Monthly Archives: March 2016

Holy Week and Easter – Music and Meditation

Holy Week & Easter 1Our music this week reflects Jesus’ last days, from his dramatic entry into Jerusalem, to the Passover supper and foot-washing, to the disciples’ lethargy in the Garden, to Jesus’ betrayal, trial, crucifixion and glorious resurrection.  Music can help us to “think on these things.”

Palm Sunday

The Children’s Choir sang “He Comes” at the Palm Processional, re-enacting the excitement of the people as Jesus rode into Jerusalem. As worship continued, we transitioned to the events of Holy Week. Our Chime Choir rang the postlude, “ Were You There?”

Meditation: What were the people thinking as they followed the procession?

Maundy Thursday

As we disciples approach the table of grace, Pastor Geoff will sing “An Upper Room Did Our Lord Prepare.”

 Meditation: How must it have felt as Jesus washed the feet of his disciples

knowing about the betrayal to come? 

Good Friday

On this dark night, our Handbell Choir will begin our worship with “Song of the Cross,” incorporating the lovely hymns, “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross” and “Beneath the Cross of Jesus.” At the close of worship, the choir will sing the haunting spiritual “Calvary.”

Meditation: Consider the confusion, devastation, and sorrow of Jesus’ family

and close friends as they witnessed his cruel death.

Worship and reflect with us this Thursday and Friday at 7:30 pm.


Easter Sunday at 11 am worship

Join the Handbell, Children and Adult Choirs, Boys’ Quartet and instrumental ensemble as we tell the story of the Love That Never Dies. 

Holy Week & Easter 2

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedIn

Palm Sunday Music

palm sunday


 As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen… Luke 19:37



This Sunday our Children’s Choir will begin our journey into Holy Week, processing with palms  to re-enact Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.


Call to Worship

He Comes

Words and music by Natalie Sleeth, musician and poet, who wrote 180 songs for church and school choirs.


All Glory, Laud, and Honor 

Words by Theodulf, Bishop of Orléans, France (820); music by Melchior Teschner of Poland (1615)


Hosanna, Hosanna!

Words by J. Paul Williams; music by Joseph Martin

As we near the end of worship, our music turns dark and becomes a prologue to the events of Holy Week.  The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Jesus to death.


scribes & pharisees



We Sang our Loud Hosannas

Words by Mary Nelson Keithahn, who has written over eighty hymns. Music HOLY WEEK, by John Horman, organist and music director at Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church in Kensington, Maryland.


Were You There?

African-American spiritual, offered by the Chime Choir



Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedIn

“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

music and cross


“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

Choir Anthem


May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ …   Galations 6:14

TEXT: With over 600 hymns to his credit, many of them classics like this one, Isaac Watts has rightfully earned the title, “the father of English hymnody.” This hymn, which is known as Watts’ crowning achievement, was first published in his Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707.

Though “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” was intended originally as a communion hymn, it gives us plenty to contemplate during Lent when our focus is on the cross of Christ. Watts starts with contemplation of the cross and the confession that all our achievements and possessions pale in comparison.


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.


The hymn is said to be based on the Galatians text above, which is evident in the second stanza:


Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, save in the death of Christ my God!

All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.


In the third stanza, Watts shows that Christ went to the cross out of love for us. In a powerful image, he brilliantly expresses that love juxtaposed on the sorrow of the suffering Christ:


See from His head, His hands, His feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down!

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?


The last stanza suggests that the our response to this amazing love must be complete devotion.


Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all. 


TUNE: Although the tune ROCKINGHAM has also been paired with this text, in recent years the hymn text has settled in with Lowell Mason’s tune HAMBURG, an adaptation of a five-note plainchant melody. In addition to writing thousands of hymn tunes, Mason was a church choir director, the president of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, and a leading figure in music education. The choir setting this Sunday is by Gilbert Martin.



Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedIn