Category : Liturgy, Music, Worship

(Washington Post) Americans return to in-person church with emotion — and uncertainty about the future of worship

Since about Easter, attendance numbers at Christ Central have been on an upward trajectory, said Senior Pastor Owen Lee — which is part of a national trend. Pew reported that the percentage of people who said they went to a religious service in the past month went from 33 percent in July 2020 to 42 percent in March.

Pre-pandemic, the large Centreville church had to have two services to fit in 700 or 800 people on Sundays. When the shutdown began, many tuned in to a live stream. In September, when the church began offering limited, socially distanced in-person worship, it got about 20 or 30 people at one service, Lee said. That number stayed about the same until around Easter.

Since then, the numbers have risen. Last Sunday, 140 people attended. This Sunday, 76 people spread out among the wooden pews, facing toward the high-ceilinged stage, where Lee and other clergy stood below two large screens across which words, song lyrics and scripture bits pass. Musicians and singers were spread to their right and left.

Easter, he said, was the first time the room began to look populated.

“To see faces, to hear people singing together, greeting each other awkwardly — it was so good to be together, like family,” Lee said. “Some people were weeping. It was one of the sweetest days.”

Read it all.

Posted in Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

More Music for Easter–John Rutter: Most Glorious Lord of Life

Listen to it all.

Lyrics:

Most glorious Lord of life, that on this day
Didst make thy triumph over death and sin,
And having harrow’d hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive, us to win.
This joyous day, dear Lord, with joy begin,
And grant that we may for whom thou diddest die,
Being with thy dear blood clean wash’d from sin,
May live for ever in felicity.
And that thy love we weighing worthily,
May likewise love thee for the same again;
And for Thy sake, that all like dear didst buy,
With love may one another entertain.
So let us love, dear love, like as we ought;
Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.
The day of resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad;
The Passover of gladness, the Passover of God.
From death to life eternal, from earth unto the sky,
Our Christ hath brought us over, with hymns of victory. Amen.

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Easter–O clap your hands by Orlando Gibbons sung by the Cambridge Singers

The words are from Psalm 47. Listen to it all–KSH.

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

The 100th Anniversary of John Stott’s Birth (V)–The full Service of Celebration for this Momentous Event from his home Parish of All Soul’s Langham Place

There are many wonderful people whom you will get to hear from–do take the time.

Posted in Church History, Evangelicals, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Theology

(LR) Slowly, but Surely and Safely: Churchgoers Plan to Return as Confidence Grows

For the first time in more than a year, Erin Mohring and her family attended church in person this past Sunday. They are not the only previously familiar faces returning to pews across the U.S.

A Lifeway Research study earlier this year found 9 in 10 Protestant churchgoers say they plan to return to in-person services once COVID-19 is no longer an active threat. Many of those who are just now returning or plan to return later were, like the Mohrings, active members of their congregation.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mohring said she and her family attended Sunday services and Wednesday night activities each week. After coronavirus cases began to spread across the U.S. last spring, however, they made the decision on March 15, 2020, to attend strictly remotely.

That became more difficult as their church moved back to in-person services. “The church we were attending when the pandemic hit did online services for a little while, but when group gatherings of any kind were allowed again in our area, the online services became an afterthought and eventually went away,” she said.

Read it all.

Posted in Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Religion & Culture, Sociology

More Music for Easter–Christ the Lord is risen again by John Rutter

Listen to it all.

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Easter 2021–Aretha Franklin sings Amazing Grace

Listen to it all.

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Easter 2021-The Easter Hymn from Cavalleria Rusticana Mascagni

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Easter 2021: O Radiant Dawn – James MacMillan


Lyrics:

O Radiant Dawn, O Radiant Dawn, O Radiant Dawn
Splendour of Eternal Light
Sun of Justice, Sun of Justice, Sun of Justice
Come, come, come, come, come,
come shine on those who dwell in darkness And the shadow of death

Isaiah had prophesied,
‘The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light.
Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone’

O Radiant Dawn, O Radiant Dawn, O Radiant Dawn
Splendour of Eternal Light
Sun of Justice, Sun of Justice, Sun of Justice
Come, come, come, come, come,
come shine on those who dwell in darkness And the shadow of death

Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen, amen

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Easter–Death In His Grave by John McMillan sung by Audrey Assad

Listen to it all.

“He has cheated hell
And seated us above the fall
In desperate places he paid our wages
One time, once and for all.”

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Still more Music for Easter–Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Festival Overture

Enjoy the whole thing.

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More music for Easter–This Joyful Eastertide – King’s College Cambridge

Lyrics:

This joyful Easter-tide,
Away with care and sorrow!
My Love, the Crucified,
Hath sprung to life this morrow.

