We continue the journey as musicians to deliver the word of God through the medium of music. A hope filled message offered as thought, melody and harmony travels faster to the heart and soul faster than the spoken word. It can break through the thick veneer of fear, shame and hate and open the heart and soul to joy, love and healing .This is our mission and we love it.
Usually, the prelude is merely cover clutter music in which people visit. Here, the amazing happens every week. People enter the sanctuary and heartily greet one another. The cacophony resembles a fair atmosphere.
Then after the announcements, the deacon reads the statement at below*. A statement, for me, of the belief in the need to intentionally center to call upon the Lord and sit quietly in anticipation.
I was initially very self-conscious, as it appears these folks are serious about their worship. I have since let go of that silly feeling and now enter with them into the opening the worship service.
After playing the prelude at the beautiful grand piano, we enter into our gathering song Surely The Presence of the Lord is in this Place. It is a declaration of belief and an invitation for God to come and be present in the worship, touching each individual. It truly is a mystical experience that sets the tone for the entire worship.
I have taken the time to describe this event as it points to the importance of music in the life of this Parish. The service is simple but poignant in structure. We utilize a New Century Hymnal as well as its predecessor, the Pilgrim Hymnal. Since my arrival last September 2012, I have also introduced the Renew Hymnal, which incorporates some contemporary music as well as traditional hymnody.
* “The prelude is a curtain dropped between the cares of the world and the peace of God. Following the announcements this morning, worshippers are asked to prepare for worship and meditate in silence during the prelude.”