e0ce1c&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Order Now" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/61c01b93-91f6-4482-bc5f-02e6f8e0ce1c.png"></a> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="color: #1d1c1d;">&nbsp;</span></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fstory-of-thy-strong-word&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Hymns Featured Tue, 25 Oct 2022 10:30:00 GMT none.2@cph.org (Concordia Publishing House) https://blog.cph.org/worship/story-of-thy-strong-word 2022-10-25T10:30:00Z The Musical Heritage of the Lutheran Church https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-musical-heritage-of-the-lutheran-church <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-musical-heritage-of-the-lutheran-church" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2022/Worship-Reformation-Post.jpg" alt="The Musical Heritage of the Lutheran Church" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>With the celebration of the Reformation rapidly approaching at the end of October, I have been contemplating and admiring the role of music in the Lutheran Church. Music played a significant role in spreading Reformation theology, and it continues to be a strength of our Church today.</p> <p>With the celebration of the Reformation rapidly approaching at the end of October, I have been contemplating and admiring the role of music in the Lutheran Church. Music played a significant role in spreading Reformation theology, and it continues to be a strength of our Church today.</p> <h3>Luther and Musicians of the Reformation</h3> <p>Martin Luther famously stated that “next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise” (AE 53:323). An accomplished amateur musician himself, Luther led the charge of putting music into the mouths of the people. He wrote several hymns that married Christian doctrine to singable tunes of the era like “<a href="https://www.cph.org/p-31747-dear-christians-one-and-all-rejoice-partita-on-nun-freut-euch-reformation-partitas-no-3.aspx">Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice</a>” (<em>LSB </em>556), “These Are the Holy Ten Commands” (<em>LSB </em>581), and, of course, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” (<em>LSB </em>656) among others. These hymns and others like them enabled the rapid spread of Reformation theology as they were sung around Germany. It was clear from the early sixteenth century that music—hymns in particular—would play an important role in the Lutheran Church, especially as the role of congregational singing grew.</p> <p>Some of the most theologically rich and musically exquisite hymns came from Lutheran German hymnwriters in the years during and following the Reformation. Writers and composers such as Paul Speratus, <a href="https://blog.cph.org/read/church-year/commemoration/philip-nicolai-johann-heerman-paul-gerhardt-hymnwriters">Philipp Nicolai, Johann Heermann, and Paul Gerhardt</a> contributed hymns such as “Salvation unto Us Has Come” (<em>LSB </em>555), “O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright” (<em>LSB </em>395), “Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying” (<em>LSB </em>516), and numerous others that continued to uphold the role of music and hymns in the Lutheran Church. These hymns were meant to be sung by the congregation so that the words were in their ears, minds, and mouths. It was clear that Lutherans took their music seriously and strove to build on the rich musical tradition of the Church at large, not limiting music’s role as other reformers did.</p> <h3>From Bach to&nbsp;<em>Lutheran Service Book</em></h3> <p>Indeed, one of the world’s greatest composers, <a href="https://blog.cph.org/read/everyday-faith/lutheranism/life-of-johann-sebastian-bach">Johann Sebastian Bach</a>, was a Lutheran who composed much of his music for the Church. His works are greatly studied and admired at large today. In my music theory classes at my nonreligiously-affiliated college, we extensively studied Bach chorales to learn the rules of part-writing and harmony in music. Bach’s compositions certainly upheld the incredible Lutheran musical tradition, composing many chorale harmonizations and including hymns as part of his larger works to musically remind congregations of their involvement in properly responding to hearing God’s Word.</p> <p>The musical works of all of these great men are compiled in our modern hymnal, <a href="https://music.cph.org/lutheran-service-book"><em>Lutheran Service Book</em></a>. Our hymnal’s combination of scholarly work, careful attention to detail, historical insight, and the appropriate wedding of texts and tunes sets it apart as one of the best hymnals in the Christian Church. Although not always used to its fullest extent, <em>Lutheran Service Book</em> offers Lutheran congregations a serious and impressive feast of music of all eras, from early Latin chant to twenty-first-century hymn tunes and texts. It is a true gift to watch the strong Lutheran musical tradition continue today through the use of our hymnal.</p> <h3>Music for Us</h3> <p>The Christian Church celebrates music and boasts a rich musical heritage. The Lutheran Church, though, has taken that musical heritage, greatly expanded it, offered it to the common people, upholds it today, and most importantly, continues that <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-heritage-of-music-during-the-reformation">musical heritage</a> as an essential way to hear and proclaim the Word of God. As Lutherans, we see great sacred music not only as a relic of the past—perhaps brought to life in concert halls and great cathedrals as primarily wonderful music with some pretty words—but as preaching <em>the </em>Word. Our music possesses life and strength as we recognize that it offers us more than pleasant noise best suited for choirs, professional musicians, and music connoisseurs. Our music speaks words of life and salvation. And our music is for us.</p> <p>Sing to the Lord a new song, certainly. And then hear and sing, “Our vict’ry has been won; The Kingdom ours remaineth” (<em>LSB</em> 656). Our Reformation heritage is not that we offer a sacrifice to God but that He has sacrificed His Son for us. And <em>that</em> gives us reason to sing and make music.</p> <p style="font-size: 14px;">Quotation marked <em>LSB</em> is from Lutheran Service Book, copyright&nbsp;© 2006 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.</p> <p style="font-size: 14px;">The quotation from Luther’s Works in this publication is from the American edition, vol. 53 © 1965 by Augsburg Fortress, used by permission of the publisher.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Want more Reformation music and gifts to celebrate this rich history?</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=4e07bcfe-530e-4c28-96f3-667a8dea654a&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Browse Reformation Music and Gifts" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/4e07bcfe-530e-4c28-96f3-667a8dea654a.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fthe-musical-heritage-of-the-lutheran-church&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Reformation Featured Lutheran Tue, 18 Oct 2022 11:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-musical-heritage-of-the-lutheran-church 2022-10-18T11:00:00Z Marie Greenway Downloadable Sheet Music for Advent https://blog.cph.org/worship/downloadable-sheet-music-for-advent <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/downloadable-sheet-music-for-advent" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2022/MSS-Advent-Downloadable-Music.jpg" alt="Downloadable Sheet Music for Advent" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>Advent is a season of preparation and repentance as we anticipate the coming of our Lord and Savior. Help your congregation prepare with these five Advent settings for choral, organ, and handbell groups. </p> <p>Advent is a season of preparation and repentance as we anticipate the coming of our Lord and Savior. Help your congregation prepare with these five Advent settings for choral, organ, and handbell groups. </p> <h3>“On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry” | SAB, Piano, or Organ</h3> <p>Start your Advent preparations with <a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/hymn-stanzas-for-choirs-on-jordan-s-bank-the-baptist-s-cry-kenneth-t-kosche">this beautiful setting</a> by Kenneth T. Kosche, inspired by Micahel Praetorius’ hymn tune composition, <span><span style="font-size: 16px;">PUER NOBIS</span>. The piece includes piano or organ accompaniment. Soprano and alto voices begin the setting, and baritone voices join one measure later to play off the melodic line. Your congregation will love hearing the voices move back and forth through the text as they prepare for Advent worship.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=5119bab0-3695-4ea7-8066-3034a4871948&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Preview the Score" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/5119bab0-3695-4ea7-8066-3034a4871948.png"></a></p> <h3 style="line-height: 1.25;"><span style="color: #444444; background-color: white;">“Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates” | SA(T), Piano, Organ, Instrumental, Percussion</span></h3> <p><span style="color: #444444; background-color: white;">Beginning with an upbeat introduction featuring piano and flute, this choral piece for SA or SAT voices is set to the tune of <span style="font-size: 16px;">MACHT HOCH DIE </span><span><span style="font-size: 16px;">TÜR</span>. Composed by Jonathan Kohrs, this piece will bring a smile to listeners’ faces and have them tapping along to the beat of the song. There are options to modify the instrumental parts for your needs using C, E-flat, or B-flat instruments. </span></span><span style="color: #444444; background-color: white;">The piece is made for soprano and alto voicing, although there is an optional tenor line included for male voices.<br></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=b5cd2494-7477-4c90-8180-53e6047a8559&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Try This Setting" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/b5cd2494-7477-4c90-8180-53e6047a8559.png"></a></p> <h3><span style="color: #444444; background-color: white;">“Oh, Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel” | Organ</span></h3> <p><span style="color: #444444; background-color: white;">As a familiar organ piece, this setting will be a crowd pleaser. Composed by Charles Callahan to the tune of <span style="font-size: 16px;">VENI EMMANUEL</span>, “<a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/oh-come-oh-come-emmanuel-charles-callahan" style="font-style: normal;">Oh, Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel</a>” is a beautifully flowing piece for Advent. Originally found in <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-31176-sonus-novus-vol-4.aspx" style="font-style: normal;"><em>Sonus Novus</em>, Vol. 4</a>, this piece is available for individual use. Use this setting as an introduction to <em>Lutheran Service Book</em>&nbsp;<span style="font-style: normal;">357</span> or an offertory.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=7f48ab5e-fe61-4e2a-a6f7-5200989b56bc&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Play This Beloved Tune" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/7f48ab5e-fe61-4e2a-a6f7-5200989b56bc.png"></a></p> <h3><span style="color: #444444; background-color: white;">“Once He Came in Blessing” | Organ</span></h3> <p><span style="color: #444444; background-color: white;"><span style="color: #444444;">Planning on playing <span style="font-style: italic;">Lutheran Service Book</span>&nbsp;333 this Advent? Add this organ setting by Henry V. Gerike to the tune <span style="font-size: 16px;">GOTTES SOHN IST KOMMEN</span> to your repertoire. <a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/gottes-sohn-ist-kommen-henry-v-gerike">Gerike’s setting</a> makes the perfect introduction or accompaniment to the Advent hymn and your congregation’s voices.&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=7fbf5888-9a95-4a7a-8280-60a3cb1c4bfa&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Discover This Organ Setting" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/7fbf5888-9a95-4a7a-8280-60a3cb1c4bfa.png"></a></p> <h3><span style="color: #444444; background-color: white;">“Wake, Awake!” | 3- to 5-Octave Handbells&nbsp;</span></h3> <p>This fun and joyful handbell piece is perfect for Advent as an offertory or closing piece. Made for three- to five-octave handbells and optional handchimes, this setting composed by Jeffrey Honoré shows a new take on Philipp Nicolai’s tune <span><span style="font-size: 16px;">WACHET AUF</span>. Challenge your handbell choir this year by trying this Level II+ piece.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=147b7431-4251-40be-a722-60eca2c04df2&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Listen to a Preview" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/147b7431-4251-40be-a722-60eca2c04df2.png"></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Preview these pieces and more by joining the CPH Music Subscription.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=23877e6c-f867-4848-85c5-137363384724&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Subscribe Now" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/23877e6c-f867-4848-85c5-137363384724.png"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fdownloadable-sheet-music-for-advent&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Advent Featured Tue, 11 Oct 2022 17:00:00 GMT none.2@cph.org (Concordia Publishing House) https://blog.cph.org/worship/downloadable-sheet-music-for-advent 2022-10-11T17:00:00Z Music of the Month: “God Is Our Refuge and Strength” https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-god-is-our-refuge-and-strength <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-god-is-our-refuge-and-strength" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2022/God-Is-Our-Refuge-and-Strength.jpg" alt="Music of the Month: “God Is Our Refuge and Strength”" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>Composed for Concordia University Chicago’s celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, this setting for two-part voices and piano is characterized by soaring vocal lines and idiomatic piano writing. With text that is fresh and expressive, this anthem is appropriate not only for Reformation but also throughout the Church Year.</p> <p>Composed for Concordia University Chicago’s celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, this setting for two-part voices and piano is characterized by soaring vocal lines and idiomatic piano writing. With text that is fresh and expressive, this anthem is appropriate not only for Reformation but also throughout the Church Year.</p> <h3>The Commission</h3> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0px; max-width: 560px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NLHrvQ2AAz4" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="https://music.cph.org/composers/matthew-machemer">Matthew Machemer</a>, associate kantor at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and graduate of Concordia University Chicago (CUC), wrote “<a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34437-god-is-our-refuge-and-strength-machemer.aspx">God Is Our Refuge and Strength</a>” for the 500th anniversary celebration of the Reformation. The piece was premiered by a children’s choir made up of schoolchildren from the Chicago area at a festive Reformation service on October 28, 2017, at CUC.</p> <p>Machemer said the commission was to write a piece for the children’s choir from the text of Psalm 46. The choir workshopped the piece with Dr. Charles Brown, Director of Choral Activities at CUC, in preparation for the Reformation service. The piece has since been published by CPH as a two-part anthem with piano accompaniment.</p> <h3>The Text: Verses from Psalm 46</h3> <p>The anthem’s text is a close paraphrase of select verses of Psalm 46. Machemer said he wanted to incorporate a few specific verses and themes from the psalm that would serve as a focal point for the anthem. The opening line of the piece is repeated both lyrically and melodically, first in unison and then in canon:</p> <blockquote> <p>God is our refuge and strength! God is our refuge and strength, a present help in trouble.</p> </blockquote> <p>This line, which serves as a refrain throughout the piece, is essentially word-for-word from Psalm 46:1. As the text explores other verses from the psalm, the music explores other melodic ideas and different ways of incorporating the voices. But the refrain, “God is our refuge and strength!”<i>&nbsp;</i>returns in the middle of the anthem and at the conclusion with its familiar and memorable tune.</p> <p>Other paraphrases of verses from the psalm appear in the anthem.</p> <blockquote> <p>We will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved to the sea. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God. God is in her midst; she shall not be moved. (vv. 2, 4, 5a)</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p>“Be still and know I am God. I am exalted among the nations. I am exalted in the earth!” (v. 10)</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p>Come, behold the works of the Lord, the desolations He brings on the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress! (vv. 8, 7, 11)<strong style="background-color: transparent; font-size: 20px;">&nbsp;</strong></p> </blockquote> <h3>The Music: Designed for Children’s Voices</h3> <p>Machemer said that he tries to keep specific things in mind when writing choral music designed for children’s voices.</p> <p>“I try to think a little bit more melodically than harmonically in the vocal parts,” he said. “With children’s choirs, I’ll do a lot of writing in unison or feature canonic treatment in the melody. If there’s harmony, I try to keep it relatively simple or have it move by steps so that it becomes an introduction into singing harmonically. Or I try to create a nice countermelody so that there can be two melodic components.”</p> <p>The refrain, <i>“</i>God is our refuge and strength!” is featured in canon multiple times, and the phrase concludes with a two-part harmony that moves parallel stepwise at <i>“</i>a present help in trouble,”<i>&nbsp;</i>making the harmonic component accessible for young singers. The text “The God of Jacob is our fortress”<i>&nbsp;</i>is also featured in canon later in the anthem.</p> <p>At the verses “Be still and know I am God …”<i>&nbsp;</i>and “Come, behold the works of the Lord …,”<i>&nbsp;</i>the two parts begin in unison and gradually spread apart stepwise before joining together again in unison, another technique that makes singing in harmony approachable for children.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Try this setting at your church on Reformation Sunday by ordering the music.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=e965d8fd-c591-4824-82e4-8441f94e305f&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Play Machemer's Setting" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/e965d8fd-c591-4824-82e4-8441f94e305f.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fmusic-of-the-month-god-is-our-refuge-and-strength&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Children Reformation Choral Featured Tue, 04 Oct 2022 11:15:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-god-is-our-refuge-and-strength 2022-10-04T11:15:00Z Nathan Grime Sacred Piano Music Collections to Uplift Your Church https://blog.cph.org/worship/sacred-piano-music-collections-to-uplift-your-church <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/sacred-piano-music-collections-to-uplift-your-church" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2022/Piano-Preludes.jpg" alt="A young man and elderly woman playing piano together" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p><span style="color: black;">In the minutes before a worship service, you might find yourself shuffling in the pew, turning your phone on silent, and already wondering what you should have for lunch. Then, the beautiful first notes of a piano prelude break through your sleepy morning thoughts and settle into a melody of a touching hymn. You begin to think about the words, refocusing on why you came to church that morning and preparing your heart and mind for God’s gifts. This is the power of a piano prelude; it can encourage, uplift, and refocus your congregation. Here are the top piano prelude collections you should have on hand to fit any service and inspire your congregation.</span></p> <p><span style="color: black;">In the minutes before a worship service, you might find yourself shuffling in the pew, turning your phone on silent, and already wondering what you should have for lunch. Then, the beautiful first notes of a piano prelude break through your sleepy morning thoughts and settle into a melody of a touching hymn. You begin to think about the words, refocusing on why you came to church that morning and preparing your heart and mind for God’s gifts. This is the power of a piano prelude; it can encourage, uplift, and refocus your congregation. Here are the top piano prelude collections you should have on hand to fit any service and inspire your congregation.</span></p> <h3><span style="color: black;">Preludes for the Church Year: <em>Lutheran Service Book</em></span></h3> <p><span style="color: black;"><img src="https://blog.cph.org/hs-fs/hubfs/_music/2022/piano-prelude-series-volume-8/977839.png?width=157&amp;name=977839.png" alt="977839" style="width: 157px; float: left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px;" width="157">The <a href="https://www.cph.org/c-3142-piano-prelude-series.aspx"><em>Piano Prelude Series</em></a> provides you with a comprehensive collection of piano preludes for all of the hymn tunes in <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-98-lutheran-service-book-pew-edition.aspx"><em>Lutheran Service Book</em></a>, organized alphabetically. With the <span style="font-style: italic;">Piano Prelude Series</span>, you can select preludes that include hymn tunes that reflect the messages of the service, congregational hymns, and the liturgical Church Year. A variety of composers contributed to the collection, offering distinct composition styles while staying true to the hymn tunes. The <span style="font-style: italic;">Piano Prelude Series</span> is a flexible and meaningful addition to your church music selection.&nbsp;</span></p> <h3><span style="color: black;">Hymn Classics: Contemplative and Powerful Preludes</span></h3> <p><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-32610-in-christ-alone-contemplative-hymns-for-piano.aspx"><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;<img src="https://blog.cph.org/hs-fs/hubfs/_music/2021/music-digital-marketing/in-christ-alone.jpg?width=155&amp;name=in-christ-alone.jpg" alt="in-christ-alone" style="width: 155px; float: left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px;" width="155"></span><em><span style="color: black;">In Christ Alone: Contemplative Hymns for Piano</span></em></a><span style="color: black;"> offers seven melodic arrangements for you to enjoy<em>. </em>Composer <a href="https://music.cph.org/composers/rachel-chapin">Rachel Chapin</a> takes advantage of the piano’s range of expression, from sweeping arpeggios to unique harmonies. Each composition retains a gentle and inspiring tone, allowing the congregation to reflect on the words that accompany each hymn tune.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="color: black;"><img src="https://blog.cph.org/hs-fs/hubfs/Imported%20sitepage%20images/977869.jpg?width=155&amp;name=977869.jpg" alt="977869" style="width: 155px; float: left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px;" width="155"><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-33671-hymn-tune-masters-for-piano.aspx"><em>Hymn Tune Masters for Piano</em></a> is another collection of hymn arrangements that relies on the melodies of master composers such as Gustav Holst, Thomas Tallis, and Jean Sibelius. Each setting evokes these powerful compositions and brings unique harmonies and rhythmic qualities to the classic tunes.&nbsp;</span></p> <h3><span style="color: black;">Christmas Preludes: Inspire Peace and Joy</span></h3> <p><span style="color: black;"><img src="https://blog.cph.org/hs-fs/hubfs/Imported%20sitepage%20images/977993.jpg?width=150&amp;name=977993.jpg" alt="977993" style="width: 150px; float: left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px;" width="150">Jeffrey Blersch’s <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-35424-piano-duets-for-christmas.aspx">P<em>iano Duets for Christmas</em></a> offers rich arrangements of classic hymn tunes, including those not commonly found in other collections. These duets reflect the Christmas season, ranging from warm and tender to full of joy. These delightful compositions for four hands will be a staple for collaborative pianists during the Christmas season.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="color: black;"><img src="https://blog.cph.org/hs-fs/hubfs/Imported%20sitepage%20images/977694.jpg?width=155&amp;name=977694.jpg" alt="977694" style="width: 155px; float: left; margin: 0px 5px 0px 0px;" width="155">The <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-28102-piano-stylings-set-1-hymns-for-the-church-year.aspx"><em>Piano Stylings</em></a> set will encourage your congregation to include piano preludes and Christmas compositions in your services. Each of the four volumes includes artful expounding on classic hymn tunes. Composed by Valerie A. Floeter, each prelude highlights the hymn’s melody while remaining accessible for both advanced and intermediate pianists. The first three <span style="font-style: italic;">Piano Stylings</span> sets are focused on the Church Year, while <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-32611-piano-stylings-set-4-hymns-for-christmas.aspx">the fourth is composed for Christmas</a>. Many of the tunes are widely known and easily recognizable, while some of the arrangements serve as an introduction to less well-known hymn tunes. The expressive style of the compositions creates a contemplative spirit for each prelude.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <h3><span style="color: black;">Fresh Collections: Contemporary Style and a New Collection</span></h3> <p><span style="color: black;"><img src="https://blog.cph.org/hs-fs/hubfs/Imported%20sitepage%20images/977980.jpg?width=155&amp;name=977980.jpg" alt="977980" style="width: 155px; float: left; margin: 0px 9px 0px 0px;" width="155">If you’re looking for something fresh to contrast with these classics, <a href="https://music.cph.org/composers/marianne-kim">Marianne Kim</a>’s compositions in <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-35370-piano-resonance-favorite-hymns-of-praise.aspx"><em>Piano Resonance: Favorite Hymns of Praise</em> </a>are an excellent choice. Each setting is based on well-known hymns but offers a different approach through Kim’s bright composition style. Pianists will be able to highlight these traditional hymns of praise through contemporary rhythms and harmonies that combine the timeless beauty of hymns with the influence of jazz.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><img src="https://blog.cph.org/hs-fs/hubfs/_music/2022/music-digital-marketing/977984_Artful_Hymn.jpeg?width=155&amp;name=977984_Artful_Hymn.jpeg" alt="977984_Artful_Hymn" style="width: 155px; float: left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px;" width="155"></span><span style="color: black;">In a new collection, <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-35413-artful-hymn-accompaniments-for-piano-set-1.aspx"><em>Artful Hymn Accompaniments for Piano</em></a>, Jacob Weber writes creative and beautiful alternative harmonizations to lead congregational singing, choirs, or soloists. The hymn accompaniments with a vocal soloist would make a beautiful prelude to the service. This new series offers the unique timbre of piano and voice together to encourage your congregation.</span></p> <h3><span style="color: black;">The Power of the Prelude</span></h3> <p><span style="color: black;">The piano’s tone is soothing and inspiring, with a range of volume and composition styles in its repertoire. These outstanding piano prelude collections offer something for every season of the Church Year. Pianists will love the accessibility of the compositions as well as the convenience of these tunes brought together in collections. Your congregation will be uplifted and inspired to focus their hearts and minds on the Word of God and the gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation. These beautifully composed and thoughtfully compiled collections reflect the peace and joy we are given only through Christ.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: black;">Discover more piano preludes, or shop the ones listed, to grow your Sunday musical offerings.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: black;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=d6fe6507-548d-4ee7-8dc4-738bb47c41ef&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Browse Now" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/d6fe6507-548d-4ee7-8dc4-738bb47c41ef.png" align="middle"></a></span><span style="color: black;"></span><span style="color: black;"></span></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fsacred-piano-music-collections-to-uplift-your-church&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Piano Featured Tue, 27 Sep 2022 10:30:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/sacred-piano-music-collections-to-uplift-your-church 2022-09-27T10:30:00Z Melody Lipke Using Hymns to Learn or Improve Improvisation https://blog.cph.org/worship/using-hymns-to-learn-or-improve-improvisation <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/using-hymns-to-learn-or-improve-improvisation" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2022/Improv-Greenway-Organ.jpg" alt="Close up image of a church organ" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>I had little to no training in improvisation in my music lessons growing up. This lack of training combined with a predisposition to enjoy sight reading led me to avoid improvising at all costs—participating in jazz band always made me a little nervous.</p> <p>I had little to no training in improvisation in my music lessons growing up. This lack of training combined with a predisposition to enjoy sight reading led me to avoid improvising at all costs—participating in jazz band always made me a little nervous.</p> <h3>Improvising Using the Structure of Hymns</h3> <p>These days, I tend to improv when playing one instrument—<a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/organ-the-king-of-all-instruments">the organ</a>. Why? When I am playing the organ, it is typically because I am playing for church. When I play for church, I always play hymns. And playing hymns is, I posit, the best introduction to building the skill of improvisation.</p> <p>Like most skills, it is helpful to start learning improv step-by-step in a structured environment. Hymns offer the ideal avenue for that kind of skill-building.</p> <p>Hymns provide a solid structure from which to build improv skills, particularly when playing hymns for a congregation to sing. Because of this structure, hymns offer limited improv choices, making them a good first step to learning the skill. A musician working on improv skills can only pick from a few things to try, taking away the overwhelming feeling when faced with unlimited options.</p> <h3>Meter, Melody, and Key</h3> <p>Hymns provide a definite meter and melody that must be followed in order for a congregation to sing along without disruption. When improvising on a hymn, it is generally important to preserve the written meter and melody to <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/congregational-singing-and-the-body-of-christ">encourage good congregational singing</a>. At times, though, making simple metrical changes, perhaps only in the accompaniment, while still retaining the written melody, can be effective improvisation that allows for variety within a many-stanza hymn or helps to illuminate the text at certain points.</p> <p>In addition to the meter and the melody, the musical key of a hymn, like that of any piece of music, determines how one may improv on it. The key gives a knowledgeable musician anchorage when improvising. Knowing the primary chords of a key—the tonic, dominant, and sub-dominant—as well as how the other steps of the scale and their respective chords fit into a hymn’s harmonization allows one to play with the harmonies or perhaps to change up the harmonization on a stanza or two to give variety or to illuminate the text. Knowing the harmonies also allows one to simply restructure the chords in different ways—for example, playing the melody in the bass while accompanying the upper voices. Often in the final stanzas of well-known hymns, the congregation can competently handle singing the melody while the organist can move from playing the melody to improvising the harmonies in different registers or octaves. This also allows the organist to highlight the text of a hymn in different ways.</p> <h3>Musically Illuminating the Text</h3> <p>After all, the text of the hymn should always be considered when improvising. The text provides a further structure, indicating the feel of the music at any given moment. For example, while listening to an arrangement of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” (<em>Lutheran Service Book </em>656), I noticed that the music was generally triumphant, as befits the text. In the third stanza, however, the music changed so that it was dissonant. The dissonance matched the text: “Though devils all the world should fill, All eager to devour us.” When improvising on a hymn, the text gives further direction as to how the music should sound at any given point.</p> <p>Simple improvisations made by tweaking the meter, the harmonies, or other small aspects of a hymn aid the congregation in their understanding of the text by aurally explicating the meaning of each stanza. This improvising also allows the organist to offer unexpected beauty, thus also emphasizing the beauty of our hymn texts and the Gospel message they proclaim. <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/2018/11/five-simple-ways-for-church-organists-to-improve-their-playing">Church organists</a> have this wonderful gift at their fingertips—thanks be to God!</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Start practicing your improv skills by ordering organ music from the Concordia Publishing House catalog.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=ae57916d-6f7d-4cb5-9e57-d9ea9fb8a092&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Browse the Settings" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/ae57916d-6f7d-4cb5-9e57-d9ea9fb8a092.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fusing-hymns-to-learn-or-improve-improvisation&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Organ Featured Tue, 20 Sep 2022 11:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/using-hymns-to-learn-or-improve-improvisation 2022-09-20T11:00:00Z Marie Greenway Downloadable Sheet Music for Reformation https://blog.cph.org/worship/downloadable-sheet-music-for-reformation <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/downloadable-sheet-music-for-reformation" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/Music%20for%20the%20Reformation.png" alt="Music for the Reformation" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>&nbsp;Reformation Day brings about well-loved favorites in the Lutheran Church with multiple settings for musicians to choose from. Read on to see our top five downloadable Reformation Day settings for choir, organ, and handbells from the <a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/">CPH Music Subscription</a>. </p> <p>&nbsp;Reformation Day brings about well-loved favorites in the Lutheran Church with multiple settings for musicians to choose from. Read on to see our top five downloadable Reformation Day settings for choir, organ, and handbells from the <a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/">CPH Music Subscription</a>. <span style="color: #444444; background-color: white;"></span></p> <h3>The Holy Word of God Endures Forever | SATB, Organ, Trumpet, Timpani<span style="font-weight: bold;"><br></span></h3> <p><span style="color: #333333; background-color: white;">Challenge your musicians with <a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/the-holy-word-of-god-endures-forever-jeffrey-blersch">a hymn concertato </a>on a Stephen P. Starke text by Jeffrey Blersch, scored for SATB choir, trumpet, timpani, and congregation. This setting was dedicated to the glory of God at the publication of <em>The Lutheran Study Bible </em>and would make a wonderful Reformation piece for your congregation. This dignified piece confesses the truth of the Scriptures, opening with inspiring trumpet, timpani, and organ fanfare that continues into a triumphant entrance from the choir. Instrumental parts and a reproducible congregational page are included with your download and can be printed as needed.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=539135fe-77b3-40cd-9d78-33f756d35f7e&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Listen to the Score" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/539135fe-77b3-40cd-9d78-33f756d35f7e.png"></a></p> <h3><span style="color: #444444; background-color: white;">Salvation unto Us Has Come | Unison, SATB, Piano, Organ</span></h3> <p>Composed by Sam Eatherton with the text by Paul Speratus, <a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/salvation-unto-us-has-come-sam-eatherton">this joyous setting</a> declares the salvation we have in Christ’s sacrifice. Unison voicing makes this piece come together as one, following<em> Lutheran Service Book</em> 555. Piano or Organ make a nice accompaniment to the voices for your congregation to hear.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=8bac13e1-7729-4ceb-ac1d-299d36537531&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Preview the Music" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/8bac13e1-7729-4ceb-ac1d-299d36537531.png"></a></p> <h3><span style="color: #444444; background-color: white;">A Mighty Fortress Is Our God | Organ</span></h3> <p><span style="color: #333333; background-color: white;">A timeless classic for Reformation Day, this setting of <span style="font-size: 16px;">EIN FESTE BURG</span> by Kevin J. Sadowski is perfect for your organists. Following the <em>Lutheran Service Book</em> 656 version of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” your congregation can enjoy this hymn introduction as they prepare to sing. Use this setting year after year, and consider others in the <a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/search?q=kevin%20j%20sadowski">21 Hymn Introductions collection</a> for use throughout the Church Year.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=6d3530e1-d40f-4b19-bed7-2cbe5369a369&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Download this Setting" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/6d3530e1-d40f-4b19-bed7-2cbe5369a369.png"></a></p> <h3><span style="color: #444444; background-color: white;">Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word | Organ</span></h3> <p><span style="color: #444444; background-color: white;">Composed by Kevin Hildebrand to the tune <span style="font-size: 16px;">ERHALT UNS, HERR</span>, <a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/lord-keep-us-steadfast-in-your-word-kevin-hildebrand">this piece</a> will intrigue your congregation with a creative moving harmony. While familiar, this piece is driven and evoking for your members to reflect on during Reformation Day. This ostinato is perfect for organists looking for something different and musically challenging.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=b8f2747d-7e9c-4dac-b4bd-45afbcb4d616&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Try This Setting" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/b8f2747d-7e9c-4dac-b4bd-45afbcb4d616.png"></a></p> <h3><span style="color: #444444; background-color: white;">A Mighty Fortress Is Our God | 2–3 Octave Handbells</span></h3> <p><span style="color: #444444; background-color: white;">This piece, arranged by Sondra K. Tucker for two or three octaves of handbells, is a beautiful and joyful reminder of Luther’s hymn. The dancelike rhythm in 9/8 adds a light and refreshing feeling to the hymn tune, making it perfect for a short offertory or closing. <a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/a-mighty-fortress-is-our-god-sondra-k-tucker">This spin on a classic and well-known tune</a> is sure to satisfy both traditional and contemporary worshipers.