Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Joyful Noise

The Worship Team met recently and talked about the hymns and songs that we’ve been using in our liturgy. Admittedly, we’ve received criticisms over some of the choices we’ve made. Granted, most of the comments were made during Advent, when many of the seasonal choices are sort of "downers." However, we do take people’s suggestions seriously.

It is not possible to please everyone, but if we can agree on a set of principles for choosing the hymns we sing then it becomes easier to enjoy a hymn that might not be our favorite.

The principles we use are:
  1. A balance of hymn styles, utilizing the best of what was used at the former 9:15 and 11:00 o’clock services. This balance includes a balance of organ and piano, and anthems from both the Senior and Junior Choirs. There is a deep hope that we will grow the band and use yet another style of music to praise the Lord.
  2. We hope to avoid obsolete language in our hymns (and prayers). This might mean just dropping a verse of a hymn rather than loosing an old favorite all together.
    New music will be introduced and taught.
  3. We will continue to choose hymns based on the readings assigned for the day and/or the liturgical season we’re in, however, we recognize that mood counts and will also be taken into consideration.
  4. We will endeavor to cultivate a spirit of enthusiasm, in the choirs, the band and other liturgical leaders.
If there are other guiding principles that you think we should consider please let me know. I think that it is important to be guided by principles rather than just singing our favorites. We would never agree on a favorite’s list anyway.

When if comes to hymns and liturgy the Rolling Stones said it best, "you can’t always get what you want." Liturgy is not about "what I want." It is about us working together to find ways to best celebrate what God has done for us in Christ Jesus.


Edna said...

I have been reading your blog for sometime now and it brings me back to when you were my Rector and Mentor. I remember when we were changing the music at Holy Trinity and some of the oppostion that we experience, but what I remember the most is the the joy and love I felt when our Junior Choir sang alone or with our senior Choir, and of course when our Sunday School children sang. Too young for tradition, they were willing to learn to Praise in a way that always left me feel how much love they still had in their innocent lives. I always felt in awe. I know that we can always learn from those Senoir to us,and I have. But I am sure that I am learning daily from the children. Their wanting to learn not stuck on tradition, and their unconditional love. God Bless you John and your Ministry. We should all be so lucky to have you as our Rector. It is true we don't always get what we want, but do we really need that want?

John Clarke said...

Thanks Edna for the comment, it's good to hear from you. You are welcome to contact me directly at