When in our music God is glorified, and adoration leaves no room for pride; it is as if the whole creation cried, “Alleluia!”
While there are as many topics regarding hymns as there are hymns, by request, this brief article will focus on my process of hymn selection for our corporate Sunday morning and Evensong services at St. John’s.
As we use the Revised Common Lectionary, my first step is to read the appointed lessons for the Sunday for which I am selecting music. Currently we are in Year B, Track 2, Daily Office Year 1. Sometimes the readings show a strong relation to a particular hymn, other times, not so much.
Thus, I refer to the many resources available to assist me in formulating the possibilities. I use The Organist/Choirmaster’s Handbook, Synthesis, Liturgical Resources Years ABC, Sundays and Seasons, several websites, and sometimes – just plain old experience.
Most Sundays, there are many choices; and I narrow them down by considering the following: the current liturgical season, the hymn’s context (Processional, Gradual, Presentation, Communion, Recessional) within the service, the congregation’s current hymn repertoire, and the desire and need to add new hymns.
Finally, I consider how everything fits together – all the music in the service – in context, with everything else that is happening. Making it all work together is a crucial challenge for an effective corporate spiritual experience with music as a significant driving force.
How often, making music, we have found a new dimension in the world of sound, as worship moved us to a more profound alleluia!
By Brian Rotz, Music Director
Copyright: When in Our Music, ©Words by Fred Pratt Green, 1972 Hope Publishing Company; Carol Stream, IL 60188. All rights reserved. Used by permission, stanzas 1 and 2, OneLiscense.net #A-718390.