Here you can find information from Pilgrim's Music Team on the upcoming Sunday's hymns & songs. 

Julie Bedard, Organist
Traditional Worship

Carol Ewing, Pianist
Contemporary Worship

April 7 - The 2nd Sunday of Easter.

We get to celebrate Easter for 40 days! So our worship will begin with Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds (LSB 465) We will also sing the Easter hymn Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain (LSB 487) 

The scripture reading for the Second Sunday of Easter typically recounts the well known story of "Doubting Thomas." But let's put a positive spin on things and call him "Believing Thomas" for his confession when He spoke to Jesus "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28). 

Three of our hymns will relate to this Biblical narrative:

O Sons and Daughters of the King (LSB 470) dates from the 15th century. This hymn, originally in Latin, ends each stanza in joyful alleluias.

These Things did Thomas Count as Real (LSB 472) is by a contemporary hymn writer named Thomas Troeger who, before his death in 2022 was a professor at Yale Divinity School. Because the tune is unfamiliar, we will be singing it to a more familiar tune.

We Walk by Faith and not by Sight (LSB 720), weaves together Jesus' words to Thomas "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29) with the words from the Epistle (1 John 1:7) about walking in the light. It also recalls 2 Corinthians 5:7 ("For we walk by faith, not be sight"). Though the tune is new, it is easy to learn by listening here.

During communion, we will sing one of my personal favorites, I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light (LSB 411).This hymn references our Epistle lesson.

We will have a guest Pastor this Sunday, Rev. Kris Morris. Rev. Morris recently retired from Christ the Vine Lutheran Church in Damascus, Oregon. We will be using a variation of Divine Service V from the hymnal. This liturgy is mostly spoken, with hymns replacing some of the traditional sung portions of the liturgy.

Songs we will be using during the liturgy include:

This is the Feast (LSB 155)

At the Lamb's High Feast (LSB 633)

Christ Has Arisen, Alleluia! (LSB 466). We will be singing only the refrain of this Tanzanian hymn that we learned on Easter Sunday. The refrain will be our response to the absolution throughout the Easter season.

A special treat will be an offertory with flute and piano - an Easter Alleluia medley. Thank you Carol Ewing and Kim Darby for working on this special musical offering!

Holy Week and Easter

With three services this week, there is lots to cover...!

Maundy Thursday

On Maundy Thursday, the Scripture readings focus on Jesus as the Bread of Life. This is very appropriate as we recognize and celebrate our Lord's Last Supper. Our music for that evening will be centered around that theme.

Preservice music will include two beautiful piano arrangements by John Carter. The first, "I am the bread of life" is a familiar song to many. The second is an arrangement of our sermon hymn "You Satisfy the Hungry Heart" LSB 641.

The prelude is totally different, featuring an organ piece by Johannes Brahms based on our final communion hymn "Feed Your Children, Lord Most Holy." LSB 774 - a lovely closing table prayer.

Good Friday

The prelude for Good Friday will be a passacaglia by Donald Busarow based on "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded" LSB 450. A passacaglia is a musical phrase that is repeated over and over in the lower voice (the pedals on the organ), with other music played above it. In this case, the organ will be joined by Kim Darby on the flute. It will take careful listening to find the hymn tune in the flute part.

As is appropriate on Good Friday, we will ponder the 7 last words of Christ with scripture, prayer, and song. In our recent hymn/song survey, "Go to Dark Gethsemane" LSB 436 was cited most often as a favorite Lenten hymn and it will begin our worship. We will be singing several other hymns that were mentioned in the survey:: "Were You There" LSB 456, "O Sacred Head" LSB 450, "Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted" LSB 433, and "How Deep the Father's Love for Us." This song is found in the new hymnal for Lutheran schools, One and all Rejoice, 203.

At the time of Jesus' words "It is finished," the choir will introduce us to LSB 454, "Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle." The text is an ancient hymn written in the 6th century, but the tune was written in the 20th century by Lutheran musician and professor Carl Schalk. Although it is not as somber sounding as many other Lenten hymns, it reminds us that Christ's death on the cross was a victory over sin, death, and the devil. You may want to listen to the hymn here.

Easter Sunday

The preservice music and prelude for Easter will be quiet pieces that prepare our hearts for the good news that Christ is risen. After the confession and absolution, we will let our Alleluias ring out with the favorite Easter processional "Jesus Christ is Ris'n Today" LSB 457.

The sermon hymn will be "Awake, My Heart, with Gladness" LSB 467. We will sing only stanzas 1 - 3, though I urge you to look up the hymn and read the rest of the stanzas. This is a popular German Lutheran hymn, written by the prolific pastor Paul Gerhardt in the 1600's. It's lilting tune is hard to sing without a smile on your face. If you are not familiar with this hymn, you might choose to listen here.

Those first two hymns were listed as favorite Easter hymns in our survey. Two other favorites will be featured in our service: "In Christ Alone" and the top vote-getter, "I Know That my Redeemer Lives" LSB 461.

Last year, the choir introduced us to the lively Tanzanian hymn "Christ has Arisen, Alleluia." LSB 466. The congregation will join on the refrain and last few stanzas. Enjoy it here.  Feel free to open your hymnal and sing the refrain in 4 parts or clap a drum rhythm on your pew! 

The choir will also sing our Introit for the day, the traditional Easter Psalm verses from 118. The congregation will join on the dancing refrain. This is the Day

The postlude will be based on two Easter hymns we will not be singing "He's Risen, He's Risen" and "Christ is Arisen."

How God used St. Patrick to Spread His Word

Our worship on Sunday, March 17, will be on how God used St. Patrick to spread His word and bless those who did not know the one true God. 

We will be using the following Scripture readings:

Old Testament: Isaiah 61:1-3,8-11 (God's plan for His people to care for others and spread His word)

Psalm 96 (Our God is living and active, not an idol. All nature proclaims His splendor)

Epistle:1 Peter 4:7b-11 (Using our gifts to serve one another) Gospel: Luke 5:1-11 (Through a miraculous catch of fish, Jesus makes Himself known and calls His disciples)

St. Patrick wrote a prayer for protection that is called the "Lorica of St. Patrick." You can read the Lorica here: Lorica of St. Patrick The Lorica has been adapted many times into different prayers, songs and hymns. One of those hymns is in our hymnal. Its Irish tune can be challenging to sing, but we wanted to include it in worship on this special day. You might want to listen to this a few times to get the tune in your head before Sunday. It is a much beloved hymn particularly in Ireland and the British Isles. This recording is from Ireland: I Bind Unto Myself Today  (LSB 604)

One interesting side note on the Lorica for us as we study Ephesians is the section 

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,

Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ on my right, Christ on my left

Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise.

This brings to mind those passages in Ephesians that remind us of the Spirit dwelling in us and the fullness of God that is in us and surrounds us.

Another hymn that might be less familiar is Gracious God, You Send Great Blessings.  Instead of an Irish tune, here we have an American folk tune. This hymn (LSB 782), by a Lutheran pastor, beautifully encapsulates all of the Scripture readings - that the blessings we receive from God are ours to give and share.

The remaining hymns are

Hail to the Lord's Anointed (LSB 398) which celebrates the majesty of Christ as depicted in both Psalm 96 and the Isaiah reading.

Oh that I had a Thousand Voices (LSB 811) reflects Psalm 96 in the praise of creation (even shamrocks and fish!) and how it shows us God's love and majesty.

Sent Forth by God's Blessing (LSB 643) again pulls together all of the readings and our reception of the Lord's Supper into a final proclamation.

May God bless our worship!

Julie Bedard