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=03401a11-68d7-43cf-ab87-176b016584c1&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Ring This Tune" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/03401a11-68d7-43cf-ab87-176b016584c1.png"></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">For more downloadable sheet music for any part of the Church Year, create a CPH Music Subscription account today.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=23877e6c-f867-4848-85c5-137363384724&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Subscribe Now" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/23877e6c-f867-4848-85c5-137363384724.png"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fdownloadable-sheet-music-for-reformation&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Reformation Featured Tue, 13 Sep 2022 11:00:00 GMT none.2@cph.org (Concordia Publishing House) https://blog.cph.org/worship/downloadable-sheet-music-for-reformation 2022-09-13T11:00:00Z Music of the Month: “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word” https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-lord-keep-us-steadfast-in-your-word <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-lord-keep-us-steadfast-in-your-word" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2022/Lord-Keep-Us-Steadfast-In-Your-Word.jpg" alt="Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>“Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word” (<em>LSB</em> 655) is one of Martin Luther’s most well-known hymns. It was also one of the last hymns Luther wrote. The text originates from Luther’s <i>Admonition to Pray against the Turks </i>which was written in 1541. Translations of the hymn into English rebrand it as a general plea to the triune God to defend His Church from all her enemies, both physical and spiritual. At its genesis, however, the hymn was described&nbsp;in a 1544 Wittenberg hymnal as “a children’s hymn to sing against the two archenemies of Christ and His holy Church: the pope and the Turks.”</p> <p>“Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word” (<em>LSB</em> 655) is one of Martin Luther’s most well-known hymns. It was also one of the last hymns Luther wrote. The text originates from Luther’s <i>Admonition to Pray against the Turks </i>which was written in 1541. Translations of the hymn into English rebrand it as a general plea to the triune God to defend His Church from all her enemies, both physical and spiritual. At its genesis, however, the hymn was described&nbsp;in a 1544 Wittenberg hymnal as “a children’s hymn to sing against the two archenemies of Christ and His holy Church: the pope and the Turks.”</p> <p>Even so, the hymn is widely known and sung in Lutheran churches today.</p> <h3>The SATB and SA Settings</h3> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vFoVDvtSy1Y" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <p style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><a href="https://music.cph.org/composers/david-von-kampen">David von Kampen</a> delivers a modern setting of the familiar chorale for <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-35361-lord-keep-us-steadfast-in-your-word-von-kampen-satb.aspx">SATB</a> or <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-35362-lord-keep-us-steadfast-in-your-word-von-kampen-sa.aspx">SA and piano</a>. The choral writing is approachable and easy to learn, while the piano accompaniment adds support and harmonic interest. Both SATB and piano and SA and piano settings are available.</p> <p>As would be expected from such a well-known hymn, countless musical settings from the sixteenth century through today have been produced for the text “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word” and its tune, <i>Erhalt Uns, Herr</i>. This choral setting from von Kampen offers a fresh and modern harmonic perspective on the hymn while holding fast to the original chorale.</p> <p>Both the SATB and SA versions follow the same structural pattern. The piano accompaniment introduces a serene and prayerful mood appropriate for the text. The treble voices sing stanza one in unison:</p> <blockquote> <p>Lord, keep us steadfast in Your Word;</p> <p>Curb those who by deceit or sword</p> <p>Would wrest the kingdom from Your Son</p> <p>And bring to naught all He has done.</p> </blockquote> <p>The second stanza also begins in unison. In the SATB score, the male voices sing the first two phrases in unison before breaking into four-part harmony with the female voices. In the SA score, all voices sing the first two phrases in unison before splitting into two-part harmony:</p> <blockquote> <p>Lord Jesus Christ, Your pow’r make known,</p> <p>For You are Lord of lords alone;</p> <p>Defend Your holy Church that we</p> <p>May sing Your praise eternally.</p> </blockquote> <p>The third stanza begins in harmony with a melodic deviation from the chorale. The same lovely motif von Kampen uses in the piano accompaniment before and after the stanzas makes its way into the vocal arrangement as well.</p> <p>Eventually, the familiar chorale melody returns to the third stanza. The piece ends with a repetition of the final line: “And lead us out of death to life.” Although the second time the words are sung, they’re sung to the first melodic phrase from the chorale:</p> <blockquote> <p>O Comforter of priceless worth,</p> <p>Send peace and unity on earth;</p> <p>Support us in our final strife</p> <p>And lead us out of death to life.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Using von Kampen’s Settings</h3> <p>The two versions of von Kampen’s setting will allow church choirs to select what best fits their needs and capabilities. A choir with strong numbers in the soprano and alto sections that lack tenors and basses could use the SA version of the setting. Similarly, children’s choirs composed mainly of treble voices could use the SA version as an introduction to two-part harmony.</p> <p>While not different harmonically or in difficulty, the SATB version would obviously require tenors and basses. But the balanced approach of unison singing and harmonic singing should make the four-part version manageable for SATB choruses.</p> <p>Because it is so dynamic, the hymn “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word” is appropriate throughout <a href="https://communication.cph.org/lutheran-church-calendar">the Church Year</a>. It’s the Hymn of the Day for Proper 15C and Proper 21A in the three-year lectionary and is fitting for a variety of occasions and Sundays that mark and highlight the work of the Church.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Order “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word” by David von Kampen by clicking the button below.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=0a1582b8-96fa-45cc-820c-9c421f636efe&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order Now" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/0a1582b8-96fa-45cc-820c-9c421f636efe.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fmusic-of-the-month-lord-keep-us-steadfast-in-your-word&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Choral Featured Tue, 06 Sep 2022 11:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-lord-keep-us-steadfast-in-your-word 2022-09-06T11:00:00Z Nathan Grime Strengthening Our Singing Voice https://blog.cph.org/worship/strengthening-our-singing-voice <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/strengthening-our-singing-voice" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/Men%20and%20women%20singing%20in%20church.jpg" alt="Women and men singing in church" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>The people of God sing throughout the Bible. The Israelites sang when they were delivered from the Egyptians (see Exodus 15). The women of Israel sang when Saul and his army—including David, who famously slew Goliath—came back from defeating the Philistines (see 1 Samuel 18:6–7). Singers were appointed in the house of the Lord in both the tabernacle and the temple. Jesus and His disciples sang a hymn after the Last Supper in the Upper Room (see Matthew 26:30). Not to mention all the instances of calls to <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-psalms-in-christian-worship">sing in the Book of Psalms!</a></p> <p>The people of God sing throughout the Bible. The Israelites sang when they were delivered from the Egyptians (see Exodus 15). The women of Israel sang when Saul and his army—including David, who famously slew Goliath—came back from defeating the Philistines (see 1 Samuel 18:6–7). Singers were appointed in the house of the Lord in both the tabernacle and the temple. Jesus and His disciples sang a hymn after the Last Supper in the Upper Room (see Matthew 26:30). Not to mention all the instances of calls to <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-psalms-in-christian-worship">sing in the Book of Psalms!</a></p> <p>“Oh sing to the L<span style="font-size: 16px;">ORD</span> a new song; sing to the L<span style="font-size: 16px;">ORD</span>, all the earth!” (Psalm 96:1).</p> <p>Clearly, singing is an important aspect of our lives, both sacred and secular. The singing voice is an integral aspect of the body and has claimed a rich place in every culture. Indeed, mankind has invented many wonderful instruments, but out of all the instruments, the human voice, which God created, was the first and is the most important.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Is Common to Everyone and Extremely Portable&nbsp;</h3> <p>We are born with our singing voice. It is not something we have to construct out of various materials. We generally use it without thinking about it and do not have to concern ourselves with buttons, keys, valves, reeds, pedals, or other accoutrements. It is not something we have to learn to play, although we may all benefit from learning more about our voice and how to use it well. Even nonmusicians can use it to join in song with many other voices. It is not expensive and it does not need to be sent in for repairs or maintenance—although a cup of warm water with lemon may help at times!</p> <p>A singing voice is something everyone (with a few exceptions) possesses. It is a part of being human. This ultimate portable instrument is always with us and (usually) cannot be taken from us. We may lose many possessions, but we will always have our voice.</p> <h3>Reveals Our Level of Musicianship<strong>&nbsp;</strong></h3> <p>While one of the beauties of the human singing voice is that even nonmusicians are capable of using it well, another facet of the voice is its ability to reveal a musician’s skill level. When taking college music theory classes, my professors made us sing a lot. They knew that <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/train-students-to-sing-hymns-artfully">students</a> who knew how to sight-sing and harmonize had achieved a level of musicianship that made it easier to learn how to play a man-made instrument. They also knew that singing these things helped strengthen our level of musicianship, giving us a better ability to hear what the music should sound like and be able to replicate it without help from an outside object.</p> <h3>Is Capable of Language and Great Nuance</h3> <p>Unique among all other instruments is the voice’s capability to combine language and song with great nuance. While other instruments can express great emotions, none can communicate actual words. The human voice alone can combine the emotion of music with the logic and poetry of words.</p> <p>The voice also has the ability of greater nuance than any other instrument. Think of all the various noises we can make with only our voice. Think of how we can crescendo on one note and diminuendo on another and perhaps do both on a single pitch. We can also choose to use our voice without communicating words by humming or singing on a single syllable. We can even imitate the sounds of other instruments without pressing buttons or changing registration. We can combine language with this nuance to impressive effect.</p> <h3>Is Meant to Be Used</h3> <p>The language and nuance we display with our singing voice is reflective of us as human beings. Only humans can use words to describe reality. Singing these words adds a layer of emotion that aids in our understanding of the meaning of the language.</p> <p>This is <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/congregational-singing-and-the-body-of-christ">why we sing in church</a>. We sing the Word of God even as we approach the altar to eat His body and drink His blood. We sing because it is integral to our lives as Christians. The first and best of the instruments is an incredible gift to us. We would be remiss to ignore it. We join with the Church throughout all ages when we sing, so sing to the Lord a new song!</p> <p style="font-size: 14px;">Scripture: ESV<sup>®</sup>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://blog.cph.org/hs-fs/hubfs/Imported%20sitepage%20images/124606-2.jpg?width=119&amp;name=124606-2.jpg" alt="124606-2" width="119" style="width: 119px; float: left;">To learn more about all 150 psalms and to spend meaningful devotional time within each Scripture, read <em>Engaging the Psalms</em>. Further enrich your understanding with the free discussion guide included with every CPH order.</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=345ddb28-0742-4dae-883f-c0f38250b17f&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order the devotional" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/345ddb28-0742-4dae-883f-c0f38250b17f.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fstrengthening-our-singing-voice&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Featured Tue, 23 Aug 2022 11:45:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/strengthening-our-singing-voice 2022-08-23T11:45:00Z Marie Greenway Music of the Month: Rest for the Weary https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-rest-for-the-weary <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-rest-for-the-weary" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/Music%20of%20the%20Month%201.png" alt="Rest for the Weary on a blue polka dot background" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>This piece by Benjamin M. Culli paints a beautiful image of heaven. Arranged for SATB and piano, Culli treats the text with a lyrical tune and supportive piano accompaniment. The piece builds and modulates in the middle section, then finishes quietly in the original key. “<a href="https://www.cph.org/p-35358-rest-for-the-weary.aspx">Rest for the Weary</a>” is a moving selection for multiple portions of the Church Year, including All Saints’ Day.&nbsp;</p> <p>This piece by Benjamin M. Culli paints a beautiful image of heaven. Arranged for SATB and piano, Culli treats the text with a lyrical tune and supportive piano accompaniment. The piece builds and modulates in the middle section, then finishes quietly in the original key. “<a href="https://www.cph.org/p-35358-rest-for-the-weary.aspx">Rest for the Weary</a>” is a moving selection for multiple portions of the Church Year, including All Saints’ Day.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Rediscovering the text</h3> <p>“Rest for the Weary” features three stanzas of the hymn “A Rest Remaineth for the Weary,” written by Johann Sigismund Kunth (1700–1779). Four stanzas of the hymn were translated to English in <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-78-the-lutheran-hymnal-pew-edition.aspx" style="font-style: italic;">The Lutheran Hymnal</a> (number 615), set to the tune W<span style="font-size: 16px;">IE WOHL IST MIR</span>, and the hymn has appeared in only two English-language Lutheran hymnals in total.</p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8GNKoQdXQ44" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <h3>Stanza 1: The Church Triumphant</h3> <p>In <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-78-the-lutheran-hymnal-pew-edition.aspx" style="font-style: italic;">The Lutheran Hymnal</a>, the hymn appears in the section “Life Everlasting,” and includes Hebrews 4:9 as a thematic text: “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” The text is especially appropriate for occasions such as funerals and <a href="https://blog.cph.org/read/church-year/all-saints-day-nagel">All Saints’ Day</a>. Stanza 1 especially depicts the Church Triumphant and the saints who have passed from the valley of sorrows to life eternal:</p> <blockquote> <p>A rest remains for all the weary;<br>Arise, sad heart, and grieve no more;<br>Though long the way, and dark and dreary,<br>It opens to the golden shore.<br>Before His throne the Lamb will lead you,<br>On heav’nly pastures He will feed you,<br>Cast off your burden, come with haste;<br>Soon toil and strife will be unraveled,<br>The weary way that you have traveled,<br>Sweet is the rest that you will taste.</p> </blockquote> <p>This first stanza is chock full of images and texts meant to give comfort to those mourning the death of a Christian. The golden shore and green pastures greet the weary soul who has labored through dark and dreary toil and strife—and now tastes the sweet rest of eternal life with the Lamb in His Kingdom. Culli’s melody is set in D-flat major and features a trio of delicate sixths, sung in unison, at the outset before splitting into four-part harmony.</p> <h3>Stanza 2: The Father’s House</h3> <p>The second stanza focuses on Jesus’ words from John 14:2: “In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” Kunth’s text assumes the voice of our heavenly Father welcoming the faithfully departed into the place He has prepared:</p> <blockquote> <p>The Father’s house has manyˬa dwelling,<br>And there for you a place will be.<br>With perfect love His heart is welling<br>Who loved you from eternity.<br>His precious blood the Lamb has given<br>That you may share the joys of heaven,<br>And now He calls out far and near:<br>“You weary souls, cast off your sorrow;<br>My light shines bright upon the morrow.<br>Come, sweetest rest awaits you here!”</p> </blockquote> <p>What great comfort these words give to the Christian in the midst of the sorrows of death—that Christ, who has prepared insurmountable joys for His people from the foundations of the world, has shed His blood so that sinners would inherit eternal heaven! These words also strengthen the faith of the Church Militant. The blood that was given on the cross is poured upon our lips every time we gather at the Lord’s house for the <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-divine-service-in-lutheran-service-book">Divine Service</a>. Heaven comes down to earth even now—the fruits of His earthly throne, the cross, are present at the altar—and we experience a foretaste of the unending feast with all the departed saints around the heavenly throne.</p> <h3>Stanza 3: Perfect Rest&nbsp;</h3> <p>The final stanza conveys the Christian’s hope for eternal life, even while mourning the death of Christ’s saints. This is an ever-needed reminder that the bliss of heaven that we know our departed loved ones now enjoy is also ours:</p> <blockquote> <p>There rest and peace in endless measure<br>Will be ours through eternity;<br>No grief, no care, will mar our pleasure,<br>And untold joy our lot will be.<br>Oh, had we wings to hasten yonder—<br>No more this sinful world to ponder—<br>To join the glad, triumphant band!<br>Arise, my soul, forget all sadness,<br>For peace awaits you, joy and gladness—<br>The perfect rest and promised land.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="https://music.cph.org/composers/benjamin-m-culli">Culli</a>’s setting beautifully illustrates this text. The stanza begins with the same melody as the first two, but eventually modulates from G major to E-flat major and back to the original D-flat major as the melodic line soars with the text “Oh, had we wings to hasten yonder” and comes to a meditative conclusion at the text “For peace awaits you …”<br><br>SATB church choirs will find the rediscovery of this stirring text rewarding as they give voice to Culli’s new and refreshing musical setting. Perhaps this piece could be a staple for a choir that has the tradition of singing at each of its parish’s funerals, and if a choir doesn’t regularly sing at funerals, this piece could provide a starting point for developing a musical repertoire for funerals. It’s a blessed thing for the church to sing with all God’s saints—both those here and departed—now and forever in eternity.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Order Benjamin Culli’s setting of “Rest for the Weary”</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=8facdbef-dd25-4a36-af55-9e4c10ac2f8d&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Get the SATB setting" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/8facdbef-dd25-4a36-af55-9e4c10ac2f8d.png"></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fmusic-of-the-month-rest-for-the-weary&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Choral Featured Tue, 02 Aug 2022 11:15:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-rest-for-the-weary 2022-08-02T11:15:00Z Nathan Grime Music and Language Drawing Us to the Lord’s Supper https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-language-lords-supper <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-language-lords-supper" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2022/a-man-holding-communion-elements.jpg" alt="Music and Language Drawing Us to the Lord’s Supper" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>My husband and I recently received a little toy piano for our daughter. It is the perfect size for her. She sits on the floor and bangs the keys with her little fists, squealing in delight as the acoustic piano plinks out various clashing chords.</p> <p>My husband and I recently received a little toy piano for our daughter. It is the perfect size for her. She sits on the floor and bangs the keys with her little fists, squealing in delight as the acoustic piano plinks out various clashing chords.</p> <p>Many people have told us that her current age is perfect to begin introducing instruments.</p> <p>“Does she bang things together?” her pediatrician asked at our last appointment. It is spoken of as an<a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-education-and-child-development"> important developmental stage</a>. Babies are supposed to find the sounds they can create with anything they can get their hands on fascinating and fun.</p> <p>While the sounds babies create with these objects could be classified more as “noise” than “music,” the delight they take in making these sounds speaks to an innate human pleasure for music. Most of the time, the sounds and harmonies—the music—of the physical world are a great pleasure to us. Music can draw us beyond this world.</p> <h3>Music Drawing Us to the Divine</h3> <p>The natural delight we take in music demonstrates a divine experience of a physical thing. All sounds, including those we would classify as music, are comprised of sound waves. It’s why your side-view mirrors shake when the car sitting at the red light next to you has its bass turned up. It’s why you can feel your vocal cords vibrating when you hum or talk or sing. It’s why brass players need to buzz their lips when blowing into their mouthpieces. These vibrations cause or are caused by oscillating sound waves that create music. These sound waves are physical realities.</p> <p>The physicality of music brings us beyond the physical to the divine. Consider how one may be moved by a particularly beautiful melody or how the tense music in a scary movie has us sitting on edge. This physical reality is capable of bringing us beyond the earthly life we live to something harder to explain scientifically. It can touch our emotions. But it goes beyond that to express an unseen reality.</p> <h3>Language Drawing Us to the Divine</h3> <p>Language can do the same thing. A physical page of black ink piques our imagination, touches our emotions, and, as good literature does, transports us to a reality that is not physically laid out for us. It causes us to consider <em>why</em> things are the way they are, particularly in human affairs. <em>Why</em> is it wrong for one character to murder another? <em>Why</em> should the heroine choose that man over another man to be her husband? <em>Why</em> did that soldier carry out his duty to death when he could have easily saved himself?</p> <h3>Physicality and the Divine in the Divine Service</h3> <p>In the <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/ceremony-in-the-divine-service">Divine Service</a>, we see the physical realities of music and language combine to point us beyond our earthly lives. The physical is essential. We are bodies as well as souls. You cannot have music without sound waves. You cannot create an enduring language without the written word. But then the physical brings us to the divine. The language of the liturgy tells us that God has given us every good thing and that we are living our earthly lives in order to love and serve God and our neighbor. The music gives delight to the language, embodying the fact that this purpose for our lives is good.</p> <p>Finally, we reach the pinnacle of the Divine Service in Holy Communion where God takes physical matter and transforms it into our salvation. Christ’s body and blood are present in, with, and under the bread and wine. In His utmost love for His people, God gives us what we need most: physical matter that brings us the divine. We cannot explain it scientifically. We are consuming bread and wine <em>and </em>the body and blood of our Savior for our salvation. We taste the bread and the wine, and we see the bread and the wine, and it is these elements that God uses to bring us into communion with Him. God uses these common physical elements to draw us into divine eternal life with Him.</p> <p>And that is something to bang things together and squeal in delight about.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://blog.cph.org/hs-fs/hubfs/_music/2022/music-digital-marketing/977985.png?width=125&amp;name=977985.png" alt="977985https://www.cph.org/p-35403-communion-mosaics.aspx" width="125" style="width: 125px; float: left; margin: 0px 5px 0px 0px;">Share the beautiful joy of Holy Communion with others with these settings for organ by Jacob Weber.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=b6c20707-5e46-45e9-ab8e-7c0223c24a01&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order the collection" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/b6c20707-5e46-45e9-ab8e-7c0223c24a01.png" align="middle"></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fmusic-language-lords-supper&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Divine Service Communion Featured Tue, 26 Jul 2022 13:30:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-language-lords-supper 2022-07-26T13:30:00Z Marie Greenway Top Three Collections to Get Instrumentalists Involved in Your Church https://blog.cph.org/worship/top-collections-to-involve-instrumentalists-in-your-church <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/top-collections-to-involve-instrumentalists-in-your-church" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/Church%20organist%20playing%20at%20service.png" alt="Church organist playing at service" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>From timid first attempts at reading notes to performing with confidence and flourishing, Christian instrumentalists have something to offer your congregation. Even if you don’t know it, there’s probably a youth group member who participates in her middle school band or an elder who had a music minor in college. Whether these musicians are embarking on a new learning journey or seasoned performers with years of experience, you can select a repertoire that will engage them in service to your congregation and glorify God.</p> <p>From timid first attempts at reading notes to performing with confidence and flourishing, Christian instrumentalists have something to offer your congregation. Even if you don’t know it, there’s probably a youth group member who participates in her middle school band or an elder who had a music minor in college. Whether these musicians are embarking on a new learning journey or seasoned performers with years of experience, you can select a repertoire that will engage them in service to your congregation and glorify God.</p> <h3>Contributing a Heart of Service</h3> <p>Including instrumentalists in worship can lend the service new meaning. As a musician, offering talent and time to God through music is a privilege that fosters a heart of service. Engaging these musicians through church music will help draw them deeper into congregational involvement and allow them to contribute their unique ability to God and His Church.</p> <p>Introducing an instrumental prelude or descant of a familiar hymn catches the interest of the congregation, bringing to mind the words and Scripture that connect with the music. The beauty of added instrumental music is a treasure that breathes new life into a beloved musical heritage. The musician—a living, breathing individual you have a relationship with—can pour their talent out in service in real time as part of the <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/congregational-singing-and-the-body-of-christ">Body of Christ</a>.</p> <h3>Year-Round Instrumental Collections:&nbsp;<em>Lutheran Service Book</em> Instrument Packs</h3> <p><img src="https://blog.cph.org/hs-fs/hubfs/_music/2022/music-digital-marketing/instrument_packs.png?width=273&amp;name=instrument_packs.png" alt="instrument_packs" style="width: 273px; float: left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px;" width="273">A great place to start including instrumental music in your church is with <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-98-lutheran-service-book-pew-edition.aspx" style="font-style: italic;">Lutheran Service Book:</a><span style="font-style: italic;"> Instrument Packs</span>. They include beautiful and appropriate harmony and melody lines for instrumentalists to contribute to worship. These packs are downloadable and include PDFs for woodwind, brass, and strings so that a variety of instrumentalists can use the arrangements. The simple and beautiful nature of the harmony and melody lines allows younger musicians and those with more experience to add auditory interest to the familiar hymns along with either piano or organ accompaniment. These are perfect for congregational singing or additional music during the Offering.</p> <p>The Instrument Packs are arranged in Church Year order so that Lent, Easter, general use, Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany hymns are easily accessible. This will allow you to select the ideal instrumental part for any Sunday of the year. The downloadable content will remain accessible after you’ve purchased it.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-33033-lutheran-service-book-instrument-pack-for-lent-and-easter-downloadable.aspx">Instrument Pack for Lent and Easter</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-33032-lutheran-service-book-instrument-pack-for-general-use-downloadable.aspx">Instrument Pack for General Use</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-33035-lutheran-service-book-instrument-pack-for-advent-christmas-and-epiphany-downloadable.aspx">Instrument Pack for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany</a></li> </ul> <h3>Enhance Hymns with Introductions: <em>Joyful Praises: Hymn Introductions for Organ and Instrument</em></h3> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 100%px; max-height: 355px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PLTPkKKi0RCof7XSRK3RCdGH9gCNipcrT8" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;" width="100%" height="355" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Another great resource to take advantage of is <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-33672-joyful-praises-hymn-introductions-for-organ-and-instrument.aspx" style="font-style: italic;">Joyful Praises: Hymn Introductions for Organ and Instrument</a>.</p> <p>Composed specifically for church instrumentalists, the arrangements in this collection of hymn introductions are elegant but also relatively simple to organize and learn. The hymn introductions are written for C, B-flat, and E-flat instruments so you can engage various musicians in your church.</p> <p>Having this collection on hand will enhance the beauty of the hymns and inspire contemplation on their biblically-grounded texts. The full score will be delivered to you physically, then you’ll have digital access to the individual parts so that you can print out as many copies as needed. With a variety of styles and instrumental sound qualities, these introductions increase the variety and affirm the faith expressions of the hymns through musical beauty.</p> <h3><em>Duo Baroque: Classic Chorale Preludes&nbsp;</em></h3> <p>Not only does the addition of instrumental components to hymns invigorate the familiar melodies, but instrumental music can also inspire and uplift other parts of the service, such as preludes. The <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-25108-duo-baroque-classic-chorale-preludes-arranged-for-keyboard-and-any-solo-instrument-vol-1.aspx" style="font-style: italic;">Duo Baroque: Classic Chorale Preludes</a> are sophisticated and striking yet recognizable because they are based on celebrated works by composers such as <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-18516-hero-of-faith-johann-sebastian-bach.aspx">Johann Sebastian Bach</a> and Dieterich Buxtehude. The preludes are arranged for a keyboard and any solo instrument and are recast for manuals-only organ while retaining their distinctive baroque style.</p> <p>Three volumes of <em>Duo Baroque</em> preludes are available so that you will be able to select an appropriate chorale for any given service from the array of preludes. The instrumental parts can be downloaded. They are reproducible for a range of instrumentalists, including brass, woodwind, and strings.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-25108-duo-baroque-classic-chorale-preludes-arranged-for-keyboard-and-any-solo-instrument-vol-1.aspx" style="font-style: italic;">Duo Baroque: Classic Chorale Preludes, Vol. 1</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-27843-duo-baroque-classic-chorale-preludes-arranged-for-keyboard-and-any-solo-instrument-vol-2.aspx" style="font-style: italic;">Duo Baroque: Classic Chorale Preludes, Vol. 2</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-30311-duo-baroque-classic-chorale-preludes-arranged-for-keyboard-and-any-solo-instrument-vol-3.aspx" style="font-style: italic;">Duo Baroque: Classic Chorale Preludes Vol. 3</a></li> </ul> <p>These instrumental works enliven worship and help prepare the minds and hearts of those listening to the church service.&nbsp;</p> <p>Reach out to the instrumentalists in your church and bless your congregation with music that reflects the beauty of faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ!</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Select the button below to get <em>Lutheran Service Book: Instrument Packs</em>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=0c432145-d817-4cb2-a814-31343e8985cc&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Order the Music" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/0c432145-d817-4cb2-a814-31343e8985cc.png"></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Ftop-collections-to-involve-instrumentalists-in-your-church&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Instrumental Music Featured Tue, 19 Jul 2022 11:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/top-collections-to-involve-instrumentalists-in-your-church 2022-07-19T11:00:00Z Melody Lipke Music of the Month: Lutheran Service Book: Companion to the Services https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-companion-to-the-services <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-companion-to-the-services" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/Music%20of%20the%20Month%20Companion%20to%20the%20Services.png" alt="Lutheran Service Book: Companion to the Services" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>I wasn’t born into the Lutheran Church, at least not in the earthly sense. In every way, it’s a miracle that I, a child born to a single mother in post-Soviet Russia in the late 1990s, would ever hear about the <i>Lutheran </i>Church, much less <a href="https://www.lcms.org/">The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod</a>.</p> <p>I wasn’t born into the Lutheran Church, at least not in the earthly sense. In every way, it’s a miracle that I, a child born to a single mother in post-Soviet Russia in the late 1990s, would ever hear about the <i>Lutheran </i>Church, much less <a href="https://www.lcms.org/">The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod</a>.</p> <h3>The Beauty of Constancy in the Church Service</h3> <p>But, as God would ordain it, my earliest memories stretch back to life a few years after my adoption at two years old. Those memories often involve my brother and parents as we sat in the pews of our rural LCMS congregation just outside of the western St. Louis, Missouri, suburbs.</p> <p>We didn’t just sit, though; <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/congregational-singing-and-the-body-of-christ">we stood and sang</a>, folded our hands to pray, and participated in the various rites and ceremonies week after week throughout <a href="https://communication.cph.org/lutheran-church-calendar">the Church Year</a>. I imagine I quickly picked up “what to do” during church. At least, that’s what I’m told.</p> <p>An array of psychological research has been done on the cognitive development of infants, toddlers, and young children and their need for structure. For two young orphans who probably lacked the opportunities for that development and structure, my brother and I certainly found some of that needed structure and constancy in the church service.</p> <p>I’m reminded of Jesus’ words in John 14:18:</p> <blockquote> <p>I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.</p> </blockquote> <p>Jesus’ promise here is within the context of His promise to send the Holy Spirit to His disciples. And still today through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus comes to us in Word and <a href="https://blog.cph.org/read/everyday-faith/what-lutherans-teach/what-lutherans-teach-about-using-the-sacraments">Sacrament</a>, in the church service, again and again. None of us are left as orphans. He comes to us.</p> <h3>Memories of Using the Hymnal</h3> <p>An indispensable tool in providing that valuable structure and the limitless riches of the Lutheran heritage was the hymnal. The hymnal situated the deliverance of the Word and Sacrament. I learned the constancy of the rites and ceremonies of the service from page 15 of <i><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-78-the-lutheran-hymnal-pew-edition.aspx">The Lutheran Hymnal</a> (TLH)</i>. I began learning some of the great hymns of the church from <i>TLH </i>and some of the newer or newly uncovered treasures from <i><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-4849-hymnal-supplement-98-pew-edition.aspx">Hymnal Supplement 98</a> (HS98)</i>. I don’t think I realized at the time that my dad had a hand in the creation of <i>HS98</i>. Neat!</p> <p>I do, however, remember realizing that he was “in charge” of “the new hymnal.” This was exciting. Upon its publication, <i><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-98-lutheran-service-book-pew-edition.aspx">Lutheran Service Book</a> (LSB) </i>became the hymnal in the pews at our small parish. I was still a young child, but I knew what to anticipate during the church service and was familiar with many of the hymns we sang. I also learned different rites, canticles, and hymns (some “new,” but some not), which was beneficial. All the while, the structure was still there. It worked.</p> <h3><em>Lutheran Service Book</em> Companions</h3> <p>Several years ago, CPH published <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-33586-lutheran-service-book-companion-to-the-hymns-2-volume-set.aspx"><i>LSB: Companion to the Hymns</i></a>, which provides extensive background on every hymn and canticle in the hymnal. This summer, a sister resource will be published, <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-33889-lutheran-service-book-companion-to-the-services.aspx"><i>LSB: Companion to the Services</i></a>. Just as the <i>Companion to the Hymns </i>is an invaluable resource for the hymns in <i>LSB</i>, so the <i>Companion to the Services </i>is for the services in the hymnal.