Same Time Next Year: A hymnfest with the singing men of Bryn Mawr

The idea for our hymn festival came from a concern that all too many men did not have the time to commit to a weekly choir rehearsal and demanding Sunday morning singing schedule. So in 1994 we offered a hymn festival for men! We held one rehearsal from 3:00-5:30 on the afternoon of the hymn festival; had dinner from 5:30-6:30; and the festival took place at 7:00. Over one hundred men signed up. So the next year we offered "Singing Men of Byrn Mawr II," and again over one hundred men participated. The only challenge now is meeting the calls for a "Singing Women of Byrn Mawr"!



Tonight's HymnFest is designed with three purposes in mind. It is offered as an opportunity for the men of the church and the community to join with the men of the Senior Choir in making a joyful noise to the Lord. It is offered to remind us again of the great exegetical power of music—its color and character, its nuance and soaring melody—to proclaim the Word, hence the varied arrangements and instructions for singing in the program. Please, do read the texts when others sing for you, letting the sounds you hear inform your thoughts as you pray along silently. Above all, this festival service is offered as an oblation of praise and prayer to our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.

Prayer Before Worship

Grant, O Lord Jesus,
that the ears which have heard the voice of your
may be closed to the voice of dispute;
that the eyes which have seen your great love
may also behold your blessed hope;
that the tongues which have sung your praise
may speak the truth in love;
that the feet which have walked in your courts
may walk in the region of light;
and that the bodies which have received your liv-
ing body
may be restored in newness of life.
Glory to you for your inexpressible gift. Amen.

Processional: "Marche Triomphale," Sigfrid Karg- Elert

God's Greeting

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us worship God.
O sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing, and give praise to God's name;
tell the glad news of salvation from day to day.

Festive Hymn: "All People That on Earth Do Dwell," setting by Ralph Vaughan Williams PsH 100, PH 220, RL 120, SFL 10, TH 1

Scripture: 1 Chronicles 16:23-31

Giving Thanks for the Gift of Christ Jesus

Hymn: "Just As I Am," arr. Alice Parker PsH 263, PH 370, RL 468, TH 501

sung by the Singing Men of Bryn Mawr

Hymn: "How Firm a Foundation" PsH 500, PH 361, RL 172, TH 94

stanzas 1-2: all
stanza 3: Singing Men of Bryn Mawr
stanza 4: women
stanza 5: all

Hymn: "Lord, I Want to Be a Christian" PSH 264, PH 372, SFL 40, TH 530

sung by the Singing Men of Bryn Mawr

Hymn: "Hear the Good News" PH 355

all sing

Prayer: (Richard of Chichester, 1197-1253)

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits which you have won for us,
for all the pains and insults which you have
borne for us.
O most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and
may we know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day. Amen.

Giving Thanks for the Gift of Life

Hymn: "Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us" PsH 591, PH 387, TH 599

sung by the Singing Men of Bryn Mawr

Hymn: "God of Our Life" PsH 275, RL 59

stanzas 1-2: Singing Men of Bryn Mawr
stanza 3: all

Hymn: "Amazing Grace" PsH 462, PH 280, RL 456, SFL 209, TH 460

stanza 1: soloist
stanza 2: bagpipes
stanza 4: all with bagpipes
stanza 5: Singing Men of Bryn Mawr


Great God of our lives,
for all that is gracious in our lives, revealing the
image of Christ,
we give you thanks.
For our daily food and drink, our homes and
families, and our friends,
we give you thanks.
For minds to think and hearts to love and
hands to serve,
we give you thanks.
For health and strength to work and leisure to
rest and play,
we give you thanks.
For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and
we give you thanks.
For the great mercies and promises given to us
in Christ Jesus our Lord;
to you O God, be praise and glory. Amen

Giving Thanks for the Gift of Community

Hymn: "I Sing a Song of the Saints of God" PH, RL 401

stanzas 1-2: soloists
stanza 3: all

Hymn: "Jesu, Jesu" PsH 601, PH 367, SFL 251

all sing


O God, you made us in your own image
and redeemed us through Jesus, your Son.
Look with compassion on the whole human
take away the arrogance and hatred that infect
our hearts,
break down the walls that separate us,
unite us in bonds of love,
and, through our struggle and confusion,
work to accomplish your purposes on earth;
that, in your good time,
all nations and races may serve you in har-
around your heavenly throne;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Giving Thanks for Our Nation

Hymn: "God of the Ages, Whose Almighty Hand" PsH 599, PH 262, RL 494

stanza 1: all
stanza 2: women
stanza 3: Singing Men of Bryn Mawr
stanza 4: all

Hymn: "O Beautiful for Spacious Skies" PH 564

stanza 1: all
stanza 2: women
stanza 3: Singing Men of Bryn Mawr
stanza 4: all


Almighty God,
you have given us this good land as our her-
Make us always remember your generosity
and constantly do your will.
Bless our land with honest industry,
sound learning,
and an honorable way of life.
Save us from violence, discord, and confusion;
from pride and arrogance,
and from every evil way.
Defend our liberties
and give those whom we have entrusted with
the authority of government
the spirit of wisdom,
that there might be justice and peace in our
When times are prosperous, let our hearts be
and, in troubled times, do not let our trust in
you fail.
We ask all this through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Offertory Solo: "Ride on King Jesus," Hall Johnson

Prayers of the People

The Lord's Prayer

Closing Hymn: "To God Compose a Song of Joy" PH 219

stanza 1: all
stanza 2: women
stanza 3: Singing Men of Bryn Mawr
stanza 4: all
stanza 5: all men
stanza 6: all

Charge and Blessing

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit
be with you all.
Alleluia! Amen.

Response: "God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again,"
setting by William Tomer
sung by the Singing Men of Bryn Mawr

Postlude: "Toccata from 'Symphony V'," Charles Marie Widor

Reformed Worship 43 © March 1997, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.