This coming Sunday is Rally Day at Bethany. Last year (and I believe in past years before I became the organist as well) that meant a new liturgy. This year, however, the Worship and Music Committee decided to continue with setting two with one modification - we will be replacing the "Glory to God" with "This is the Feast." So the liturgy will be both familiar and novel this week.
Pastor and I commented to each other about a week ago that setting two is finally starting to feel like a familiar piece of church music. I occasionally find myself humming that jaunty opening phrase: GLO-ry to GOD in the HIGH-est... It's a cheerful, upbeat, and modern resetting of the text. I think you'll find that "This is the Feast" is similar in many respects. One change is that instead of a syncopated four-four it is a lilting waltz. I'd be surprised if at least some members of the congregation don't find themselves swaying from side to side each measure.
The choir practiced the new piece last night, and they will be "previewing" it for the congregation during the meditative prelude. I think it's a great demonstration of both the utility of having the second prelude as well as one of the many ways that the choir enhances our worship. Please follow along in your hymnal during the prelude and then sin boldly during your sightreading. We're supposed to sing wrong notes the first time around! But it's Rally Day so the wrong notes can just be one more reason to laugh and enjoy the community of friends around us.
We have some other great hymns this Sunday that I'll write about more in the remaining days of the week!
I also want to take a moment to thank people for their comments and emails about the vandalism on the blog this week. I especially appreciate a friend who pointed out that it wasn't limited to the one entry. I believe that I have cleaned up all the "graffiti" at this point. I appreciate everyone's understanding, patience, and assistance with anything I might have missed.