</p> <p>The <i>Companion to the Services </i>unpacks the history, theology, and more behind the services portion of <i>LSB</i>. It answers the questions “Where did this come from?”, “Why was this included?”, and “What does this mean?”, among many others. <i>Companion to the Services </i>is a historical, theological, and practical resource. Pastors, church musicians, and laymen alike will find its thoroughness enlightening and useful.</p> <h3>Five Things to Expect in <em>LSB: Companion to the Services</em></h3> <p>I asked my dad, editor <a href="https://www.ctsfw.edu/about/faculty/dr-paul-grime/">Paul Grime</a>, to provide five brief points on what readers of <span style="font-style: italic;">LSB:</span> <i>Companion to the Services </i>should pay attention to. Here’s what he provided:</p> <ul> <li><strong>First</strong>, it’s helpful to sharpen our language when talking about worship. The English word <em>worship</em>, for example, doesn’t fully describe what takes place when God’s people gather around Word and Sacrament. Likewise, the word <em>liturgy</em> is often misunderstood. The lead essay in <em>LSB: </em><i>Companion to the Services </i>presents a helpful examination of how Lutherans have thought about worship.<br><br></li> <li><strong>Second</strong>, we ignore history to our detriment. This is as true of worship as any other subject. The <i>Companion to the Services </i>takes a deep dive into how our services have developed over the centuries. What we discover is both an amazing commonality of practice and a rich diversity that provides for various shades of expression.<br><br></li> <li><strong>Third</strong>, the services themselves, <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-divine-service-in-lutheran-service-book">the Divine Service</a> and the Daily Office, are rich in meaning. The <i>Companion </i>provides more than 275 pages of commentary that explores not only their historical development and theological significance but also practical guidance for worship planning and rubrical direction.<br><br></li> <li><strong>Fourth</strong>, <i>LSB </i>is the first LCMS hymnal to contain services for the chief pastoral acts of Baptism, Confirmation, marriage, and burial. The <i>Companion </i>appropriately provides commentary on these services.<br><br></li> <li><strong>Fifth</strong>, over the past few decades, more congregations have made greater use of the special services for Holy Week that in some cases date back to the fourth century. Commentary in the <i>Companion </i>will assist pastors and musicians in making even fuller use of those services in coming years.<br><br></li> <li><strong>As a little bonus</strong>, there is an extensive chapter titled “The Making of <i>Lutheran Service Book</i>.” Here is your chance to go behind the scenes to learn about the process of developing <i>LSB </i>and its related resources, including some of the more controversial decisions.</li> </ul> <p>I’ve enjoyed the irreplaceable blessing of growing up in the church and learning and participating in the church’s liturgy and song. Even now as a church musician and teacher, I’m always learning new things about the deep meaning, history, and significance of the church’s treasures. These treasures are gifts to God’s people, and they continue to provide the setting for the free deliverance of His gifts to His church, day by day, week after week, and year after year.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Order a copy of <em>Lutheran Service Book: Companion to the Services</em> for your pastoral, personal, or musical library today.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=1df17ba4-307a-4972-a965-7f2a269db466&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Order now" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/1df17ba4-307a-4972-a965-7f2a269db466.png"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fmusic-of-the-month-companion-to-the-services&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Liturgy Featured Tue, 05 Jul 2022 17:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-companion-to-the-services 2022-07-05T17:00:00Z Nathan Grime Congregational Singing and the Body of Christ https://blog.cph.org/worship/congregational-singing-and-the-body-of-christ <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/congregational-singing-and-the-body-of-christ" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/Girl%20sings%20in%20church-1.png" alt="Girl sings in church" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it,” Paul writes in his first Letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 12:27).</p> <p>“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it,” Paul writes in his first Letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 12:27).</p> <p>Paul is speaking of spiritual gifts and how each member of the Church is given a specific gift important to the Body of Christ. He emphasizes that each part of the body is essential despite its potential wish to be another part of the body. For example, if every ear wished to be an eye and “the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing?” (1 Corinthians 12:17). We are given gifts from God to contribute to the Body of Christ.</p> <h3>Members of One Body</h3> <p>In a way, this reminds me of congregational singing. Of course, it can apply to voice parts—if every Tenor wished to be a Bass, we would lack the beautiful harmonies of four-part singing. But it also applies to singing in general. Individual voices within a congregation must all join together to produce a beautiful sound.</p> <p>Just like every voice part in a choir, every singing member of a congregation matters. The sounds of dozens of voices raised together carry forth those <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-reformations-first-lutheran-hymns">strong Lutheran melodies</a> we love so much. Just like a body, each member contributes something to this one sound. Your voice is important. It allows you to uniquely contribute to the sound of your congregation.</p> <p>In this way, we act as the hand or eye or ear of the body. These are not the body itself, but they are all essential parts of the body. So it is with our voices. You do not sing to gain prominence as a soloist within the context of congregational singing, but you contribute your unique voice as part of the larger body.</p> <h3>In Service to Others Rather Than Ourselves</h3> <p>Our whole lives are meant to follow Christ’s example of service to others rather than to ourselves. As a member of one body, we use our specific gifts in service to our brothers and sisters and not in order to gain recognition or praise. It is much the same with singing.</p> <p>When we sing as one group, it is good practice to blend your voice within that group, not strive to stick out with a louder or more powerful voice than others. When we sing as a congregation, we use our voices in the service of others. We join our voices together to create a sound that is greater than our individual voice, despite the fact that it is made up of individual voices. When we join our voices together, we are humbly allowing the congregation to take precedence over our own desires.</p> <p>In this understanding of congregational singing, we find that hymns and <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-beautiful-routine-of-the-liturgy">liturgy</a> are important as they lend themselves to group singing. We can sing hymns and liturgy as one congregation—as one Body of Christ. Instead of one or a few soloists leading every song in their own unique style, our hymns are written so that everyone may join together in one voice. This emphasizes our unity. An emphasis on congregational singing does not eliminate every solo or choral piece, but the singing of <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-divine-service-in-lutheran-service-book">Lutheran hymns and liturgy</a> ensures that the majority of our music is sung together as a single body of Christ.</p> <p>Take this as an encouragement and a charge that you need to sing on Sunday morning! Your voice is an important contribution to the Body of Christ.</p> <p style="font-size: 14px;">Scripture: ESV<sup>®</sup>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Start singing your favorite hymns at home or in church with&nbsp;<em><br>Lutheran Service Book</em>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=a50e6485-17f6-4c2c-bf7e-3d4ad91e1513&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Explore hymns from&nbsp;Lutheran Service Book" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/a50e6485-17f6-4c2c-bf7e-3d4ad91e1513.png"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fcongregational-singing-and-the-body-of-christ&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Hymns Featured Tue, 28 Jun 2022 12:45:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/congregational-singing-and-the-body-of-christ 2022-06-28T12:45:00Z Marie Greenway Music of the Month: Piano Resonance https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-piano-resonance <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-piano-resonance" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/Piano%20Resonance.png" alt="Piano Resonance: Favorite Hymns of Praise" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>Celebrated composer Marianne Kim has written an uplifting collection of hymn arrangements for piano based on favorite hymns of praise. These pieces feature contemporary and nontraditional harmonies and rhythms with a touch of jazz. Kim’s style provides a fresh take on traditional hymns.</p> <p>Celebrated composer Marianne Kim has written an uplifting collection of hymn arrangements for piano based on favorite hymns of praise. These pieces feature contemporary and nontraditional harmonies and rhythms with a touch of jazz. Kim’s style provides a fresh take on traditional hymns.</p> <h3><strong>The Composer</strong></h3> <p>Marianne Kim is a Chicago-based composer, pianist, organist, and harpsichordist. She has more than four hundred compositions in print through a variety of publishers, and <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-35370-piano-resonance-favorite-hymns-of-praise.aspx"><i>Piano Resonance</i></a>&nbsp;is her premiere publication of a collection of compositions with&nbsp;Concordia Publishing House. She has previously contributed to CPH’s <a href="https://music.cph.org/piano-prelude-series/download-sample" style="font-style: normal;">Piano Prelude Series.</a></p> <p>Kim holds advanced degrees in jazz studies and organ performance. In addition to being a composer and performer, Kim is also a church musician. She is currently principal organist at Christ Church in Oak Brook, Illinois.</p> <h3><strong>Favorite Hymns of Praise</strong></h3> <p>Most of the hymn tunes featured in <i>Piano Resonance </i>should be familiar to even the casual church musician. This makes the new and fresh arrangements in this collection a welcome addition to a well-established canon of favorite hymn tunes.</p> <div class="hs-responsive-embed-wrapper hs-responsive-embed" style="width: 100%; height: auto; position: relative; overflow: hidden; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; margin: 0px auto; display: block;"> <div class="hs-responsive-embed-inner-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0;"> <iframe class="hs-responsive-embed-iframe" style="position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8hsgPO8Q00M" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> <p>And, although the settings make use of contemporary and jazz styles that feature unique harmonies and rhythms, the melodies of&nbsp;the familiar tunes remain prominently stated within sections of each setting.</p> <p>The compositions are expansive without being repetitive, giving each setting an improvisatory and extemporaneous feel. Piano students and recitalists looking for jazz and contemporary settings of sacred tunes should find these settings useful for both study and performance.</p> <h3><strong>Hymn-Based Piano Settings for the Church Service</strong></h3> <p>Church musicians should also find these settings useful within the context of <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-33889-lutheran-service-book-companion-to-the-services.aspx">the church service</a>. Since the hymn tunes are popular, church pianists should find an abundance of appropriate opportunities to feature these commonly sung hymns as solo piano pieces.</p> <p>While some church musicians and their congregations are used to the piano being the primary instrument used during the church service, even those church organists who find themselves dusting off the piano keys only on rare occasions may consider those times when a piano prelude would add a bit of welcome variety to the constancy of organ music.</p> <p>Hymn-based piano preludes may be used in a variety of places throughout the church service: as preservice music, as a voluntary or musical offertory, or during Communion.&nbsp;</p> <div class="hs-responsive-embed-wrapper hs-responsive-embed" style="width: 100%; height: auto; position: relative; overflow: hidden; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; margin: 0px auto; display: block;"> <div class="hs-responsive-embed-inner-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0;"> <iframe class="hs-responsive-embed-iframe" style="position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7Ton4dSRAMg" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> <h3>Why You Should Try New Hymn-Based Piano Preludes</h3> <p>If a congregation is used to hearing organ music as they enter the sanctuary for the church service, that music may fade into the background without being noticed. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this; however, if they notice the piano being played upon entering the sanctuary, they may pay attention to the hymn tune that is being played and be better prepared to sing that hymn during the service. The same could be the case for a piano setting as a voluntary or during Communion, interspersed with the singing of hymns.</p> <p>And, to return to the idea of these being settings on <i>favorite hymns</i>, a different instrument or new sound of a familiar hymn may prompt the listeners to consider a well-known text or tune in a new light, revisiting the depth and breadth of a beloved hymn text even if it had previously become monotonous.</p> <p>Adding piano music to a usually organ-heavy musical repertoire also gives a congregation the opportunity to make use of those musicians who are skilled pianists but haven’t yet learned to play the organ. And who knows? If a pianist is given the opportunity to play for the church service, perhaps he or she would be moved to enlist themself to address the church’s ever-present need for organists and regular musicians!</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Order your copy of&nbsp;<em>Piano Resonance</em> today by clicking the button below.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=c184b6eb-09ac-41aa-b140-9018b837e2b4&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order the Music" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/c184b6eb-09ac-41aa-b140-9018b837e2b4.png" align="middle"></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fmusic-of-the-month-piano-resonance&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Piano Featured Tue, 07 Jun 2022 11:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-piano-resonance 2022-06-07T11:00:00Z Nathan Grime Why We Should Sing Children’s Hymns https://blog.cph.org/worship/why-we-should-sing-childrens-hymns <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/why-we-should-sing-childrens-hymns" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/Children%20Singing%20Hymns.png" alt="Children Singing Hymns" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>The best things in life can be enjoyed by children and adults. This especially includes <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/why-music-is-important-in-church-according-to-luther">the music of the Church</a>—specifically, the hymns we sing.</p> <p>The best things in life can be enjoyed by children and adults. This especially includes <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/why-music-is-important-in-church-according-to-luther">the music of the Church</a>—specifically, the hymns we sing.</p> <h3>Hymns for Children</h3> <p>Clearly, adults understand and appreciate hymns. There are certain hymns, though, that cater more to children. These include hymns with simple texts, short stanzas, and straightforward melodies. They often include words like <em>little</em> and <em>child</em>. These are the best hymns for lullabies as you coax your fussy little one to sleep. The simple words also make these wonderful hymns to sing to children just learning to speak.</p> <p>These hymns are some of the best children’s songs you can teach kids. No offense to “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” but hymns like “I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb” (<em>LSB </em>740) remain beautiful and relevant into adulthood. These hymns invoke some nostalgia as adults. But they also bring us back to stating theological truths in simple, concrete, confident, and straightforward ways. As Jesus adjured his disciples to become like children (see Matthew 18:2–4), these hymns allow adults to hearken to the sincere and simple faith of a child.</p> <h3>How Hymns Teach Children</h3> <p>How are hymns the best children’s songs? First and most important, <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/teaching-the-faith-with-catechism-hymns">hymns teach children about Jesus</a>. Hearing these hymns sung repeatedly as children fall asleep plants the text in their heads. As they grow and come to understand the texts more, they start to gain deeper insights into the meaning of the hymn.</p> <p>These hymns also take children seriously. They present children with the realities of life. Often, the realities of life mean the difficulties and worries of life, something we try not to burden children with while they are still young. In hymns, the reality of life is salvation through Christ despite difficulties. Hymns teach this to children in simple but beautiful ways. In “Jesus Loves Me” (<em>LSB </em>588), the text uses the word <em>know</em> and goes on to say “For the Bible tells me so” to show us Christ’s love for us is real because God’s Word says so.</p> <h3>Children’s Hymns Show Us the Truth of Eternal Life</h3> <p>Children will eventually learn of life’s hardships. Ultimately, they will have to face the fact that we all die. Hymns present this fact in a truthful but comforting way. For example, in the final stanza of “<a href="https://youtu.be/Y6P1L2fctPc">I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb</a>” (<span style="font-style: italic;">LSB</span> 740), we sing “And when my short life is ended, By His angel host attended, He shall fold me to His breast, There within His arms to rest.” The hymn acknowledges that life is short and it will end. But it goes on to tell that as a child of God, we will be gathered to Him in heaven.</p> <p>“In the world you will have tribulation,” Jesus says in John 16:33. Children know this and seek honest answers to the trials of life. They will gain joy and confidence from the truth, not from total avoidance. In these beautiful hymns, children will find the simple and unadorned truth. Jesus finishes John 16:33 by saying, “But take heart; I have overcome the world.”</p> <p>This is the best thing for children and adults.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 14px;">Scripture: ESV<sup>®</sup>.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;">Quotations marked <em>LSB</em> are from <em>Lutheran Service Book</em>, copyright © 2006 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Start teaching the joy of Christian hymns from an early age with <i>One and All Rejoice </i>children’s hymnal.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=72702d35-07c0-4496-96cd-ce8c8668787c&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Order One and All Rejoice" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/72702d35-07c0-4496-96cd-ce8c8668787c.png"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fwhy-we-should-sing-childrens-hymns&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Hymns Featured Wed, 18 May 2022 17:30:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/why-we-should-sing-childrens-hymns 2022-05-18T17:30:00Z Marie Greenway Music of the Month: “Partita on Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord” https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-partita-on-come-holy-ghost-god-and-lord <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-partita-on-come-holy-ghost-god-and-lord" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/Music%20of%20the%20Month%20May%202022.png" alt="Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord Music Image" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>John Behnke has composed a <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-35371-partita-on-come-holy-ghost-god-and-lord.aspx" style="font-style: normal;">three-part partita on the hymn tune KOMM, HEILIGER GEIST, HERRE GOTT</a>, a Reformation-era tune that accompanies Martin Luther’s Pentecost hymn “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord” (<i>LSB </i>497). The partita contains three movements, one for each stanza of the hymn.</p> <p>John Behnke has composed a <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-35371-partita-on-come-holy-ghost-god-and-lord.aspx" style="font-style: normal;">three-part partita on the hymn tune KOMM, HEILIGER GEIST, HERRE GOTT</a>, a Reformation-era tune that accompanies Martin Luther’s Pentecost hymn “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord” (<i>LSB </i>497). The partita contains three movements, one for each stanza of the hymn.</p> <p>“The starting point for me is always the text,” <a href="https://music.cph.org/composers/john-a-behnke">Behnke</a> said of composing partitas on hymn tunes. “I’m always trying to portray the text in music to the listener; I read the text and try to figure out how to communicate it.”</p> <p>Behnke said the hymn “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord” was a fitting choice for a partita since the three stanzas would be conducive to providing three varying movements on the hymn tune.</p> <p>“In all my writing, I haven’t written many Pentecost arrangements, but I love Luther’s hymn,” Behnke said. “A partita is a wonderful form because it’s so varied and has so many options and possibilities to it.”</p> <h3>I. Aria</h3> <blockquote> <p>Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord,</p> <p>With all Your graces now outpoured</p> <p>On each believer’s mind and heart;</p> <p>Your fervent love to them impart.</p> <p>Lord, by the brightness of Your light</p> <p>In holy faith Your Church unite;</p> <p>From ev’ry land and ev’ry tongue</p> <p>This to Your praise, O Lord, our God, be sung:</p> <p>&nbsp;Alleluia, alleluia!</p> </blockquote> <p>The first movement is an aria featuring the melody in the right hand. The melody is accompanied by chords in the left hand to provide harmonic support.</p> <p>“There’s a lot of organ music entitled <i>Cantabile </i>or <i>Aria</i>, which borrows from a vocal form,” Behnke said. “In this piece, the top line is singing; it’s outlining the melody. It’s supposed to be light, airy, and warm.”</p> <p>Behnke said the registration used for the Aria could vary; he doesn’t include specific registration suggestions because of the wide variety of options organists have with their respective instruments, as well as the different interpretations of a setting organists may have.</p> <h3>II. Duet</h3> <blockquote> <p>Come, holy Light, guide divine,</p> <p>Now cause the Word of life to shine.</p> <p>Teach us to know our God aright</p> <p>And call Him Father with delight.</p> <p>From ev’ry error keep us free;</p> <p>Let none but Christ our master be</p> <p>That we in living faith abide,</p> <p>In Him, our Lord, with all our might confide.</p> <p>Alleluia, alleluia!</p> </blockquote> <p>Behnke said the textual inspiration for the second movement, a duet, was the phrase “Teach us to know our God aright.”</p> <p>“This led me to the idea of a dialogue between two voices: one voice leading and another voice responding or following,” Behnke said. “It’s like the way you learn a language: first it’s said and then you repeat it.”</p> <p>Again, in lieu of specific registration suggestions, Behnke listed the dynamic markings for both voices as mezzo forte.</p> <p>“If I had to be specific, I’d suggest two contrasting mezzo forte voices so that you can hear the difference of the tone qualities in both,” Behnke said.</p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SG728yqrVck" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <h3>III. Toccata</h3> <blockquote> <p>Come, holy Fire, comfort true,</p> <p>Grant us the will Your work to do</p> <p>And in Your service to abide;</p> <p>Let trials turn us not aside.</p> <p>Lord, by Your pow’r prepare each heart,</p> <p>And to our weakness strength impart</p> <p>That bravely here we may contend,</p> <p>Through life and death to You, our Lord, ascend.</p> <p>Alleluia, alleluia!</p> </blockquote> <p>The final movement of the partita is a toccata with the melody featured in the pedal. Behnke said the invocation of the Spirit as the “holy Fire” in stanza three of the hymn provided the inspiration for a fiery toccata.</p> <p>Behnke said the phrase “And to our weakness strength impart” also stood out to him in writing the concluding movement of the partita.</p> <p>“That’s what the Spirit does; it moves us and provides us assurance and strength,” Behnke said. “[The toccata] needed to be powerful and have gravity.”</p> <h3>To Organists Using This Partita</h3> <p>Behnke suggested the partita could be used in the church service in its three parts as a prelude, voluntary, and postlude, or even in a Hymn Festival, playing a movement before singing its corresponding stanza.</p> <p>“Organists work so hard choosing music and then practicing and playing it,” Behnke said. “When someone listens and when you’re able to communicate, that’s what we’re aiming for. When that happens, God is praised.”</p> <p>Behnke also said he’s grateful for the organists who have <a href="https://www.cph.org/m-41-john-a-behnke.aspx">purchased and played his music</a> throughout the years.</p> <p>“My hope is that if an organist picks up this partita and plays the toccata, that someone would come up to the organ and say they’ve felt the power of the Spirit,” Behnke said. “If that’s the case, I’ve communicated and the Gospel has been proclaimed.”</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Hymn text:&nbsp;© 1941 Concordia Publishing House</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Order your copy of John Behnke’s piece for organ by clicking the button below.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=80b1c818-a682-45e8-ad66-ab43d2b8f1cd&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order “Partita on Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord”" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/80b1c818-a682-45e8-ad66-ab43d2b8f1cd.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fmusic-of-the-month-partita-on-come-holy-ghost-god-and-lord&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Organ Featured Pentecost Tue, 03 May 2022 11:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-partita-on-come-holy-ghost-god-and-lord 2022-05-03T11:00:00Z Nathan Grime Fasting and Feasting on Music https://blog.cph.org/worship/fasting-and-feasting-on-music <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/fasting-and-feasting-on-music" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/Church%20easter%20Choir-1.png" alt="Easter Church Choir" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>I still remember my first Easter at my current church. In the lead up to that glorious day, we stopped singing the Gloria in Excelsis for Lent. As we drew closer to Good Friday, we stopped singing even more of the songs in the liturgy. Then, on Easter Sunday, after the pastor chanted “Glory be to God on high,” the entire congregation burst forth with “and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” like the music of the angels accompanied by an organ. The return of the Gloria provided great joy that Easter Sunday.</p> <p>I still remember my first Easter at my current church. In the lead up to that glorious day, we stopped singing the Gloria in Excelsis for Lent. As we drew closer to Good Friday, we stopped singing even more of the songs in the liturgy. Then, on Easter Sunday, after the pastor chanted “Glory be to God on high,” the entire congregation burst forth with “and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” like the music of the angels accompanied by an organ. The return of the Gloria provided great joy that Easter Sunday.</p> <h3>Fasting from Music during Lent</h3> <p>That joy came from more than the text and music—as joyous as they are. The impact of the Gloria was felt because of our Lenten fast from music. This fast reminds us to consider the solemn time of Lent by removing certain music from the <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/ceremony-in-the-divine-service">Divine Service</a>.</p> <p>Removing certain music from the Divine Service does several things. First, it reminds us that Lent is a time of sorrow as we remember our sins. Second, it jerks us out of our consistent repetition of the liturgy by making us realize we are <em>missing something</em>. Third, our <em>missing something</em> leads us to look more closely and think more carefully about what we are missing. Finally, removing music during Lent gives that same music a joyous impact when it returns to the Divine Service and we sing it again on Easter Sunday.</p> <h3>Balance of Feasting and Fasting</h3> <p>Throughout our lives, we are naturally presented with times of fasting, <span style="font-weight: normal;">whether it be due to</span> a tragedy, hardship, or learning to live without something. These forms of fasting occur throughout the year. Likewise, we encounter times of feasting or joy throughout the year—not only at Easter.</p> <p>This back and forth of fasting and feasting helps balance our lives physically and spiritually. Physically abstaining from something for a time ensures that we do not consume or experience too much of that thing, leaving us dulled to its joy. This can often affect us spiritually as we learn to rely on God rather than material goods or learn to long for the gift God has given us that we have gone without for a time.</p> <h3>Feast with Great Joy!</h3> <p>When we come to a time of feasting, such as Easter, we return to those things we missed in our lives—or recognize that we don’t need some things at all—with great joy. A time of feasting might also allow us to find great joy despite the sorrow we may have experienced in a nonvoluntary fast. Feasting is also a time to recognize God’s great gifts of creation and <a href="https://blog.cph.org/teach/teaching-the-difference-between-redemption-and-salvation">salvation</a>.</p> <p>Musical fasting during Lent helps prime us to the great joys of the music of the Church. This joy is lasting because the texts speak of eternal things. They do not repeat the trendy phrases of a brief era. Christian music is timeless and beautiful in all ages. When Easter comes, our musical fast ends, and we sing in joyous voices, recognizing that Christ has defeated death.</p> <p>We will fast from this music once again during Lent next year. For now, let us enjoy the good gift of song God has given us and raise our Alleluias to the skies!</p> <p>Alleluia, Christ is risen!</p> <p>He is risen indeed! Alleluia!</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Rejoice in the resurrection by listening to this Easter playlist filled with CPH music for organ, piano, handbell, and choir.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=72a7c3dd-2a57-47ed-aae0-8e21275f265a&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Listen to the Easter Playlist" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/72a7c3dd-2a57-47ed-aae0-8e21275f265a.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Ffasting-and-feasting-on-music&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Church Year Featured Thu, 21 Apr 2022 12:30:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/fasting-and-feasting-on-music 2022-04-21T12:30:00Z Marie Greenway Music of the Month: Praise Mosaics https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-praise-mosaics <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-praise-mosaics" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2022/praise-mosaics.jpg" alt="Music of the Month: Praise Mosaics" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>Jacob B. Weber continues his <em>Mosaics</em> series with six hymns of Praise and Adoration. Contents include a dance-like EARTH AND ALL STARS, a stately ENGELBERG, a majestic LAUDES DOMINI, two festive and versatile settings of LOBE DEN HERREN and SONG PRAISE, and a partita on UNSER HERRSCHER.&nbsp;</p> <p>Jacob B. Weber continues his <em>Mosaics</em> series with six hymns of Praise and Adoration. Contents include a dance-like EARTH AND ALL STARS, a stately ENGELBERG, a majestic LAUDES DOMINI, two festive and versatile settings of LOBE DEN HERREN and SONG PRAISE, and a partita on UNSER HERRSCHER.&nbsp;</p> <h3>The <i>Mosaics</i> Series</h3> <p>Weber’s <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34949-praise-mosaics.aspx"><i>Praise Mosaics</i></a>—the ninth volume of his <i>Mosaics</i> series—features a series of organ preludes on topical and seasonal hymns that include <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-27844-advent-mosaics.aspx">Advent</a>, <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-22440-christmas-mosaics.aspx">Christmas</a>, <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-35481-epiphany-mosaics.aspx">Epiphany</a>, <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-32612-lent-mosaics.aspx">Lent</a>, <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-24773-easter-mosaics.aspx">Easter</a>, <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-31631-reformation-mosaics.aspx">Reformation</a>, <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-33598-thanksgiving-mosaics.aspx">Thanksgiving</a>, and <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34474-morning-mosaics.aspx">Morning</a> hymn tunes.</p> <p><i>Praise Mosaics</i> is especially appropriate throughout the Church Year, as it includes settings on familiar hymns such as “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” (<i>LSB </i>790); “Voices Raised to You We Offer” (<i>LSB </i>795); and “Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty” (<i>LSB </i>901).</p> <p>“I mainly chose hymns that I’d never written any settings for before,” Weber said. “I wrote the settings of LOBE DEN HERREN and SONG OF PRAISE for events some time before the collection was planned, so I had a head start when planning the contents for <i>Praise Mosaics</i>. I rarely begin any of the <i>Mosaics</i> collections from scratch. Over time, as I write new settings, I file them away. It’s the first place I go when I’m brainstorming a new set.”</p> <p>Weber also said he’s received positive feedback about the continuing <i>Mosaics </i>series.</p> <p>“Organists often like to recommend themes or seasons that I should consider doing next, and I love hearing from them,” Weber said. “I think organists are attracted to seasonal, single-themed collections because it’s nice to have everything under one cover.”</p> <h3>LOBE DEN HERREN: “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”</h3> <p><i>Praise Mosaics </i>contains two settings of LOBE DEN HERREN <em>(LSB </em>790<em>).</em> The first is a triumphant fanfare with the melody in the pedal. The second is a light and articulate interpretation of stanza three of the hymn:</p> <blockquote> <p>“Praise to the Lord, who has fearfully, wondrously, made you,</p> <p>Health has bestowed and, when heedlessly falling, has stayed you.</p> <p>What need or grief</p> <p>Ever has failed of relief?</p> <p>Wings of His mercy did shade you.”</p> </blockquote> <p>“The settings of LOBE DEN HERREN were written for an organ anniversary hymn festival, and specifically for the organ I would be playing,” Weber said.</p> <p>The occasion and instrument was the fortieth anniversary of the Dobson, Op. 10 pipe organ on November 2, 2019, on the campus of Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota.</p> <h3>SONG OF PRAISE: “Voices Raised to You We Offer”&nbsp;</h3> <p>The volume also contains two settings of SONG OF PRAISE <em>(LSB</em> 795)—a bright and energetic introduction and a contrasting interpretation of stanza three of the hymn.</p> <p>The two settings were also written for the seventy-fifth anniversary of <a href="https://www.gracestjoseph.org/">Grace Lutheran Church in St. Joseph, Michigan</a>, in 2020.</p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sHc4IVlrOko" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <h3>UNSER HERRSCHER: “Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty”&nbsp;</h3> <p><i>Praise Mosaics </i>concludes with a five-part partita on UNSER HERRSCHER <em>(LSB</em> 901)—an Intrada, hymn setting, Duo, Meditation, and Fugue. “I’ve always enjoyed the tune and was inspired to create some new settings on it,” Weber said.</p> <p>The Intrada is a grand and punctuated setting that would work well as a festive hymn introduction. The hymn setting is written as a chorale harmonization that would be fitting as an alternate hymn accompaniment. The Duo is a two-part setting written for manuals, and the Meditation is a lush and expansive setting written with the melody in the pedal. The partita concludes with a fugue that features the melody in four different voices.</p> <p>“As with many of my settings, they tend to start out as improvisations, usually at home, or from little ideas I’ve used during hymn playing, and over time they become finely-tuned, extended settings,” Weber said.</p> <p style="font-size: 14px;">Quotations marked <em>LSB</em> are from <em>Lutheran Service Book</em>, copyright © 2006 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Use the button below to purchase your copy of&nbsp;<em>Praise Mosaics</em> to play during the Church Year.</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=56645c52-5ea1-4c34-9a26-26af017dc601&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order the Collection" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/56645c52-5ea1-4c34-9a26-26af017dc601.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fmusic-of-the-month-praise-mosaics&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Organ Featured Tue, 05 Apr 2022 11:45:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-praise-mosaics 2022-04-05T11:45:00Z Nathan Grime Ceremony in the Divine Service https://blog.cph.org/worship/ceremony-in-the-divine-service <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/ceremony-in-the-divine-service" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/Beautiful%20Ceremony%20in%20Divine%20Service.png" alt="Ceremonial Church Interior Wittenberg" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p><em>“I was raised Catholic, but, I dunno. Mass is just … well, it’s so much </em>ceremony.<em>”</em></p> <p>This was overheard at a recent get-together. You may have heard a similar sentiment directed at the Lutheran Divine Service and its faithful use of liturgy. It seems that ceremony can be a bit of a deterrent to some, especially in our casual culture. But I would argue that it is the very ceremony of the Divine Service that beckons and invites those outside the Church in.</p> <p><em>“I was raised Catholic, but, I dunno. Mass is just … well, it’s so much </em>ceremony.<em>”</em></p> <p>This was overheard at a recent get-together. You may have heard a similar sentiment directed at the Lutheran Divine Service and its faithful use of liturgy. It seems that ceremony can be a bit of a deterrent to some, especially in our casual culture. But I would argue that it is the very ceremony of the Divine Service that beckons and invites those outside the Church in.</p> <p>After all, many things in life involve ceremony, especially that other thing that is taking over our Sundays—sports.