Category Archives: Offertory


On this 4th Sunday of Advent, the Lectionary readings takes us to Luke 1:39-55. This year the readings do not give us the account of the visit by Gabriel to Mary, but we do read of Mary visiting Elizabeth, who is pregnant with John. Mary’s magnificat (“My soul proclaims…”) is not recorded as a direct response to the annunciation by the angel, but rather to Elizabeth’s greeting:


“Visitation” by Ghirlandaio, 1491

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Eastertide 2012

This past Sunday at St. Bartholomew’s, after 40 days of Lent, and then the contrast of joy and passion during Holy Week, we welcomed Resurrection Sunday (Easter) with joy and gladness, lift our voices in songs of “Alleluia!”

We began the services with  a new acclamation, based on the traditional Easter proclamation:

LEADER: Alleluia! Christ is risen!

PEOPLE: The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

I wrote this setting  to be easy for both celebrant and congregation to sing, with a desire that in its simplicity it not be trite or quickly boring. For “learning-as-we-go,”  it seemed to go pretty well on Sunday. I’ll use it each week of Easter up until Pentecost. For a PDF of the score, which you are free to reproduce and use if you desire, click [HERE].

We began the Processional with a choral introit I had written last year for the choir, based on Antiphon 2 the Antiphons for Easter, segueing to “Jesus Christ Is Risen TodayContinue reading

A Theology of Music in Worship

I‘ve been teaching at the Center for Worship at Liberty University this week with my pastor, Fr. Jerry Smith at the invitation of Dr. Vernon Whaley. It has been a wonderful week, so far, with great interaction with other visiting instructors, as well as the students.  In preparation for the first session which I presented yesterday, I revisited the “Vision for Worship” I developed for St. Bartholomew’s back in 2001 when we went from two distinct services (Traditional, Contemporary) to one integrated in style service repeated twice each Sunday morning. I spent several hours on the document – refining, adjusting based on the contextual changes in our parish in 10 years, expanding, and revising for clarity. I used it as the basis for teaching about Worship Planning, and the need for a clearly defined The0logy of Worship as the starting point for planning.

Here is the revised document. I welcome any questions or comments.

A Theology of Music in Worship

St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church • Nashville, Tennessee


At St.  Bartholomew’s, the rector (Fr. Jerry Smith) serves as the worship leader for the parish; the music director I assists the rector in matters of music. Our vision for music in worship at St. Bartholomew’s is one of worship of the Triune God with all our beings, with all of our emotions, and with all of our intellect–hence we worship joyfully and exuberantly, as well as meditatively and reverently. Continue reading

DESCANT #591 Come, Ye Thankful People, Come (Tune: St. George’s Windsor)

Here is a descant for Thanksgiving. I am using it this Sunday at my church in a medley of Thanksgiving hymns we will all sing at the offertory, as follows;
#591 Come, Ye Thankful People Come, vs. 1
#589 Now Thank We All Our God, vs. 1, 3 (in E flat)
#590 We Gather Together, vs. 1
#591 Come, Ye Thankful People Come, vs. 4 with descant

Available in Key of F as well.

Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
-The Book of Common Prayer, Collect for Thanksgiving Day