Monday, March 2, 2009

What did Cassie sing at the beginning of the psalm?

If you were at second service this Sunday, you might have wondered about the "introduction" that Cassie sang prior to the psalm and repeated at the end of it. That short musical phrase is called an antiphon. It tends to be just a few measures of a simple melody, with the text coming either from that day's psalm or another closely related Biblical verse.

The reason to sing an antiphon is to clarify the fundamental thought of the psalm. It helps focus our mind on the emphasis of that day's psalm and guides our interpretation of it. In that way, it uses music to help instruct us and tie the lessons together - the main goal of all good Lutheran church music! For the most part, we use the ELCA's published psalter, but we occasionally substitute other published music or even compose our own simple antiphons.

Incidentally, if you are interested in participating in our music ministry without the ongoing time commitment of joining the choir, singing a psalm could be a great opportunity for you!

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