Monthly Archives: April 2017

Yes, it’s still Easter! Alleluia!


 Some of you readers may not be aware that our celebration of Easter continues for seven weeks – right up to Pentecost, June 4!  In this Sunday’s gospel lesson, Jesus again appears to his friends, “opening the scriptures” to them.  While they are breaking bread together, the disciples’ eyes are (finally!) opened, and they “recognize him.”  (Luke 24) So if you hear resurrection music this Sunday, don’t be surprised…



God blessed us all through music during Easter Sunday worship!

Many thanks to the

Chancel Ringers, who rang a joyful prelude

Sanctuary Choir & Instrumental Ensemble, including several of our young people:

Lucas & Trevor Smith, Keith Scroggs, Colin McLean, Marvel Onga Nana, & Nate Shue

Soloists Susan Ferguson & Geoff McLean

Congregation, who sang the resurrection hymns wholeheartedly!


Music Opportunity: Handbell Ringer


Job description

Rehearse weekly on Tuesdays from 7:30 – 8:30.


Willingness to serve the Lord through music; no experience necessary!


September 2017


Fun, satisfaction, and the joy of fellowship and service.

Contact Barbara at



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Holy Week – Reflecting on the Cross through Music


After the excitement of Palm Sunday, our music follows Jesus during his last days, from the Passover supper to his submission to God’s will in the garden, to his betrayal, trial, and crucifixion. 



Maundy Thursday

Special music “Remember Me” records Jesus’ last supper with the disciples.  The disciples are shocked when he tells them one of their own will betray him.  But their shock turns to lethargy in the garden. It seems they still don’t get it.


Good Friday

The Handbell Choir begins our Good Friday worship with a dramatic arrangement of “Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley.”  The Sanctuary Choir sings “Deep Were His Wounds and Red” and “Were You There?” at the close of a day that is surely a “black Friday,” and yet…



“Forsaken and forlorn, he hung there in our place.
But all who would from sin be free, look to his cross for victory.”


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

 Christ Presbyterian Church

12410 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway

Fairfax, Virginia







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Palm Sunday Music – Donkey Leads Us to Holy Week


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 they had seen…
Luke 19:37


Palm Processional

“Little Grey Donkey”


This Sunday our Youth Choir will begin our journey into Holy Week, processing with palms and singing about the “Little Grey Donkey,” who carried a very special person into Jerusalem. The anthem is crafted as a conversation with the “blessed of all beasts”


Do you know just who it is you carry on your back?


Don’t hide your head in shame…you are honored…


Under the excellent leadership of June Gladding, our choristers have been learning the story as well as the music.  Musician and poet Natalie Sleeth composed the song using text painting, the technique of writing music that reflects the literal meaning of a song.  Notice in  the accompaniment the steady clopping of the donkey’s hooves and the turn to minor when the text is about Calvary.  Anne Scroggs, bassoon, and Carolyn Tate, percussion, add to this  effect.



Closing Hymn

“We Sang our Loud Hosannas”


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.



We sang our glad Hosannas, and waved our branches high,
but some were silent, frowning, as Jesus rode on by.


Though many came for healing and stayed to hear his word,
still others, hostile, plotted and thus his death assured.





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Joy During Lent?

Our Music During Lent


“I Come with Joy”


I come with joy to meet my Lord, forgiven, loved and free,
in awe and wonder to recall his life laid down for me.


Choosing the music for worship can sometimes be challenging. I try to follow the lectionary, but this week with the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from death, it was difficult to find appropriate hymns without getting into the Easter theme of Resurrection.  So I decided to focus on the Lord’s Supper, one of the most important practices of the Christian church and a key symbol of our relationship to Christ and one another.

Brian Wren is one of the most vibrant hymn writers today. Most hymnals include at least a few of his hymns. “I come with joy,” which appears in at least forty hymnals in North America, was written in 1968 for Wren’s congregation as a summation of a sermon series on Communion. It reflects a shift in many communion hymns since the 1960s: rather than focusing on the suffering Christ on the cross, it emphasizes the Eucharistic dimensions of the feast. “Eucharist” is a term from the Greek that means thanksgiving. Unlike many older communion hymns, the first line speaks of an attitude of joy when approaching the table.

The first stanza is written from a first-person singular perspective. The individual worshipper comes to the table with joy “forgiven, loved, and free.” The second stanza places that individual worshipper in the Christian fellowship – with “Christians far and near.”  No longer is this a table of individual penitence, but a communal feast.

By the third stanza, the perspective changes from first-person singular to first-person plural. It is now “we” and “us” who are being shaped as one in Christ’s love. It is the feast at the table that removes the barriers that divide us: Christ’s love “makes us one” and “strangers now are friends.” In the fourth stanza, “we meet the Lord” and experience “His presence” through the meal.

The fifth stanza can be a sung benediction. Through the singing of this hymn, we are made into one body in worship and return to the world to witness as Christ’s “people in the world.”


Together met, together bound, we’ll go our different ways,
and as his people in the world, we’ll live and speak his praise.

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