“Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)
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 Advent, the time of waiting for our Savior’s coming—past, present, and future—and the time of repentance in anticipation of His coming.
Edwin T. Childs adds to his series of settings for minimum pedal, providing a collection of hymn tunes for the season of Advent in Advent with Minimum Pedal. 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.
“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 Eternal Anthems: The Story Behind Your Favorite Hymns.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.