Had Christ, that once was slain,
Neer burst His three day prison,
Our faith had been in vain;
But now hath Christ arisen,
Arisen, arisen, arisen!

My flesh in hope shall rest,
And for a season slumber;
Till trump from east to west,
Shall wake the dead in number.

Had Christ, that once was slain,
Neer burst His three day prison,
Our faith had been in vain;
But now hath Christ arisen,
Arisen, arisen, arisen!

Deaths flood hath lost his chill,
Since Jesus crossed the river:
Lover of souls, from ill
My passing soul deliver.

Had Christ, that once was slain,
Neer burst His three day prison,
Our faith had been in vain;
But now hath Christ arisen,
Arisen, arisen, arisen!

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Easter–The Forté Handbell Quartet plays Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Easter–How Great Thou Art

Listen to it all (and enjoy the inside of the Cathedral).

Posted in Church of England, Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry

More Music for Easter–Easter Song, 2nd Chapter of Acts

Watch and listen to it all from the original writers of the song.

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Easter–Johnny Cash – Ain’t No Grave

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Music For Easter–Since By Man Came Death from Handel’s Messiah

Take the time to listen to it all from the Oxford Philomusica.

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Music for Easter 2021–The Lord is Risen Indeed! William Billings

Listen to it all and you can read more about it, including finding the lyrics, at Lent and Beyond.

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

A Canticle for Holy Saturday

In the midst of life we are in death.

We grow and wither as quickly as flowers;

we disappear like shadows.

To whom can we go for help, but to you, Lord God,

though you are rightly displeased because of our sins?

And yet, Lord God Almighty,

most holy and most merciful Saviour,

deliver us from the bitterness of eternal death.

You know the secrets of our hearts;

mercifully hear us, most worthy judge eternal;

keep us, at our last hour,

in the consolation of your love.

 

[You, O Lord, are gracious and compassionate,

slow to anger and rich in love.

As kind as a father is to his children,

so kind is the Lord to those who honour him.

For you know what we are made of;

you remember that we are dust.

As for us, our life is like grass.

We grow and flourish like a wildflower;

then the wind blows on it, and it is gone

no-one sees it again.

But for those who honour the Lord, his love lasts forever,

and his goodness endures for all generations.]

Posted in Holy Week, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Music for Holy Saturday–Spiegel im Spiegel for Cello and Piano (Arvo Pärt)

Posted in Holy Week, Liturgy, Music, Worship

More Music for Good Friday 2021–King’s College Cambridge 2011 O Sacred head Sore Wounded by JS Bach

Lyrics:

O sacred head, sore wounded,
defiled and put to scorn;
O kingly head surrounded
with mocking crown of thorn:
What sorrow mars thy grandeur?
Can death thy bloom deflower?
O countenance whose splendor
the hosts of heaven adore!

Thy beauty, long-desirèd,
hath vanished from our sight;
thy power is all expirèd,
and quenched the light of light.
Ah me! for whom thou diest,
hide not so far thy grace:
show me, O Love most highest,
the brightness of thy face.

I pray thee, Jesus, own me,
me, Shepherd good, for thine;
who to thy fold hast won me,
and fed with truth divine.
Me guilty, me refuse not,
incline thy face to me,
this comfort that I lose not,
on earth to comfort thee.

In thy most bitter passion
my heart to share doth cry,
with thee for my salvation
upon the cross to die.
Ah, keep my heart thus moved
to stand thy cross beneath,
to mourn thee, well-beloved,
yet thank thee for thy death.

My days are few, O fail not,
with thine immortal power,
to hold me that I quail not
in death’s most fearful hour;
that I may fight befriended,
and see in my last strife
to me thine arms extended
upon the cross of life.

Posted in Holy Week, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Music for Good Friday–St Pauls Cathedral Choir: God So Loved The World (John Stainer)

Listen to it all.

Posted in Holy Week, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Good Friday food for Thought–The full text of Johann Heermann’s ‘Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended’

1 Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
that we to judge thee have in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted!

2 Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee!
‘Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee;
I crucified thee.

3 Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
the slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered.
For our atonement, while we nothing heeded,
God interceded.

4 For me, kind Jesus, was thy incarnation,
thy mortal sorrow, and thy life’s oblation;
thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion,
for my salvation.

5 Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay thee,
I do adore thee, and will ever pray thee,
think on thy pity and thy love unswerving,
not my deserving.

