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That Your Name May Be Glorified: A commissioning service for music leaders

The following commissioning service is intended for those who lead music in worship, including choir directors and members, song leaders, and instrumentalists. Consider adapting it as a service of installation for someone in a staff leadership position, such as minister of music. Use the service following the proclamation of the Word, at the time of the offering, or in association with a particular music ministry in the service.
—ERB

Presentation

Let us recognize those who have responded
to the call of God to the ministry of music in
our church.
Singing, playing instruments, and directing
ensembles
are ministries of Christ among us.
In grateful appreciation for the gifts of these
ministries,
we offer our loyal support and our prayers.

Covenant Questions and Promises

[The chair of worship or other designated person may name individuals and groups to be recognized. Musical leaders may be asked to gather at the front of the church or to stand in their usual places.]

To the musician(s):

As a leader of music that lifts praise to God,
do you joyfully and willingly offer
your skills and training, devotion and sensitivity
to this ministry?

I do, by the grace of God.

Will you honor those with whom you make music,
and in faithfulness to Christ,
offer your best for the glory of God?

I will, God being my helper.

May the faith expressed by your music live in your
heart,
and what you believe in your heart, practice in
your life.
And may God give you grace to offer your music and your life in faithfulness and consecration,
now, and in the world to come.

To the congregation:

As a congregation, will you support [these persons]
with your encouragement and your prayers,
as together we seek to call upon and praise God?

We will, God being our helper.
May God give us all grace
to offer our music and our lives
in faithful service, thanksgiving, and praise.

Prayer

Let us pray:
O Lord, our God, bless these ministers of music who offer their talents in your service.
Grant them love for you and for all your people.
May their music inspire us all to give glory to your holy name. Amen.

 

Excerpt
Additional Prayers

God,
forgive us when we don’t hear the music of
the universe,
or see the harmony of life you intend.
Open us to your hymns and music in life,
and place a song in our hearts.
In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Father, you have called us to be your holy
people,
and to sing your praise.
Teach us to use our talents and voices for
your glory,
and for strengthening the faith of your
church.
Help us to persevere in practice and prayer,
that we may show your love to others,
and lead them closer to you.
Accept, O God,
the service of those who offer you praise
by leading the music in this church.
May they serve you with glad hearts and
dedicated lives;
that, by the ministry of music, your name
will be glorified,
and the hearts of your people will be uplifted in worship and love.
Amen.

These resources, used by permission, come from Celebrating God’s Presence: A Book of Services for the United Church of Canada (Toronto: United Church Publishing House, 2000). See review on p. 46. The commissioning service was adapted from The United Methodist Book of Worship (Abingdon, 1992).