Music is one of the most appealing aspects of our worship. What a joy it is to have gifted musicians and singers volunteer to lead our worship in music.
Music at Trinity
– by Rose Pruiksma, B.A., Calvin; M.M., M.A., Ph.D., Michigan.
At Trinity we have a “choir of the congregation” led by a mixed instrumental ensemble. While the music ensemble leads the singing, we enthusiastically invite all congregants of all ages to sing (clap, dance, etc. as appropriate) to whatever extent they are comfortable doing so.
We sing a mix of traditional and new hymns. These come from a variety of resources, including the 1982 Episcopal hymnal and our “Blue Binder ” containing hymns reprinted under license. These include hymns from the world church—especially those collected by John Bell, new hymns from the Iona community, hymns from G.I.A. publications, and hymns by a new generation of writers and composers, including Adam Tice and David Bjorlin. During the Eucharist, we frequently sing meditative chants from the Taizé community. We subscribe annually to onelicense.net for copyright licensing.
My hymn selection process involves prayerful consideration of the scripture readings for the week, the season of the church year, and quiet meditation that allows words and tunes to make themselves heard in response to the readings. Larger world and local events and our faith response to them also shape my choices. The process may be easy for one Sunday, and painstaking for the next.
As the ensemble leader and the one who organizes the music, what we sing is shaped by my knowledge of the hymnal, of alternate resources for hymns, my own personal spiritual journey and its darkness and light, and my connection to Trinity’s members. I am always considering multiple elements—texts, tunes, familiarity, newness, musical/textual integrity, tradition, global perspectives—when choosing the music we will sing together. While every hymn we sing may not everyone, all of the hymns we sing are mindfully, prayerfully selected. It is my hope that even the unfamiliar and the new may reach someone, and that the old hymns we sing will remind us of our connections to those who have gone before us in the community of all saints. When we sing the songs of the world church, we affirm our connection to the global body of Christ.
Choir of the Congregation
We intentionally do not have a choir at Trinity. Instead, we affirm the importance of the whole congregation as participants in our ongoing song. We do, occasionally, draw on our voices to act as “cantor” in leading the congregation in responsive singing. We also sometimes sing as an ensemble, an unfamiliar hymn one Sunday alone, so that in following Sundays, we can teach it to the congregation, but our function is to lead and facilitate congregational song, and through that song to express our collective joys, sorrows, hopes, fears, faith and love together as we blend our voices.
If you play an instrument or sing, you are invited to join our ensemble to whatever degree you are comfortable!
Trinity’s Music Ensemble
Rose Pruksma, leader, clarinet, voice
Chris Lansley flute, voice
Greg Boardman, violin, viola, cello
Klara Tammany recorder, percussion, voice
Linda Jackson-Washburn, piano
Peg Hoffman, voice, hand percussion
Funding for the Music at Trinity program is by the Annie Crawshaw Endowment and by the members and friends of Trinity Church.