</p> <h3>Sports and Ceremony</h3> <p>There is a routine and structure to a sports game, especially in professional leagues. Each game involves a closely followed set of rules. Every player has a position, and gestures are carefully used to signal plays, pitches, or even fouls. Teams wear particular clothing in particular colors, and their jerseys even change depending on&nbsp;<em>where</em> they are playing. There is a specific structure to the beginning of each game, such as a coin toss or ceremonial first pitch. Frequently, music plays an important role too, like the national anthem, players’ walk-up songs, and the ubiquitous seventh-inning-stretch performance of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”</p> <p>All these things are widely accepted and celebrated. Yet there are those who balk at the ceremony in the Divine Service, which also prizes physical position, employs gestures to help communicate, utilizes specific clothing in specific colors at different times of the year, follows a special opening structure, enlists music, and involves a closely followed, traditional set of rules.</p> <h3>Ceremony Gives Meaning</h3> <p>But maybe you are one who doesn’t care much for sports. In that case, consider all the other&nbsp;<a href="https://blog.cph.org/teach/grasping-at-routine-our-need-for-a-daily-schedule">everyday things that involve ceremony</a>. Families find traditional structures during holidays, daily meals typically involve a set order, and even a morning routine involves a certain amount of ceremony. Ceremony gives structure and order to the things we do in our life. Although ceremonial actions are not essential to life in the same way water or oxygen may be, they give meaning to life. We would not survive long without meaning.</p> <p><a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-beautiful-routine-of-the-liturgy">The ceremony of the Divine Service shows how important it is</a>. It sets it apart from everything else we see in life. In this way, the ceremony of the Divine Service is actually a great welcome to those from the outside. It says to them, come in, you will find something different here. If the Divine Service only took its cues from the rest of the current culture, there would be no point in it. Instead, it offers people something different from their normal lives. It shows them that it has a significance they can only find in the Church. Arthur A. Just Jr. writes in <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-454-heaven-on-earth-the-gifts-of-christ-in-the-divine-service.aspx" style="font-style: normal;"><em>Heaven on Earth: The Gifts of Christ in the Divine Service</em>:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Our worship must immediately proclaim to our unbelieving neighbors that something is happening in the liturgy that happens nowhere else in all of creation. God, who is everywhere, chooses to locate Himself in the liturgy in Word and Sacraments.” (p. 26)</p> </blockquote> <p>God is giving us His greatest gift in the Word and Sacrament; the ceremony of the Divine Service proclaims that.</p> <h3>Different Levels of Ceremony</h3> <p>That’s not to say that everyone will appreciate extravagant ceremony. In fact, while some Lutheran churches are very “high church,” many Lutheran churches have a little less ceremony. This reflects the make-up of the congregation—perhaps it is smaller and has fewer resources to conduct all the bells and whistles highly ceremonial churches use; perhaps the people themselves are a community that appreciates a more toned-down, but still reverent, approach. Whatever the case may be, ceremony can still be shown even if it is not with great extravagance.</p> <p>Due reverence is important, and guiding people to that due reverence with a certain amount of ceremony is beneficial for the congregation. Forcing a high level of ceremony on every congregation is not. Some people may find a church’s high level of affectation in its ceremony disingenuous. Perhaps this is what the woman who spoke the opening sentence perceived in the Roman Catholic mass, although it is a messy thing to consider what is beautiful reverence and what is pretension.</p> <h3>Ceremony Shows What We Think Is Important</h3> <p>Ultimately, though, ceremony is necessary because it shows that something important is happening. If we take the Divine Service seriously, we will naturally appreciate the ceremony—and this in turn will show our neighbors what we deem important, namely, the gift of Jesus Christ’s salvation. Just continues in <em>Heaven on Earth</em>:</p> <blockquote> <p style="padding-left: 0.5in;">Our neighbor from the highways and byways must see that no more important business is being carried out in the world than the business transacted in the liturgy proclaimed for the life of the world. If our liturgy does not express this, then we cannot expect our visiting neighbors to return to our liturgy. If they do not see a world made new in Jesus Christ in the gifts of salvation, then they will not desire to enter into catechesis that prepares them to receive the justifying gifts of Christ in Baptism and to celebrate a world made new in Christ in the Eucharist. (pp. 26-27)</p> </blockquote> <p>Ceremony can turn off those who are not used to it, but it is only through ceremony that we show these same people that there is something worthwhile happening when we participate in the Divine Service. More than our morning coffee routine, more than our family Thanksgiving dinner, more than even the Super Bowl, we are receiving the only gift that offers us eternal salvation.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Quotations from <em>Heaven on Earth: The Gifts of Christ in the Divine Service</em> ©&nbsp;2008 Arthur A. Just Jr., published by Concordia Publishing House.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Learn more about the Divine Service with the authoritative English translation of <span>Friedrich</span>&nbsp;Lochner’s&nbsp;<em>The Chief Divine Service.</em></p> <p><em><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=b8542dac-39ca-4f90-8800-a86533d0a4e6&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order the book" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/b8542dac-39ca-4f90-8800-a86533d0a4e6.png" align="middle"></a></em></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fceremony-in-the-divine-service&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Divine Service Featured Tue, 22 Mar 2022 11:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/ceremony-in-the-divine-service 2022-03-22T11:00:00Z Marie Greenway Downloadable Sheet Music for the Easter Season https://blog.cph.org/worship/downloadable-sheet-music-for-the-easter-season <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/downloadable-sheet-music-for-the-easter-season" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/Easter%20Music.png" alt="Spring and Easter Birds Singing Music" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>Easter is fast approaching, and every musician knows how important the beautiful organ, piano, handbells, and choral singers are on that Sunday morning. Hearing the resurrection bells in a sanctuary filled with Christ’s presence and victory fills people with joy. Here are five downloadable sheet music pieces to use during the Easter season at your church.</p> <p>Easter is fast approaching, and every musician knows how important the beautiful organ, piano, handbells, and choral singers are on that Sunday morning. Hearing the resurrection bells in a sanctuary filled with Christ’s presence and victory fills people with joy. Here are five downloadable sheet music pieces to use during the Easter season at your church.</p> <p></p> <h3>Choral: Christ Is Arisen</h3> <p>Sing out the joy of Christ’s resurrection with this fantastic SAB choral fanfare with organ accompaniment by <a href="https://music.cph.org/composers/david-cherwien">David M. Cherwien</a>. A<span> translation of CHRIST IST ERSTANDEN by F. Samuel Janzow is the heart for this new and rousing musical setting with an optional introduction to EASTER HYMN. Optional parts for trumpet and handbells are also included. This setting will have your congregants rejoicing that Christ is arisen on this beautiful Easter Sunday.&nbsp;</span><span></span></p> <p><a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/christ-is-arisen-david-m-cherwien"><span>Preview “Christ Is Arisen” »</span></a></p> <h3><span>Choral: O Sons and Daughters of the King</span></h3> <p>“Alleluia! Alleluia! O sons and daughters of the King, whom heav’nly hosts in glory sing.” Intended for the Second Sunday of Easter, this Eastertide setting by <a href="https://music.cph.org/composers/jeffrey-blersch">Jeffrey Blersch</a> based on <span>O FILII ET FILIAE </span>&nbsp;has rhythmic excitement that engages the singer and listener. Sing together the story of Easter with your treble ensemble. For variety, you can try using this setting with an ensemble of children or exclusively women. Included are optional parts for percussion instruments.</p> <p><a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/o-sons-and-daughters-of-the-king-jeffrey-blersch">Preview “O Sons and Daughters of the King ”<span>»</span>&nbsp;</a></p> <h3>Organ: Partita on Duke Street</h3> <p><span>Play a unique setting for Easter with this organ partita&nbsp;by <a href="https://music.cph.org/composers/charles-callahan">Charles Callahan</a> based on the tune&nbsp;</span><span>DUKE STREET. This medium difficulty piece in various meters will give your congregation something new to listen to and reflect on as you go through the Easter season. Broken into six portions—Carillon; Chorale; Quatuor; Trio; Larghetto; Finale—this piece will challenge you as you share in the Easter celebration.</span></p> <p><a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/partita-on-duke-street-charles-callahan"><span>Preview “Partita on Duke Street”&nbsp;</span><span>»</span></a>&nbsp;</p> <h3><span>Organ: He’s Risen, He’s Risen and Christ Is Arisen</span></h3> <p><span>This organ prelude by <a href="https://music.cph.org/composers/benjamin-m-culli">Benjamin M. Culli</a> is based off the tunes WALTHER and&nbsp; CHRIST IST ERSTANDEN. Congregation members will recognize these familiar tunes and enjoy the beauty of the organ ringing out the triumph of Christ winning victory over the devil for all to hear. The running eighth-note triplets add wonderful variation and fun to the main melody heard throughout. </span></p> <p><a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/he-s-risen-he-s-risen-and-christ-is-arisen-benjamin-m-culli"><span>Preview “He’s Risen, He’s Risen and Christ Is Arisen” »</span></a></p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/z3HH9lH0EBc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Handbell: Awake, My Heart, with Gladness</h3> <p><span>Easter services are a time for handbell groups to show off stunning pieces like this Level II+ piece by <a href="https://music.cph.org/composers/john-a-behnke">John A. Behnke</a>. Based on the tune AUF, AUF, MEIN HERZ, this setting uses 3 to 5 octave handbells to rejoice in Christ’s resurrection with a strong melody and a bright tone throughout. Treat your congregation to a setting that’s filled with the glory and triumph of knowing Christ has defeated sin and the devil.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><a href="https://digitalmusic.cph.org/awake-my-heart-with-gladness-john-a-behnke"><span>Preview “Awake, My Heart, with Gladness” »</span></a></p> <p>These pieces and hundreds more are available with the CPH Music Subscription. Browse the entire catalog, filled with thousands of pieces to choose from, and listen to previews of each setting to see how you can open your options for music selection on Easter Sunday and every Sunday.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Click the button below to learn more about the CPH Music Subscription.<a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=bdb2b0cd-011e-4a71-bc07-424d8013b082&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Try the CPH Music Subscription" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/bdb2b0cd-011e-4a71-bc07-424d8013b082.png"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fdownloadable-sheet-music-for-the-easter-season&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Easter Featured Tue, 15 Mar 2022 13:00:00 GMT none.2@cph.org (Concordia Publishing House) https://blog.cph.org/worship/downloadable-sheet-music-for-the-easter-season 2022-03-15T13:00:00Z Music of the Month: That Easter Day with Joy Was Bright https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-that-easter-day-with-joy-was-bright <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-that-easter-day-with-joy-was-bright" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_music/2022/music-digital-marketing/easter-day-with-joy.jpg" alt="Music of the Month: That Easter Day with Joy Was Bright" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>A classic Easter text is given a substantive, dramatic setting by Benjamin M. Culli. This English cathedral–style anthem features a memorable tune accompanied by dramatic and thrilling organ writing. Utilizing the full dynamic ranges of both the choir and the organ, <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34879-that-easter-day-with-joy-was-bright-culli.aspx">this majestic piece</a> is perfect for Easter Sunday and throughout Eastertide. An optional trumpet part is available separately for download.</p> <p>A classic Easter text is given a substantive, dramatic setting by Benjamin M. Culli. This English cathedral–style anthem features a memorable tune accompanied by dramatic and thrilling organ writing. Utilizing the full dynamic ranges of both the choir and the organ, <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34879-that-easter-day-with-joy-was-bright-culli.aspx">this majestic piece</a> is perfect for Easter Sunday and throughout Eastertide. An optional trumpet part is available separately for download.</p> <h3 style="font-weight: bold;">The Text</h3> <p>This ancient Easter hymn is dated to the fifth century, and although it is not certain, some speculate it was&nbsp;written by St. Ambrose (339–397). It was translated into English by the prolific translator John Mason Neale (1818–1866) and appears in many hymnals accompanied by the tune PUER NOBIS.</p> <p>Although this hymn is not in <a href="https://music.cph.org/lutheran-service-book"><i>Lutheran Service Book</i></a>, it has appeared in past Lutheran hymnals, including <i>Lutheran Worship </i>and <i>Lutheran Book of Worship </i>(both with the tune ERSCHIENEN IST DER HERRLICH TAG).</p> <h3 style="font-weight: bold;">The Setting</h3> <p><a href="https://music.cph.org/composers/benjamin-m-culli">Benjamin M. Culli</a>’s new choral setting of “<a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34879-that-easter-day-with-joy-was-bright-culli.aspx">That Easter Day with Joy Was Bright</a>” was commissioned by Grace Lutheran Church in Clarksville, Tennessee, to celebrate the twenty-two years of service by their cantor, Rocky T. Craft.</p> <p>“When I was commissioned to write the piece, a number of Easter texts were suggested to me,” Culli said. “After composing the opening melodic phrases, I asked for input from the CPH music department as to which text would best match&nbsp;the newly composed material and might also be the most appealing and useful for choirs, choir directors, and the church at large. ‘That Easter Day’&nbsp;was the winner.”</p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1p0Q5TLsl5Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The setting contains two melodic sections in the ABA form.</p> <p>“The A section is composed of two different melodies that carefully mix dramatic, large leaps with stepwise motion, along with a modest amount of chromaticism,” Culli said. “The B section is quieter, as it sets a middle stanza that is a prayer, though the B-section melody is a minor-key adaptation of the melody that opens the A section.”</p> <h3 style="font-weight: bold;">A-Section Text</h3> <blockquote> <p>That Easter day with joy was bright:</p> <p>The sun shone out with fairer light</p> <p>When, to their longing eyes restored,</p> <p>The apostles saw their risen Lord!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>His risen flesh with radiance glowed;</p> <p>His wounded hands and feet He showed;</p> <p>Those scars their solemn witness gave</p> <p>That Christ was risen from the grave.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>O Lord of all, with us abide</p> <p>In this our joyful Eastertide;</p> <p>From ev’ry weapon death can wield</p> <p>Your own redeemed forever shield.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>All praise to You, O risen Lord,</p> <p>Now both by heav’n and earth adored;</p> <p>To God the Father equal praise,</p> <p>And God the Spirit, now we raise!</p> </blockquote> <h3 style="font-weight: bold;">B-Section Text</h3> <p>The B section features a more subdued melody written between the four choral parts in fugal form. This melodic interlude in between the two A sections brings out the character of the middle stanza:</p> <blockquote> <p>O Jesus, King of gentleness,</p> <p>With constant love our hearts possess</p> <p>That we may give You all our days</p> <p>The tribute of our grateful praise.</p> </blockquote> <p>Culli said the commission was specifically for an English cathedral–style choral anthem, meaning both the choir and organ accompaniment have an integral role in the piece.</p> <p>“In the English cathedral tradition, this piece truly is for choir and organ. When registered and performed well, the organ proves just as integral to the piece as the choir,” Culli said. “In fact, the bridge from the B section back to the A section is a ten-measure organ solo, featuring a huge crescendo and several dramatic chromatic modulations, including descending dominant 13th chords played with full registration.”</p> <p>Culli said he <a href="https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=380916669210202">heard the choir’s premiere performance of the commission on Facebook</a>&nbsp;and was happy to hear that the singers relished the opportunity to premiere the setting. Church choirs should find this setting rewarding to learn and sing throughout Eastertide this year.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Order Culli’s setting for your church by clicking the button below.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=79c9e483-b2ab-4be3-9be9-ddbe0f1e26f7&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order &quot;That Easter Day with Joy Was Bright&quot;" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/79c9e483-b2ab-4be3-9be9-ddbe0f1e26f7.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fmusic-of-the-month-that-easter-day-with-joy-was-bright&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Choral Featured Tue, 01 Mar 2022 13:15:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-that-easter-day-with-joy-was-bright 2022-03-01T13:15:00Z Nathan Grime Music Education and Child Development https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-education-and-child-development <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-education-and-child-development" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/Violin%20Kid.png" alt="Child Plays Violin" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>The ancient Greeks recognized the importance of music as part of a complete education. In the Greek gymnasiums of ancient times, men sought physical fitness through training, but education in music was also essential. Greek philosophers argued that music was important because it refined the mind. Gymnastics (or physical training) and music together completed a man’s education.</p> <p>The ancient Greeks recognized the importance of music as part of a complete education. In the Greek gymnasiums of ancient times, men sought physical fitness through training, but education in music was also essential. Greek philosophers argued that music was important because it refined the mind. Gymnastics (or physical training) and music together completed a man’s education.</p> <h3>Music Forms the Mind, Body, and Heart</h3> <p>I think there is an argument to be made that a musical education forms the mind, body, and heart of a student. After all, to learn music, a student must develop some academic prowess. He must know his letters and his numbers and learn note values and fingerings. His mind must be engaged whether he is reading sheet music or playing by ear.</p> <p>Music is also an active pursuit involving the entire body. Musicians must focus on breathing and the movement of their arms, hands, fingers, legs, and feet. It also demands endurance, as concerts or church services often last an hour or longer. During this time, the musician must always be engaged both mentally and physically. An unfit or unhealthy musician would find it extremely difficult to last for that whole period.</p> <p>Finally, playing music forms the heart, the seat of emotion. When learning a piece of music, a musician must not only have intelligence and physical fitness, but he must also be able to play with emotion. The emotion shown in music must be the right amount, though. Too little emotion and a piece becomes dull and mechanical. Too much emotion and a piece becomes sentimental and schmaltzy. Learning music requires that a student find the perfect middle ground.</p> <h3>Music Helps Form Proper Emotion</h3> <p>While it takes both intelligence and physical fitness to perform music, the sign of a great musician is <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/train-students-to-sing-hymns-artfully">performing music with the proper amount of emotion</a>. In turn, this facet of musical education teaches a student to display the proper emotion in life. This proper emotion guides a student to treat things the way they should be treated. He learns to weep at death, laugh at humor, and delight in joy. Beyond this, he learns to weep neither too little nor too much, to laugh at truly humorous things, and to be contentedly joyful.</p> <p>Church musicians can take this emotional education and apply it to their weekly service-playing. The music we play at church has an important role in the service. The texts of the hymns, psalms, <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-beautiful-routine-of-the-liturgy">liturgy,</a> anthems, and songs reinforce the message of salvation we hear every Sunday. The style in which we play them gives the congregation a sense of the proper emotional response. A skilled musician who himself has learned how to properly present emotion in music can then subtly guide his listeners to properly present emotion in the service.</p> <h3>Music Is Essential to Education</h3> <p>In all this talk of music as an emotional teacher, we see how music is deeply human. For this emotion and this humanity, <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/why-music-education-is-important">it is critical that we continue to listen to, perform, and teach this art</a>. Like the ancient Greeks, let us see it as an essential part of a complete education!</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Use <em>One and All Rejoice</em> to continue teaching hymns, psalms, and liturgy to your students.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=72702d35-07c0-4496-96cd-ce8c8668787c&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order One and All Rejoice" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/72702d35-07c0-4496-96cd-ce8c8668787c.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fmusic-education-and-child-development&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Music Education Tue, 22 Feb 2022 12:30:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-education-and-child-development 2022-02-22T12:30:00Z Marie Greenway Music of the Month: Now, Even Now, Declare a Fast https://blog.cph.org/worship/now-even-now-declare-a-fast <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/now-even-now-declare-a-fast" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/music-blog-fasting.jpg" alt="Image of Now, Even Now, Declare a Fast by Stephen P. Starke and Kevin Hildebrand" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>Kevin Hildebrand has set a text by Stephen P. Starke to the Welsh tune LLEF. This easy-to-learn composition is useful throughout the Lenten season, especially on Ash Wednesday during the imposition of ashes. Written to be flexible, it may be sung by soloists or a two-part choir, with an optional SATB stanza, and it may be modified in length. An optional part for treble instruments is included.</p> <p>Kevin Hildebrand has set a text by Stephen P. Starke to the Welsh tune LLEF. This easy-to-learn composition is useful throughout the Lenten season, especially on Ash Wednesday during the imposition of ashes. Written to be flexible, it may be sung by soloists or a two-part choir, with an optional SATB stanza, and it may be modified in length. An optional part for treble instruments is included.</p> <h3 style="font-weight: bold;">Discovering the Text</h3> <p>Rev. Stephen P. Starke has written more than 200 hymn texts, many of which appear in <i>Lutheran Service Book</i>. He wrote “<a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34919-now-even-now-declare-a-fast.aspx">Now, Even Now, Declare a Fast</a>” in response to a request from colleague Henry V. Gerike for an Ash Wednesday hymn. Starke said he chose the Welsh tune LLEF upon finding it in an English hymnal.</p> <p>“I love Welsh tunes,” Starke said. “It’s a very somber tune, which I thought would be perfect for such a penitential hymn.”</p> <p>Starke said the seminal Scripture text for this hymn is Joel 2:12–13, the beginning of the appointed Old Testament Reading for Ash Wednesday:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>“Yet even now,” declares the L<span style="font-size: 18px;">ORD</span>, <br>“return to Me with all your heart, <br>with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; <br>and rend your hearts and not your garments.” <br>Return to the L<span style="font-size: 18px;">ORD</span> your God, <br>for He is gracious and merciful, <br>slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; <br>and He relents over disaster.”</em></p> </blockquote> <h3>Stanza 1</h3> <p>Stanza 1 reflects these verses from Joel 2:</p> <blockquote> <p style="font-size: 24px;"><em>Now, even now, declare a fast;<br></em><em>Turn, humbly turn—renounce your sin;<br></em><em>Tear not your robe for guilt amassed<br></em><em>But truly rend your heart within!</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Starke said that as he wrote, he allowed the tune to guide the text into a unique metrical pattern. The first three syllables of each line are dactylic, where a stressed syllable is followed by two unstressed syllables: “<i>Now</i>, even … <i>Turn</i>, humbly … <i>Tear</i> not your … <i>But </i>truly …” The remainder of each line is trochaic, where each stressed syllable is followed by a single unstressed syllable: “<i>now</i>, de<i>clare</i> a <i>fast </i>… <i>turn</i>—re<i>nounce </i>your <i>sin </i>… <i>robe </i>for <i>guilt </i>a<i>massed </i>… <i>rend </i>your <i>heart </i>with<i>in </i>…”</p> <h3>Stanzas 2 and 3</h3> <p>Stanza 2 is based on two verses from Psalm 51, the appointed Psalm for <a href="https://blog.cph.org/read/church-year/ash-wednesday-reflection">Ash Wednesday</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>For You will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;<br>You will not be pleased with a burnt offering. <br>The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; <br>a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.<br>(Psalm 51:16–17)</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Stanza 2:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>What shall I bring for daily vice<br></em><em>Proffered before my Maker’s eyes?<br></em><em>A contrite heart, the sacrifice<br></em><em>That You, O God, will not despise.</em></p> </blockquote> In stanza 3, Starke invokes the familiar imagery of ashes and the rite of the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday: <blockquote> <p style="font-size: 20px;"><em><span style="font-size: 24px;">Ash, only ash, I am, O Lord;<br></span></em><em><span style="font-size: 24px;">Dust, and to dust I shall return.<br></span></em><em><span style="font-size: 24px;">Death is my end, my just reward,<br></span></em><em><span style="font-size: 24px;">Solely the wage for sin I earn.</span></em></p> </blockquote> <p>“I wanted to include the fact that we are dust and to dust we shall return,” Starke said. “Ash is a symbol of such a repentant recognition of our true condition. The wages of sin are death, and the only answer for sin is our Savior.”</p> <h3>Stanzas 4 and 5</h3> <p>In stanzas 4 and 5, Starke turns to baptismal theology:</p> <blockquote> <p style="font-size: 24px;"><em>What shall I do? Where ought I go<br></em><em>To gain the grace I dearly want?<br></em><em>Only to Christ, who will bestow<br></em><em>Life from His pure baptismal font.</em></p> <p style="font-size: 24px;"><em>Drown, sinner drown, beneath its wave;<br></em><em>Rise, saint, arise—in Christ made new:<br></em><em>Live out the life your Savior gave,<br></em><em>By words you say and works you do.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>“The entire Christian life is to be one of repentance—the turning away from sin and turning in faith to our Savior in the power of the Spirit,” Starke said. “Such Spirit-wrought repentance brings us back to the font, where our life in Christ began in Holy Baptism.”</p> <p>While repentance and self-reflection manifest themselves in a variety of ways for people during the season of Lent, Starke’s text is a reminder that a daily remembrance of Baptism reminds us that the old Adam is drowned beneath the wave of Baptism and a new man has arisen as a saint, living in the life and love of Christ’s peace and forgiveness.</p> <p>“I think both the scriptural allusions and the repetitions make this text quite interesting,” said Kevin Hildebrand, who composed the musical setting of the text. “We hear words and phrases that are so distinctive to Ash Wednesday, like ‘declare a fast’; ‘Ash, only ash’; and&nbsp;‘to dust I shall return.’</p> <p>“Pastor Starke has these repetitive phrases that aid the memory and learning, like ‘Now, even now’; ‘Ash, only ash’; ‘Drown, sinner drown’; and ‘Rise, saint arise,’” Hildebrand continued.</p> <h3 style="font-weight: bold;">The Setting</h3> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6V4bzKWrMhM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kevin Hildebrand, <a href="https://www.ctsfw.edu/about/faculty/kantor-kevin-hildebrand/">Kantor at Concordia Theological Seminary—Fort Wayne</a>, composed the musical setting of this text for two-part or SATB choir. Hildebrand said although he wasn’t familiar with the tune accompanying the hymn, he found it to be fitting.</p> <p>“When I first saw LLEF in all capital letters, I thought it was an acronym for some Lutheran organization, like ‘Lutheran Ladies Extension Fund,’” Hildebrand said. “Then I looked it up on the internet and heard some haunting Welsh singing set to this tune and knew it was a good fit for this text.”</p> <p>The setting is written to maximize a church choir’s available resources. The piece may be sung by soloists and two-part mixed voices or a full SATB choir. An accompaniment part for a treble instrument, preferably a flute, is also included.</p> <p>If a church doesn’t have a four-part ensemble available to sing, three of the five stanzas may be sung in unison or by a soloist, while the other two may be sung in two-part format. If a flute is not available to play the instrumental part, a violin or oboe would also be appropriate. If no instrument is available, the piece may be sung without an instrument. The introduction to the piece can be played by the organ alone, accentuating the melody with an appropriate 8′ solo stop or combination.</p> <p>“He uses the flute in a very subtle way that underpins the words being sung and propels the text forward to tie everything together,” Starke said of Hildebrand’s setting. “It’s absolutely lovely.”</p> <h3>Practical Use</h3> <p>Church choirs should evidently find this piece useful on Ash Wednesday without needing too much time to prepare. The piece could be sung during the imposition of ashes, as a response to the Old Testament Reading from Joel 2, or during Holy Communion.</p> <p>And, though the text is explicitly tied to Ash Wednesday, the season-long theme of repentance throughout would make this piece useful throughout the 40 days of Lent.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Bring “Now, Even Now, Declare a Fast” to your church by clicking the button below.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 24px;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=47a2bc8c-819e-4ff3-9fb3-2dc5a9ac025a&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order the music" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/47a2bc8c-819e-4ff3-9fb3-2dc5a9ac025a.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fnow-even-now-declare-a-fast&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Choral Featured Tue, 08 Feb 2022 11:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/now-even-now-declare-a-fast 2022-02-08T11:00:00Z Nathan Grime Do We Listen to Too Much Music? https://blog.cph.org/worship/do-we-listen-to-too-much-music <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/do-we-listen-to-too-much-music" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/Solo%20Too%20Much%20Music.jpg" alt="Lonely with too much music" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>I was recently listening to a podcast in which one of the hosts shared a personal anecdote about his attempt to not listen to music all day. He briefly related how he realized he had music playing almost constantly and found it incredibly difficult to stop listening for one 24-hour period. This experiment reminded me of the countless people I know who work with headphones on or earbuds in all day long. It is almost assumed today that music will have a permanent place in the background of most environments, be it the office, a coffee shop, or anything in between.</p> <p>I was recently listening to a podcast in which one of the hosts shared a personal anecdote about his attempt to not listen to music all day. He briefly related how he realized he had music playing almost constantly and found it incredibly difficult to stop listening for one 24-hour period. This experiment reminded me of the countless people I know who work with headphones on or earbuds in all day long. It is almost assumed today that music will have a permanent place in the background of most environments, be it the office, a coffee shop, or anything in between.</p> <h3>The Prevalence of Music&nbsp;</h3> <p>Digital technology affords us unparalleled access to the best music in the world. Today, we can easily pull up an exquisite rendering of our favorite symphony or a moving interpretation of a <a href="https://www.cph.org/c-2817-choral-music.aspx">sacred choral piece</a> simply by commanding the robots in our homes to play it. On the other hand, even ignoring the bad, crass, and immoral music the whole world can access with this technology, it still behooves us to consider how much we listen to music. Like all technology, has this thrust something artificial into human lives? More than that, is this artifice always good or should we limit it?</p> <p>Humans need quiet. We need times when we can rest from the noise of the world. The music we listen to almost constantly distracts our minds. When we always need music playing, we can lose our ability to live contentedly in times of quiet. The noise becomes our distraction from the world and a form of escapism from our current situation. A preference to listen to music while you work out, drive in the car, or work on a variety of tasks is not a bad thing. Instead, I wonder if we have become addicted to it. Do we need to switch on noise as soon as we wake up, or are we comfortable with starting our days quietly? Like the ever-addictive smartphone, do we turn to music anytime we have a moment of silence or boredom? Or do we welcome the chance to remove excess distraction from our lives?</p> <h3>Silence: Necessary for Prayer</h3> <p>A mind capable and, dare I say, <em>desirous</em> of silence is a sure step toward a mind at peace. The world barrages us with distractions that throw our lives into turmoil. Are we capable of resisting these distractions? Often, prayer is our one true recourse against them. Listening to music can soothe the soul, but constant exposure to music ultimately distracts us from the one thing that is necessary (Luke 10:42). It is God’s Word that saves. During the <a href="https://blog.cph.org/study/the-gathering-light-of-epiphany">season of Epiphany</a>, we hear how the Word made flesh, Jesus, is revealed as true God. Music is a wonderful creation that reflects God, but it is not God. <a href="https://blog.cph.org/study/the-word-became-flesh-how-is-christ-both-god-and-man" style="font-style: normal;">Jesus is true God</a> whose death and resurrection rescues us from eternal death.</p> <p>Ultimately, silence and quiet are necessary for meditation on God’s Word and prayer. The human brain can only handle so many stimuli at once. When your ears are constantly exposed to noise, your brain has little attention left to give to sustained, concentrated contemplation or conversation with God. As people who place our faith in the Word that says “pray without ceasing” (1&nbsp;Thessalonians 5:17), we should reevaluate what exactly we are doing without ceasing. Listening to music? Or praying? Music can be a form of meditation and prayer, to be sure. Is that the kind of music we are listening to without ceasing?</p> <h3>Limiting Musical Distraction in Our Own Lives</h3> <p>Consider removing those headphones and earbuds. Save that new album for a time when you can give it your full attention. Try turning to your work wholeheartedly without musical distraction. Instead of constantly inundating your ears with noise, even the most pleasant of noises, spend time in contemplation, meditation, and prayer. Follow Jesus’ example as he retreats from the crowds to pray (Matthew 14:23). Fight the modern world’s call to constant noise and instead revel in the peace that comes from a quiet mind assured of its salvation in Christ.</p> <p style="font-size: 12px;">Scripture: ESV<sup>®</sup>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Rethink your technology usage—from social media to music streaming—with&nbsp;<em>Redeeming Technology: A Christian Approach to Healthy Digital Habits</em>.</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=36f9a781-a993-4436-9db7-98511dc21ec4&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order&nbsp;Now" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/36f9a781-a993-4436-9db7-98511dc21ec4.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fdo-we-listen-to-too-much-music&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Featured Tue, 25 Jan 2022 12:45:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/do-we-listen-to-too-much-music 2022-01-25T12:45:00Z Marie Greenway Featured Church Music for Lent https://blog.cph.org/worship/featured-music-for-lent <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/featured-music-for-lent" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/prelude-to-postlude/2018/01/Lent-Music.jpg" alt="Featured Music for Lent" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>If you’re looking for some special music to incorporate into your repertoire this season, here are some of our recently added Lenten selections to check out.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you’re looking for some special music to incorporate into your repertoire this season, here are some of our recently added Lenten selections to check out.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> <h2>Proclaim! Preludes and Harmonizations for Hymn of the Day (Lent)</h2> <p><span>Be prepared for services with preludes and harmonizations for the Hymn of the Day that follow <em>Lutheran Service Book</em> lectionaries. This organ collection features nine different settings for Lent, including AUS TIEFER NOT, EIN FESTE BURG, and EIN FESTE BURG.</span></p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2s3wJ0YzMck" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <p style="text-align: center;"><br><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34904-proclaim-preludes-and-harmonizations-for-the-hymn-of-the-day-lent.aspx">Purchase Music »</a></p> <h2>My Faith Looks Up to Thee</h2> <h5>Jonathan Kohrs | SATB, Piano</h5> <p>This beautiful and delicate setting by Jonathan Kohrs is perfect for the Lenten season. Featuring a variety of tempos and harmonizations, you will be challenged by the music while your congregation will be able to settle into the contemplative and reflective season. Kohrs' setting will be loved by all for years to come at your church.