13 May 2010

Tonight we gathered

for Ascension.  There were only 46 of us, but the singing was robust and joyful, and Carlo gave us some wonderful pieces.  The preservice Bach Prelude and Fugue (C Major) was probably my favorite.  We sang Divine Service 4, which is quite easy for a smaller crowd to sing.  Best of all to me was seeing the youngsters in church - kudos to the parents who brought their little ones to share the joy of this feast!  It was wonderful standing next to Gary at the end of the service and hearing him belt out the Bede Hymn:  "A Hymn of Glory."

I know that folks criticize DS 4, but having used it any number of times, the simple truth is that it works.  It works very well.  No, it's not DS 3, but it is a beautiful liturgy in its own right.  I can understand why it has "caught on" throughout the Synod.  I sure wouldn't want it as regular fare, but for these feasts that receive smaller attendance, it strikes me as a perfect fit.


Becky said...

Really only 46? It sounded like 146. The music was amazing. I especially like "Up Through Endless Ranks of Angels." It's one of those hymns that paints a glorious picture.

Anonymous said...

If you like all the kids present at the service, try having the children's choir sing at the service and watch attendance go way up... as a test of this theory have the children's choir sing at an Advent or Lenten service and compare how full the room is... Plus to have all those children's voices spilling over the balcony is just joyous.
John <><

Extollager said...

Still time this Ascension Day to play tracks from the Bach Cantata series, a CD of music conducted by J. E. Gardiner, with BWV 128, BWV 11, etc.

Rev. James Leistico said...

We had about half that in greater Evansville for Vespers, but you would never know that from the joyful singing.
I noticed the importance of capitalization when we closed with "Now the light [not Light] has gone away".
Did you have some loud weather rumble through your service?

Jeremy Loesch said...

Will, we had 7 gather for Vespers in Delaware. It's the first time we've marked festivals on the festival day rather than transferring the festival to the nearest Sunday. It was intimate and joyful, a time of prayer, praise and the Word. I thanked an older widow who attended, thanking her for coming out at night and she said, "Well, I believe in it. Why wouldn't I come?" I smiled and thought, "Silly Pastor."

I really like DS 4. It's a nice change of pace from DS 3. We rotate through the DS's by liturgical season. The people seem to respond best to 3 and 4. (During the Pentecost season we follow a service for two months before rotating to a different one.) I think the aspect of DS 4 that I appreciate the best are the options for the Kyrie. I especially like the longer form of it. Very nice to pray and ponder those petitions.

Glad your Ascension service was as good as ours.


William Weedon said...

Becky - indeed!
John - very good idea!
Extollager - but it's always time for Bach!
Jimbo - right as the service began we had downpour, but not much thunder.
Jeremy - sounds fabulous, and what a blessing to hear that from your member. Yes, that longer Kyrie is really beautiful. It's based on one from the Ambrosian rite, I believe. Pax.

Rev. Kevin Jennings said...

In response to John, children in the church are a great blessing. As you say, invite the children's choir for a Lent or Advent service, and then listen to the drown out the adults when praying the Our Father!

J.G.F. said...

We had 20. For a midweek service, it is a great turnout for us. We sang "Up Through Endless Ranks of Angels." I used one of the spoken liturgies out of the old WS (you know the one, "Luke the Evangelist...") I like the benediction in that service for a weekday Mass.

"God has ascended with shouts of joy, the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets"

William Weedon said...

I love the old Coverdale Psalter for that one, John: "God has gone up with a merry noise!"