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Oct 24, 2021 Special Music Service led by Dr. Christopher Burton
Service and Hymns
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October 24th, 2021 Music Service: The Holy Purposes of Music  

Watch this Service at:

Minister:  Rev. Christine Smaller

Leading us today in worship:
Music Director:      Dr. Christopher Burton
Lay Leader:            Shirley Woolner
Soloist:                     Shirley Woolner                    

Leader: regular font ~ All: bold font ~ Sung Words: bold italic font  

You are welcome to respond in prayers throughout the service.
At this time in compliance with Public Health guidelines there is no singing.   

Capriccio on the Note of the Cuckoos  ~ G. Frescobaldi  

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.                      
And also with you.

Territorial Acknowledgment
We acknowledge that our church is situated, and our church services take place, on treaty land, treaty 18 which was signed in 1818.  We acknowledge that the Indigenous peoples, the Inuit and Metis people are the traditional stewards of all of Turtle Island.
Since the beginning of time, music has been a way of communicating observations of and experiences about the world. For Indigenous Peoples who have lived within their traditional territories for generations, music is a repository of ecological knowledge, with songs embedding ancestors’ knowledge, teachings, and wisdom.
The music carries the word of the ancestors across time, transmitting key knowledge from deep in our sacred memory. Academics are just beginning to see the deep significance of these songs and the knowledge they carry, and some are working with Indigenous collaborators to unlock their teachings.
At the same time, non-Indigenous researchers and the public are becoming aware of the historic and current loss of songs. Indigenous communities are also grappling with what this means. The loss of songs was brought on by colonization, forced enrollment in residential schools and the passing of the last of the traditionally trained knowledge holders and song keepers.

Today is the first Music Focused service at Grace United Church and we are excited to bring this new worship experience to you.  
As we wake up every morning, as we drive to and from work, as we work out at the gym, and as we go throughout our days, what do we often hear?  
Each Sunday as we come together to worship God what frames our services? You guessed it: music.  
Music serves some distinct purposes in our lives and especially within our Christian tradition. Today in our service we will be exploring four purposes for music in Worship.  Enjoy!

Call to Worship:   (Psalm 92:1-2; 95:1-2)
O Lord, open our lips,
and our mouth will proclaim your praise.
It is good to praise the Lord
and make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
and your faithfulness at night.

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.

Opening Prayer:   
Creator God,
because you make all that draws forth our praise
and the forms in which to express it,
we praise you.
Because you make artists of us all,
awakening courage to look again at what is taken for granted,
grace to share these insights with others,
vision to reveal the future already in being,
we praise you.
Because you form your Word among us,
and in your great work embrace all human experience,
even death itself, inspiring our resurrection song,
we praise you. Yours is the glory. Amen.  

Opening Hymn:  VU 473 Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
1.  Let all mortal flesh keep silence, 
and with awe and reverence stand; 
ponder nothing earthly minded, 
for with blessing in his hand 
Christ our God to us approacheth 
our full homage to demand. 

2.   King of kings, yet born of Mary, 
as of old on earth he stood, 
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
in the body and the blood,
he will give to all the faithful 
his own self for heavenly food. 

3.   Rank on rank the host of heaven 
spreads its vanguard on the way,
as the Light of light descendeth
from the realms of endless day, 
that the powers of hell may vanish 
as the darkness clears away. 

4.   At his feet the six-winged seraph;
cherubim with sleepless eye 
veil their faces to the presence, 
as with ceaseless voice they cry,
Hallelujah, hallelujah, 
hallelujah, Lord Most High!

1. Music teaches us the gospel:
Hymns and spiritual songs take our faith and compact it. In fact, the melody and phrasing of the music makes our faith memorable. Before we hear a word of scripture read or preached in the service, we’ve already taken in page after page through our singing. Hymns and other forms of music instruct us in the Good News, touching our hearts as well as our minds.  

Welcome In, Welcome All  ~ Bryan Cook 

Prayer for Illumination:
Holy One, we know that you constantly breathe new life into every word of scripture.  Help us hear the Living Word you desire to share with us today.  

VU 824b  Psalm 100
Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, give thanks, and sing.  

Shout to God, all the earth:  
          worship with gladness and joy.
Come before God with laughter,  
          our maker to whom we belong.
To the Shepherd who tends us like sheep,  
          Let us raise our voices in song.

Come to God’s gates with thanks;
           Come to God’s courts with praise.
Praise and bless God’s name.
           “Truly you are good:
You are always gracious,  
           And faithful age after age.”

Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, give thanks, and sing.                  

1 Corinthians 14:26  
What should be done then, my friends? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.
The Word of God for the people of God.
Thanks be to God.  