Posted in Christology, Holy Week, Liturgy, Music, Worship

The Latest Edition of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

The Rev. Louise Weld, who serves as an Associate Rector at Saint James Church, Charleston, graced the cover of the Post and Courier this past Monday (March 29) holding a lamb and leading the children in a Palm Sunday procession.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Holy Week, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Media, Parish Ministry

A Nigerian Guardian Article on the Celebration of Palm Sunday on Lagos

CHristians in Lagos yesterday joined their counterparts in parts of the world to celebrate Palm Sunday amidst pomp and fanfare. Men and women, old and young held palm fronds in their hands while some used palm fronds to make a cross as necklaces.

At Archbishop Vining Memorial Anglican Church, Oba Akinjobi Way, Ikeja, Diocese of Lagos West, one of the churches that celebrated the event, the Dean, Venerable Ebenezer Adewole, who presided over the service in his Palm Sunday message described the celebration of Palm Sunday as one of the key events of passion of Christ that the church celebrates every year.

“There are three core lessons attached to Palm Sunday. Firstly, it is a reminder of the triumphant entry of our Lord Jesus to the city of Jerusalem.

“Secondly, as we waive the palm frond, we are involved in praises to Christ who is our King. Whatever we are doing today, we are praising Christ who reigns and lives forever. We are engaged in an act of praise….

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Nigeria, Holy Week, Liturgy, Music, Worship

(Telegraph) Giles Fraser–Christian faith can’t be sustained on Zoom

But despite Zoom’s many advantages, no technology can outweigh the fact that Christianity is inescapably physical. It is not just “a message” that can be communicated through social media. It is also about bodily participation, the receiving of bread and wine.

And while the carefully nuanced and endlessly debatable metaphysics of how bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus is a question I have long left to the theological anoraks, I have no doubt that receiving the Eucharist is a physical activity requiring physical participation. The statements “this is my body” and “this is my blood” make Christianity about matter, physically ingested. You can no more do this over Zoom than you can go to the dentist over Zoom.

This is why lockdown has been such a threat – literally – to the lifeblood of the Christian faith. And why the bolted door was such a betrayal of the need of so many of my parishioners for the “real presence” of Christ in the Eucharist.

This Thursday evening, Maundy Thursday, churches traditionally hold “watch services” where we sit up into the small hours to stay with a terrified man who did not want to be alone on the night before he was to die. This year it will be hard not to think of all those who have died without the physical presence of their loved ones beside them.
Saying goodbye over Zoom, unable to reach out to hold someone’s hand, has to be among the most appalling things that some families will ever go through. And Last Rites are really not for Skype.

Read it all.

Posted in Blogging & the Internet, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

(NPR) Indonesia Church Bombing Wounds 20 On Palm Sunday

Two suicide bombers attacked a Roman Catholic church compound in Makassar, Indonesia, on Sunday morning, injuring at least 20 people, according to state officials. While no deaths among the churchgoers have been reported, police say both attackers died in the blast.

The attack happened at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral around 10:30 a.m., as a round of mass was wrapping up at the church. The bombers attempted to enter the church compound on motorbike and detonated at least one bomb by an entrance to the compound, according to news reports.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo condemned the attack as an “act of terrorism,” and said he had ordered the police “to thoroughly investigate the perpetrators’ networks and tear down the networks to their roots.”

The attacks happened on Palm Sunday, the beginning of the Holy Week leading up to Easter. In a televised address, Joko called on people to remain calm and said “the state guarantees the safety of religious people to worship without fear.”

Read it all.

Posted in Indonesia, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Religion & Culture, Terrorism

Richard of Chichester’s Prayer (in the previous post) in Music–Bob Chilcott – A Thanksgiving (King’s Singers & Concordia Choir)

Listen to it all and the composer’s website is there [I first learned of this through Preston Trombly].

Posted in Liturgy, Music, Worship

(C of E) Bells to toll and thousands of candles to be lit for National Day of Reflection today

The words Reflect, Support and Hope will be projected in yellow on the front of Lichfield Cathedral, while Blackburn and Leicester cathedrals will light thousands of candles to mark lives lost, to mark the National Day of Reflection.

St Edmundsbury Cathedral will suspend two hundred tear drops above the altar and Chelmsford Cathedral will be transformed into a vibrant space of colour and light.

In Portsmouth churches will deliver more than 50 boxes of chocolates along with cards to GP surgeries, care homes and schools in the area as a gesture of thanks to key workers for their contribution during the pandemic.

Area Dean of Portsmouth, Revd Canon Bob White, said: “We are very aware of the stresses and pressures they have faced over the past year and want to thank them and let them know that they are in our prayers.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Health & Medicine, History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer

Good Samaritan Church Plant in Summerville, South Carolina

Good Samaritan Church Plant in Summerville from The Anglican Diocese of SC on Vimeo.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Evangelism and Church Growth, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry