Our Music Sunday Service

Earlier this year, I wrote a post on planning a music-themed service with liturgy, music, hymns, anthems, and other worship planning resources. (Read it here, in case you missed it.)

This past weekend, we had a Music Sunday at our church and I thought I'd share a copy of our service for those of you looking to do something similar at your church in the future.

We decided to use the basic pattern of worship as an overarching structure: Gathering, Praise & Thanksgiving, Proclamation & Response, Sending Forth. Within each section, we pieced together hymns, music by all our ensembles, and short readings that helped tie everything together.

I tried to find something creative to add to each of the hymns: a modulation up a half step, a harmonization for the last verse, a 4-bar interlude before the last verse, a trumpet fanfare before the introduction, etc.

Overall, it was a great day in worship, and it was so fun to see (and hear) everyone come together in worship and song!

Here is a detailed outline of our service:


MUSIC SUNDAY

GATHERING


GATHERING MUSIC

WELCOME

READING: Each week, we gather in this place—just a room with four walls and a few doors and windows. We find rest, we learn, and we encourage one another. You see, it’s not the place, it’s the people that matter. It’s not about the words that are spoken or the songs that are sung, it’s about the hearts that are shared in the process. Within these walls, we sing, we pray, we listen, and we celebrate God’s love and faithfulness together. Come, let us worship God.

PRELUDE: “O Worship the King” (arr. Helman) - The Alleluia Ringers

*CALL TO WORSHIP (Psalm 100)
    Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
        Worship the Lord with gladness;
        come into his presence with singing.
    Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he that made us, and we are his;
        we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
    Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise.
        Give thanks to him, bless his name.
    For the Lord is good;
        his steadfast love endures forever,
        and his faithfulness to all generations.

*OPENING HYMN #89: “Joyful, Joyful” (with handbell descant)

*PRAYER


PRAISE & THANKSGIVING


READING: We were made to praise. Created in God’s image, formed by his hand, unique works of art reflecting his glory, his creativity, his love into the world. And so, with all that is within us, we lift our voices in praise:
    “Creation sings the Father’s song; 
    He calls the sun to wake the dawn
        and run the course of day
        Till evening falls in crimson rays.
    Hallelujah! Let all creation stand and sing, “Hallelujah!”  
        Fill the earth with songs of worship;  
    Tell the wonders of creation’s King.”
        - Keith & Kristyn Getty, "Creation Sings the Father's Song"

MUSIC MOMENT: “Jesus Loves Me” - Children’s Handbell Choir

CHILDREN’S TIME: Ways to Praise

*HYMN OF PRAISE #57 (vv. 1-3): “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing”

READING: Music. That thing which engages us, inspires us, connects us, empowers us, soothes us, and fills our spirits to the very brim, music lies within us and surrounds us in our everyday culture. The songs of the earth echo in our souls–we carry them in our hearts. In this way, music becomes a part of us. It’s a form of expression, a language that knows no bounds. When words fail, music speaks. We cannot keep silent. So, we sing. We sing about faith and love and experiences. We sing about spring and the change in seasons. We sing about singing. How can we not?

ANTHEM: “I Will Sing With the Spirit” (Rutter) - Adult Choir

*LITANY OF THANKSGIVING
    Let us give thanks to the Lord, our rock, our fortress, and our deliverer. 
    Let us remember his mercy, for he is gracious and compassionate. 
        We thank you for calling us to faith in Christ,
        for putting your Spirit within us,
        for giving us the mind of Christ,
        for gathering us into your church. 

    We thank you, Lord, for extending your grace to us,
    for calling us to a life of gratitude,
    for calling us to service in your kingdom. 
        Thanks be to God! 
    Let us give thanks to the Lord, for he satisfies the thirsty, 
    fills the hungry with good things, and heals the afflicted. 
    Let us celebrate his abundant goodness. 
        We thank you, gracious Father, that you provide for all our needs,
        for the food on our tables,
        for the clothes on our bodies,
        for the beds we sleep in,
        and for the dwellings that shelter us.
 
    We praise you for all your gifts that go beyond our basic needs,
    for the things that make our work easier,
    for the conveniences of modern life,
    for the beauty and pleasure that you bring into our lives.
        Thanks be to God! (source)

*HYMN OF THANKSGIVING #92 (vv. 1-3): “For the Beauty of the Earth”


PROCLAMATION & RESPONSE


SCRIPTURE: John 14:15–21
PASTORAL REFLECTION

PASTORAL PRAYER/THE LORD’S PRAYER

MUSIC MOMENT: “In Christ Alone” (arr. Lawrence) - Instrumental Ensemble (piano, saxophone, trumpet, keyboard)

READING: Be assured, friends, that God knows you and calls you by name. You are loved. God rejoices over you with singing. You are never alone; you will never be forsaken or forgotten. When you pass through the waters, God will be there. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul.

ANTHEM: “Pass Through the Waters” (Burgess) - Adult Choir

OFFERTORY
*DOXOLOGY (#94)

*Prayer of Dedication


SENDING FORTH


*POEM: “Rekindle the Gift” (Steve Garnaas-Holmes)
    You have a treasure in you, 
        a seed of glory planted from stars, 
        a song written for only you to sing. 
    You have gifts to give.
    The treasure is buried, 
        and it may take some digging to recover. 
    The song is forgotten, but still hidden in your bones.
    Nothing that happens to you can remove it, 
        no fear or shame destroy it, 
        no failure ruin it. It is who you are.
    Rekindle the gift. 
    Listen for the quiet voice, the Spirit of Life singing in you.
    Listen... and sing. 
        Tune your life to its melody.  
        Let it sing in you, let it sing you into life.
    Rekindle the gift that is God within you. 
        Give God this joy— for it is God who is singing.

*CLOSING HYMN #68 (vv. 1, 2, 3, 5): “When In Our Music God Is Glorified”

*BENEDICTION

*CHORAL RESPONSE

*POSTLUDE: “Doxology” (arr. Hayes)


Have you ever done a Music Sunday? What did you include? I'd love to hear about it!

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