It is often at Christmas that church music directors pull out all the stops—and all the special musicians. Special musicians, whether they are singers or instrumentalists, are usually willing to share their talents at this festive time of year. But how can church music directors engage these other musicians all year round?
In the wonder and joy of the Christmas season, music can be especially helpful in setting the tone for worship. In her new collection Repeat the Sounding Joy: Five Christmas Tunes for Trumpet and Organ, CPH composer Sondra Tucker uses different organ colors and the clear call of trumpets to remind listeners of the joy of Christ’s birth. Learn from Sondra herself about the collection, how your church can make use of it, and some special moments to listen for in the pieces.
With its satisfying harmonies yet simple tune, “O Holy Night” is a familiar hymn that has become a staple in Christmas worship. This year, CPH Music released a new setting of this popular hymn in partnership with composer John Behnke. Learn more about this unique and captivating arrangement, and explore some of Behnke’s other works as a handbell, choral, and organ composer.
Dozens of candles, elegant tree decorations, cheery poinsettias—beautiful sanctuary decorations for Christmas highlight the thrill and wonder of Jesus being born in the flesh! Here are some tips from The Altar Guild Manual for decorating your church sanctuary in ways that focus the glory on God and what He has done for us in Christ.
“Soon, soon to faithful warriors cometh rest.”
One of my favorite lines from the hymn “For All the Saints,” these words are a source of incredible comfort in a weary world. While we wait for the eternal rest the hymn mentions, music provides a temporary relief from struggle and labor.
With Christmas less than three months away, many musicians have already started making selections and planning rehearsals. Our guest author and composer for this week, Benjamin Kolodziej, shares some of his favorite tips for preparing Advent and Christmas music.
We know many of you are getting started recruiting musicians and selecting music for this year. To help you with that, we’ve put together a list of pieces you may want to consider for Advent and Christmas.
I know what you’re thinking. There are already too many favorite Christmas hymns and carols to try to fit into one Christmas Eve and one Christmas Day service. If we’re singing “Joy to the World,” “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” and “Silent Night,” where am I going to fit more? But consider the many other opportunities for using Christmas hymns beyond the service: at school, at home, at Sunday School, in the Christmas program, as part of your personal devotions, while caroling. Give these often-forgotten hymns that tell of Christ’s birth a second look.