For the imaginatively inclined, the church calendar provides endless opportunities to delve into stories creatively. The upcoming Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord (February 2), falling precisely forty days after Christmas, is no exception. As a pedagogical strategy, projecting ourselves into the story gives us a chance to playfully engage with the material, increasing the likelihood of making unexpected connections. Moreover, full immersion in the biblical narratives seems to be the starting point for many of our hymns, making our hymnody fertile ground for meditation or personal devotion.Read More > >
Many of the hymns and songs from All Creation Sings, our new worship and song supplement, are available as choral anthems, either from Augsburg Fortress or from other music publishers. As publishers of All Creation Sings, Augsburg Fortress staff have curated a helpful listing of almost fifty anthems in various voicings and styles.
I take great care in selecting my organ preludes and postludes for each Sunday. A prelude prepares the gathered community for worship. Whether the listener prays, reflects, or simply listens, they are still an active participant, and, as such, I believe they deserve the best the musician can give them. Likewise, the postlude, as the last thing they hear on the way out of church, is an opportunity to lift their spirits as they reflect on the worship that just ended and prepare to go about their week.Read More > >
A few months ago, I was struck by a bit of information: I learned trees in a forest are connected and “speak” to each other using the mycorrhizal network under the soil. The exchange of chemicals between mycelium and trees—as well as their symbiotic relationship—as it turned out, form a beautiful, vibrant, and interdependent community.Read More > >
“Anybody can write . . . that is easy, but to write with a specific audience in mind, using the right amount of amusement and persuasion, to address them in a manner that is relevant and insightful, while offering practical advice in a convivial manner—that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”
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“Now we wait. We wait for the child to be born.
We wait for the newness that God is bringing into the world.”
Advent is a season of anticipation, longing, and hopefulness. This year, after almost two years in a pandemic, these themes, and the emotions that they invoke, are heightened. We long to see signs in our lives and in our communities that Jesus is present. We need to hear the promises that only God can give.Read More > >
“Spirit, open my heart to the joy and pain of living. As you love may I love, in receiving and in giving. Spirit, open my heart.” (ACS 1043)Read More > >
“Sometimes our only song is weeping, our only sound a gasping breath . . .” (ACS 1050)
This is the first line of a new hymn in All Creation Sings, the upcoming worship supplement from Augsburg Fortress, found in the subsection “Lament.” Along with other new hymns in All Creation Sings, and their siblings in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, they are powerful source material as we grieve widespread sickness and death, old inequalities and fresh injustices. Hope itself can seem lost.Read More > >
Sometimes you fall in love with a hymn the very first time you hear it. “In Sacred Manner” by Susan Palo Cherwien is one of those for me. It’s included in All Creation Sings, the supplement to Evangelical Lutheran Worship coming in November 2020, and one reason I’m so struck by this text is that it suggests our relationship with creation should include learning from nature, not just inviting creation to join our song.Read More > >
If you’ve ever paged through the tune index of Evangelical Lutheran Worship, you may have noticed that some entries—see, for instance, Ach bleib mit deiner Gnade and Agincourt Hymn—are indented and italicized. As was practiced in Lutheran Book of Worship and Service Book and Hymnal, these specially formatted entries indicate other names used for tunes by previous hymnals or, in some cases, by other denominations.Read More > >