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An overview of the service music

Hello, Song Leaders!  Here’s an overview of the music we sing at our services.  This is especially useful if you are new to song leading.

The music of our regular dinner-church services falls into two categories—

Songs and Hymns, which we sing together as one group,

Acclamations, the moments when the song-leader cues the sung congregational responses to the presider.

A regular dinner-church service has four song slots:

A gathering song: what we sing at the very beginning of the service.

A lamp-lighting song: what we sing as we process into the dining area with candles. (These songs usually have lyrics about light, for example “Come Light of Lights” or “Evening Lamps Are Lit.”) Some people call this the “processional.”

A prayer song: the song we sing before and after we pray together, usually a slower song, more conducive to a prayerful mood.

A final hymn: what we sing at the very end of the service, usually a well-known hymn with harmony parts.  This is the only piece that is printed on paper.

The Song Leaders choose gathering, lamp-lighting, and prayer songs for each slot in the service, based on a menu of selections posted on the Squeezebox portion of the Saint Lydia’s blog.  (The final hymns are preselected.)  The gathering and lamp-lighting song selections change from season to season; the prayer song options, a longer and ever-expanding list, do not change.

The remaining bits of music are acclamations, which come at various points in the service:

The drone and “Thanks be to God” and “Amen” we sing in response to the presider’s opening collect (right after the gathering song).

The first table acclamation — what we sing in response to the presider’s blessing of the bread.

The second table acclamation — what we sing in response to the presider’s blessing of the cup.

The drone and closing “Amen” we sing in response to the presider’s closing prayer (right after the final hymn).

Like the songs, the table acclamations change from season to season and are posted in the Squeezebox portion of the Saint Lydia’s blog.

–Jacob Slichter

Find more Resources for Song Leaders and Song-leader trainees here!


Posted in: Songs We Sing

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