Liturgy is the sacramental rites and texts used in our worship services. It expresses the church’s identity and mission, and calls others to serve with concern for the needs of the world.
Epiphany is a time, for me, of change in the liturgy and the music. Music can be as diverse as its worship services, and so it is with the season of Epiphany. When we speak of the music within the service, I am speaking of hymns and service music. We will be changing all the service music for Epiphany as is our usual practice. Sometimes the music chosen is familiar but many times we introduce new service music as well as hymns. It is our practice to teach the new selections before or during the service. New music of the Word must be taught prior to the beginning of the service, whereas Music of the Table can be taught at announcement time. Usually when a new service piece or hymn is taught, it is used for several weeks or even a whole liturgical season. The choir usually is the teacher for this process, but several times this past year the children have taught us new music which we used within the service.
Each person has their preference when it comes to the style of music they like in their church service. The two most often chosen are traditional and contemporary music. This provides a great challenge to worship leaders and volunteers as they attempt to blend both styles into one worship setting. Here at St. Tim’s, you might find Anglican chant, African spiritual, and Hispanic songs within the same service. The anthems sung by the children, youth and adult choirs cover the gamut… classical, traditional and contemporary.
The point is that our liturgy and music here at St. Tim’s are always growing and changing as our community is growing and changing. Change is not always easy. But we hope that you all will participate in the hymns and service music. The music of the Word and Table are most important and it is my hope that it will include all the congregation ‘s participation. So, be on the lookout for new service music and hymns and join us as our liturgy and music adapt to our busy lives.
Patricia Ann Lewis