Volunteers are needed to help with communion preparation. This is a simple but necessary element of our worship service for which we need people once a month. It is a good way to participate in the life of the church AND to make it even easier, I will be preparing communion for all 8:30 services. I will also be there to help with preparations for the 11:00 service. Please consider giving back to Westminster in this special and important way. You can email me, Liza M, to express your interest in this opportunity.
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.
On Sunday, November 27 we begin the season of Advent-the four weeks that lead to the Christmas season. As the world around us has turned to thoughts and songs of Christmas, we take time to prepare, and anticipate the coming of Christ. At Westminster we prepare by singing Advent songs, lighting the Advent wreath, and hearing the Bible stories that precede Jesus’ birth. This year the lighting of the Advent wreath will be a time for the children to gather and hear about the focus word for each week: Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. We will sing one verse of When God Is a Child from our Hymnal Supplement to highlight the theme of each week in Advent. Beginning on November 27 we will also gather at one worship service at 11:00 am. The 8:30 am service will resume on Sunday, January 29. Come, prepare your hearts and minds for the coming of Christ.
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.