Saturday, 3 May 2014

How a non-liturgical church structures their music

I ran into this blog post the other day.   In short it explains the structure which one non-liturgical (non-denom I think) church uses to structure the music in their services.

This isn't an approach that would work for Mass.  But it might be something to think about if we happen to find ourselves planning a "praise and worship" type of session before a liturgy - as a way of transitioning people from "out there" to "source and summit".

So what do they do   (summarised and simplified):

We usually have five songs at the start of our services that are meant for the church to sing together.  
First song:  a “gathering” song, an invocation that focuses attention on God and asks for Gods way to be present with us.    
Second song:  transitional between the “1″ and “3″, usually up-tempo and lyrically strong.  
Third song:  A testimonial telling of God’s work in us.  
Fourth song:  transitional  The verses are testimonial but the chorus speaks only of who God is with no mention of us. 
Fifth song, remove all mention of us and focuson the attributes and character of God. 

The article ends with well-made point, which I think is good to make for any denominiation and applies equally well to parish organists, music directors, choir leaders, band-leaders, et al:
May we, as worship leaders, implement songs and elements that point our people heavenward, laying aside our own agendas and musical preferences. If we want to lead our congregation well, we must choose to love the individuals more than the music, realizing that our role is relational far more than it is melodic.

I'm going to be using that last line "our role is relational far more than it is melodic" in a lot of places"

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