The fall season will be officially underway at Bethany this Sunday. Rally Day marks the beginning of Sunday School, but so many of our other activities also follow the school calendar: Bethel Bible study, adult forum, our two service schedule, and of course, the choir. You'll hear the choir singing throughout the service this week, reflecting our philosophy of integrating music throughout the worship service. For starters, the choir will be singing the meditative predlue. We're going back to the old Service Book and Hymnal and singing the proper Introit for the day. Introits are short pieces of music that functioned as a call to worship in the old liturgy. Some people might remember hearing them, and it should be an interesting change of pace for the meditative prelude. Second, the choir will be singing a psalm antiphon. They'll also be singing a descant on the last verse of the final hymn, which should end the service on a high note - literally and figuratively. Finally, we'll be singing an anthem titled "With Music I Will Praise Thee" by the modern composer Natalie Sleeth. The text is part of our fall "Make Joyful Noise" theme. We've been working hard to put together all this music for a great start to the fall season.
We'll also have a pair of guest musicians from Baldwin Wallace college to help us celebrate. In addition to the hymns and liturgy, our trumpet player will play a March by Bach as the postlude. The prelude will be a Mozart oboe concerto arranged for alto saxophone. I think the piece that will be most memorable, though, is a jazz arrangement of "Amazing Grace" that will be played on the saxophone during communion. So this service represents a wide variety of music from the 18th century to today, from classical to jazz to contemporary with several well-known hymns that I hope everyone will enjoy singing. I hope you like it all, of course, but can also find something that you'd list among your favorites.
Be sure to stop by the choir's table at the ministry fair between services. We want everyone to be a part of our music ministry, whether that involves singing, playing in the bell choir, participating through the blog, or providing feedback and support for our work.