Alabare a mi SeÃ±or I will praise my Lord: a service in the Hispanic tradition
WE ENTER GOD'S COURTS WITH SINGING
Songs of Praised:1
"I Will Exalt My God / Te Exaltare Mi Dios"
"God Is My Rock / El Senor Es Mi Fuerza"
"There's No God as Great / No Hay Dios tan Grande"
"I've Come to Tell / Te Vengo a Decir"
"Oh, How Good Is Christ the Lord / Oh Que Bueno Es Jesus"
"Oh, for a Thousand Tongues/ Tu Santo Nombre Alabare"
Welcome and Call to Worship [based on Psalm 122]2
Prayer3 and Sung Response: "Holy, Holy, Holy / Santo, Santo, Santo"
Testimony of God's Work in Our Lives4
Hymn: "Worthy Is Christ / Digno Es Jesus"
The Apostles' Creed
Hymn: "Worthy Is Christ / Digno Es Jesus"
WE HEAR GOD'S GOOD NEWS
Prayer of Application
WE RESPOND WITH PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING
Hymn: "Alleluia / Alabare"6
Congregational Prayer [led by the pastor]
Offering song: "Let's Give Thanks to the Lord / Demos Gracias al Senor"7
Doxology: "Praise God / A Dios el Padre Celestial"
Hymn of Trust [that God will care for us in the coming week]:
"My Shepherd Is the Lord / El Senor Es Mi Pastor"8
Notes on the Service
1Using a worship leader or leaders other than the minister (perhaps an elder and a song leader) is suggested for the first part of the service. The Scripture lesson may also be read by the worship leader.
Bilingual singing is welcome in this time of gathering together. A number of songs are sung in order to give people some flexibility in arriving and preparing to worship. The songs are arranged in key relationships that will provide an opportunity for the pianist to link them together without need for a break. Appropriate instruments include piano, guitars, trumpets, tambourines, gourds, wood blocks, sticks, and drums.
Twelve songs in Spanish are included, nine from the Psalter Hymnal (see index on page 1044 in the worship edition, or page 822 in the regular edition) and the offering song (see page 31). Congregations are welcome to use all twelve or to select from among them.
2Example: Welcome to all of you who come rejoicing with your friends and neighbors to praise the Lord. In Psalm 122 the psalmist spoke with joy of gathering for praise and worship: "I rejoiced with those who said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord.'" He also prayed for the peace and security of those within the walls of the holy city. Let us pray together.
3 After a time of prayer for God's blessing on the service, include a time of confession of God's holiness and our unworthiness, based on Isaiah 6:5-8. The worship leader can begin, but it would be appropriate for two or three other people to offer confessional prayers as well.
4Several people may be invited (beforehand or spontaneously) to give a testimony about God's working in their lives. The testimonies could include a song or an instrumental offering from members of the congregation. Allow ten minutes or more for this part of the service.
The personal testimonies conclude with the corporate confession of faith. "Worthy Is Christ" is sung twice as a frame around the testimonies and confession. Sing it slowly and quietly the first time, and with more energy and volume the second time.
5Suggested Scripture lessons: Ephesians 4:1-6 or Revelation 7:9-12
6The congregation can sing the refrains, but it would be better for a soloist or choir to sing the verses, particularly if the congregation has not sung this hymn before.
7This song is frequently sung throughout Latin America while the offering is being taken. The song is repeated until the offering is completed. Since it is short and repetitive, it is easy to sing without a hymnal in hand. (With hymnal in hand it would be logically impossible to pass the offering plate!)
8The congregation can sing the entire song, or a soloist or ensemble can sing the stanzas with the congregation joining in on the refrain. A third possibility: the stanzas are created with two repeated lines that can be sung in alternately between two groups.
Oh, for a Thousand Tongues
Tu Santo Nombre Alabare
Tu santo nombreÃ‘alabare,
Ni lenguas mil cantar podran
La grandeza de tuÃ‘amor.
Bendito mi Senor y Dios,
Te quiero proclamar,
Decir al mundoÃ‘en derredor
De tu salvation sin par.
DulceÃ‘es tu nombre para mi,
Pues quita mi temor;
En el encuentra paz, salud
El pobre pecador.
Sobre pecadoÃ‘y tentacion
Victoria te dara.
Su sangre limpiaÃ‘al ser mas vil.
jGloriaÃ‘a Dios, soy limpio ya!
A Dios el Padre celestial.
Al Hijo nuestro Redentor,
Y al aternal Consolador.
Unidos todos alabad. Amen.
This service was developed by Gary Teja, curriculum editor for cross-cultural materials (CRC Publications I Synodical Committee on Race Relations [SCORR]) and Emily R. Brink, music and liturgy editor for CRC Publications. Korean and Spanish translations of the service and a tape of all the songs sung in traditional Hispanic style are available from: SCORR All Nations Heritage Week, 2850 Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, MI 49560.