If you’re a church musician, chances are high that the way you’ve performed music (or haven’t) at church has been completely different from “normal” circumstances. Maybe you’ve switched to pre-recorded services, or livestreamed services with limited groups of musicians accompanying. In some cases, the organist and a soloist might be the safest options.
CPH is pleased to introduce this new collection of thirty-five hymns for men’s voices, following the classic first volume published in 1961. Featuring all new settings for the Church Year by Kevin Hildebrand, these hymn arrangements include predictable, pleasing harmonies with the melody almost always in the top voice (Tenor 1). These will be useful as stand-alone choral anthems or choral stanzas in alternation with congregational singing.
This year, May 31 is Pentecost Sunday, the day the Church celebrates the Holy Spirit coming to the disciples after Christ's resurrection and ascension. In preparation for the day and coming season of Pentecost, a new piece by Rev. Stephen P. Starke and Jacob B. Weber has been released. The piece includes a beautiful, lyrical melody and an optional flute part, which adds variety and structure to the tune.
On the Day of Pentecost, Jesus’ apostles were together in a house when a rush of wind from heaven filled the space. Then tongues of fire appeared above the apostles’ heads, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. They went out to Jerusalem, speaking many different languages, and witnessed to people of all nations who were there (Acts 2:1–11).
Starke’s text is especially appropriate for the Day of Pentecost and the season following it as it reads:
A perfect selection for the Easter season comes in this SATB anthem based on Romans 6:9. Beginning with joyous alleluias, the music rises in sequence, portraying the text “raised from the dead.” The melodic sequences and voice leading make the music easy to learn while still sounding dramatic and powerful.
Jacob B. Weber has composed a thrilling Gloria for SATB, organ, and brass quartet. Featuring joyous symphonic writing, the piece begins with a fanfare interplay between brass and organ, leading directly into angelic strains of “Gloria in excelsis Deo!” Moments of warm, rich choral writing complement the text. Set entirely in Latin, this setting can be a featured addition to any high school or college Christmas concert, or, when appropriate, a festival Divine Service setting during the Church Year.
Commissioned for the 150th anniversary of Concordia Publishing House on September 11, 2019, pastor and hymnwriter Stephen P. Starke, and Kevin J. Hildebrand, kantor at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, have produced For Faith, We Praise You, Lord, a sturdy hymn written to the tune VERITY.
The five-stanza hymn is scored for SATB choir, congregation, organ, and trumpet. The hymn charts the Christian life lived in faith, from birth in Holy Baptism, to the altar at the Lord’s Supper, and into the harvest field as workers in God’s earthly kingdom. The post below showcases each stanza of this hymn along with explanations and reflections on the lyrics.
The new choral piece “The Tree of Life” depicts the fall of Adam and redemption through Christ, framing both in imagery drawn from the Garden of Eden. The musical arrangement matches the changing tone of the text through the four stanzas—from innocence through shame to redemption and triumph, finally ending with quiet assurance.
Scripture teaches us to bring our needs daily to our Heavenly Father in Christ’s name. To help families and children understand this important truth, Martin Luther wrote two short prayers for individuals and families to use in the morning and evening before going to sleep. Now the simplicity and devotion of Luther’s Morning Prayer and its companion, Luther’s Evening Prayer, have been put to music by John A. Behnke.
Pentecost is a long and wonderful season when we focus on how God grows His Church through His Word. This is a time when our music selections can reflect biblical themes—such as peace, baptism, hope and comfort, or missions—rather than specific holidays. Here are some music selections your church can use during the season after Pentecost.