It's fall. You are already noticing the Christmas catalogues showing up in your mailbox. Though school has barely begun, your calendar tells you it is time to plan for Advent and Christmas. And the very thought of it makes you tremble just a little.
Articles in this issue:
We used to hear about "music wars" in the church. But have you noticed the shift? Today we hear more about "worship wars" and "culture wars." As distasteful as the war imagery is, I take some comfort (as a musician) in finally seeing the discussions about music placed in the larger worship and cultural arenas—even though musical issues are still very close to the front lines.
Thanks for a Good Service
We made use of the service of lessons and carols "Unto Us a Child Is Born" (RW 33) for Christmas Day. We had good participation from readers and a child who bore the symbols (banners for the angel and lamb) to a front table where we could all visually appreciate the rich texts of Scripture. We expanded the reading of the shepherds into a first-person account, and we incorporated the Children and Worship manner of telling the story of Jesus, the Light of the World (Christ Candle).
The Christingle Service described on these pages is a service of light and ceremony, of song and symbol. Christingle means "Christ light," and the service focuses the congregation's attention on the hope and joy that light brings to a dark world. In the dark of winter, the coming of Christ, the light of the world, is a powerful message of hope.
NEW EDITION OF ORGAN BIBLIOGRAPHY
The gospel according to Matthew starts out with an unusual genealogy. Matthew takes pains to point out that Jesus' human family tree included not only Jews, but Gentiles, and not only upright heroes of the faith, but also those whose stories reveal some of the shameful and sordid part of the history of God's people.
This service of Lessons and Carols reviews that genealogy through the stories of the women of Scripture, including the five women specifically mentioned in Matthew 1.
The Opening of Worship
"Jesus, Still Lead On" (Haan, Cherwein)
"Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise" (Burkhardt, Powell)
Reading: Psalm 90:1-2
The Call to Worship
When Luther began to prepare songs for congregational singing, he composed some and translated others. One of the first hymns the reformer chose goes all the way back to the fourth-century Ambrose, often called the father of Latin hymnody.
It began when Cletis Moermon died quite unexpectedly of a heart attack. He had not been a I member of Faith Church but had stopped in for | worship often enough—always in his satin joggers. For Cletis, church was just one stop along the way on a Sunday morning constitutional that, on sunny mornings, took him out of the guarded confines of the Oak Glen subdivision he'd created.
Candle 1 (red, female)
Candle 2 (male)
Candle 3 (purple)
Candle 4 (female)
Large box (such as a refrigerator box) opened down one side and facing congregation
Candles should dress in solid bright colors (turtlenecks and matching pants)