Andrew Donaldson is a Canadian writer, composer, and church musician with extensive background in global song. He worked for five years in Geneva, Switzerland, as the worship consultant for the World Council of Churches. His work may be found at www.andrewdonaldson.ca.
Articles by this author:
- A Service of Songs, Scriptures, and Prayers for Ascension and Pentecost
Singing songs of the oecumene—the whole inhabited earth—is rooted in the feast of Pentecost, portrayed in the book of Acts, when people from the whole known world gathered in Jerusalem and heard the disciples singing of God’s glorious acts in many tongues.
Now, as then, we are assured that we are surrounded by the unseen host of the saints of God, who in countless tongues sing with us the unending song of praise.
Percussion in worship presents the same promises and problems as any other art. Played well, percussion can offer a wordless prayer, a lively conversation, an expression of sorrow, or an infectious call to praise. Performed poorly, it is an annoying, noisy distraction. How can a congregation learn to offer percussion as a skillful, powerful part of the pulse of worship?
This article is addressed particularly to congregations without a tradition of using percussion in worship and rests on these assumptions:
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.