After all the busyness of Christmas, it can be a relief to plan a simple service to mark the end of the year. Our pattern for New Year’s Eve has been to invite everyone for a potluck supper, a time of worship, and then a party that lasts as long as people want to stay. Because there will always be some people who have no invitations or plans for New Year’s Eve, we extend an open invitation for this time of worship and fellowship. People come with a hot dish and salad or dessert as well as munchies for the evening.
“The King Shall Come” by Michael Burkhardt, Five Advent Hymn Improvisations (MorningStar MSM-10-004, 1991)
“The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns” by David Johnson, Preludes and Postludes, Volume 2 (Augsburg 11-9319, 1973)
Partita on “Freu dich sehr, O meine Seele” by Johann Pachelbel, Selected Organ Works, Volume 4 (Kalmus 3763, reprinted by Belwin Mills)
FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT
Service Plans and Sermon Sketches
Every year around Halloween, our worship committee strains brains and resources: How can we memorably, intelligently, and accurately place worship of God above “Trick or Treat” to our increasingly diverse congregation? We have many from various Protestant and Roman Catholic backgrounds, and some who claim no Christian heritage at all. Thus in 1999 our Reformation Day communion service tried graciously, seriously, yet somewhat lightheartedly, to present three main Reformation-era figures in a conversation imagined from eternity.
Recognizing that some people may be going through difficult times when they worship, our worship committee came up with an idea for a Thanksgiving service that speaks about giving thanks both when we are “in the desert” and when we are “in the promised land.”
Each year near the end of October the congregation at LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church gathers for an evening hymn festival. Last year the festival was called “Songs of the Covenant,” a service focusing on various biblical characters with whom God kept covenant. While the hymns and anthems were central to the festival, the pastor’s brief meditation entitled “Why Are They Singing?” set the tone and explained the theme for the entire service.
This service of lessons and carols is rooted in the story of God’s eternal Word made flesh and living among the people. The readings, prayers, carols, and other folk music were chosen to embody this theme.
Ten years ago, Joe Galema prepared an extensive list of organ and vocal music for our wedding theme issue (RW 16, June 1990). Here he provides several new pieces with very complete and helpful information, including publisher, suggested use, key, timing, and level of difficulty.
Rather than repeat the entire original list (of five very full pages), we present here his additions. However, the entire updated list is available for downloading from our website: http://www.reformedworship.org.
“Household of Faith” by Brent Lamb and John Rosasco. Solo version in The Greatest Love (Sparrow; cassette available); duet version (low, medium/high voice) in Wedding Music (Word) and Enter In—101 Solos and Duets (Lillenas); moderate.
A couple’s commitment to build their marriage and family on a Christian foundation. For the conclusion of a marriage ceremony or during the unity candle ceremony.