I love the holiday season—even though it can be a stressful time—and I love the music that accompanies Advent and Christmas. Every year, I look forward to taking out my collection of seasonal music and playing through it again, and it always feels like spending time with good friends I haven’t seen for a while. It’s July, so you may (or may not!) be in planning mode for the upcoming year—I hope you’ll consider programming some of the following piano and organ repertoire. These are some of my favorite resources, and I find myself turning to them over and over again. Most of these titles are available through Prelude Music Planner. Some are in the public domain and are available (for free!) through the International Music Score Library Project (www.imslp.org).*Read More > >
There are churches in all denominations in this country where congregations do sing well, and it is always because there is at least one person who is actively expecting it.
—Alice Parker, Melodious Accord
Sometimes we confuse somber with slow, penitential with plodding. Although the pace of worship and music matters, and in some ways tempo and piety are intertwined, they are not as formulaic as their use in Christian worship sometimes might suggest. Faster does not equal more joyous. Consider popular music. Some of the quickest music around—bluegrass and death metal—can be both dark and penitential, often in the extreme.Read More > >
The gospel acclamation is a high point of celebration in the assembly. It is the assembly’s opportunity to welcome the reading of the gospel in its midst, to rejoice for the great gift of God’s word, and to gather around the reading. It is an anticipation of the gospel reading to come and a response to the word it has already heard. The choir may have a role in leading the acclamation, providing a descant or singing the proper verse. However, on most days it is not advisable for the choir to sing the entire acclamation in the assembly’s place (the days of Lent and Holy Week may be an exception, when the proper acclamations are less easily sung by an assembly). This is the assembly’s response, and at least the alleluia needs the entire assembly’s voice.Read More > >
"I want Jesus to walk with me;
I want Jesus to walk with me;
all along my pilgrim journey,
Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me."
—Text: African American spiritual
In 2006, with the publication of Evangelical Lutheran Worship, a trajectory of worship renewal that had begun generations earlier and had already become quite clear with Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) continues. Among the primary markers of this path are a renewed emphasis on the sacraments in general and baptism in particular; encouragement of shared leadership in worship, including prominent roles for laypeople; the recognition that music in worship—and especially song—needs to belong at heart to the worshiping assembly; and a recovery of the Three Days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter as the very center of the church's year. These last two points, particularly, find expression in this collection of music for Lent and the Three Days.Read More > >
You have searched me out and known me. (Ps. 139:1)
All the baptized have a calling in God's world. God calls not just the clergy but also the youngest child, like Samuel. The story of the calling of Nathanael plays with the idea of place. Nathanael initially dismisses Jesus because he comes from Nazareth. But where we come from isn't important; it's where—or rather whom—we come to. Jesus refers to the story of the vision of Jacob, who called the place of his vision "the house of God, and ... the gate of heaven" (Gen. 28:17). Jesus says he himself is the place where Nathanael will meet God.Read More > >
All of us church musicians are deep into the seasons that are upon us, seasons when the hopes and expectations for wonderful music are even higher. Prelude can help you add an extra something to worship, to make this season of anticipation and the coming season of celebration even more special.Read More > >
Did you know that with Prelude Music Planner, you’re able to instantly preview and download hymns and service music from Evangelical Lutheran Worship at no extra cost beyond your $79 annual subscription rate?*Read More > >
Prelude contains music for a variety of special services, including patriotic tunes and national hymns and songs to celebrate Independence Day.Read More > >