This month, we’re introducing a new series of hymn preludes written for pianists. Not only are these pieces great for use during worship services, but they can also be played at home or used with students. Here’s what to look for in the first volume.
Lutherans believe that worship is an act of receiving God’s gifts. That’s why the worship service we use is called the Divine Service. It’s a time during which God comes to us through His Word and Sacraments. Lutheran Service Book includes five different versions, or settings, of the Divine Service. There is only one Divine Service, but there are different settings. Some of the music and language differ between the settings, but the core of them all is the same—God delivering to us His forgiveness and salvation.
Abide with me, fast falls the eventide.
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
(“Abide with Me,” LSB 878, Stanza 1)
So was my family’s anthem nearly every evening when I was little. We made it our own with little added embellishments, as kids (and sometimes dads) are wont to do, and then scurried off to bed (always obediently and willingly, I might add—just don’t tell my mom I said that). Little did we know the preparation that was taking place, the ultimate preparation in life: we were preparing to die.
Between learning music for each week, leading rehearsals, teaching, and keeping up with regular life responsibilities, it can be hard for working church musicians to focus on their musical growth. But growing as a musician is one of the most important and fun parts of your work. So how do you make it happen?
Here are some simple ways to keep your musical growth a priority as you keep up your regular responsibilities at church.
The Old Testament is full of promises of a Savior, so what better way to celebrate Christmas than by looking at how those promises are fulfilled in the New Testament? “Carol of the Lamb,” a new choral piece for Christmas, is a perfect way to bring this idea to your congregation, as it features breathtaking music and references to Psalm 23.
Sola Scriptura, sola gratia, sola fide, solus Christus. Scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone.
This Reformation teaching is especially poignant on All Saints’ Day, a day when many of us remember those who have gone before us in the faith. The solas teach us about the pure Gospel, and the Gospel gives us hope in the resurrection. As you rejoice in the Reformation, may you find comfort in the Gospel and share that comfort with others who may be mourning on All Saints’ Day.
Have you ever attempted an extempore prayer? I know I have been in many situations in which someone calls upon me to offer a prayer, and I confess I don’t have many memorized beyond the basics (the Lord’s Prayer, Luther’s Morning and Evening Prayers, etc.). The ability to compose a prayer on the spot is important to learn, but oftentimes, previously composed prayers are more thorough and eloquent.
The Reformers sought not to overthrow existing church traditions but rather to bring them back to their pure states. As a result, the orders of worship Lutheran churches use today are strikingly similar to the ones Roman Catholic churches use. Here’s an overview of how worship changed during the Reformation, and why and how the Reformers did it. This post is adapted from Lutheranism 101: Worship by Thomas M. Winger.
It’s almost Reformation Day, and that means we get to enjoy hearing some of Lutheranism’s most famous hymns. (“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” I’m looking at you!) If you’re looking for some additional Reformation-related hymns to use around this time, consider using the ones mentioned below. We selected most of these by using the hymn search tool in Lutheran Service Builder with the keyword “Reformation.”
We also have created social media graphics with quotes from the selected hymns, and they are all shown below. At the end of the post, you can download the graphics for free and use them on your church’s social media accounts.
Scripture teaches us to bring our needs daily to our Heavenly Father in Christ’s name. To help families and children understand this important truth, Martin Luther wrote two short prayers for individuals and families to use in the morning and evening before going to sleep. Now the simplicity and devotion of Luther’s Morning Prayer and its companion, Luther’s Evening Prayer, have been put to music by John A. Behnke.