&nbsp;</p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/92IErKMYeK4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <p style="text-align: center;"><br><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34889-my-faith-looks-up-to-thee-kohrs.aspx">Purchase Music »</a></p> <h2>Lent with Minimum Pedal</h2> <h5>Edwin T. Childs | Organ</h5> <p>Add thirteen beautiful Lent settings to your repertoire with this collection for organ. These are perfect as preludes or hymn introductions. Each piece has been paired down to be only a stanza, allowing you to use these pieces in a pinch for service or for organists who might have limited pedal abilities. Your congregation will love each of these settings, and you will love the versatility offered in this collection.</p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rLT8TTN5w_c" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <p style="text-align: center;"><br><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34908-lent-with-minimum-pedal.aspx">Purchase Music »</a></p> <h2>There Is a Fountain</h2> <h5>Brian L. Hanson | SATB</h5> <p>This new setting of William Cowper’s beloved text begins with gentle, flowing innocence and breathtaking simplicity. It gradually unfolds with sensitive text-painting and lush harmonies. Mesmerizing vocal lines highlight SA and TB combinations separately. This anthem makes an emotive, compelling addition, especially on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Listen to a recording in this video:</p> <p><iframe style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; margin: 0px auto;" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/mtjFY7yE3QU?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-31790-there-is-a-fountain.aspx">Purchase Music »</a></p> <h2>The Blood of Jesus</h2> <h5>Mark Knickelbein | SATB</h5> <p>Ponder the impact of Christ’s Passion with this meditative arrangement for SATB and piano. The music follows the mood of the text as it describes the mournful crucifixion scene carrying through sacramental themes to the victory of the end times. The text, by Lisa M. Clark, focuses on the implications of Matthew 27:25 (“His blood be on us and on our children!”). This piece can be used especially on Ash Wednesday and during Holy Week. Hear it in the video below.</p> <p><iframe style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; margin: 0px auto;" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Po1kTAcEvhs?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-30534-the-blood-of-jesus.aspx">Purchase Music »</a></p> <h2>Lamb of God</h2> <h3>Included in <em>Piano Stylings, Set 3: Hymns for the Church Year</em></h3> <h5>Valerie A. Floeter | Piano</h5> <p>In this set of arrangements, each setting is based on relatively new tunes, providing beautiful, accessible pieces that aren’t found in other collections. Congregations will appreciate the prominence of the hymn melody in each of Floeter’s arrangements, and church musicians will love the ease with which they can learn fresh, moving pieces for worship.</p> <p>Three pieces in the collection that are especially appropriate for Lent are “Lamb of God” (recording below), “My Song Is Love Unknown,” and “What Is This Bread?” Check out <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-28102-piano-stylings-set-1-hymns-for-the-church-year.aspx">Set 1</a> and <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-30315-piano-stylings-set-2-hymns-for-the-church-year.aspx">Set 2</a> in the series to find more similar works.</p> <p><iframe style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; margin: 0px auto;" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/RH7wpnf17TE?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-31574-piano-stylings-set-3-hymns-for-the-church-year.aspx">Purchase Music »</a></p> <h2>Savior, When in Dust to Thee</h2> <h3>Included in <em>A Welsh Hymn Tune Sampler for Organ</em></h3> <h5>Bernard Wayne Sanders | Organ</h5> <p>The rich musical content of Welsh melodies has long secured them a place in hymnals and in the heart of congregations who love to sing them. This collection includes eight of the most beloved Welsh hymn tunes that vary widely in character. Each tune has a fresh and imaginative setting, reflecting and supporting both the musical content and the character of the chorales.</p> <p>For Lent and Easter, check out the pieces “Savior, When in Dust to Thee” and “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today; Alleluia.”</p> <p><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-31633-a-welsh-hymn-tune-sampler-for-organ.aspx">Purchase Music »</a></p> <h2>O Sacred Head, Now Wounded</h2> <h5>Lauran Delancy | Handbells</h5> <p>This Lenten staple is set for 3 or 5(6) octave handbells, with optional 3 or 5 octave handchimes. Packed with rich meaning, the arrangement starts out mysteriously and meditatively, continuing on with a deep heaviness, and then broadens out majestically just before ending with startling symbolism. This piece is especially useful for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Take a listen:</p> <p><iframe style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; margin: 0px auto;" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/nxvEOKCzyV8?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-31475-o-sacred-head-now-wounded-delancy.aspx">Purchase Music »</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Looking for even more selections? Browse our Lent and Easter collection.</p> <a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=71498af7-be73-4b7b-b112-8a19debf8ab1&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Shop Lent &amp; Easter Music" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/71498af7-be73-4b7b-b112-8a19debf8ab1.png"></a> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Ffeatured-music-for-lent&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Lent Thu, 30 Dec 2021 15:45:00 GMT none.2@cph.org (Concordia Publishing House) https://blog.cph.org/worship/featured-music-for-lent 2021-12-30T15:45:00Z Why Do Christians Celebrate Communion at Christmas? https://blog.cph.org/worship/why-do-christians-celebrate-communion-at-christmas <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/why-do-christians-celebrate-communion-at-christmas" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/Christ%20Present%20in%20the%20Eucharist.jpg" alt="Christ Present in the Lord's Supper" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>When I was a child, my church always sang “<a href="https://youtu.be/3iubdKbFItU" style="font-style: normal;">Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence</a>” on Christmas Day as the Communion elements were processed into the sanctuary. The congregation would start quietly and crescendo with each verse, serving to highlight the <a href="https://blog.cph.org/study/luthers-catechism-series-the-lords-supper">Lord’s Supper</a> as the high point of the service.&nbsp;We would have the hymns printed in a bulletin, so I remember being surprised the first time I realized that this hymn is found in the Lord’s Supper section of the hymnal rather than the Christmas section.</p> <p>When I was a child, my church always sang “<a href="https://youtu.be/3iubdKbFItU" style="font-style: normal;">Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence</a>” on Christmas Day as the Communion elements were processed into the sanctuary. The congregation would start quietly and crescendo with each verse, serving to highlight the <a href="https://blog.cph.org/study/luthers-catechism-series-the-lords-supper">Lord’s Supper</a> as the high point of the service.&nbsp;We would have the hymns printed in a bulletin, so I remember being surprised the first time I realized that this hymn is found in the Lord’s Supper section of the hymnal rather than the Christmas section.</p> <h3>Mortal Flesh and God’s Son</h3> <p>This fifth-century hymn sheds light on the significant link between the birth of Jesus and Jesus’ presence in the Lord’s Supper. The link is the two natures of Christ—the reality that Jesus is both fully God and fully man—and just “as of old on earth He stood … in human vesture,” He is also present in the bread and the wine. If it was possible for God to take on human flesh, it is also possible for Him to give Himself to the faithful in the bread and the wine.</p> <p>The first verse is as follows:</p> <blockquote> <p>Let all mortal flesh keep silence <br>&nbsp; &nbsp;And with fear and trembling stand; <br>Ponder nothing earthly-minded, <br>&nbsp; &nbsp;For with blessing in His hand<br>Christ our God to earth descending <br>&nbsp; &nbsp;Comes our homage to demand. (<em>LSB</em> 621)</p> </blockquote> <p>These words fit perfectly on Christmas, as we remember our Lord descending to earth and being born as a baby, just as they perfectly describe our weekly encounter with our Lord at His altar as He gives us His body and blood. The second verse continues:</p> <blockquote> <p>King of kings yet born of Mary, <br>&nbsp; &nbsp;As of old on earth He stood, <br>Lord of lords in human vesture, <br>&nbsp; &nbsp;In the body and the blood, <br>He will give to all the faithful <br>&nbsp; &nbsp;His own self for heavenly food.</p> </blockquote> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3iubdKbFItU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <h3>“What does it mean that Jesus is both God and man?”</h3> <p>Throughout its history, the Church has honed its articulation of the relationship between Jesus’ human nature and His divine nature. In post-Reformation Germany, Martin Chemnitz wrote a lengthy work titled <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-677-chemnitzs-works-volume-6-the-two-natures-in-christ.aspx"><em>The Two Natures in Christ</em></a>, where he spends five hundred pages compiling the Church’s response to the question “<a href="https://blog.cph.org/study/the-word-became-flesh-how-is-christ-both-god-and-man">What does it mean that Jesus is both God and man?</a>” Chemnitz’s methodology (in this work and his others) is to begin with an analysis of the applicable Scripture passages, then reference the ecumenical creeds and the church councils, before moving to an examination of the Church Fathers, and finally ending with <a href="https://www.cph.org/c-2898-luthers-works.aspx">Martin Luther’s writings</a> and addressing current errors.</p> <p>The Church Fathers, the creeds and councils, and the hymnody of the historic Church all address this question beautifully and rigorously. The brilliance of Chemnitz’s work is that he gathers together exhaustively both the scriptural witness and the witness of church history. Though he wrote this book over four hundred years ago, it is just as useful to us today in combatting various errors present in our churches and our world.</p> <h3>Christ’s Presence in Communion</h3> <p>One such error regarding the two natures in Christ is one that was held in Chemnitz’s day and is still held today by those who reject the real presence of Christ in Communion. The Calvinist argument that “the finite cannot contain the infinite,” suggests that as Jesus still has His human, resurrected body and is now seated (literally and embodied) at the right hand of God, He cannot logically be present in the bread and wine at the Communion rail.</p> <p>Chemnitz thoroughly addresses this false understanding by explaining both the communication of attributes and the nature of Jesus’ kingly reign. The phrase <em>communication of attributes</em> references the Chalcedonian definition (a decree of the Council of Chalcedon, AD 451) that “both natures in Christ perform in communication with one another what is proper to each of them” (Chemnitz, <em>Two Natures, </em>215).</p> <p>We believe that there is no division or separation in the person of Christ, therefore the attributes of Jesus’ divine nature are communicated to His human nature. So while Christ has a body of flesh, He is also our all-powerful God, meaning that if He chooses to be present in His body in the Sacrament, He can do this. The divine attribute of omnipotence is <em>communicated </em>to the human attribute of having a body.</p> <p>Chemnitz explains what comfort we can draw from this doctrine:</p> <blockquote> <p>In this way we can see into what a high degree of dignity our human nature has been assumed by the Son of God and hence what great comfort we may draw from it. We can be sure that the work of Christ’s kingdom and priesthood belongs to us in the church, since He exercises and accomplishes this work against the gates of hell, both in the presence of the Father and toward us, not absolutely and by His divine power alone, but in, with, and through the assumed nature which is similar to ours, akin to us, and thus of the same substance with us. (Chemnitz, <em>Two Natures</em>, 217)</p> </blockquote> <h3>Gathered with True Body and True Blood</h3> <p>Because of Jesus’ humanity, we can know that He who sits on the throne of heaven is truly <em>one of us</em>. God is on our side, forever, and our fate is wrapped up in Him. As an act of divine power, <a href="https://blog.cph.org/study/gods-word-living-in-baptism-and-communion">Jesus is fully able to gather us all together into the Body of Christ</a>, uniting us with His real, true body and blood. Chemnitz’s <em>Two Natures </em>may be a challenging read, but the theology expressed in its pages is full of practical comfort and assurance. What could be more wonderful for our world today than a God who reigns over all things who is also <em>fully man</em>? He is our perfect mediator because He is our Brother, and He is our final, certain hope because He is our Lord.</p> <p>For me, Christmas Day is not complete without a trip to church to meet Jesus at His altar. Like the shepherds who went with haste to find the baby Jesus, we can also go and encounter our Savior—Immanuel, God with us—at His table.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Chemnitz quotations are from<span>&nbsp;Martin Chemnitz. <em>The Two Natures in Christ</em>. Vol. 6 of&nbsp;<em>Chemnitz’s Works</em>. Translated by J. A. O. Preus.&nbsp;1971. Reprint,&nbsp;St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2007.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 20px;">Learn more about Communion and the Lutheran beliefs surrounding it with&nbsp;<em>Preparing to Receive Holy Communion.</em></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 20px;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=2be84c03-9ae4-4a1a-a252-863c2f0a51dd&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order today" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/2be84c03-9ae4-4a1a-a252-863c2f0a51dd.png" align="middle"></a></span></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fwhy-do-christians-celebrate-communion-at-christmas&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Christmas Hymns Divine Service Featured Thu, 23 Dec 2021 13:30:00 GMT christampetzold@gmail.com (Christa Petzold) https://blog.cph.org/worship/why-do-christians-celebrate-communion-at-christmas 2021-12-23T13:30:00Z Pondering Christ in Our Work as Church Musicians https://blog.cph.org/worship/pondering-christ-in-our-work-as-church-musicians <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/pondering-christ-in-our-work-as-church-musicians" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/Christmas%20Musician%20Piano.jpg" alt="Christmas Musician's Piano" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>A common complaint in our modern culture is the swiftness of time. It seems like every month we look at each other and ask, “Where did the last month go?” For church musicians, this is especially true during <a href="https://music.cph.org/advent-and-christmas">Advent as Christmas</a> approaches, more closely followed than we might wish by <a href="https://communication.cph.org/lutheran-church-calendar/lent-easter">Lent and Easter</a>. It seems as though there is never enough time to adequately prepare our music <em>and </em>our hearts for each season.</p> <p>A common complaint in our modern culture is the swiftness of time. It seems like every month we look at each other and ask, “Where did the last month go?” For church musicians, this is especially true during <a href="https://music.cph.org/advent-and-christmas">Advent as Christmas</a> approaches, more closely followed than we might wish by <a href="https://communication.cph.org/lutheran-church-calendar/lent-easter">Lent and Easter</a>. It seems as though there is never enough time to adequately prepare our music <em>and </em>our hearts for each season.</p> <p>On top of our regular responsibilities during Advent, we rush to purchase and wrap presents, bake holiday treats, throw and attend parties, and attend extra church services, pageants, concerts, or special events. We hear the call to still our hearts during the penitential Advent season and truly desire to slow down to contemplate our need for <a href="https://blog.cph.org/read/what-lutherans-teach-about-christs-second-coming">Christ’s coming</a>, but we find it nearly impossible. By the time <a href="https://blog.cph.org/read/church-year/christmas-day">Christmas Day</a> rolls around, we want to go into hibernation and forget about the rapidly approaching Lenten season.</p> <h3 style="font-weight: bold;">A Different Perspective on Church Preparations</h3> <p>At the same time, we have been given a gift in our vocation as church musicians. Built into our jobs is contemplating each season and each Church festival, even if it seems as though we are not able to do this at the slow pace we might desire.</p> <p>Taking a hiatus from church music this year due to the birth of my daughter gave me a different perspective on the work we do. Sitting in church on one of my favorite Sundays, <a href="https://blog.cph.org/read/church-year/all-saints-day-nagel">All Saints’ Day</a>, I realized I was missing something. Of course, handling a month-old hungry baby during church means that you miss something of the service, as all parents know, but this was something more than trying to balance the demands of new parenthood.</p> <p>For the past several years, I had gotten used to preparing for this service by singing the hymns and pieces for the day for a few weeks before the service. This gave me multiple opportunities to contemplate the words and immerse myself in the music, even if it was tiring and time-consuming work. This year, though, I was simply there for an hour and a half, and that was it. The church service flew by, and it was over. I hardly got a chance to enjoy the music or contemplate the readings because they were over before I could wrap my mind around them.</p> <p>The beauty of the lectionary is that we can anticipate the readings each week and peruse them ahead of time. My church sends out a newsletter listing the hymns we will be singing each week. I could have gone over them ahead of time. The reality, though, is that life is busy, and I did not take the time beforehand to go over anything; the service passed before I could collect myself.</p> <h3><strong>Our Work as Contemplation of the Gospel</strong></h3> <p>I realized then the beauty of being a church musician. <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-tedious-work-of-musicians-and-christians">It can be a lot of hard work</a>, long hours, focused planning, and stressful rehearsals. In the end, though, our job calls us to contemplate each day of the <a href="https://communication.cph.org/lutheran-church-calendar">Church Year</a>. We spend hours singing the Gospel we hear throughout the year. We sing beautiful poetry again and again, many times with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We are blessed to be given the time to prepare our hearts for the major festivals of the Church Year, even if we do not recognize it as such. Our very schedules revolve around these beautiful things.</p> <p>Christmas will still get here before we know it. Lent and Easter will still follow closely on its heels. We will still not think we or our choirs or instrumentalists are quite ready for any of the above and wish we had more time to prepare. However, the reality is that we have a job that allows us day after day to contemplate the greatest, most joyful truth of all: that God became a child for us.</p> <h3><strong>Ponder All These Things for Eternity</strong></h3> <p>Our job gives us ample opportunity to treasure the things of the Gospel, pondering them in our hearts like Mary (Luke 2:19). Where does the time go? It goes to serving God’s people so that they may join us in this pondering. Yes, our lives are often busy and stressful. We sin, and our sinful natures cause us to worry and fret and to not take time to ponder the things of God. God though, in His great mercy, came to us that first Christmas. He came to us in the flesh, a flesh that was ultimately crucified and risen and is offered to us in His Sacrament. The work He gives us is good, leading us by the power of the Holy Spirit to His great feast that has no end; for with God in eternity, time is of no consequence. With God in eternity, we shall forever do the work of a church musician. We shall forever sing His praises even as we ponder Him.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Aid in your work as a church musician while allowing yourself time to reflect on upcoming hymns by using the <em>Worship Planning Book.</em></p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=5ce870d0-fc3d-41ca-918a-a92ca7c8e8c1&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order&nbsp;Worship Planning Book" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/5ce870d0-fc3d-41ca-918a-a92ca7c8e8c1.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fpondering-christ-in-our-work-as-church-musicians&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Advent Christmas Featured Tue, 21 Dec 2021 12:15:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/pondering-christ-in-our-work-as-church-musicians 2021-12-21T12:15:00Z Marie Greenway Music of the Month: When Morning Dawns: Nine Preludes for Advent and Christmas https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-when-morning-dawns-nine-preludes-for-advent-and-christmas <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-when-morning-dawns-nine-preludes-for-advent-and-christmas" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2021/12/motm-when-morning-dawns.jpg" alt="Cover of When Morning Dawns: Nine Preludes for Advent and Christmas by CPH Music" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>David Maxwell has crafted nine extensive organ settings for Advent and Christmas in <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34915-when-morning-dawns-nine-preludes-for-advent-and-christmas.aspx">this collection</a>. Maxwell uses a variety of styles ranging from introspective (W ZLOBIE LEZY) to strong and majestic (CONSOLATION). The collection also includes a joyful toccata of ANTIOCH and a lively swung setting of GO TELL IT. These settings will be enjoyable for all levels.<br></p> <p>David Maxwell has crafted nine extensive organ settings for Advent and Christmas in <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34915-when-morning-dawns-nine-preludes-for-advent-and-christmas.aspx">this collection</a>. Maxwell uses a variety of styles ranging from introspective (W ZLOBIE LEZY) to strong and majestic (CONSOLATION). The collection also includes a joyful toccata of ANTIOCH and a lively swung setting of GO TELL IT. These settings will be enjoyable for all levels.<br> <span style="font-family: proxima-nova, sans-serif; font-size: calc(1.275rem + 0.3vw); font-weight: 800; background-color: transparent;">The Versatility inside </span><em style="font-family: proxima-nova, sans-serif; font-size: calc(1.275rem + 0.3vw); font-weight: 800; background-color: transparent;">When Morning Dawns</em></p> <p><span style="background-color: transparent;">Organists using <a href="https://music.cph.org/lutheran-service-book"><em>Lutheran Service Book</em></a> should find Maxwell’s collection of nine preludes extremely useful during Advent and Christmas. Many of the tunes in the book are connected to multiple hymn texts:</span></p> <ol> <li>The tune CONSOLATION is set to two Advent hymns: “What Hope! An Eden Prophesied” (<span style="background-color: transparent;"><em>LSB</em></span> 342) and “The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns” (<span style="background-color: transparent;"><em>LSB</em></span> 348).</li> <li>The tune ES IST EIN ROS is set to two <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/six-myths-about-christmas-hymns">Christmas hymns</a>: “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming<span style="background-color: transparent;">” (<em>LSB </em></span><span style="background-color: transparent;">359) and “A Great and Mighty Wonder” (<em>LSB</em></span><span style="background-color: transparent;"> 383).</span></li> <li>The tune NUN KOMM, DER HEIDEN HEILAND is set to two Advent hymns: “Savior of the Nations, Come” (<span style="background-color: transparent;"><em>LSB</em></span><span style="background-color: transparent;"> 332) and “Let the Earth Now Praise the Lord” (<em>LSB</em></span><span style="background-color: transparent;"> 352).</span></li> <li>The tune ST. THOMAS is set to the Advent hymn “The Advent of Our King” (<span style="background-color: transparent;"><em>LSB</em></span><span style="background-color: transparent;"> 331) and two more hymns: “I Love Your Kingdom, Lord” (<em>LSB</em></span><span style="background-color: transparent;"> 651) and “O Bless the Lord, My Soul” (<em>LSB</em></span><span style="background-color: transparent;"> 814).</span></li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;<br><span style="font-family: proxima-nova, sans-serif; font-size: calc(1.275rem + 0.3vw); font-weight: 800; background-color: transparent;">Sample: “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” (W ZLOBIE LEZY)</span></p> <p>The hymn “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” is a Polish Christmas carol based on the nativity story from Luke 2. The carol is only two stanzas; the first stanza begins with the scene at the manger: Jesus, the infant holy and lowly, laid in a cattle stall. Around him were oxen lowing, blissfully unaware that the Lord of all lay in the manger.</p> <p>The scene then turns to the Bethlehem countryside: angels singing “Gloria in excelsis deo” to shepherds who were keeping their flocks through the night, bringing the good news of the Gospel that Christ the child was born to free the world from sorrow, sin, and death.</p> <p>The tune of the carol is gentle, memorable, and easy to learn by heart. The first melodic phrase is sung twice, and the second phrase moves upward in groups of descending stepwise tones, giving the melody momentum and gravity while remaining quite singable. And then, the final short phrase is repeated in succession at the end of the carol.</p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uQL7a8j_4hM?start=5" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <p><br>Maxwell’s setting embraces the tune’s tranquil character. The harmonies and passages before, in between, and after the statement of the melody paint the picture the text of the hymn portrays: a lullaby (sung even by the “oxen lowing”) at the cradle of Christ and a gradual unfolding into the songs of the angels across the skies above.</p> <p>The prelude is extensive, and it ends as gently as it begins. The entire prelude would be appropriate as a piece of preservice music for a candlelight service on <a href="https://blog.cph.org/read/church-year/christmas-eve">Christmas Eve</a> or even at Christmas Dawn. It would also be appropriate as an extended piece of music during <a href="https://catechism.cph.org/en/sacrament-of-the-altar.html">Holy Communion</a>, perhaps after the congregation or choir sings the carol. That would give the congregation time to reflect on the short but poignant text it just sang.</p> <p><span style="font-family: proxima-nova, sans-serif; font-size: calc(1.275rem + 0.3vw); font-weight: 800; background-color: transparent;">Sample: “Joy to the World” (ANTIOCH)</span></p> <p>The beloved Christmas hymn “Joy to the World” is based on Psalm 98, the appointed Psalm for Christmas Dawn in the Church’s <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-107-lutheran-service-book-lectionary-3-year-series-c.aspx">lectionary</a>. This hymn is a staple in nearly every congregation during Christmastide.</p> <p>Maxwell’s setting of ANTIOCH, compared to his setting of W ZLOBIE LEZY, encapsulates the great variety and usefulness of this compilation of preludes. Whereas the setting of “Infant Holy” is methodical and meditative, the setting of “Joy to the World” is energetic and bombastic.</p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/b-ty55R8CvU" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <p><br>The setting of “Joy to the World” can be categorized into three sections: a pair of opening flourishes in the hymn’s regular 2/4 meter and a concluding toccata in 6/8 meter. This setting would be appropriate throughout the Christmas season as a postlude or perhaps as a festive introductory prelude to Christmas Day.</p> <p>“Joy to the World” is also one of those tunes that would be appropriate to play in an organ setting, even if the congregation isn’t singing the hymn at that particular service. Maxwell’s setting is sure to be a momentous and memorable addition to the organist’s Christmas repertoire this year.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Order&nbsp;<em>When Morning Dawns: Nine Preludes for Advent and Christmas</em> by clicking the button below.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=816f409b-c985-4977-bf3c-ec3e977900c1&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Purchase the music" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/816f409b-c985-4977-bf3c-ec3e977900c1.png"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fmusic-of-the-month-when-morning-dawns-nine-preludes-for-advent-and-christmas&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Advent Christmas Organ Featured Tue, 07 Dec 2021 11:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-when-morning-dawns-nine-preludes-for-advent-and-christmas 2021-12-07T11:00:00Z Nathan Grime Waiting for the Light of the World https://blog.cph.org/worship/waiting-for-the-light-of-the-world <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/waiting-for-the-light-of-the-world" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2021/12/shutterstock_1833908761.jpg" alt="Waiting for the Light of the World" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>“Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, the light no darkness can overcome.”</p> <p>These words mark the opening of the service of Evening Prayer (<em>Lutheran Service Book</em>, p. 243). The language of light and darkness reminds us that Christ, our light, has overcome the darkness of sin, death, and the evil one. Christ as the light of the world is taken directly from Scripture and is a recurring theme throughout Advent. As a new Church Year begins in the season of Advent, we are surrounded by reminders in Scripture, in hymns and the liturgy, in traditions, and in nature, that light remains a crucial component both of our biology and our faith.<br></p> <p>“Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, the light no darkness can overcome.”</p> <p>These words mark the opening of the service of Evening Prayer (<em>Lutheran Service Book</em>, p. 243). The language of light and darkness reminds us that Christ, our light, has overcome the darkness of sin, death, and the evil one. Christ as the light of the world is taken directly from Scripture and is a recurring theme throughout Advent. As a new Church Year begins in the season of Advent, we are surrounded by reminders in Scripture, in hymns and the liturgy, in traditions, and in nature, that light remains a crucial component both of our biology and our faith.<br><span style="font-family: proxima-nova, sans-serif; font-size: calc(1.275rem + 0.3vw); font-weight: 800; background-color: transparent;"><br>The Creation of Light&nbsp;</span></p> <p>The opening words of Scripture tell us about the origins of light and its triumph over darkness in creation:</p> <blockquote> <p>In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.&nbsp;&nbsp;And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. (Genesis 1:1–5)</p> </blockquote> <p>The first words recorded as spoken by God are “let there be light.” He speaks light into creation and calls it good. He does not call the darkness good but instead separates light and darkness as distinct entities. The light is called “Day,” but this light precedes the sun itself. In the very beginning, then, God shows us that light is from Him and that it is the first step in creating a world that is good.<br>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: proxima-nova, sans-serif; font-size: calc(1.275rem + 0.3vw); font-weight: 800; background-color: transparent;">The Light Foretold</span></p> <p>During Advent, we hear several mentions of light, as the people of old were promised a light to overcome the darkness of death—prophecies ultimately fulfilled in Christ. Isaiah 9:2 says, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” Matthew 4 tells us that these words are fulfilled in Christ. In case we had any doubts, Jesus tells us frankly, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).</p> <p>In the days leading up to our Christmas celebration, we join God’s people of old in waiting for the light to come. We are also the ones who dwell in the land of deep darkness, a land of death. The season of Advent begins in the darkest days of the year as we approach winter. <a href="https://blog.cph.org/read/light">The cold and the dark</a> serve to remind us viscerally of our sinful state and our need for salvation. We await both the remembrance of a coming in Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem and the fulfillment of the promise of Christ’s second coming on the Last Day. We eagerly await the coming of the light both theologically and in nature and look forward to the life it brings.</p> <p>As we wait, we look to humbler sources of light to remind us of who we are waiting for. We light the candles on our Advent wreath and notice how even the tiny flames hold the darkness at bay. We notice the stars in the night sky at earlier and earlier times each night. We put up our Christmas trees, decking them in tiny electric lights. Humans need the light, and as it disappears for increasingly longer stretches of time in late fall and winter, we seek as many sources of it as we can find. These small sources of light encourage us while we dwell in the darkness and point to our need for the day to dawn again. We eagerly await the sunrise with confident hope. So, too, we await Christ’s coming with confident hope.</p> <h3>Rejoicing in the Light That Overcomes the Darkness</h3> One of the most well-known <a href="https://blog.cph.org/teach/activities-for-teaching-advent-hymns-to-children">Advent hymns</a>, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” ( <em>LSB </em>357), takes its text from the ancient <a href="https://blog.cph.org/study/the-scriptural-depth-of-the-great-o-antiphons">“O” Antiphons</a>, which are based on scriptural names of Christ. The “O” Antiphon for December 21, the winter solstice and the longest night of the year, turns our focus from the darkness around us to Jesus, who is the light appearing as the day dawns: “O Dayspring, splendor of light everlasting: Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.” Even in the darkest night, we look for the light of day to come. Jesus is the “Dayspring,” and so we sing:&nbsp; <blockquote> O come, Thou Dayspring from on high, <br>And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh; <br>Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, <br>And death’s dark shadows put to flight. <br>Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to&nbsp; <br>thee, O Israel! (stanza 6) </blockquote> <p>Indeed, we do rejoice as the light overcomes the darkness in the days following the winter solstice. As the earth turns on its axis, we experience the light returning to push back the darkness of night. Furthermore, we rejoice that Christ, the light of the world, has come to push back the darkness of death. He is the great light that shines on us! We sing the liturgy of Evening Prayer and the Advent hymns celebrating the light and we hear Scripture’s promise of the light shining on us in the land of great darkness with confident hope that Christ will come again. The light of the world has ultimately scattered the darkness, and we joyfully await His second coming to bring us to the land where light reigns eternally.</p> <p>In the beginning, God created light. This light preceded candles, lamps, electric bulbs, and the sun itself. As the Scriptures open in Genesis with God creating light, so they close in the final chapter of Revelation with the promise of a new light:</p> <blockquote> <p>And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:5)</p> </blockquote> <p>On the final day, we will glory in that light forever.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 12px;">Scripture: ESV<sup>®</sup>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Celebrate Advent by using hymns and carols from&nbsp;<em>Lutheran Service Book</em>.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=b5fb8c10-b2e3-4fda-b0e9-312fa9a147e7&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order Lutheran Service Book: Hymns and Carols for Christmas" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/b5fb8c10-b2e3-4fda-b0e9-312fa9a147e7.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fwaiting-for-the-light-of-the-world&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Advent Featured Tue, 23 Nov 2021 12:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/waiting-for-the-light-of-the-world 2021-11-23T12:00:00Z Marie Greenway Music of the Month: The First Noel https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-the-first-noel <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-the-first-noel" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2021/10/motm-the-first-noel.jpg" alt="Music of the Month: The First Noel" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p><em>The First Noel</em> is one of the final contributions to the Concordia Publishing House choral catalog by the late <a href="https://music.cph.org/composers/carl-f-schalk">Carl F. Schalk</a> (1929–2021). Schalk’s soaring tune and captivating setting of the beloved Christmas carol is set for SATB, strings, tubular bells, and timpani. Useful for concerts, services, and pageants, the piece is a processional carol. The new tune and unique combination of instrumentation will engage listeners and set the tone for concerts and worship.</p> <h3></h3> <p><em>The First Noel</em> is one of the final contributions to the Concordia Publishing House choral catalog by the late <a href="https://music.cph.org/composers/carl-f-schalk">Carl F. Schalk</a> (1929–2021). Schalk’s soaring tune and captivating setting of the beloved Christmas carol is set for SATB, strings, tubular bells, and timpani. Useful for concerts, services, and pageants, the piece is a processional carol. The new tune and unique combination of instrumentation will engage listeners and set the tone for concerts and worship.</p> <h3>Behind the Scenes: Recording The First Noel</h3> <p>Among the newly published choral music by CPH in 2021, <em>The First Noel</em> was recorded at Kramer Chapel on the campus of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, earlier this year. Given the combination of unique instruments used in this score and the restrictions for gathering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the instrumental and choral parts were recorded separately and then layered for the final sample.</p> <p>“One inspiration for this was that our local Fort Wayne Children’s Choir undertook a major recording in the fall of 2020, recording several pieces with Fort Wayne Philharmonic musicians using the same procedure,” said <a href="https://music.cph.org/composers/kevin-hildebrand">Kevin Hildebrand</a>, Kantor at CTSFW and director of the ensembles that recorded CPH’s new choral music.</p> <p>“My daughter sings with [Fort Wayne Children’s Choir], so I was familiar with this project. Mr. Jonathan Busarow, executive director of the FWCC and also a singer on the recording of <em>The First Noel</em>, helped guide me through this process and what we would need to do,” Hildebrand said. “We also were blessed with the audio expertise of Rev. Chris Gillespie, our recording engineer, who knew exactly how to make this work.”</p> <p>After getting technology and mechanics planned and in place, Hildebrand hired musicians, rented a set of tubular bells, and set out to begin the recording process. Three separate recordings were made: a digital piano recording, an instrumental recording, and a choral recording.