This week always seems to catch me by surprise. I mean, I know it’s coming. I’ve been planning for Christmas since July. And yet, here it is with its three service bulletins, special music, last-minute meetings, extra rehearsals, and the like. Yes, it’s a busy time but what a privilege it is to share music in worship! I am thankful for a semi-light work week: only two private lessons, one afternoon of juries instead of two class periods, a short break from children’s choir, and time to practice and prepare for two final choir rehearsals. Yesterday, I realized just how much music I wrote into the services this weekend and it felt a little like “The Twelve Days of Christmas:”
- One organ solo - Two choir anthems - Two ensemble anthems (I get to sing!) - Three pieces of special music to accompany (flute, saxophone, and voice) - Four pieces of service music - Four piano solos - Six hymn harmonizations - Eight Christmas hymns - Ten new organ registrations - __ hours of practicing (do I want to count?)
A few weeks ago, Steve and I attended the Lessons and Carols service at Marsh Chapel at Boston University. Gosh, I love Lessons and Carols. The service was a beautiful reflection of this sacred season and the musical selections were gorgeous (and quite unique – Arvo Pärt, anyone?). Led by an exceptional conductor, Scott Allen Jarrett, the Marsh Chapel Choir was an inspiration. I came home determined to dig up a copy of David Willcocks’ carol arrangements (and what do you know, I found two volumes!) I love adding fresh harmonies to those traditional favorites of the season.
As crazy as the preparations
can be are, I love being a part of the rejoicing, the reliving, the retelling of Jesus’ birth. I love hearing the whole story from beginning to end. I love hearing the congregation sing their favorite hymns. I love seeing the Sanctuary grow dark around me and then see the light return as the candles are lit. I love sharing the message of Christmas through song. I love the reminder that God is the Alpha and Omega, the victory in my life, evermore and evermore.
Image Credit: Lauren Chester