This week the adult choir will sing In Paradisum, a movement from the Requiem written by French composer, Gabriel Fauré. The translation of the Latin text is “May the angels lead you into paradise; may the martyrs receive you at your arrival and lead you to the holy city Jerusalem. May choirs of angels receive you and with Lazarus, once a poor man, may you have eternal rest.” For the offertory the choir will sing O Jesus, King Most Wonderful by American composer, Gerald Near. Jonathan Schakel will play two versions of Now Thank We All Our God, one by J. S. Bach and the other by Sigfrid Karg-Elert, a German composer of the early 20th century.
This prayer was shared during the Taizé Prayer service on Thursday, November 10, 2016. It is reprinted by permission from The Worship Sourcebook, © 2004, Faith Alive Christian Resources. I hope that this prayer may be helpful as we face the days and months ahead.
As we listen to the world’s concerns, hear the cry of the oppressed, and come to terms with recent elections, give us knowledge, teach us to respond with maturity, and give us courage to act with integrity. As people living in the United States, we acknowledge the Spirit’s work in human government for the welfare of the people, for justice among the poor, for mercy toward the prisoner, against inhuman oppression of humanity. Help us to obey you above all rulers; fill us with the patience of Christ as we wait upon the Spirit.
We pray for the fruit of the Spirit of Christ who works for peace on earth, commands us to love our enemies, and calls for patience among the nations. We give thanks for your work among governments, seeking to resolve disputes by means other than war, placing human kindness above national pride, replacing the curse of war with international self-control. We hear the Spirit’s call to love one another, opposing discrimination, inviting us to accept one another, and to share at every level in work and play, in church and state, in marriage and family, and so fulfill the love of Christ. Enable us to accept the call and be agents of renewal and reconciliation in the world, through our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
This week both the Singers and the Choristers will help lead worship. The Choristers are singing a song by Mark Patterson called This Is the Day, based on Psalm 118. For the Offertory, the Singers will sing Now Join We to Praise the Creator by Michael Bedford. Both of these anthems explore the theme of thanksgiving, for God’s creation and for the blessings of the harvest while lamenting hunger and misuse of land. Roger Authers is our guest organist this Sunday. He is playing Prelude on ‘Down Ampney’ by British composer Henry Ley. Down Ampney is a hymn tune that you might know with the words Come Down, O Love Divine. Roger is also playing Alla Breve by French composer Nicholas Gigault.
Every time that I sing Know That God Is Good with the children of our church I am reminded of the truth of that statement. They sing the verses in English and Swahili, and end with a joyful Hallelujah. If there is drumming involved they are even more enthusiastic. During the choristers rehearsal the children all get a chance to play the drum while we sing. As each child has the drum placed in front of them, they turn their attention to keeping a steady beat. This skill takes a lot of concentration to master, and they focus all of their energy to the task. My hope is that the skills that they learn through singing in choristers, Sunday school, and worship will ground them in their faith. The steady beat that resonates through the drum will guide them in their faith journey. The rainbow bulletin board that the children created in the choir room is a visual to remind us all of the goodness of God that can be found in all people. That is why our rainbow is made of many hand shapes. May you see the goodness of God in the people that you encounter this week. And if you are struggling to see the good, take a look at all the children and youth of our church and they sing, pray, praise, and play.
This week the adult choir helps to illumine the stewardship theme “Set the World on Fire,” with their anthem See the Holy Flame Arise, a setting of a Welsh melody arranged by Robert J. Powell. They will also sing a much loved piece A Vineyard Grows: Amid the World’s Bleak Wilderness, a setting of an English folk song arranged by K. Lee Scott. Winston Barham is our guest organist. He will play music by French composer Louis-Nicolas Clérambault (1676-1749) for all the solo organ music this week.