</p> <p>“The piano played all the choral parts along with the instrumentalists, but the piano sound was only audible through headphones worn by me and the audio engineer, and not picked up by the microphones in the chapel,” Hildebrand said. “In addition, every time the choral parts had long chords, especially with a ritardando, like at the end of each refrain, the piano repeated the chord on every quarter note beat in order to provide the tempo changes. It was a bit unusual for the string players when during the a cappella choral sections, they merely sat in a silent room while I conducted the digital piano playing the choral parts, heard only through our sets of headphones!”</p> <p>The digital piano and instrumental recordings were necessary for the choir to hear through headphones as they recorded their choral parts a few weeks later.</p> <p>“Each choir member wore a set of headphones, where each singer could hear the instrumental track, including the digital piano doubling the choir parts. The result was that the choir was perfectly in sync with the instruments, even during the a cappella sections and during the tempo changes,” Hildebrand said. “When the audio was edited, Rev. Gillespie simply muted the piano track and the result is the beautiful rendition we have provided.”</p> <h3>The Result and Practical Use</h3> <p>I sang bass in the group that recorded the new choral music, and we voted this as our favorite piece published by CPH this year. We quickly fell in love with this setting, and it was very moving to rehearse and record in light of Schalk’s recent death. Before we even heard the complete result (remember, we only heard the instrumental parts as recordings through our headphones as we sang), we knew this was a grand and glorious piece of music.</p> <p>“Frankly, the music is beautiful, and the orchestration for strings, timpani, and tubular bells makes a stirring and grand sound,” Hildebrand said. “The way the refrain climbs up to that last ‘Noel, noel’ is quite moving. I remember the first time we rehearsed this piece, the entire choir was in a sort of stunned silence at the conclusion of the carol, with those stirring string chords and that final bell.”</p> <p>The piece is around ten minutes long, making it useful for concerts for ensembles at Christmastime or as special music for festival services throughout the <a href="https://communication.cph.org/lutheran-church-calendar/advent-christmas">Christmas season</a>. It also provides a fresh and new tune and setting of a beloved Christmas carol.</p> <p>“I think the fact that this is a familiar text helped endear this to the choir quickly,” Hildebrand said. “It’s sometimes a challenge when a composer creates a nontraditional tune to a traditional text. Sometimes that just doesn’t work, but once in a while there’s a brilliant idea, such as this setting, and every time you sing it or listen to it, the new tune becomes even dearer to you.”</p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ae_Yw3mzuD8" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <h3>Schalk’s Legacy</h3> <p>During his professional career, Schalk published hundreds of choral pieces with sacred music publishers and has more than one hundred titles with CPH. He also wrote <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-32023-singing-the-churchs-song.aspx">essays and books on the history of Church music in the Lutheran Church </a>and on a variety of topics for church musicians. He was the editor for the journal Church Music and composed various hymn tunes and hymn-based preludes for organ.</p> <p>Hildebrand, who attended Concordia University Chicago (where Schalk taught for more than forty years) as an undergraduate student, said Schalk’s legacy remained steadfast and faithful to the Church’s liturgy while involving musicians and parishioners of all experience and skill levels.</p> <p>“He knew how to write especially for amateur singers, but in a way that’s not condescending or limiting. His melodies and voice leading are helpful to the singers—simple without being simplistic,” Hildebrand said. “And not only is the musical composition skilled, but the texts he chose to set are also top rate. His life’s work was to foster and encourage church music in the local parish and to emphasize the role of the choir in singing the liturgy and music that support the Church Year and lectionary.”</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Sing <em>The First Noel</em> at your church by ordering the choral score below.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=fcac2f7b-257b-4621-af7c-c4f1111b4923&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order&nbsp;Now" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/fcac2f7b-257b-4621-af7c-c4f1111b4923.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fmusic-of-the-month-the-first-noel&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Christmas Choral Featured Tue, 02 Nov 2021 10:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-the-first-noel 2021-11-02T10:00:00Z Nathan Grime Technology and Church Music https://blog.cph.org/worship/technology-and-church-music <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/technology-and-church-music" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2021/10/father-son-listening-to-music.jpg" alt="Technology and Church Music" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>We live in a world dominated by digital technology—technology that majorly affects our modern musical world. Although digital technology can offer us a wealth of music we might otherwise not have access to, digital recordings lack the inherent risk of live performance—a risk that lends live performances a certain sense of humanity. This humanity reflects the reality of our lives, including the reality of salvation through Christ. Although digital technology in the musical world is a great gift, it is a worthy endeavor to continue to <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-tedious-work-of-musicians-and-christians">pursue live musical performances</a> in order to experience the wonder and beauty of music that we must take as is in all its imperfection.</p> <p>We live in a world dominated by digital technology—technology that majorly affects our modern musical world. Although digital technology can offer us a wealth of music we might otherwise not have access to, digital recordings lack the inherent risk of live performance—a risk that lends live performances a certain sense of humanity. This humanity reflects the reality of our lives, including the reality of salvation through Christ. Although digital technology in the musical world is a great gift, it is a worthy endeavor to continue to <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-tedious-work-of-musicians-and-christians">pursue live musical performances</a> in order to experience the wonder and beauty of music that we must take as is in all its imperfection.</p> <h3>God’s Gift of Digital Technology</h3> <p>Technology, particularly technology concerning music, has a significant place in the Church. Today, the word <em>technology</em> can have a negative connotation. We love to blame technology for all sorts of societal ills. However, technology allows us to attend live concerts, spend time practicing daily, provide for our families, and have access to the world’s greatest music and musical performances on demand.</p> <p>In the Church, not only are the instruments we play a form of technology, but specifically, digital technology provides us with clean and edited sheet music written on computers, printed, and distributed at low costs. Furthermore, many churches unable to house or fund a pipe organ rely instead on electronics to deliver the audio of that instrument with an electronic organ. Thanks be to God we have such wonderful and accessible options!</p> <p>Additionally, digital options like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube give us access to fantastic performances of <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/how-music-affects-its-listeners">practically any music selection we choose with the tap of a finger</a>. No longer are concerts reserved for the aristocracy at the availability of live musicians. Instead, one recording can grant the music of the masters to the layman and his family at any time. I can even “attend” a live concert while nursing my newborn from the comfort of my own home. All of these options open a world of musical literacy to everyone.</p> <h3>Negatives of Digital Technology&nbsp;</h3> <p>On the other hand, I am sometimes torn about the easy access we have to music via digital technology. Families gain access not only to musical classics but also can easily access crude music with immoral lyrics. The widespread use of digital technology also decreases our attention spans, making it difficult for us to comfortably sit through an hour-long symphony.</p> <p>Furthermore, while we are thankful that some congregations can make use of technology to provide a service to those who cannot make it to church or provide music sans organist, these things can also become a crutch when members learn to rely on digital technology instead of reaping the benefits of in-person attendance and the community of proximity with fellow church members.</p> <h3>The Humanity of Live Performances</h3> <p>I also posit that live music is generally superior to digital recordings. While recordings make music easy to access, there is a certain beauty and mystery to a live performance beyond even the quality of sound. Recordings are edited and polished for an excellent performance; on the other hand, live performances carry a risk that the musicians might mess up in front of a crowd of people. This risk lends humanity to live performances that digital recordings lack. This humanity also exists in the physical proximity of performers and listeners. There is a personal connection when the people listening to your music are right in front of your face.</p> <p>Furthermore, the listener cannot control the <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/live-out-your-love-for-traditional-church-music">music in live performances</a>. When I listen to Spotify, I can pause the music, skip to the next song, play a song again, turn the volume up or down, and even adjust the balance of bass and treble. When I am listening to a live performance, I have to take what get. It does not matter if I do not like a piece in a concert or <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/cling-to-hymns-in-a-pandemic">a hymn in church</a>; I must put up with it. On the other hand, if there is a beautiful moment, I cannot replay that again. There is a greater beauty to that moment, knowing that it can never be recaptured. The spontaneity of live music cannot be recreated in a digital world.</p> <h3>Live Musical Performances as a Reflection of Our Lives</h3> <p>Our humanity is important. Jesus took it upon Himself to walk this earth and suffer temptation, wounds, and death for us. Our humanity is not sterile. While we suffer greatly here on earth, we also experience intense beauty and wonder. Live music can be inconvenient and mediocre, but it also allows us to experience unplanned moments of beauty and wonder. It is a reflection of humanity when a great moment of beauty appears in the middle of sadness, suffering, or mere monotony. In this, we also find a reflection of our salvation, that Christ would offer the ultimate sacrifice—a sacrifice of suffering and death—to bring us to the ultimate beauty and wonder of heaven.</p> <p>Technology, even digital technology, is a wonderful thing. It allows us to experience beauty every day. However, it is important not to neglect the reflection of humanity present in live music. We should encounter live performances with the knowledge that while they may not be perfect, they will also not be sterile and safe. Like ourselves and the realities of the lives we live on this earth, live music allows for <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/gods-generous-gift-of-music">unexpected moments of great beauty</a> and wonders outside of our control and amid imperfection. These moments are ultimately a reflection of the beauty and wonder of Christ’s sacrifice for us. He suffered and died to secure our salvation and our place in heaven—the greatest place of beauty and wonder.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Want to read more about technology in the life of the church? &nbsp;Try reading <em>Redeeming Technology: A Christian Approach to Healthy Digital Habits.</em>&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=36f9a781-a993-4436-9db7-98511dc21ec4&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order&nbsp;Now" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/36f9a781-a993-4436-9db7-98511dc21ec4.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Ftechnology-and-church-music&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Church Music Featured Tue, 26 Oct 2021 10:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/technology-and-church-music 2021-10-26T10:00:00Z Marie Greenway Music Evolving through the Reformation https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-evolving-through-the-reformation <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-evolving-through-the-reformation" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2021/10/hands-playing-organ.jpg" alt="Music Evolving through the Reformation" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p><span style="font-style: italic;">This blog post has been adapted from an article that appears in </span><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34314-lutheranism-101-third-edition.aspx" style="font-style: normal;">Lutheranism 101: Third Edition</a>. <span style="font-style: italic;">Read the first part of the article </span><a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-heritage-of-music-during-the-reformation" style="font-style: italic;">here</a><span style="font-style: italic;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-style: italic;">This blog post has been adapted from an article that appears in </span><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34314-lutheranism-101-third-edition.aspx" style="font-style: normal;">Lutheranism 101: Third Edition</a>. <span style="font-style: italic;">Read the first part of the article </span><a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-heritage-of-music-during-the-reformation" style="font-style: italic;">here</a><span style="font-style: italic;">.</span></p> <p>Lutheran hymn writing flourished in the seventeenth century, and standing highest among the writers of that time is <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/composer-of-the-month-paul-gerhardt">Paul Gerhardt</a>. His hymns exhibit solid Lutheran doctrine and superb poetic skill, but they are beloved because of their warmth of tone and natural, personal language. “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” (<em>LSB </em>449/450) is a stirring passion hymn with words the singer can so effortlessly make his or her own. Gerhardt’s hymns are there at Baptisms (“All Christians Who Have Been Baptized,” <em>LSB</em> 596) and at bedtime (“Now Rest beneath Night’s Shadow,” <em>LSB</em> 880), during the Church Year (“A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth,” <em>LSB </em>438) and when we need comfort (“Entrust Your Days and Burdens,” <em>LSB</em> 754). Other important Lutheran hymnwriters include Johann Heermann (“O Dearest Jesus, What Law Hast Thou Broken,” <em>LSB </em>439), Johann Franck (“Soul, Adorn Yourself with Gladness,” <em>LSB</em> 636), Johann Olearius (“Comfort, Comfort Ye My People,” <em>LSB</em> 347), and Erdmann Neumeister (“<a href="https://youtu.be/ASTWyTT2a14">God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It,</a>” <em>LSB</em> 594).</p> <h3>Lutheran Hymns in German and English</h3> <p>While all these examples were originally written in German, Lutheran hymns could be found in other languages as well. But it wasn’t until the twentieth century that Lutheran hymns originally written in English finally came into their own. Among the prominent American Lutheran hymnwriters are Martin Franzmann (“Thy Strong Word,” <em>LSB</em> 578), <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/remembering-jaroslav-vajda">Jaroslav J. Vajda</a> (“Go, My Children, with My Blessing,” <span style="font-style: italic;">LSB</span> 922), Herman G. Stuempfle Jr. (“Voices Raised to You We Offer,” <em>LSB</em> 795), and <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/product-of-the-month-the-tree-of-life">Stephen P. Starke (“The Tree of Life,” <em>LSB</em> 561)</a>. These hymns exhibit the same characteristics as the hymns in the “Achtliederbuch” <span>(or “eight-hymn book,” the first Lutheran hymnal)</span>: they flow out of the existing tradition, are well-crafted, and proclaim the Good News.</p> <p>Johann Walter’s 1524 choir collection similarly displayed some of the key features of Lutheran music: a close connection between words and music, the prominence of the chorale tune, and the expanding role of a choir supporting and leading congregational singing. Yet neither Walter nor Martin Luther invented a new style of church music. These compositions were firmly rooted in the existing practices of the time.</p> <h3>The Evolution of Hymn Tunes</h3> <p>Succeeding composers provided new chorale tunes as well as new musical settings. As European music evolved, Lutheran music did too, adding organ and other instruments to the mix. And while the chorale tune was a significant aspect of early Lutheran music, it was never the only aspect. From the start, Lutheran music might also use texts from sources other than hymns, such as scriptural or liturgical texts, sometimes still in Latin.</p> <p>As it did with hymnwriters, the seventeenth century produced an abundance of Lutheran composers. Chief among them was Heinrich Schütz, who studied with the best musicians and composers of his time. He wrote significant works for choir and instruments, most of which centered around liturgical and scriptural texts. As demonstrated in his passion settings and works based on the Psalms of David, his mastery of musically interpreting and proclaiming the text was unparalleled. His influence reached far beyond Lutheran music. Another influential Lutheran musician was composer and theorist <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-praetorius-chorales-for-sab-choir">Michael Praetorius</a> (“Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” <em>LSB</em> 359).</p> <h3>Bach and Mendelssohn</h3> <p>Standing at the summit of Lutheran musicians is <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/teaching-todays-young-musicians-with-musical-masters">Johann Sebastian Bach</a>. His organ works and church cantatas, typically based on chorales and tied closely to the liturgical year, display technical brilliance, creative genius, and perfection of the art. He spent a lifetime carefully studying the best of the music he inherited and that of his contemporaries. He understood and was sensitive to the texts he set in his music, which in turn proclaimed and even preached those texts. His passion settings and <span style="font-style: italic;">Mass in B Minor</span> alone are enough to place him among the premier artists of Western civilization.</p> <p>Nineteenth-century composer Felix Mendelssohn, known better for his symphonies and solo piano works, also wrote enduring Lutheran music (“Grant Peace, We Pray, in Mercy, Lord” <em>LSB</em> 777). Noteworthy twentieth-century Lutheran composers include Hugo Distler (“Es ist ein Ros entsprungen”), Jan O. Bender (“O God, O Lord of Heaven and Earth,” <em>LSB</em> 834), Paul Manz (“E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come”), Richard Hillert (“This Is the Feast,” <em>LSB</em>, p. 155), and <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/celebrating-composer-dr-carl-schalk">Carl F. Schalk</a> (“Now the Silence,” <em>LSB</em> 910).</p> <h3>Lutheran Hymns in the Modern Age</h3> <p>Modern Lutheran composers receive and continue the heritage that began even before 1524. They are the recipients of a tradition of musical excellence that learns and draws from the best of what came before and of what others are now producing. Through diligent study, ongoing practice, and careful work, they offer new music that goes hand in hand with the hymnic, scriptural, and liturgical texts of the church. The heritage remains one of hymnwriter, composer, and people together singing their proclamation and praise.</p> <p style="font-size: 12px;">Blog post adapted from&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34314-lutheranism-101-third-edition.aspx"><em>Lutheranism 101: Third Edition</em></a> copyright&nbsp;© 2021 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">To read more about Lutheranism and Lutheran music, order Lutheranism 1o1: third edition below.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=01779fe5-dc07-43ec-9eb3-b07db57ca52a&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Purchase&nbsp;Lutheranism 101&nbsp;" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/01779fe5-dc07-43ec-9eb3-b07db57ca52a.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fmusic-evolving-through-the-reformation&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Reformation Featured Tue, 12 Oct 2021 15:30:00 GMT none.2@cph.org (Concordia Publishing House) https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-evolving-through-the-reformation 2021-10-12T15:30:00Z Music of the Month: Preludes on Five Hymns of Martin Luther https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-preludes-on-five-hymns-of-martin-luther <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-preludes-on-five-hymns-of-martin-luther" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2021/09/motm-preludes-on-5-hymns.png" alt="Music of the Month: Preludes on Five Hymns of Martin Luther" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>Bret A. Heim has crafted new settings based on five of Martin Luther's hymns:&nbsp; GOTT DER VATER, WOHN UNS BEI; JESUS CHRISTUS, UNSER HEILAND; a cantilena and toccata on NUN BITTEN WIR; NUN FREUT EUCH; and a delightful triptych on NUN KOMM, DER HEIDEN HEILAND. These attractive settings will be a wonderful addition to the organist’s library.</p> <p>Bret A. Heim has crafted new settings based on five of Martin Luther's hymns:&nbsp; GOTT DER VATER, WOHN UNS BEI; JESUS CHRISTUS, UNSER HEILAND; a cantilena and toccata on NUN BITTEN WIR; NUN FREUT EUCH; and a delightful triptych on NUN KOMM, DER HEIDEN HEILAND. These attractive settings will be a wonderful addition to the organist’s library.</p> <p><span></span></p> <h3><strong>GOTT DER VATER, WOHN UNS BEI</strong></h3> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>The hymn “Triune God, Be Thou Our Stay” (<em>Lutheran Service Book </em>505) was one of many hymns Martin Luther (1483–1546) based on pre-Reformation texts. He called <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/three-hymn-recommendations-for-reformation-day">these hymns</a> <em>gebessert</em>, or “improved.” In this case, the early version of the hymn was addressed to St. Peter or St. Mary. This is a portion of the version addressed to Mary:<br></span></p> <blockquote> <p style="text-align: left;">Holy Mary, stay with us,</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>and do not let us perish.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>Free us from all sins.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>And if we should die,</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>defend us from the devil;</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>help us, chaste Virgin Mary</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>to join the lovely angel host.</span></p> </blockquote> <p><span>It isn’t difficult to see with a <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-heritage-of-music-during-the-reformation">post-Reformation lens</a> the theologically dubious claims that caught Luther’s attention in this hymn. The most obvious Reformation-era change to the hymn is that it is now addressed to the Holy Trinity: God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. However, much of the hymn reads similar to the original version:</span></p> <blockquote> <p><span>&nbsp;</span><span style="background-color: transparent;">Triune God, be Thou our stay;</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>O let us perish never!</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>Cleanse us from our sins, we pray,</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>And grant us life forever.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>Keep us from the evil one;</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>Uphold our faith most holy,</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>And let us trust Thee solely</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>With humble hearts and lowly.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>Let us put God’s armor on,</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>With all true Christians running</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>Our heav’nly race and shunning</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>The devil’s wiles and cunning.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>Amen, amen! This be done;</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>So sing we, “Alleluia!”</span></p> </blockquote> <h3><strong>JESUS CHRISTUS, UNSER HEILAND</strong></h3> <p><span>The hymn “Jesus Christ, Our Blessed Savior” (<em>Lutheran Service Book </em>627) was another <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-reformations-first-lutheran-hymns">hymn Luther translated</a> and updated from an earlier version. This time, the original text was written by John Hus (1369–1415), a Bohemian reformer who predated Luther by a century.</span></p> <p><span>Luther translated and updated this hymn during Lent and Holy Week in 1524, when he was preaching on the Lord’s Supper and studying the Bohemian’s teaching on the real presence of Christ in the Sacrament. Luther titled his revisions <em>Das lied S. Johannes Hus gebessert </em>(“The hymn of St. John Hus, improved”).</span></p> <p><span>Luther’s revised and improved hymn quickly became a staple in the Lutheran Church’s hymnody on the Lord’s Supper. </span></p> <h3><strong>NUN BITTEN WIR&nbsp;</strong></h3> <p><span>The hymn “To God the Holy Spirit Let Us Pray” (<em>Lutheran Service Book </em>768) predated Luther with its first stanza, and in typical Luther fashion, he added what we now know as stanzas 2 through 4. A hallmark of this hymn is that each stanza ends with the words of the Kyrie: “Lord, have mercy!”</span></p> <p><span>This was a common feature of hymns in the Middle Ages, and they even have a name: <em>Leise</em> hymns. These <em>Leise </em>hymns always ended with <em>Kyrieleis</em>, a contraction of <em>Kyrie eleison </em>(“Lord, have mercy”).</span></p> <p><span>Many of Luther’s hymns follow this model: “Triune God, Be Thou Our Stay” (<em>LSB </em>505), “These Are the Holy Ten Commands” (<em>LSB </em>581), “O Lord, We Praise Thee” (<em>LSB </em>617), and “In the Very Midst of Life” (<em>LSB </em>755). </span></p> <p><span>Sometimes an&nbsp;<em>Alleluia</em> replaces the&nbsp;<em>Kyrie</em> at the end of each stanza. This can be found in Luther's festival hymns:</span><span> the Christmas hymn “We Praise You, Jesus, at Your Birth” (<em>LSB </em>382), the Easter hymn “Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands” (<em>LSB 4</em>58), the Pentecost Hymn “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord” (<em>LSB </em>497), and the hymn for the Holy Trinity “Triune God, Be Thou Our Stay” (<em>LSB </em>505).</span></p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dPNBzGBvB18" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <h3><strong>NUN FREUT EUCH&nbsp;</strong></h3> <p><span>Of all of Luther’s hymns, perhaps “Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice” (<em>Lutheran Service Book </em>556) most clearly sets forth the doctrine of justification by grace through faith. This hymn is unique in that it also takes the structure of a narrative.</span></p> <p><span>The narrative begins with Luther’s invitation to us: “Dear Christians, one and all, rejoice…” (stanza 1). It then turns to Luther’s first-person view of being dead to sin yet alive to Christ: “Fast bound in Satan’s chains I lay…” (stanzas 2–4). The hymn then turns to God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ: “God said to His beloved Son: ‘It’s time to have compassion…’ ” (stanzas 5–6). The hymn concludes with God addressing us: “To me He said: ‘Stay close to Me…’” (stanzas 7-10). &nbsp;</span></p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JluFL6nLIPo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <h3><strong>NUN KOMM, DER HEIDEN HEILAND&nbsp;</strong></h3> <p><span>The hymn “Savior of the Nations, Come” (<em>Lutheran Service Book </em>332) was another that Luther translated and updated. Whereas many of Luther’s revisions had their genesis in the Middle Ages, “Savior of the Nations, Come” is attributed to Ambrose of Milan (340–397).</span></p> <p><span>The hymns Ambrose, the “Father of Latin hymnody,” wrote were intended to be sung by the people. Perhaps Luther was attracted to this early Latin hymn because of its simple style that was conducive to congregational singing.</span></p> <p><span>This hymn is synonymous with Advent, but that was a classification made first by Luther. Before Luther’s time, the hymn had been prescribed for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Order your copy of<em> Preludes on Five Hymns of Martin Luther</em> below.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=ed3cf8b7-539a-4b6f-bc5d-c605f1129149&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Purchase the music" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/ed3cf8b7-539a-4b6f-bc5d-c605f1129149.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fmusic-of-the-month-preludes-on-five-hymns-of-martin-luther&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Martin Luther Hymns Featured Tue, 05 Oct 2021 11:30:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-preludes-on-five-hymns-of-martin-luther 2021-10-05T11:30:00Z Nathan Grime The Importance of Movement in the Divine Service https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-importance-of-movement-in-the-divine-service <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-importance-of-movement-in-the-divine-service" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2021/09/man-child-praying-in-pew.jpg" alt="The Importance of Movement in the Divine Service" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>As anyone who <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-liturgy-of-back-to-school-routines">spends time around kids</a> can attest, children love to move. In fact, it is often difficult to get them to sit still, and many teachers know how beneficial it is to plan lessons in which children can move their bodies while still learning. Like many things, this characteristic of children speaks truth about human beings in general: we are made to move.</p> <h3></h3> <p>As anyone who <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-liturgy-of-back-to-school-routines">spends time around kids</a> can attest, children love to move. In fact, it is often difficult to get them to sit still, and many teachers know how beneficial it is to plan lessons in which children can move their bodies while still learning. Like many things, this characteristic of children speaks truth about human beings in general: we are made to move.</p> <h3>Made to Move and Form Habits</h3> <p>God made our bodies to move, and, furthermore, that movement is an important part of what forms our souls. Our everyday movements become our physical habits, and these physical habits, in turn, shape our hearts and minds. After all, the little things we do daily show what kind of person we are and guide us into becoming a certain kind of person.</p> <p>Do you brush your teeth daily? If so, have you ever forgotten to brush them on occasion? If so, you probably felt a little off the day you forgot to brush because you deviated from habit. Most of us automatically reach for the toothbrush or have it ingrained in our daily routine. We not only value our dental health and hygiene to begin with, but the habit of brushing daily also encourages us to continue to take our dental health and hygiene seriously. It is important to guide our daily movements into good habits (such as brushing our teeth) because these habits eventually form our characters.</p> <h3>Habit Formation Affects Our Souls&nbsp;</h3> <p>The <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-beautiful-routine-of-the-liturgy">formation of good physical habits </a>affects our hearts, minds, and souls, and is part of why the Church has handed down the tradition of movement during the Divine Service. Consider the physicality of the Service and how we are taught to stand, sit, bow, kneel, close our eyes, and fold our hands. These seemingly little and unimportant movements help us to form a proper level of reverence and respect.</p> <p>When I was a child, like many, I was taught to fold my hands, bow my head, and close my eyes during prayer. These physical movements became so ingrained in me that I felt irreverent when they were not adhered to. In the past few years, I have learned to bow at the Gloria Patri and to cross myself during invocations and benedictions. Once a little odd to me, these movements are now so natural that I do them almost automatically at the proper times. They have influenced me to adopt an increasingly reverent attitude in church.</p> <p>If we are honest, though, we do not always feel like doing the things we ought to do. We may not always feel reverent during the Service when there are a million other things to think about. When our reverent movements become automatic, however, we respond with due reverence even if we do not feel like it. The physical habits we form may even help to guide our hearts and minds back to a sense of reverence. These physical habits keep us involved in the Divine Service and give us a simple way to put our minds on the things being said.</p> <h3>Habits Encourage Reverence of Body</h3> <p>Some people may argue that the automatic habits of the Divine Service become a simple going-through-the-motions. They may contend that these habits on their own prevent a person’s heart, mind, or soul from being actively engaged in the Service and a person would be better served to truly feel certain emotions before matching their movements to their feelings. Certainly, our distracted thoughts may keep us from feeling the proper emotions or attitudes in church. In reality, though, this will be the case whether or not there are habitual movements involved. It is our sinful nature not to pay attention with our whole heart.</p> <p>Automatic, habitual movements do not determine that. In fact, during times of distraction, these physical habits ensure that we maintain reverence of body even when we lack reverence of heart, mind, or soul. Being mindful of what the reverent movements of our body indicate can remind our heart, mind, and soul of the sacrifice of our Lord and the gifts He is giving as we approach the gifts of Word and Sacrament appropriately when we do not feel up to the task. Lacking these habits, it would be much harder for the reverence displayed in our body to stir reverence in our heart, mind, and soul.</p> <p>Like children during a day at school, we are bodies that need movement. We are people of habits formed by the ways in which we move. And we are souls that are formed by the Word of God, influenced by the habits we develop. The rich treasure of the Church and her liturgy is that she recognizes this fact and provides movements for our bodies to tangibly show us the reverence due to our Savior who redeems both our bodies and our souls.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Learn more about the liturgy of the Divine Service by ordering Friedrich Lochner's book below.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=b8542dac-39ca-4f90-8800-a86533d0a4e6&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order the book" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/b8542dac-39ca-4f90-8800-a86533d0a4e6.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fthe-importance-of-movement-in-the-divine-service&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Divine Service Featured Tue, 28 Sep 2021 10:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-importance-of-movement-in-the-divine-service 2021-09-28T10:00:00Z Marie Greenway Music of the Month: Praetorius Chorales for SAB Choir https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-praetorius-chorales-for-sab-choir <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-praetorius-chorales-for-sab-choir" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2021/09/praetorius-chorales-sab-choir.jpg" alt="Music of the Month: Praetorius Chorales for SAB Choir" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>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.</p> <h3></h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>Michael Praetorius</h3> <p>Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) was a German Lutheran musician whose impact on the Lutheran chorale cannot be overstated. He succeeded Johann Walter in the lineage of Lutheran composers, and his chorale settings of hymns endure to this day. His best-known compilation of chorales is his <em>Musae Sioniae</em>, which contains more than one thousand settings.</p> <p>Praetorius is known both for perpetuating the tradition of the Lutheran chorale that preceded him while also including the contemporary musical ideas of his time to make his unique mark on music in the Lutheran tradition.</p> <p>In<em> Lutheran Service Book</em>, the setting of the Christmas hymn, “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” (<em>LSB</em> 359) uses Praetorius’s setting, and the hymn tune ACH GOTT VOM HIMMELREICHE (<em>LSB</em> 514 and 642) is a Praetorius original.</p> <h3>Praetorius Chorales for SAB Choir, Volume 1</h3> <p><a href="https://music.cph.org/composers/william-braun">Dr. William Braun</a>, professor emeritus of music at Wisconsin Lutheran College and choir director and organist at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, has edited fifteen Praetorius chorales that are used as the Hymn of the Day throughout <a href="https://communication.cph.org/lutheran-church-calendar">the Church Year</a>.</p> <p>These settings take Praetorius’s original four-part chorales and pair them down to three voices: soprano, alto, and baritone. This makes Praetorius’s classic settings accessible to most parish choirs whose numbers by section are often not as balanced as one may wish.</p> <p>The first of three volumes features chorales from the seasons of Advent through Easter: “Savior of the Nations, Come (Advent), “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come” (Christmas), “O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright” (Epiphany), “A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth” (Lent/Holy Week), and “Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands”(Easter).</p> <p>Each chorale setting includes selected stanzas from<em> Lutheran Service Book</em> so that a choir may sing those stanzas in alternation with the congregation for the Hymn of the Day, or independently as a choral piece.</p> <p>I was fortunate to be part of the group that recorded the choral samples of <a href="https://www.cph.org/c-3594-new-music-catalog.aspx">new music published by CPH in 2021</a>. We recorded samples of the Praetorius collection, in addition to the rest of the new choral music, at Kramer Chapel on the campus of Concordia Theological Seminary—Fort Wayne in March.</p> <p>The sample included from Volume 1 is the setting of “<a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34916-praetorius-chorales-for-sab-choir-volume-1.aspx?REName=&amp;plk=0&amp;Lk=0&amp;rlk=0">Savior of the Nations, Come.</a>” The cantus firmus is sung in long-note values by the baritone&nbsp;voices, while the soprano and alto voices sing the text with unique rhythmic patterns over the top of the melody.