The Sounds of Our Offerings is good news about the music of the church. It recounts what has been learned from studying nine congregations where music promotes the full, active, conscious participation of the worshipers and where it has done so consistently and coherently for many years. Pastors and musicians reflect on their work together and offer rich insights about what works and what does not. Lay musicians and members of the congregation also share their experiences with music in worship.
Though no site was without its struggles, and at times difficult choices had to be made, for the most part, we see unremarkable, week to week, year to year, faithful rendering of music for prayer and praise. We see that sometimes the nature of the music took a slightly different turn, one that built upon the foundations of the past. The music choices in these churches are not restricted to one particular era or style, but rather reflect the broader church’s music repertoire, including the best recently written music.
These are the stories of churches with a reputation for their fine music programs, churches that, with their leaders and congregations, have worked out these programs in consistent, coherent ways. In most cases, the programs span multiple priests/pastors and musicians. The Sounds of Our Offerings is about excellent music and how it has found its way into the life and faith practices of these congregations.