Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Our Easter order of service.

This year we did two identical services for Easter morning. In addition to piano and organ, we used percussion on several pieces (djembe, digital set), bass and guitar on a couple of pieces, cello, a small brass ensemble, and handbells (on Allen Pote's "On the Third Day"). Our hope was to provide an eclectic mix that represented both of our worshiping constituencies in one unified whole. For the most part our people in both congregations found it to be a meaningful expression of worship (I've not heard from any that didn't ... and for that I'm thankful). Just in case anyone is wondering (and almost 3 weeks after the fact), I've listed below an annotated outline of the printed order of worship. Understand that the layout looks different because blogger can't easily do flush-left, centered, and flush-right text on the same line.

Prelude “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” (arr. Davis) - David Pitts (organ)


Welcome to Worship and Passing of the Peace - Dr. Ed Gouge

Hymn* No. 160 “Low in the Grave He Lay” CHRIST AROSE
My friend RevJATB recently panned this hymn on his blog. I don't want it every Easter, but it was effective.

Offertory Prayer*

Offertory “Were You There” (arr. Ham) - Richard Cobb, piano
Richard is a layman in our choir who has recently begun taking lessons from my wife. He was a good pianist to begin with and it has been neat to see his musicianship grow.

———— A Resurrection Journey ————

Anticipating the Destination
“On the Third Day” (Pote) - Choir
If you don't know this piece, do yourself a favor and become acquainted with it. It is scored for Handbells, Brass quintet, Keyboards and SATB choir. The text is straight out of the Nicene Creed. I have a recording done at a YouthCUE festival that includes a full orchestration with a lot of percussion. I gave that to our drummer and he added just the right stuff from the digital kit to help our people who prefer the instrumentation we use in our 8:30 service connect with it.

Mapping the Journey - Dr. Blake Harwell
Mapping the journey is what we called the scripture exposition interspersed within the worship experience. Walking the Road is what we called the responses ... choral and/or congregational ... to the spoken messages.

Walking the Road
“How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” (arr. Howard) Choir and congregation
This contemporary hymn by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty has become a favorite for both congregations. We usually use it as a congregational song in the contemporary service and as a choral anthem in the traditional.

Mapping the Journey - Dr. Harwell

Walking the Road
“Thy Will Be Done” (Courtney) - Choir
In the Wednesday night rehearsal before Easter, our drummer listened and discerned that adding the djembe might help. Making artful use of the deep sub-bass boom of the djembe, Freddy helped paint the darkness illustrated in this anthem beautifully.

Mapping the Journey - Dr. Harwell

Walking the Road
“Were You There?” (traditional) - Solo, choir, and congregation

Mapping the Journey - Dr. Harwell

Walking the Road
“The Power of the Cross” (Getty & Townend) Choir and congregation
“That’s Why We Praise Him” (Walker) Solo, choir, and congregation
We used a typical orchestrated anthem approach to "The Power of the Cross," then launched directly into a rhythm section driven mode for "That's Why We Praise Him" (piano, acoustic guitar, bass, drums ... organ added to help the traditionally wired congregation members connect better).

The Journey Continues
“Crown Him with Many Crowns” (arr. Hall) Choir and congregation
O. D. Hall's setting of Crown Him with Many Crowns is a classic. If you can find the original published in the 1970's, the brass parts published in the octavo are stronger (in my opinion) than the full orchestration that came with later editions. The octavo score has individual piano and organ scores. As you can see, we sang this one congregationally with the introduction and interlude choral stuff adding to the congregational.

Sharing Decisions - Dr. Harwell

“The Power of the Cross” (Getty & Townend) Choir and congregation
This was just a simple re-iteration of the final chorus of this new hymn.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home