</p> <div class="hs-responsive-embed-wrapper hs-responsive-embed" style="width: 100%; height: auto; position: relative; overflow: hidden; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; margin: 0px auto; display: block;"> <div class="hs-responsive-embed-inner-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0;"> <iframe class="hs-responsive-embed-iframe" style="position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kwzhU0BksDI" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> <br>I recommend that when using these chorale settings, an organist should lightly accompany the voices to reinforce the rhythms and harmonies, as we did in the sample recording. A score for accompaniment is included underneath the choral score. <h3>Praetorius Chorales for SAB Choir, Volume 2</h3> <p>The second volume of the collection features chorales on hymns from Ascension through the End Times in the Church Year: “On Christ’s Ascension I Now Build” (Ascension), “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord” (Pentecost), “Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying” (End Times), “Salvation unto Us Has Come” (Reformation), and “When in the Hour of Deepest Need” (Common Time).</p> <p>The recorded sample from Volume 2 is, “<a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34917-praetorius-chorales-for-sab-choir-volume-2.aspx?REName=&amp;plk=0&amp;Lk=0&amp;rlk=0">Salvation unto Us Has Come.</a>” In this more traditional setting, the cantus firmus is in the soprano voices, while the alto and baritone&nbsp;voices provide harmonic support.</p> <div class="hs-responsive-embed-wrapper hs-responsive-embed" style="width: 100%; height: auto; position: relative; overflow: hidden; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; margin: 0px auto; display: block;"> <div class="hs-responsive-embed-inner-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0;"> <iframe class="hs-responsive-embed-iframe" style="position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0CS-2ECWULg" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> <br>The setting deviates at times from the traditional chorale melody and rhythm, but never too far to become unrecognizable. This provides the opportunity to reinforce the text and makes for quite a delightful choral alternation to congregational singing. <h3>Praetorius Chorales for SAB Choir, Volume 3</h3> <p>The third volume of the collection features chorales on hymns for Reformation and general use: “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word,” “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” “Our Father, Who from Heaven Above,” “To God the Holy Spirit Let Us Pray,” and “All Glory Be to God on High.”</p> <p>The first four of these five hymns are texts written by Martin Luther. Although Luther’s hymns are often rightly associated with the festival of Reformation Day, these and his other hymns should find regular use throughout the Church Year.</p> <p>The recorded sample from Volume 3 is “<a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34918-praetorius-chorales-for-sab-choir-volume-3.aspx?REName=&amp;plk=0&amp;Lk=0&amp;rlk=0">Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word.</a>” This setting is in the style of a fughetta between the three voices, where the baritone&nbsp;voices begin with the first melodic line of the chorale, followed by the alto voices, and then the soprano voices.</p> <div class="hs-responsive-embed-wrapper hs-responsive-embed" style="width: 100%; height: auto; position: relative; overflow: hidden; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; margin: 0px auto; display: block;"> <div class="hs-responsive-embed-inner-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0;"> <iframe class="hs-responsive-embed-iframe" style="position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YxvrjaAS7Rc" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> <br>Each phrase is then parsed out harmonically with rhythmic variety while staying true to the chorale’s spirit and identity. Although this hymn is in the key of E minor, the setting ends in E major, which is a common feature of chorales from before, during, and after Praetorius’s time. <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Bring these new Praetorius Chorales to your congregation by ordering all three volumes below.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=ffb8326b-e808-4bef-bb5e-f28cda55a628&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order Now" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/ffb8326b-e808-4bef-bb5e-f28cda55a628.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fmusic-of-the-month-praetorius-chorales-for-sab-choir&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Choral Featured Tue, 07 Sep 2021 11:30:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-praetorius-chorales-for-sab-choir 2021-09-07T11:30:00Z Nathan Grime The Liturgy of Back-to-School Routines https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-liturgy-of-back-to-school-routines <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-liturgy-of-back-to-school-routines" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/Girl%20going%20back%20to%20school.jpg" alt="Girl going back to school" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p><br>How do we approach this return to routines in Lutheran education as Lutheran musicians? As I’ve written many times before, it is <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-beautiful-routine-of-the-liturgy">the routine of the liturgy</a> that can, and should, guide our days. <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-98-lutheran-service-book-pew-edition.aspx"><em>Lutheran Service Book</em></a> provides excellent ways in which we can guide ourselves, our families, and our schools to learn and celebrate the saving work of Christ in the day-to-day.<br><br><span style="font-family: proxima-nova, sans-serif; font-size: calc(1.275rem + 0.3vw); background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold;">The Divine Service, Matins, and Vespers</span></p> <p>The weekly Sunday Divine Service is essential to the life of a Christian in order to receive Christ’s body and blood and to hear God’s Word granting us forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. How do we bring a service full of God’s Word to a school community during the week, when time is of the essence and many school children are not confirmed Lutheran and thus not yet prepared to receive the Sacrament? We can turn to the other offices like Matins and Vespers.<br><br>Originally, Jewish Christians carried forward the ancient Jewish hours of prayer, transforming them to reflect Christ's completed work. These hours of prayer were expanded until nine hours, or services, were offered each day. During the time of the Reformation, leaders considered that nine hours of prayer was impractical for all but those people specifically dedicated to the religious life. Thus, several of these hours were merged and their components combined to give us one main morning service, Matins, and one main evening service, Vespers, for general use.<br><br><span style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="font-family: proxima-nova, sans-serif; font-size: calc(1.275rem + 0.3vw); background-color: transparent;">Using Matins and</span><span style="font-family: proxima-nova, sans-serif; font-size: calc(1.275rem + 0.3vw); background-color: transparent;">&nbsp;<em>Lutheran Service Book </em>as Regular Devotional Resources for Your Family&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p>My school uses Matins for our chapel services on a regular basis to guide our children through <a href="https://communication.cph.org/lutheran-church-calendar">the Church Year</a>. We chant the Psalms, hear the readings, and sing hymns appropriate to the current season of the Church Year. At various times in the year, the general components of Matins change slightly to reflect our place in Advent, Lent, or Easter. Those changes from what the students are used to saying or chanting in the general service highlight the different seasons of the Church Year and spark conversations as to why those parts have changed. All of these things, along with our regular theology classes, serve to point our students to Christ and His saving work.<br><br>How can you as a teacher or a parent not in charge of an entire school of youngsters implement this same liturgy into your classroom or home? Start by reading God’s Word to your children. You can find the lectionary, both <a href="https://app.lutheranservicebuilder.com/">the 3-Year</a> and <a href="https://app.lutheranservicebuilder.com/#">the 1-Year</a>, online. You can also sing hymns. <em>Lutheran Service Book</em> conveniently organizes its hymn selections by season of the Church Year first and then by topic. Pick a hymn each week or each month to learn and even memorize. Thanks to modern technology, we have a wealth of free recordings on hand for those hymns with which you may not be familiar. Remember, children will participate as enthusiastically as you do. If children only see adults whom they look up to apathetic about hymns and liturgy and not quick to learn, they themselves will not engage readily. On the other hand, if you are serious and dedicated to this work, your children will see and emulate that.<br><br>The liturgy of Matins and Vespers as well as the other services included in <em>Lutheran Service Book</em> can serve to <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/develop-a-music-making-culture-at-home">guide your family’s (or your classroom’s) daily devotional life</a>. We are blessed to be able to take advantage of the work of scholars, theologians, and musicians who have worked to share the ancient liturgy of the Church with us in the twenty-first century. As the new school year begins, what a wonderful opportunity we have to share these jewels with the children in our care. Thanks be to God that we are able to show the next generations the serious, solemn, and ultimately joyful traditions of the Church.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Start learning the seasons of the Church Year alongside prayers, illustrations of Christ's life, and 52 beautiful hymns in <em>My First Hymnal.&nbsp;</em></p> <p><em><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=93166226-8f7b-41ed-83d5-7ae664a28fdb&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Learn more" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/93166226-8f7b-41ed-83d5-7ae664a28fdb.png" align="middle"></a></em></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fthe-liturgy-of-back-to-school-routines&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Featured Music Education Tue, 24 Aug 2021 11:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-liturgy-of-back-to-school-routines 2021-08-24T11:00:00Z Marie Greenway The Heritage of Music during the Reformation https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-heritage-of-music-during-the-reformation <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-heritage-of-music-during-the-reformation" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2021/08/martin-luther-music.png" alt="The Heritage of Music during the Reformation" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>This blog post has been adapted from an article that appears in <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34314-lutheranism-101-third-edition.aspx"><em>Lutheranism 101: third edition</em></a>. </p> <p>This blog post has been adapted from an article that appears in <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34314-lutheranism-101-third-edition.aspx"><em>Lutheranism 101: third edition</em></a>. </p> <p>The Reformation was still young in 1524. <span style="background-color: transparent;">Barely seven years had passed since Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses. His German translation of the New Testament had only appeared two years before. His <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-33133-martin-luthers-small-and-large-catechisms.aspx">Small and Large Catechisms</a> wouldn’t come for another five years.</span></p> <p>But two important books came out that year that would shape and influence the course of music in the Lutheran church. <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-reformations-first-lutheran-hymns">Early 1524 saw the publication of the first Lutheran hymnal</a>, which served as the model for subsequent Lutheran text writers. And toward the end of 1524, Johann Walter published a collection of music that would similarly influence Lutheran composers for the next five hundred years.</p> <h3>Origins of the Lutheran Hymnal</h3> <p>The first Lutheran hymnal was nicknamed the “Achtliederbuch” (or “eight-hymn book”), but it was barely a book. It was only twenty-four pages and had—you guessed it—eight hymns. The first hymn in the book was Martin Luther’s own “Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice” (<em>LSB</em> 556). It still stands as a shining example of what Lutheran hymnody is all about. The singing congregation proclaims to one another our lost condition and need for a savior and also the Good News that God sent His Son to rescue us. The hymn teaches the details of salvation’s story and puts words of praise for those saving deeds on the lips of the singers. Luther does all this in ten stanzas, but his words are not dry and lifeless. The hymn is full of vibrant, rich imagery, using language that makes the message personal and vital.</p> <p>Moreover, the book was designed for the average person, not for the scholar, priest, or even the choir singer. If you could read German, this book was for you. The hymns could be learned, memorized, and sung time and again at home, in the marketplace, and even in church. The melodies were robust, well-crafted, and memorable. And the book also included Scripture references for some hymns, showing the clear connection between God’s Word and the words and content of the hymns.</p> <h3>Second Lutheran Hymnal</h3> <p>The other 1524 publication was not intended for the average consumer. Johann Walter’s Geystliche gesangk Buchleyn (or “Spiritual Song Booklet”) was no “booklet” but a set of five partbooks printed expressly for choirs. While it was typical at the time to have choral music based on pre-existing tunes (such as Gregorian chant), this first Lutheran choir collection used the new chorale (hymn) tunes instead. The chorale tune was usually found in the tenor part with the other voices supporting and adorning it, like a jewel in a filigree setting.</p> <p>The new hymn texts became quickly and firmly fixed in the minds and ears of the people with the chorale tunes. When you read the hymn text, you thought of the chorale tune. When you heard the chorale tune, you thought of the hymn text. And now choirs could be singing the texts and tunes in traditional musical settings as well. This close reliance and interdependency of the three—hymn texts, chorale tunes, and supporting music—would become a hallmark of Lutheran music.</p> <h3>Emergence of Lutheran Hymnwriters</h3> <p>Martin Luther wrote nearly forty hymns, which included many features and types of hymns that would become characteristic of Lutheran hymns in general. There were hymns paraphrasing Scripture, hymns for liturgical use, hymns for the Church Year, and catechism hymns. It is important to remember, though, that Martin Luther did not invent hymn singing or even the idea of congregations singing hymns in the vernacular. These practices, in some form or another, were already happening before Luther came on the scene. What he did do was encourage the creation and use of vernacular hymns and wrote many himself.</p> <p>Luther also gave his highest support to other hymnwriters and composers, and they joined him in the task of providing hymns for the church even from the start. For example, the second hymn in the “Achtliederbuch” was “Salvation unto Us Has Come” (<em>LSB</em> 555) by Paul Speratus. The next generation of Lutheran hymnwriters included <a href="https://blog.cph.org/read/2018/10/nicolai-heermann-gerhardt">Philipp Nicolai</a>. His two hymns, “Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying” (<em>LSB</em> 516) and “O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright” (<em>LSB </em>395), are still Lutheran favorites, known today as the king and queen of chorales.</p> <p style="font-size: 12px;">Blog post adapted from&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34314-lutheranism-101-third-edition.aspx"><em>Lutheranism 101: third edition</em></a> copyright&nbsp;© 2021 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Learn more about the basics of Lutheranism along with the history and meaning of today’s worship service by ordering <em>Lutheranism 101</em> below.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=01779fe5-dc07-43ec-9eb3-b07db57ca52a&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Purchase&nbsp;Lutheranism 101&nbsp;" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/01779fe5-dc07-43ec-9eb3-b07db57ca52a.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fthe-heritage-of-music-during-the-reformation&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Reformation Hymns Featured Tue, 17 Aug 2021 11:00:00 GMT none.2@cph.org (Concordia Publishing House) https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-heritage-of-music-during-the-reformation 2021-08-17T11:00:00Z Music of the Month: Chorale Preludes of Georg Philipp Telemann https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-chorale-preludes-of-georg-philipp-telemann <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-chorale-preludes-of-georg-philipp-telemann" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2021/08/chorale-preludes-of-georg-philipp-telemann-header.jpg" alt="Music of the Month: Chorale Preludes of Georg Philipp Telemann" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p style="font-size: 20px;"><span style="background-color: transparent;">The new music collection features an assortment of nineteen wonderful preludes by Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767) and edited by <a href="https://music.cph.org/composers/sam-eatherton">Sam Eatherton</a>. Telemann </span><span style="background-color: transparent;">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),</span><span style="background-color: transparent;">&nbsp;</span><span style="background-color: transparent;">making these settings valuable to student and seasoned organists alike. </span><span style="background-color: transparent;">This collection of chorale preludes</span><span style="background-color: transparent;">&nbsp;was carefully selected and edited by Sam Eatherton to be compatible with </span><em style="background-color: transparent;">Lutheran Service Book</em><span style="background-color: transparent;">&nbsp;</span><span style="background-color: transparent;">and other hymnals. </span><span style="background-color: transparent;"><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34959-chorale-preludes-of-georg-philipp-telemann.aspx">These settings</a> provide a fresh alternative that will appeal to church organists looking for new ways to present these German chorale tunes.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 20px;"><span style="background-color: transparent;">The new music collection features an assortment of nineteen wonderful preludes by Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767) and edited by <a href="https://music.cph.org/composers/sam-eatherton">Sam Eatherton</a>. Telemann </span><span style="background-color: transparent;">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),</span><span style="background-color: transparent;">&nbsp;</span><span style="background-color: transparent;">making these settings valuable to student and seasoned organists alike. </span><span style="background-color: transparent;">This collection of chorale preludes</span><span style="background-color: transparent;">&nbsp;was carefully selected and edited by Sam Eatherton to be compatible with </span><em style="background-color: transparent;">Lutheran Service Book</em><span style="background-color: transparent;">&nbsp;</span><span style="background-color: transparent;">and other hymnals. </span><span style="background-color: transparent;"><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34959-chorale-preludes-of-georg-philipp-telemann.aspx">These settings</a> provide a fresh alternative that will appeal to church organists looking for new ways to present these German chorale tunes.</span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 20px;">Telemann's Musical Biography</h3> <p style="font-size: 20px;">Georg Philipp Telemann was a German musician active in the eighteenth&nbsp;century who tread a unique path to church music. Although his parents dissuaded him from pursuing music professionally, Telemann developed his musical abilities performatively and compositionally in a variety of wind, string, and keyboard instruments.</p> <p style="font-size: 20px;">Telemann enrolled at the University of Leipzig at the turn of the eighteenth&nbsp;century initially as a law student, but music soon took over. In Leipzig, he composed and produced music for St. Thomas Church and the university’s chapel. After his studies, he held positions at the prince’s courts in Sorau, Poland, as concertmaster and kapellmeister in Eisenach, and as musical director in Frankfurt and Hamburg.</p> <p style="font-size: 20px;">Before beginning his work in Hamburg, Telemann turned down a position that would have brought him back to Leipzig to be principal organist at St. Thomas. <span style="color: #33475b;"><span style="background-color: #faa52d;">Instead,</span></span>&nbsp;the position fell to <a href="https://blog.cph.org/read/church-year/bach">Johann Sebastian Bach</a> (1685–1750). Telemann was friends with both Bach and George Frideric Handel (1685–1759) in his life, and was godfather to Bach’s son Carl Philipp Emanuel. Carl Philipp succeeded Telemann at Hamburg after Telemann’s death in 1767.</p> <p style="font-size: 20px;">Telemann is lauded for his array of compositional styles. He composed for a great variety of instruments and geographic musical traditions. He wrote effectively both for sacred spaces in churches, lighthearted comedies in opera theaters, and orchestras in concert halls. Although he is often overshadowed by contemporaries Bach and Handel and successors in the Western musical tradition Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) and Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), Telemann’s legacy lives on, thanks in part to Dr. Sam Eatherton’s revival of nineteen of Telemann’s chorale preludes.</p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hcUEDI6TLO4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <h3 style="font-size: 20px;">Practical Uses of Telemann's Chorale Preludes</h3> <p style="font-size: 20px;">Telemann’s chorale preludes include multiple settings of each tune included, offering automatic variety to the church organist’s library and repertoire. Written in Baroque style, the compositions range from long-note melodic values in bicinium style to polyphonic fugues and fughettas.</p> <p style="font-size: 20px;">Since chorale melodies have changed over time—some more than others—Eatherton’s editorial work has made the tunes compatible with contemporary hymnals, adding to their usefulness for organists today. If an organist wishes to introduce a hymn tune to a congregation before the service, multiple settings of the chorale as it is sung today are available in this collection.</p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lgKZKLNqkPQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <p style="font-size: 20px;">Many of the chorale preludes require little to no pedaling, while others include an involved pedal line, making this set effective for both students and seasoned organists. The repertoire also allows the organist, no matter the skill level, a chance to practice manuals-only technique as well as pedal technique in the same vein as Bach’s <em>Orgelbüchlein</em>.</p> <p style="font-size: 20px;">The nineteen chorales included span hymnody across the <a href="https://communication.cph.org/lutheran-church-calendar">Church Year</a>, from the Time of Christmas to the Time of Easter and through the Time of the Church, making this collection useful week in and week out for the church organist.</p> <p style="font-size: 20px; text-align: center;">Bring these nineteen preludes to your church by ordering&nbsp;<em>Chorale Preludes of Georg Philipp Telmann</em> below.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 20px;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=2dff2b05-0a4d-4f21-a5d2-c9d5e8b4c5cd&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order the music" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/2dff2b05-0a4d-4f21-a5d2-c9d5e8b4c5cd.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fmusic-of-the-month-chorale-preludes-of-georg-philipp-telemann&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Church Music Featured Tue, 03 Aug 2021 14:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-chorale-preludes-of-georg-philipp-telemann 2021-08-03T14:00:00Z Nathan Grime The Tedious Work of Musicians and Christians https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-tedious-work-of-musicians-and-christians <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-tedious-work-of-musicians-and-christians" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2021/07/young-man-practing-piano.jpg" alt="A piano teacher helping a student " class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>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.”</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.”</p> <p>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.</p> <p></p> <h3>Tedious Habits Become Wonderful Skills</h3> <p>Learning how to do something well relies a great deal on a person’s grit, determination, patience, perseverance, and use of time. Learning to play an instrument well does not usually come naturally to a person. The musician must listen to music performed on the instrument in order to internalize what the performances should sound like. He or she must learn fingerings and rhythms and notes, things that are learned not through inspiration and revelation but through countless hours of memorization, application, and practice. Skillful musicianship does not simply spring upon a person spontaneously; rather, he or she must put in &nbsp;hard work to reap the rewards of seemingly effortless performances.</p> <p>As church musicians, we know this well.&nbsp;<a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-and-the-church-year">Our Sunday morning work can be joyful</a>, but it is usually prefaced by a week of tedious planning, preparation, and practice. This, in turn, has been prepped by years of schooling in which we learned to read and write, to use a calendar and a computer, and to play an instrument.</p> <p>Anyone who composes also knows the truth of this. Frankly, the romantic idea of a composer struck with inspiration and sitting down to pen the next great piece of music, emerging triumphantly hours later with magnum opus in hand, is unrealistic. Although composers are sometimes struck with inspiration, in reality, their written music is produced through great effort. It is not the work of a moment but the work of hours upon hours of writing, rewriting, scrapping ideas, and, ultimately, hesitantly presenting a work of art. It is often tedious and frustrating work. This work, though,&nbsp;<a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/why-classical-music-is-a-gift">leads to the glorious volume of music we have today</a>.</p> <p>Likewise, we train our bodies in good health not by spontaneously running a marathon but by developing healthy habits day by day. We eat our fruits and veggies and get our workouts in where and when we can. These habits are not easily adopted; instead, we must work to accomplish these things day after day, very often failing and succeeding only with great effort. The small, tedious habits we eventually learn to follow lead to a strong and healthy body.</p> <h3>Leading a Life of Faith through Daily Habits</h3> <p>Our life of faith follows the same trajectory. Certainly, our hard work doesn’t save us; Jesus Christ—His life of obedience, His suffering and death, and His glorious resurrection—saves us. Instead, through the grace of God, <a href="https://blog.cph.org/teach/cultivating-a-life-of-abiding-in-gods-word">our persevering habits of body and soul affect how we live our lives</a>. We expect to face the hardships in the life of a Christian more confidently when our daily habits prepare us for such things. Much like how we take care of our bodies not by running and winning marathons but by daily eating well and getting exercise, so many of us live faithful lives of service to God, not always by something drastic like dying for the faith, but by bringing a meal to a grieving family or by helping out at the next church work day. We learn to love and serve only by loving and serving. And very often, these things are not what we naturally desire to do.</p> <p>Instead, we pray for the strength to do such things, and by the grace of God, we fight against our sinful human nature in order to do things we do not always feel like doing. And God gives us the strength to do this through His Word and Sacraments. It can be hard to focus on receiving God’s good gifts in worship when we are preparing ourselves for what we have to play next, or running through that tough line of the next hymn during the reading or sermon, but with practice we can get better at it. (And make sure to join a Bible study outside of worship whenever we can.)&nbsp;</p> <p>And through our paltry and often tedious efforts of playing the organ or loving and serving our neighbors, God deigns to work for the good of His Church. He who entered our world, not as a great and glorious earthly king but as a lowly servant, did not fail in His daily, tedious work of healing the sick and teaching the crowds. Instead, He persevered to the end so that He might grant us eternal life with Him. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Keep in the habit of tracking your Sunday service music and giving yourself time to prepare with the&nbsp;<em>Worship Planning Book</em>.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=5ce870d0-fc3d-41ca-918a-a92ca7c8e8c1&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order&nbsp;Worship Planning Book" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/5ce870d0-fc3d-41ca-918a-a92ca7c8e8c1.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fthe-tedious-work-of-musicians-and-christians&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Music Director Featured Music Education Tue, 27 Jul 2021 11:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-tedious-work-of-musicians-and-christians 2021-07-27T11:00:00Z Marie Greenway The Psalms in Christian Worship https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-psalms-in-christian-worship <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-psalms-in-christian-worship" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2021/07/psalms-in-worship.jpg" alt="The Psalms in Christian Worship" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <div> <p><span>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.</span></p> </div> <div> <p><span>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.</span></p> <h3><span>The Psalms in Worship in the Past</span></h3> <div> <p><span>With the development of a daily worship life, the psalms took on even greater significance. As morning and evening services were developed for each day of the week, specific psalms were assigned to be sung at the appropriate times. By the sixth century, the development of monasticism resulted in an even more elaborate use of the psalms. One practice, specified by Benedict of Nursia, became widely accepted in the Western Church. Eight services of prayer were observed each day. The chief morning service, Matins, became the primary service at which psalms were used. The number of psalms could vary from twelve to thirty-six—in one service! Benedict’s goal was recitation of the entire <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-33365-concordia-psalter.aspx">Psalter </a>every week. </span></p> <p><span>Martin Luther was trained in this system. Singing all 150 psalms on a weekly basis, he and others like him became steeped in the language of the psalms. Over many years, they had likely learned all the psalms by heart. Such a pressing schedule took its toll, though. Even Luther would complain during the early years of the Reformation that all his other duties left him little time to attend to the prescribed plan of prayer.</span></p> <h3><span>The Psalms in the Reformation</span></h3> <p><span>With the Reformation, monasticism met its end among the Protestants. Luther proposed simple morning and evening services (Matins and Vespers) that would be appropriate for the Christian life. These services followed the historic use of the psalms, although on a much-reduced scale. Some of Luther’s earliest hymns were paraphrases of psalms. (For example, see “From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee,” </span><em>LSB </em><span>607, a paraphrase of Psalm 130.) </span></p> <p><span>The psalms also figured prominently in other churches of the Reformation. The Reformed churches in Switzerland made extensive use of the psalms, at first limiting singing in the churches to hymnlike versions of the psalms. Often these were called metrical psalms because the text was translated into a regular meter. In other words, metrical psalms were psalms set to music. Among the revisions of the daily services in Anglicanism (the Church of England), the psalms assumed a prominent place. They were usually sung to simple chant tones. Later, hymnwriters such as Isaac Watts began to write hymn paraphrases based on the psalms (for example, “From All That Dwell Below the Skies,” </span><em>LSB </em><span>816, a paraphrase of Psalm 117).</span></p> <div> <p><span>There seems to have been a general decline in sustained use of the psalms in worship until the second half of the twentieth century. With the publication of new hymnals came a renewed interest in using the psalms. Simple melodies coupled with an easy method of singing the psalms have put a premium on <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/teaching-psalms-to-students">singing the psalms for a new generation</a>.</span></p> <h3><span>The Psalms in the Liturgy Today</span></h3> <div> <p><span>Portions of the psalms are built right into the liturgy. For instance, the confession of sins relies upon the blunt language of guilt for sin as found in the psalms, especially the penitential psalms, or psalms of repentance. When we confess, “I, a poor, miserable sinner” (</span><em>LSB</em><span>, p. 184), we echo the words of David, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3), or again, “I acknowledged my sin to You, and I did not cover my iniquity” (Psalm 32:5a).</span></p> <div> <p><span>Many have spent years preparing to confess sins by quoting the next words: “I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the L</span><span>ord</span><span>,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin” (Psalm 32:5b). A newer setting of the Divine Service employs these words from Psalm 130: “If You, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness; therefore You are feared” (</span><em>LSB</em><span>, p. 203; see Psalm 130:3–4 NIV). </span></p> <p><span><a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-divine-service-service-of-the-word">The Divine Service</a> also draws directly from the Psalter in the Offertory. For years, we sang “Create in Me” (</span><em>LSB</em><span>, pp. 192–93), from David’s psalm of confession (Psalm 51), praying that God would make us new and restore the joy of His salvation to us. Recently, another psalm portion has been sung as an Offertory: “What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits to me? I will offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving and will call on the name of the Lord. I will take the cup of salvation and will call on the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord now in the presence of all His people, in the courts of the Lord’s house, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem” (</span><em>LSB</em><span>, pp. 159–60, 176). Drawn from Psalm 116, this text teaches us that the very best we can offer God is thanksgiving in faith for the gifts He has so freely given us. </span></p> <p><span><a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/understanding-worship-service-of-the-sacrament">Another portion from the Psalter appears in the Sanctus, the Communion liturgy’s grand hymn of praise</a>. Our voices are joined with all the saints on earth and the whole heavenly host. At its conclusion are these words: “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the L</span><span>ord</span><span>” (Psalm 118:26). These words appear in the New Testament in a very intriguing place, at Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem: “And the crowds that went before Him and that followed Him were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’” (Matthew 21:9). He who came in the name of the Lord was, of course, none other than the Lord God Himself: our Savior, Jesus Christ. How fitting to sing the same words in preparation for the Lord’s Supper, where this great and almighty Lord comes humbly to give communicants His body and blood under bread and wine.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://blog.cph.org/hs-fs/hubfs/Imported%20sitepage%20images/124606.jpg?width=150&amp;name=124606.jpg" alt="124606" width="150" style="width: 150px; float: left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px;"></p> <p style="text-align: center;">To learn more about all 150 psalms and to spend meaningful devotional time within each Scripture, read <em>Engaging the Psalms</em>. Further enrich your understanding with the free discussion guide included with every CPH order.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=345ddb28-0742-4dae-883f-c0f38250b17f&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Order the devotional" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/345ddb28-0742-4dae-883f-c0f38250b17f.png"></a></p> <p style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 12px;"><span>Blog post adapted from&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34212-engaging-the-psalms-a-guide-for-reflection-and-prayer.aspx"><em>Engaging the Psalms: A Guide for Reflection and Prayer</em></a> copyright&nbsp;© 2021 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 12px;"><span>Scripture: ESV<sup>®</sup> and NIV<sup>®</sup>.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 12px;"><span>Quotations marked <em>LSB </em>are from <em>Lutheran Service Book</em>, copyright © 2006 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.</span></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fthe-psalms-in-christian-worship&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Psalms Tue, 20 Jul 2021 11:00:00 GMT none.2@cph.org (Concordia Publishing House) https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-psalms-in-christian-worship 2021-07-20T11:00:00Z Music of the Month: The Good Shepherd by Jonathan D. Campbell https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-the-good-shepherd-by-jonathan-d-campbell <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-the-good-shepherd-by-jonathan-d-campbell" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2021/06/good-shepherd-handbell-cover.jpg" alt="Music of the Month: The Good Shepherd by Jonathan D. Campbell" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>Jonathan D. Campbell has arranged a medley, or three hymn tunes, associated with <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34869-the-good-shepherd.aspx">Christ the Good Shepherd</a>, 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.</p> <h3></h3> <p>Jonathan D. Campbell has arranged a medley, or three hymn tunes, associated with <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34869-the-good-shepherd.aspx">Christ the Good Shepherd</a>, 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.</p> <h3><br>The Good Shepherd</h3> <p><a href="https://www.cph.org/m-225-jonathan-d-campbell.aspx">Campbell</a>’s medley on three hymn tunes about Christ the Good Shepherd makes for a perfect handbell piece, either on Good Shepherd Sunday during the Easter season, or throughout the Church Year whenever Christ the Good Shepherd is mentioned.</p> <p>Since this medley is scored for just two octaves of handbells, it requires fewer ringers and bells than a full four- or five-octave handbell piece, making it accessible, especially for smaller groups that may have less time to prepare. The option to add two octaves of handchimes provides built-in variety for how the piece could be played with larger groups.</p> <p>Campbell includes three familiar tunes associated with Good Shepherd hymns: BROTHER JAMES’ AIR (“The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want”), BRADBURY (“Savior, like a Shepherd Lead Us”), and RESIGNATION (“My Shepherd Will Supply My Need”).