Howard J. Slenk

Howard Slenk is director of music at Woodlawn CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


Articles by this author:

  • As the new choir season gets under way each fall, many choral groups begin rehearsing anthems for two festive services: Reformation Sunday and Thanksgiving Day. Fortunately, a wealth of material is available for these two events. Many published anthems are based on familiar hymns associated with the Reformation and on traditional hymns of thanksgiving. You'll find some of those anthems listed on this page.

  • The list on this page focuses specifically on hymn concertatos for this part of the church year. A hymn concertato is a festive arrangement of a hymn, usually featuring congregational as well as choral and instrumental involvement. Brass fanfares and accompaniments appear frequently in concertatos.

  • The hymn anthems listed on this page are appropriate for use during Lent and Easter. All of the tunes and texts appear in one or more of the three new Reformed hymnals: Rejoice in the Lord, the Psalter Hymnal, and the Trinity Hymnal.

    Choirs will discover that the hymn anthem is an effective way of familiarizing both themselves and the congregation with some of the hymns in these new hymnals. A stanza from a choral arrangement can serve well as an alternate stanza for choir in congregational singing.

  • The choral music listed on these pages (all hymn anthems) is appropriate for use in worship during Advent, Christmas, or Epiphany. All the tunes appear in one or more of the three new Reformed hymnals: Rejoice in the Lord, Psalter Hymnal, and The Trinity Hymnal. All entries are SATB a cappella unless indicated otherwise.

    Our choir has discovered that the hymn-anthem is an effective way of introducing new songs to the congregation. We follow a process similar to the following:

  • The Common Lectionary (see REFORMED WORSHIP 1) provides pastors with a guide for preaching on the Christ-centered events and teachings of the liturgical church year. Below are the Scripture passages that year A of the lectionary suggests for the Sundays from Easter to Pentecost. Also listed are hymns and service music that focus on the themes of the resurrection and the presence of Christ in our lives. Hymn page numbers are given for four hymnals:

    The Hymnbook (HB)

  • Hymn of the Month

    A Hymn-of-the-Month program is an effective means of introducing a congregation to new hymns and of using familiar hymns in inventive and fresh ways. Such a program can be invaluable in preparing a congregation for a new hymnal.

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