It happens every once in a while.
A vacation is scheduled. Plans are made. Maybe someone forgot to call around and secure someone to fill in or maybe there really is no one available. This seems more and more probable to me for churches that expect the organ to be played. I mean, really, how many people know how to play an organ? So, it happens. The organist is going on vacation and there is no substitute.
The organist in question offered to reschedule her vacation. I thought this absurd. Take the time off. Rest. Renew. We can definitely solve this problem, I said. And we did. We decided that we would meet the request for more silence with a worship experience than allowed for lots and LOTS of silence.
This week, I’m not sharing the individual ingredients that will make up our worship but the entire liturgy. Here is the whole liturgy for Songs and Silence before God’s Holy Table. Hymns will be sung a capella, but we will still sing. There’s still reason to sing. We’ll just sing songs that are more familiar and a choir member or two will be ready to help me lead. (I really can’t lead music. It’s tragic.) You’ll also see that we’re doing communion in silence. No spoken words but lots of ritual movements. I’ve seen this done once or twice and it brought me to tears both times. I borrowed a few hints for such silent communion but adapted it to fit our context. I’m really excited about it. It should be awesome.
Check back for more Ingredients for Worship next Tuesday and don’t forget to share what you’ve cooked up in the comments below! And dare I ask: what have you done without a musician? I bet you’ve come up with other creative solutions.
5 thoughts on “What To Do Without a Church Musician”
I love this, Elsa. I am saving the silent communion for sometime in Lent (I think).
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Thanks so much Elaine! Please do let me know how it goes when you use it. I love the idea of using it during Lent!
How did it go? What did people think?
Thanks so much for asking! I think it went well. It was way more silence than folks were used to so it was… awkward especially for the older folks who apparently thought they were missing something. Ha!
I’m glad that it went well, but sorry that some people found it awkward… (Can’t win sometimes…!)