The Music Corner by Luvi Avendano, Director, Worship & Music Ministries
The liturgical calendar can be complex and sometimes difficult to follow; however, its observance provides a very interesting story line that allows for very meaningful and poignant seasons to creatively program our worship. One such example is the beautiful and intentional parallel of the Advent/Christmas seasons and the Lent/Easter seasons.
Advent is a season of “preparing the way for the Lord,” awaiting the Messiah that will be born to make things right for the clamoring people of God. It is a season of expectation and tribulation, followed by the joy of Christmas Day.
In a similar but different way, Lent is the season of expectation and preparation, but where we empty ourselves through the journey and ministry of the Christ that leads to the dramatic unfolding of Holy Week and the ultimate redemption of Easter Day. This gives us much material to work with in worship and there are many towering musical compositions that celebrate this season. For you who are curious enough, here is a link to a good article on Holy Week and its context: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Week
Now, for us at CUMC, here is some of what we will experience in worship this coming week:
- Palm/Passion Sunday
Typically, churches celebrate only Palm Sunday on this day, but many church members only attend the Sunday services and ignore all the others in Holy Week. This means Palm Sunday is followed directly by Easter Sunday, with none of the “Passion” between the two. Going from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem straight to the glorious resurrection, skipping all the grueling action found in the rest of the story, robs us of developing the real feeling and meaning of Easter.
So here at CUMC, we will participate in both the triumphal entry to Jerusalem, and we will also touch into the Passion of the Christ, so that we can truly appreciate the story. In the music spotlight I invite you to turn your attention to the choral arrangement of “Were You There?” by the famous African American composer H.T. Burleigh, known for his wonderful arrangements of spirituals.
- Maundy Thursday
This is one service that is sparsely attended, but this really is the meat and potatoes of Holy Week. Communion, washing of the disciples’ feet, betrayal and arrest, it can’t get more dramatic than this. Join us in this powerful service that will deepen your understanding of the whole story and will make your Easter Day so much more meaningful. Paul Sjolund’s “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” will set the tone for the darkness of this evening.
- Good Friday
Pastor Gary has prepared a playlist of music and matching images projected for a self guided hour of reflection. No sermons, no choir, no liturgist. Come as you are and make it your own personal experience.
- Easter Sunday
If you want a high energy worship experience with all bells and whistles, this is it! Bring all your relatives and neighbors to this one: brass, percussion, organ, choir and lots of special music will make this day extra special. In the spotlight: “Gloria” from John Rutter’s Magnificat and “Antiphon” by Ralph Vaughan-Williams are sure to please the most selective ears and inspire everyone. John Rutter and Ralph Vaughan-Williams are two of the most important British composers of choral music of the 20thcentury, and you’ll experience them in all their glorious music!
MORE GREAT MUSIC OPPORTUNITIES LOCALLY!
April 13, 7 pm –Wagner Ensemble Concert (Mark Holmstrom accompanies)
@ St. Francis De Sales, Sherman Oaks, CA: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4203726
April 20, 7 pm –Easter Concert @ Ventura FUMC
April 26, 7:30 pm –TO Phil Concert @ CUMC: http://www.tophil.org/event-details/
April 28, 3 pm –CHICO Concert @ Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center, Camarillo CA