Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day!

I hope everyone is enjoying the long holiday weekend. The lateness of the holiday this year simply seems to be providing a chance to catch my breath after one week of school. I miss the many past years that I spent this weekend "up at the lake" with my grandparents in Minnesota. It was a family tradition to spend the long weekend running, biking, swimming, skiing, and of course, having s'mores around an evening campfire. Simple things are sometimes the greatest experiences and memories.

Perhaps it was the relative simplicity of the tunes in church this past Sunday that has caused me to to continue humming them to myself as my weekend "sountrack." For one thing, didn't the choir sound great on a familiar hymn? Cassie has some great selections for the coming weeks, too, and you're always welcome to join us on Wednesday nights at 7:30.

I also want to compliment the congregation on how great everyone sounded on "This is the Feast." In an earlier post, I encouraged you all to "sin boldly," which actually drew two emails pointing out that perhaps it was a typo. Did I mean "sing boldly?" I realized that many of my readers are not familiar with my choir-directing mantra to "sin boldly," meaning to go right ahead and sing wrong notes loud and proud while you're learning new music. I'm indebted to a former choir director (Dr. Bob) at St. Olaf College, who would use the phrase as well. Part of the joy that I find in Lutheranism is that salvation by grace and faith can grant us the freedom to sin, sing, and live boldly, acting with "bound conscience" to live in a way that matches our understanding of scripture.

At any rate, I think setting two of the liturgy has officially become a part of our basic, familiar repertoire, and it's exciting to hear the congregation embrace the new tunes. Incidentally, for my non-Bethany readers, I'd love to hear about your experiences with other music from the ELW and your own favorite liturgical settings. So many congregations are still exploring and learning; we should be sharing those experiences!


  1. I found myself all day Sunday and yesterday humming, whistling, or singing both the Gloria and the "This is the feast" from Setting Two. I noticed some folks on Sunday after we all sang the "This is the feast" nudging their neighbors and indicating that they liked the new music. Setting Two does seem to be catching on better than did Setting One. We are farther along after three months of using Setting Two, than we were after six months of Setting One. I agree with Tom that Setting Two has become part of our basic, familiar repertoire.

  2. Sometimes it is interesting to read these in reverse chronological order. This blog and the ones about youth and new music all seem to fit together very nicely. Setting two's music reaches more to that happy, and youthful, part of our spirits I think.