2. Music connects us to God in unique ways.
The purpose of music goes beyond mere instruction. In many ways, it allows for a direct connection with God. And even though we can’t sing in church yet, we await that wonderful day because singing allows a part of our hearts to speak to God in a way that doesn’t happen as we hear the spoken word.   Have you ever noticed? Something incredible happens when we sing. You can feel it when you sing alone, but most especially when you sing as part of a community, a congregation in worship. Something awakens not only in the heart of each person but also in the collective heart of the body of Christ, connecting us to each other and to God in the deepest part of who we are.   Singing as a part of Christian worship is so much more than mere mental exercise. God created us to communicate with the very depths of our spirit, and singing is a way we can accomplish this in a profound and meaningful way.  

Music:  Spirit, Open My Heart     

3. Music allows us to express our love to God with our whole being.
Scripture commands us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5 NRSV). This verse emphasizes the entire body, not through outward actions but devotion and love.
In the New Testament, Jesus responds to a lawyer who asked him about the greatest commandment by pointing back to this same passage, saying, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37 NRSV).
Music is one of the ways in which we express our love towards God with our whole being. We engage every part of our being in worship to God.
Worshiping through music changes and transforms us. It inclines our hearts to God in ways other forms can’t accomplish. Worship strengthens us, convicts us, builds us up, and even restores us. In other words, when we sing and devote our whole selves to God, something godly happens within us.

Hymn:   MV 161  I Have Called You By Name
1. I have called you by your name, you are mine; 
I have gifted you and ask you now to shine. 
I will not abandon you;
all my promises are true. 
You are gifted, called, and chosen; you are mine.  

2. I will help you learn my name as you go; 
read it written in my people, help them grow. 
Pour the water in my name,
speak the word your soul can claim, 
offer Jesus’ body given long ago.  

3. I know you will need my touch as you go; 
feel it pulsing in creation’s ebb and flow.
Like the woman reaching out,
choosing faith in spite of doubt, 
hold the hem of Jesus’ robe, then let it go.  

4. I have given you a name, it is mine;
I have given you my Spirit as a sign.
With my wonder in your soul,
make my wounded children whole;
go and tell my precious people they are mine. 

4. Music as worship fulfills God’s command.
Throughout scripture, we’re commanded to sing. Within the Psalms (prayers set to music, the hymnal of the Old Testament) we read, “I… go around your altar, O Lord, proclaiming thanksgiving aloud,” (Psalm 26:6-7 ESV); “Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody!” (Psalm 98:5 ESV); and “Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” (Psalm 100:2 ESV).
God calls us to sing praise to the Lord and to sing in his presence. The New Testament affirms this call. Paul urged the Ephesians (and us) to “be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:18-20 ESV).

Prayers of the People
O God, sometimes words alone cannot adequately express our love for you. Thank you for the gift of music to help us do this. On this Music Sunday, we are grateful that music has helped us to smile and sing your praises throughout this week.  
Thank you for the privilege of being your church in this particular place.    
O God, thank you for those times when out of the blue, we are reminded of a melody that we heard in church, and it inspires us throughout the week. O God, thank you for the gift of music.   
We pray for those who may find it difficult to sing today because of uncertainty, loneliness, worry, grief, pain, or sickness. Remind us that there is always a song, always a lyric, always a tune, that can speak to our hearts in any given moment, even songs for heavy hearts.   
We especially pray for the people around the world who are facing hunger, cold, terror, oppression. Bless the peace makers, rescue workers, medical workers, and leaders of these countries during this difficult time. We offer to you our song of lament for the brokenness and pain that we see throughout your creation.   
We think today of our brothers and sisters, close and around the world, who are in special need of your healing music. We take a moment here to lift their names to you out loud, or in the quiet of our hearts.  
Hear the songs of your people today, whatever songs you may be calling us to sing; songs of peace, songs of healing, songs of justice, songs of hope, and songs of praise. For those of us who can’t sing harmony, or who even feel self-conscious when singing, thank you for the bible verse that says that a “joyful noise” is pleasing to you as well.   Amen  

The Lord’s Prayer:
As a child turns to a loving caregiver who watches over them, we turn in prayer to you O god, who are our heavenly parent, our mother,
Our Father who art in heaven…  

Improvisation on a Hymn  ~  C. Burton  

Passing the Peace:
The Peace of Christ be with you all.                         
And also with you.  

Everyone is invited to share the peace of Christ by offering a message in the chat box. 
You may also wish to think of someone you would like to pass the peace to this week.