</p> <p>Each tune provides a slightly different character to the piece. BROTHER JAMES’ AIR is a popular English tune that soars and flows in accord with the character of Psalm 23, the scriptural source for the hymn “The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want.”</p> <p>Nineteenth-century American musician William Bradbury composed the tune BRADBURY, which is associated with the hymn “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us.” The tune is gentler than the first and allows for a more serene and introspective middle section to the medley.</p> <p>The piece ends with another nineteenth-century American tune, RESIGNATION. But unlike BRADBURY, it comes from the Southern Harmony tradition, a popular American folk genre. The original composer for the tune is unknown.</p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/S7bpNsgZovc" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <h3>Practical Use</h3> <p>The three distinct tunes and characters are united in this medley by their connection to their corresponding hymn texts: texts on Christ as the Good Shepherd. An entire Sunday in the Church Year is set aside for this theme: either the Third or Fourth Sunday of Easter, depending on which lectionary a congregation uses.</p> <p>But Christ as the Good Shepherd appears throughout the Church Year as well. In the Three-Year Lectionary this summer, the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost (July 18) highlights Christ as the Shepherd of His flock, the Church.</p> <p>The assigned Psalm for that day is <a href="https://blog.cph.org/study/psalm-23-christ-is-our-shepherd">Psalm 23</a>, which informs all three hymns in this medley, and the Old Testament Reading from Jeremiah 23 recounts Jeremiah’s prophecy:</p> <blockquote> <p style="font-weight: normal;">“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” declares the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span>. Therefore thus says the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span>, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for My people: “You have scattered My flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span>. Then I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span>.” (Jeremiah 23:1–4)</p> </blockquote> <p><span style="background-color: transparent;">The Holy Gospel for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost recounts Jesus feeding the five thousand, since He had compassion on them and saw that they were “like sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34).</span></p> <p>Campbell’s The Good Shepherd would be a fitting piece for a small handbell group to play this month on the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, since it is so closely tied with that day’s readings and Psalm. Even if your congregation hasn’t used its handbells in a while or doesn’t have a group that regularly meets, The Good Shepherd would be an accessible and lovely piece to begin with.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Scripture: ESV<sup>®</sup>.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Order the sheet music to play at your church by clicking the button below.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=766c0129-54e7-48f3-a03c-4dc2b6ca7543&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order&nbsp;The Good Shepherd" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/766c0129-54e7-48f3-a03c-4dc2b6ca7543.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fmusic-of-the-month-the-good-shepherd-by-jonathan-d-campbell&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Handbell Featured Tue, 06 Jul 2021 11:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-the-good-shepherd-by-jonathan-d-campbell 2021-07-06T11:00:00Z Nathan Grime The Name of the Lord in the Liturgy https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-name-of-the-lord-in-the-liturgy <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-name-of-the-lord-in-the-liturgy" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2021/06/the-name-of-the-lord.jpg" alt="The Name of the Lord in the Liturgy" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p><em>This blog post is adapted from&nbsp;</em><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-33881-blessed-be-his-name-revealing-the-sacred-names-of-god.aspx">Blessed Be His Name</a><em> by Rev. Dr. Kevin S. Golden.</em></p> <p>Scripture teaches us to call upon the name of the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span>, bless His holy name, give thanks to His name, praise His name, and hallow His name. In doing so, we worship Him because <a href="https://blog.cph.org/study/why-is-gods-name-important">He and His name are inseparable</a>. 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 L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span>: “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.</p> <p><em>This blog post is adapted from&nbsp;</em><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-33881-blessed-be-his-name-revealing-the-sacred-names-of-god.aspx">Blessed Be His Name</a><em> by Rev. Dr. Kevin S. Golden.</em></p> <p>Scripture teaches us to call upon the name of the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span>, bless His holy name, give thanks to His name, praise His name, and hallow His name. In doing so, we worship Him because <a href="https://blog.cph.org/study/why-is-gods-name-important">He and His name are inseparable</a>. 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 L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span>: “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.</p> <h3>The Divine Service&nbsp;</h3> <p>Lutherans have historically used the term “Divine Service” to state why we gather. God serves us. He does not need what we bring to Him, though He delights to receive our praise and even more to receive our sin that we be forgiven. We direly need what He gives. So He serves us with His good gifts. Those gifts are given in His name. Within the Divine Service, the name of the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span> takes center stage, from Invocation to Benediction.</p> <p>The Divine Service begins with the Invocation: “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The first gift given by the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span> as He serves us is His triune name. It is a promise that we are served not by a generic god but by a very specific God who has revealed Himself to us by His name. The Invocation also recalls our Baptism into the name of God (Matthew 28:19). It is as if the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span> is saying to us, “I made you My own in Baptism, placing My name upon you and delivering to you all My goodness bound up in My name; now I give you My goodness anew.”</p> <h3>Confession and Absolution</h3> <p>His name is front and center in the <a href="https://blog.cph.org/study/new/luther-on-confession-and-absolution">Confession and Absolution</a>. Among the biblical passages often used within the liturgy of Confession and Absolution is “Our help is in the name of the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span>” (Psalm 124:8). It is fitting text to find upon the lips of the faithful as they confess their sins because they know there is but one place to find the help they need, one place to find forgiveness: in the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span> who delivers forgiveness to us in His name. The Absolution is delivered by the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span> through the pastor with the words “Upon this your confession, I, by virtue of my office, as a called and ordained servant of the Word, announce the grace of God unto all of you, and in the stead and by the command of the Lord Jesus Christ I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” With the authority of Christ given in John 20:19–23, the pastor forgives in the name of the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span>. As the words of the absolution make clear, the faithful are not receiving the pastor’s forgiveness. That is fine and good, but his forgiveness does not deliver the life of Christ. He is speaking by the authority of Christ, in the name of the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span>, delivering the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span>’<span style="font-size: 14px;">S</span> forgiveness, which brings life.</p> <h3>The Benediction</h3> <p><a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-beautiful-routine-of-the-liturgy">The Divine Service</a> closes with the Benediction: “The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.” These words were first given by the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span> Himself to Moses with the instruction that Aaron and his sons were to speak them over the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD<span style="font-size: 20px;">’</span>S</span> people. Thus, this is often referred to as the Aaronic Benediction, as it was used by Aaron and his sons, who were the first priests. The L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span> repeats His name throughout the Benediction, and He reveals what He gives in those words: “So they shall put My name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them” (Numbers 6:27). In the Benediction, you receive the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span>’<span style="font-size: 14px;">S</span> name anew. His name does not wear off from when you received it in Baptism. But you cannot receive His name too often. In the Benediction, it is as if the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span> says, “I gave you My name in Baptism. Now I give you My name anew so that you go forth in full confidence, knowing that I dwell with you.”</p> <p>The Divine Service is framed by the name of the L<span style="font-size: 14px;">ORD</span> with the Invocation and the Benediction, highlighting the centrality of His name in the life of the Church. He continually delivers His name throughout the Divine Service.</p> <p style="font-size: 12px;">Blog post adapted from&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cph.org/p-33881-blessed-be-his-name-revealing-the-sacred-names-of-god.aspx"><em>Blessed Be His Name: Revealing&nbsp;the Sacred Name of God</em></a> copyright © 2021 Kevin S. Golden. Published by Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 12px;">Scripture: ESV<sup>®</sup>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">To read more about how the Lord’s name is called upon in the liturgy, order <em>Blessed Be His Name</em> below.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=8272a064-50e1-401f-880f-210f02393eff&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order&nbsp;Blessed Be His Name" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/8272a064-50e1-401f-880f-210f02393eff.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fthe-name-of-the-lord-in-the-liturgy&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Divine Service Featured Wed, 30 Jun 2021 11:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-name-of-the-lord-in-the-liturgy 2021-06-30T11:00:00Z Rev. Dr. Kevin Golden Church Musicians Need Rest Too https://blog.cph.org/worship/church-musicians-need-rest-too <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/church-musicians-need-rest-too" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2021/06/church-musicians-rest.jpg" alt="Church Musicians Need Rest Too" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p></p> <h3>Trinity Season and a Time for Rest</h3> <p>After all, God has given us both our souls and our bodies, and <a href="https://blog.cph.org/read/the-hidden-blessing-of-quarantine">our bodies need rest</a>. Even in His creation of the world, God instituted a day for rest after His work was done. Jesus took time to distance Himself from the crowds that often followed Him. He took time to be by Himself to pray and to rest. Our God has given us a body that we are to treat with dignity as a part of His own creation. As the incarnation of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary makes known to us, bodies are important and are made to be tended to, along with our souls.</p> <h3>The Church Year and the Season of Trinity&nbsp;</h3> <p>For this reason, <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-and-the-church-year">the Church Year</a> is a great blessing to us. In the cycle of feast days and in ordinary time, we see a reflection of the reality of life in its highest celebrations, and its times of needful rest. The cycle is so evident that it is reflected in nature and in secular society. Our <a href="https://communication.cph.org/lutheran-church-calendar">liturgical calendar</a> provides for a time of rest during the season of Trinity, also known as ordinary time. This time of rest corresponds in our culture (and hemisphere) to summer, the time of breaks from school, family vacations, and an often more relaxed work schedule. <br><br>The <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-beautiful-routine-of-the-liturgy">liturgical</a> color for the season of Trinity is green, a color symbolizing life and growth as we continue to grow in our faith and in our knowledge of Scripture. Consider how appropriate this is for a summer season of green trees and fields and the growing of crops and gardens. The days are longer and warmer, requiring less energy to keep warm and fewer battles with blizzards and sub-zero temps. The life all around us is scientifically and anecdotally proven to inspire better moods and healthier minds and bodies.</p> <h3>A Time for Everything in the Church Year</h3> <p>The <a href="https://communication.cph.org/lutheran-church-calendar">Church Year</a> embodies Ecclesiastes 3, in which we are told that there is a time for everything. It clearly provides us with times to mourn and times to dance, times to weep and times to laugh. It also gives us as church musicians times to labor and times to rest. As 2020 clearly showed us, we do not want a year without any major celebrations, despite the hard work we put into each one and the exhaustion we experience afterward. On the other hand, we do not want a year with only joyful celebrations, either. Humans need the physical and emotional rest that comes with “normal” life. We need the more relaxed routine of ordinary time. Ever reflective of the reality of human nature, the Church Year provides this more restful season for all Christians.<br><br>Like all seasons, this season has its share of struggles, even in the part of the world that enjoys a more temperate time of year in these coming months. Consider the climates that reach dangerously high temperatures, endangering infrastructure and lives during this time of year. We must also contend with fierce summer thunderstorms, tropical storms, and hurricanes that threaten lives and livelihoods. For some vocations, this time of year might mean an increase in work and more hectic schedules. God gives many of us rest at this time, but the sinful world continually reminds us that true rest is yet to come in our heavenly home.</p> <h3>Giving Our Bodies Rest</h3> <p>As <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/live-out-your-love-for-traditional-church-music">church musicians,</a> it is important to take advantage of this time to rest. The human body, a beloved and important creation of God, requires rest. Our bodies are not inconveniences that our more inspired souls must begrudgingly inhabit. Instead, we believe in the bodily resurrection, meaning that our bodies and our souls will be raised again. God has given us our bodies for a reason. We have fingers that can play a Bach toccata and fugue, feet that provide a steady and solid bass line on the organ while also supporting us as we stand in front of a class or a choir, mouths that proclaim the wonders of God, and lungs that give us breath to sing hymns. Let us then treat our bodies as creations of God.<br><br><span style="background-color: transparent;">As God in His wisdom has gifted us rest, we praise Him that we belong to a Church with realistic and wonderful rhythms of daily and yearly life that give us the time to mourn, the time to celebrate, the time to labor, and the time to rest.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Find time to relax by planning your entire Church Year in one easy book.&nbsp;</p> <p style="padding-left: 160px;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=5ce870d0-fc3d-41ca-918a-a92ca7c8e8c1&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="Order&nbsp;Worship Planning Book" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/5ce870d0-fc3d-41ca-918a-a92ca7c8e8c1.png"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fchurch-musicians-need-rest-too&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Music Director Featured Tue, 22 Jun 2021 11:00:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/church-musicians-need-rest-too 2021-06-22T11:00:00Z Marie Greenway Building Disciples through the Worship Service https://blog.cph.org/worship/building-disciples-through-the-worship-service <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/building-disciples-through-the-worship-service" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2021/06/man-handing-out-church-bulletins.jpg" alt="Building Disciples through the Worship Service" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <div> <p><span>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 <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34453-walking-together-simple-steps-for-discipleship.aspx"><em>Walking Together: Simple Steps for Discipleship</em></a> below to understand why worship and its routine is important, unique and sacred. </span></p> </div> <div> <p><span>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 <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34453-walking-together-simple-steps-for-discipleship.aspx"><em>Walking Together: Simple Steps for Discipleship</em></a> below to understand why worship and its routine is important, unique and sacred. </span></p> <p><span>Worship is a <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-beautiful-routine-of-the-liturgy">routine</a> that builds disciples as they navigate the world. Worship should have daily, weekly, and stretched-out components. It can be both gathered in the Body of Christ and scattered in the individual communities that make up a local church. There should be aspects that are deeply personal, hard to share with others. Yet it should also be incredibly communal, built around a group of people who are trusting, seeking, and following Jesus together. Worshiping happens across all of these avenues, and it is important for the disciple to engage in all of them. </span></p> <h3><span>The Worship Service&nbsp;</span></h3> <div> <p><span>A close friend and elder at our church often reminded me on Sunday mornings of a simple fact: it’s not called a worship service because we are here to serve God; He has called us together to serve us. How incredible is that one statement? In the long line of idols from the ancients until now, the local gods always demand sacrifice and adoration, as if they gain some sort of power by making people bow to them. The Creator of the universe, the true God, acts differently. He is filled with the awe, power, and authority that is always met with the phrase “Do not be afraid” when His followers meet Him. Yet, in His divine service to us, He steps down and meets us as we gather. </span></p> <p><span>Christians do not hold worship services to somehow fill God’s battery that has been waning because it’s been a week since people sang His praises. No; instead, He meets us in the service. He steps down and is among His people. Another promise of Jesus: </span></p> <blockquote> <p><span>For where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I among them. (Matthew 18:20)</span></p> </blockquote> <p><span>God comes to serve His gathered people. </span></p> <div> <p><span><a href="https://blog.cph.org/serve/longing-for-community-find-it-here">Coming together as God’s people is important</a>. In our culture, this is often on Sunday mornings, but sometimes it happens on an evening during the week. No matter when it happens, it is the people of God gathering together to receive His promises. </span></p> <p><span>Some people would say they do not need the gathering, that they can experience God on their own. While this does hold some truth—God may be experienced anywhere in His creation when connected to Scripture—it is not the way worship was designed to function. Since the beginning of the Christian Church, there has been gathering:</span></p> <blockquote> <p><span>And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to </span><span style="background-color: transparent;">the breaking of bread and the prayers. (Acts 2:42)</span></p> </blockquote> <p><span style="background-color: transparent;">It started in homes; when these gatherings outgrew homes and the government allowed them, Christians built houses of worship. Some of these great edifices can still be found dotting the landscapes of the Mediterranean today.</span></p> <h3><span style="background-color: transparent;">Community Built on Worship</span></h3> <div> <p><span>Gathering together as the Body of Christ in the name of Jesus has always been important. Community built around worship is the spiritual colliding with the physical. Songs are sung, prayers are prayed, sermons are preached, <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-divine-service-service-of-the-word">the Word is read</a>, <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/understanding-worship-service-of-the-sacrament">Sacraments are received</a>. Alongside this beautiful mystery, coffee is shared, stories are told, friends catch up. Once a week, the Body of Christ is called together to be called back to their identity as children of the Kingdom while at the same time preparing to live in the world around them. This community is not perfect, but it is part of the life of discipleship. Christians coming together in worship is a strange, blessed, and wonderful thing.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 12px;"><span>Post taken from <em><a href="https://www.cph.org/p-34453-walking-together-simple-steps-for-discipleship.aspx">Walking Together: Simple Steps for Discipleship</a>&nbsp;</em>copyright © 2021 Ted Doering, pp. 51–52. Published by Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Order&nbsp;<em>Walking Together</em> below to learn how to be a disciple in today<span>’</span>s world.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=170be390-8f1e-4be9-a1b0-95a8dd23926c&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order Thirty Days in God’s Word" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/170be390-8f1e-4be9-a1b0-95a8dd23926c.png" align="middle"></a></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fbuilding-disciples-through-the-worship-service&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Featured Tue, 15 Jun 2021 11:00:00 GMT none.3@cph.org (Ted Doering) https://blog.cph.org/worship/building-disciples-through-the-worship-service 2021-06-15T11:00:00Z Music of the Month: Piano Prelude Series, Volume 6 https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-piano-prelude-series-volume-6 <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-piano-prelude-series-volume-6" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2021/06/piano-prelude-6.png" alt="Cover of Piano Prelude Series Volume 6 featuring a blue swirled background" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>The sixth volume of the <em>Piano Prelude Series</em> includes tunes J,K, and L from <em>Lutheran Service Book</em>. The&nbsp;<em>Piano Prelude Series </em>includes original compositions by various composers, specifically created for&nbsp;<em>Lutheran Service Book&nbsp;</em>hymns. The sixth volume includes settings written by Elizabeth Grimpo, Thomas W. Jefferson, and Zach Unke.&nbsp;<br></p> <p>The sixth volume of the <em>Piano Prelude Series</em> includes tunes J,K, and L from <em>Lutheran Service Book</em>. The&nbsp;<em>Piano Prelude Series </em>includes original compositions by various composers, specifically created for&nbsp;<em>Lutheran Service Book&nbsp;</em>hymns. The sixth volume includes settings written by Elizabeth Grimpo, Thomas W. Jefferson, and Zach Unke.&nbsp;<br></p> <h3>LIFT EVERY VOICE</h3> <p>“Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a song written in 1900 as a tribute to Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, became a popular anthem throughout the twentieth century in American congregations. Its scriptural basis is in Exodus 15, the joyful account of the Israelites’ freedom from the bonds of slavery, and Psalm 85.</p> <p>Thomas W. Jefferson, a pianist, composer, and instructor based in Chicago, Illinois, has composed a setting of LIFT EVERY VOICE for the <a href="https://music.cph.org/piano-prelude-series/subscribe"><em>Piano Prelude Series</em></a>. <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/composer-of-the-month-kevin-hildebrand">Kevin Hildebrand</a>, editor of the series, said the collaboration with Jefferson was enjoyable.</p> <p>“One of the best parts of my job is interacting with the composers,” Hildebrand said. “Everyone receives ideas and suggestions very well, and Mr. Jefferson was particularly enjoyable to work with.”</p> <p>Hildebrand also said church musicians should find the setting of LIFT EVERY VOICE accessible and delightful.</p> <p>“His writing of this piece fits in the hands very well. It’s a very well-crafted piece of piano music,” Hildebrand said. “It’s always a good combination when a piece of music is a good composition and when it’s enjoyable to work with the composer.”</p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XAFiEfdCOzc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <h3>KIRKEN DEN ER ET GAMMELT HUS: “Built on the Rock”</h3> <p>Zach Unke has written a setting of KIRKEN DEN ER ET GAMMELT HUS (“Built on the Rock”) that Hildebrand says is a welcome addition to the repertoire of keyboard settings of this hymn.</p> <p>“This hymn is often all big, all the time. This is kind of a reflective take on the tune, which we need too,” Hildebrand said. “The first variation he’s written is a little mild, which is kind of refreshing. But he gives us some big moments, too. That’s the mark of a good composer—where even in one setting you’ve got different moods and styles in your writing.”</p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AfaJ-MVUJ3M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <p><br><span style="font-family: proxima-nova, sans-serif; font-size: calc(1.275rem + 0.3vw); font-weight: 800; background-color: transparent;">LOBT GOTT DEN HERREN, IHR: “Sing Praise to God, the Highest Good”</span></p> <p>Elizabeth Grimpo, a pianist and Professor of Music at Concordia University—Nebraska has composed a setting of LOBT GOTT DEN HERREN, IHR (“Sing Praise to God, the Highest Good”). She said that although she considers herself a pianist more than a composer, she enjoyed the process of writing a hymn-based setting.</p> <p>“I love the hymnody and was intrigued by something different,” Grimpo said. “But I’ve played enough over the years that I know the piano intimately. I had a good sense of what might work well on the piano.”</p> <p>Grimpo, who plays in church and also plays organ, said she was cognizant that a hymn prelude needed to be accessible and effective in conveying both the text and tune of the hymn.</p> <p>“First, I always look at the text. In addition to that, I look at what the tune feels like,” Grimpo said. “To me, I wanted to convey a sense of joyfulness, but not in a superficial or overly excited way.”</p> <div class="hs-embed-wrapper" style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: auto; padding: 0; max-width: 560px; max-height: 315px; min-width: 256px; display: block; margin: auto;"> <div class="hs-embed-content-wrapper"> <div style="position: relative; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; padding-bottom: 56.25%; margin: 0px;"> <iframe style="position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none;" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tw2NvuFrCv8" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <p><br>The piece begins with an ascending motive that contrasts the descending motion of the tune’s first phrase. After the tune is stated the first time, a contrasting, quieter section of the piece states the tune in long-note values with eighth-note patterns in the inner voices.</p> <p>Grimpo said the second section is meant to reflect a portion of stanza 1 of the text: “With healing balm our souls He fills/And ev’ry faithless murmur stills.”</p> <p>“I took into consideration what this hymn is talking about,” Grimpo said. “I think that for people who have grown up with this hymnody, they know the text.”</p> <p>Grimpo said that as a pianist, she’s excited to see piano settings being composed and published that are based specifically on the Church’s hymns.</p> <p>“These composers have a deep understanding of the hymnody and a deep connection with those hymns,” Grimpo said. “I think that creates more successful preludes.”</p> <p style="text-align: center;">To play these settings and more, order&nbsp;<em>Piano Prelude Series Volume 6</em> below.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.concordiatechnology.org/cs/ci/?pg=d824ed83-3ea6-48c1-94a7-7877ba591272&amp;pid=487463&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Order Volume 6" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/487463/d824ed83-3ea6-48c1-94a7-7877ba591272.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=487463&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.cph.org%2Fworship%2Fmusic-of-the-month-piano-prelude-series-volume-6&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fblog.cph.org%252Fworship&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Worship Piano Featured Tue, 08 Jun 2021 11:15:00 GMT https://blog.cph.org/worship/music-of-the-month-piano-prelude-series-volume-6 2021-06-08T11:15:00Z Nathan Grime Understanding Worship: Service of the Sacrament https://blog.cph.org/worship/understanding-worship-service-of-the-sacrament <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/understanding-worship-service-of-the-sacrament" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.cph.org/hubfs/_blogs/CPH_blog/Worship/2021/05/pastor-at-altar-during-communion.jpg" alt="Understanding Worship: Service of the Sacrament" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>The <strong>Service of the Sacrament</strong> is the celebration of the Sacrament of the Altar. The Sacrament was instituted by Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. It is to be celebrated by all Christians until Christ comes again on the Last Day. Read this excerpt from&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cph.org/p-1758-worshiping-with-angels-and-archangels.aspx"><em>Worshiping with Angels and Archangels: An Introduction to the Divine Service</em></a> below to learn more about this part of the Lutheran worship.&nbsp;</p> <p>The <strong>Service of the Sacrament</strong> is the celebration of the Sacrament of the Altar. The Sacrament was instituted by Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. It is to be celebrated by all Christians until Christ comes again on the Last Day. Read this excerpt from&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cph.org/p-1758-worshiping-with-angels-and-archangels.aspx"><em>Worshiping with Angels and Archangels: An Introduction to the Divine Service</em></a> below to learn more about this part of the Lutheran worship.&nbsp;</p> <p>Because Jesus instituted it, the Sacrament of the Altar is also called the Lord’s Supper. In the Service of the Sacrament, those who have been instructed in the faith come to the altar to receive the precious body and blood of Jesus under the forms of bread and wine. Here in the Lord’s Supper, Christ comes to be with his holy people and to give forgiveness, life, and salvation.</p> <p>Christ’s body and blood go into our mouths and into our souls. United with Jesus in this wonderful Sacrament, we are made one not only with Him but also with all Christians throughout the world and with all the saints of heaven. For this reason, the Sacrament is also called Holy Communion.</p> <h3 style="font-weight: bold;">Preface</h3> <p>The Service of the Sacrament begins with the <strong>Preface</strong>, an ancient dialogue or conversation between the pastor and the people.</p> <p>This first part of the Preface is a part of the Ordinary [they are ordinarily present each week in the Divine Service and reflect the changeless and timeless texts of the liturgy] and does not change. It serves as an introduction to the Proper Preface, which changes with each season or festival day of the <a href="https://communication.cph.org/lutheran-church-calendar">Church Year</a>. At the close of the Preface, the pastor says, “Therefore with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven. . .” With these words, we are reminded that our worship is not limited with time or by space. Every time we worship we join in the angelic choirs and saints of every age in their ongoing heavenly worship of the Lamb who was slain.</p> <h3 style="font-weight: bold;">Sanctus</h3> <p>As a Hymn of Praise was sung at the beginning of the Service of the Word, so now a song of praise is sung before the Sacrament. The <strong>Sanctus</strong> is the angelic hymn described in the heavenly vision of Isaiah 6. In this vision the seraphim are gathered around the throne of God, proclaiming His holiness and glory.</p> <p>By singing this hymn in the Divine Service, the congregation participates in the heavenly chorus. For a time, the division between heaven and earth is gone. Heaven has come down to earth, and all stand together around the throne of almighty God. The confidence that this unseen reality is true comes from faith in Jesus Christ’s presence in the Sacrament. In the hosannas of the second half of the Sanctus, we worship Jesus who comes in His Holy Supper (Matthew 21:9).</p> <h3 style="font-weight: bold;">Prayer of Thanksgiving</h3> <p>In the <strong>Prayer of Thanksgiving</strong>, the congregation is led in prayer to thank the Lord for what is about to be received. First, we praise God for the gift of Jesus as the incarnate Son whose death on the cross is the once-for-all sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. Second, we ask God to deliver what He has promised and that the Spirit would strengthen the faith and prepare the hearts of all those who will receive Holy Communion.</p> <h3 style="font-weight: bold;">The Words of Our Lord</h3> <p>Sometimes called the <em>Verba Domini</em> (Latin for “the words of our Lord”), the pastor speaks <strong>The Words of Our Lord</strong> to consecrate, or set apart, the bread and the wine for God’s special use.</p> <p>In the Sacrament of the Altar, Christ gives His true body and true blood under the forms of consecrated bread and wine. Once again, God’s grace comes to us in the Divine Service. Jesus Himself is present and forgives our sins. This is Good News because Jesus’ Word does what it says.</p> <h3 style="font-weight: bold;">Lord’s Prayer</h3> <p>The <a href="https://blog.cph.org/study/luthers-catechism-series-second-petition-of-the-lords-prayer"><strong>Lord’s Prayer</strong></a> is the chief prayer of the Christian Church, and it is prayed here at the chief event of the Divine Service. As children of God, we call upon “our Father” as we prepare to encounter Jesus in His Supper, acknowledging that in the Sacrament He will answer our petitions. The congregation prays, “Thy kingdom come,” then receives the kingdom of God in the coming of Christ in His body and blood. We pray, “Thy will be done,” then witness salvation being distributed. We pray for forgiveness of sins and hear Christ’s own Word proclaiming that in His death He has accomplished everything needed to “forgive our trespasses.”</p> <h3 style="font-weight: bold;">Pax Domini</h3> <p>The pastor holds the body and the blood of Jesus before the congregation and speaks the <strong>Pax Domini</strong> as Christ Himself did on that first Easter when He stood in the midst of His disciples.</p> <p>The Pax is the voice of the Gospel announcing the remission of sins through its called minister, the pastor. Being at peace with God, those who have been instructed in the faith are called to dine on the Lord’s life-giving Supper.</p> <h3 style="font-weight: bold;">Agnus Dei</h3> <p>Standing in the presence of Christ, we sing to Him in the great Communion hymn the <a href="https://www.cph.org/p-17863-agnus-dei-klemp.aspx"><strong>Agnus Dei</strong>.</a></p> <p>John the Baptist foresaw Jesus’ death on Calvary and at Jesus’ Baptism, John cried out, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). In Jesus’ presence we, too, cry out and sing the praise of Christ, the “Lamb of God,” who in His death on Calvary bore our sins, even the sins of the whole world. It is this Christ who has washed us clean by His blood, bringing us His merciful salvation and peace (Revelation 7:14).</p> <h3 style="font-weight: bold;">Distribution of the Lord’s Supper</h3> <p>At the altar, the pastor distributes first the body and then the blood of Jesus. After all have communed, the pastor dismisses those at the altar by making the sign of the cross and saying: “The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen and preserve you in body and soul to life everlasting. Depart in peace. <span style="font-weight: normal;">Amen</span>.”</p> <h3 style="font-weight: bold;">Post-Communion Canticles</h3> <p>At the close of Holy Communion, as the pastor closes the sacred vessels and covers them with a veil, the congregation stands to sing the <strong>Nunc Dimittis</strong>. The <a href="https://blog.cph.org/worship/the-praise-of-god-in-new-testament-songs-and-hymns">Nunc Dimittis is Simeon’s prayer of thanksgiving </a>for being allowed to see the Messiah before he died. With the incarnate Christ in his arms, Simeon rejoiced and made his confession (Luke 2:25–32).&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the great hymns of Scripture, the use of Simeon’s Song as a Post-Communion Canticle is a unique element of Lutheran liturgy. Having seen Christ in the Sacrament—receiving Him in our mouth and so into our souls—we join Simeon in his inspired song.</p> <h3 style="font-weight: bold;">Post-Communion Collect</h3> <p>We have received God’s good and gracious gifts of Word and Sacrament. However, before we leave and take up our vocations again, we pause and thank God for all that He has done for us.</p> <p>The <strong>Post-Communion Canticle</strong> “collects” our grateful thoughts into one prayer, asking that the gifts received in the Divine Service, and specifically in the Lord’s Supper, would strengthen our faith toward God and would carry into our lives and callings as we deal with one another.</p> <h3 style="font-weight: bold;">Benediction</h3> <p>In the Old Testament, God gave Aaron and his sons who followed him in the priesthood His very name to use as a blessing for the Israelites (Numbers 6:22—27). So also today in the <strong>Benediction</strong>, the Lord blesses His people with His holy name.</p> <p>We end the Divine Service as we began—in the name of the Lord and with a threefold speaking of God’s holy name. Thus:</p> <ul> <li>We depart from God’s house with His name upon us;</li> <li>We depart fed and nourished by Word and Sacrament, having Christ in us;</li> <li>We go in peace and with God’s blessing.</li> </ul> <p>Worshiping with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven—that is our great privilege as the children of God. In the Divine Service, we come before God with nothing to offer but the magnitude of our sin. But out of His great love for us, by the sacrifice of His only Son, the Lamb of God, we do not receive what we deserve. Instead, God grants us his gifts and gives us blessing upon blessing.</p> <p>Forgiveness. Life. Salvation. These are the gifts given by the Holy Spirit, who calls, gathers, and enlightens the whole Christian Church on earth. These are the gifts given abundantly in the Divine Service—in the Absolution, in the Word of God, and in the Lord’s Supper. These are the gifts given in God’s holy house, in God’s holy name, and in His holy presence for now and for all eternity.</p> <p style="font-size: 12px;">This post is adapted from&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cph.org/p-1758-worshiping-with-angels-and-archangels.aspx"><em>Worshiping With Angels and Archangels: An Introduction to the Divine Service</em></a> copyright&nbsp;© 2006 Concordia Publishing House. 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