Music while we share the Peace of Christ
My Song Is Love Unknown  ~  John Ireland  

Invitation to the Offering:      
With your donations on line by using the GIVE icon, on your screen, by cheque, e-transfer and PAR... your donations support the ministries of this church and reach worldwide. May each gift be used to its fullest by following the open mindedness of Jesus.  

Prayer of Dedication:
Creator God, you have made us in your image to reflect your goodness. You have called us to use our gifts to build your kingdom. As we begin this week, we seek to reflect your image.
Help us not only to focus on how to develop our creativity, but also to seek the wisdom to use our skills to your glory, and for the building up of the people we serve. In the name of Christ and through the Holy Spirit we pray, Amen.

A single stone placed in the offering plate honours all our gifts.
Donate online:,  select “Give”
   or contact the office by email:
   or  phone: 519-599-2438 to arrange a cheque pick-up, or an e-transfer
   Mail: Grace UC, 140 Bruce St. S. PO Box 219, Thornbury, ON N0H 2P0

Care, Prayer, Share


Closing Hymn: VU 348  O Love How Deep
1. O Love, how deep, how broad, how high!
It fills the heart with ecstasy,
that God, in Jesus Christ, should take 
our mortal form for mortals' sake.

2. God sent no angel to our race
of higher or of lower place,
but wore the robe of human frame,
and freely to this lost world came.

3. For us he was baptized, and bore 
a holy fast, and hungered sore; 
for us temptations sharply knew; 
for us the tempter overthrew. 

4. For us he prayed; for us he taught; 
for us great daily works were wrought,
by words, and signs, and actions, thus
still seeking not himself, but us. 

5. For us to wicked foes betrayed, 
scourged, mocked, in purple robe arrayed, 
he bore the shameful cross and death; 
for us at length gave up his breath. 

6. For us he rose from death again, 
for us he went on high to reign, 
for us he sent his Spirit here 
to guide, to strengthen, and to cheer. 

7. To God whose boundless love has won
salvation for us through the Son, 
to God all praise and glory be
both now and through eternity.

Commissioning and Benediction
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness!
Let us leave this sanctuary with music in our hearts!
Know this!  The Lord is God.
Know this! We belong to the Lord who made us.
Know this! We are God’s people, and the sheep of God’s pasture.
So, let us go into the world with thanksgiving,
Give thanks to God and bless God’s holy name.
For the Lord is good;
God’s steadfast love endures forever,
God’s faithfulness is for all generations.

Sung Blessing:    Go Now in Peace  
Go now in peace. Never be afraid.
God will go with you each hour of every day.
Go now in faith, steadfast, strong and true,
Know God will guide you in all you do.
Go now in love, and show you believe.
Reach out to others so all the world can see.
God will be there, * within, around, above.
Go now in peace, in faith and in love.
Amen, amen, amen.  

* alternate words: watching from above

Impromptu in F Sharp Major ~  F. Chopin                                                                              


RESOURCES USED (all with permission):  

Prayers and Liturgies:
Call to Worship:   Adapted from Psalm 92:1-2; 95:1-2
Opening Prayer:   Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, June 1, 2005
Pastoral Prayer:  Adapted from a prayer by Robert McDowell
Commissioning: Adapted from Psalm 100
Four Purposes of Music in Worship:  Adapted from    

Hymns Sung Response & Music:
- Psalm response “Refrain.” Composer; Arthur H. Messiter 1883
- “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” Words: from the Liturgy of St. James, Gerard Moultrie 1864. Music: French traditional carol. harm. The English Hymnal 1906 Harmony by permission of Oxford University Press Used by permission One License #608577
- “Welcome In, Welcome All” Bryon Cook
- “Spirit, Open My Heart” Words: Ruth Duck, 1994. Music: traditional melody, Ireland; arr. Arthur G. Clyde, 1997 Used by permission One License #608577  
- “I Have Called You By Name” Words and music: Daniel Charles Damon, 1995 Words and music copyright 1995 Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream IL 60188 All rights reserved. Used by permission. One License #608577
“O Love How Deep” Words: from Latin, 15th Century, trans. Benjamin Webb 1854, alt. Music: melody from Piae Cantiones 1582, adapt, Michael Praetorius 1609; harm. by G. R. Woodward 1902. Harmony copyright © Mowbray. Used by permission One License #608577
-  “Go Now in Peace.” Words by Don Besig and Nancy Price. © 1988 Harold Flammer Music, Inc. Alternate words used with permission. Reproduced with permission, One License, #608577.

Scripture Passage from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission.  

Prelude: Capriccio on the note of the Cuckoos.  G. Frescobaldi
Passing of the Peace: My Song is Love Unknown. John Ireland.  Music copyright © The John Ireland Trust
Postlude: Impromptu in F Major    F. Chopin
All Public Domain